Kamine Island. March 18, 2019.
On one of the islands surrounding the Special Administrative Zone of Japan, four individuals moved towards the cave where the Thought Elevator was located. It was dawn as the sun rose over the nation, another one among many within the empire. In the past, Kamine Island was mostly uninhabited, save for the military outpost on the beach. However, that was no longer the case, as now this place is of high priority for scientific research as well as holding a personal place in the heart of the monarch walking its grounds.
The island was quite unique for two among the party, having several vital events happen there.
C.C. was in somewhat of a daze as she, Lelouch, Leila, and D.S. exited the Thought Elevator. All she could think about was that she was close to it, after centuries of having received her accursed Code, she would finally do it!
She will be free of immortality. Free of her Code!
'At long last, Lelouch and I can-'
"This should do."
The White Emperor, the most powerful man in the entire world and her Warlock spoke with a small smile. Lelouch ditched his royal cape, still wearing that white imperial robe of his. It was only six months into his checkmate of the entire world, his declaration of his rulership over the planet. Her partner hasn't changed too much since that day. Save for some muscle he gained thanks to Jeremiah's slave-like training that Lelouch despised. On the other hand, C.C. and the Emperor's mistresses enjoyed feeling said muscles.
"Okie-doke! Time to find out if my guess was right and dear Leila can actually do it!" D.S. happily sang while the blonde girl in question looked somewhat nervous.
"You said it will work. Definitely." C.C. narrowed her eyes. This day, this moment, it couldn't be ruined no matter what.
D.S. stuck out her tongue as she comically punched her forehead. "I would say many things to make you happy, C.C.! Rest assured, C.C. It must work."
"I trained for a long time to help you, C.C." Leila offered her some reassurance. "I did manage to get rid of Toto Thompson's and Orpheus Zevon's Geass abilities after all."
The green-haired witch looked a little scared. "I know, Leila. It is just-"
"It will work, C.C." Lelouch placed his hand over her shoulder to calm her down. "We made enough tests, Leila's Geass works as we hoped. All that is left is to do it. Failure won't happen no matter what and we will succeed. Do you know why?"
The look of curiosity, as well as trust in her golden eyes, silently asked her partner.
"Because I'm a man of miracles, witch. I promised to make you smile and if I need to break the curse of yours, I will do it. I will challenge the world, gods, and fate itself if needed to make sure you're happy, C.C."
'You're over dramatic as always, boy. But-' C.C. took his hand and moved it to her left cheek as Lelouch gently squeezed it as she closed her eyes. 'Our lives are tied to each other. No matter what happens we will be together. I will stay with you forever, Lelouch. Even if it won't work- no, it will work. If you want it to succeed, to create another miracle, then it will happen.'
Both D.S. and Leila gave them a moment, smiling at the scene. However, D.S. received a message from the rest of Lelouch's entourage.
"Agh, Kallen messaged me. She wants to remind her dear Emperor that he still has important meetings today." The OSI director didn't want to ruin the moment, but Lelouch was still the Emperor of the whole world and couldn't ignore some things.
Leila sighed. "It is about the revolt in Berlin? God, sorry, that was my responsibility. but I underestimated how much the older generation can be a pain. Even after everything that happened, old folks don't want to accept the new reality and would rather create new problems."
"It is natural for people to fight the change when they're afraid of it, worried that it will destroy their old way of life. Don't worry, Leila. You did a great job. We will deal with them one way or another, preferably quickly and peacefully." Lelouch wanted to be a benevolent emperor for his subjects, all of them. However, it didn't mean he would be a weak emperor who was afraid to use an iron fist or a few insane followers who were ready to do anything for him. "But right now I want to focus on making my Witch happy."
"As long as I'm with you, Lelouch, I'm happy." C.C. hold his hand, not letting go of it.
D.S. couldn't hold her excitement. "Gosh, you're so cute, C.C.! Why can't you show us more of this moe side? Wish I had a camera right now!"
The Witch looked annoyed, even if she was a little embarrassed. "If this works out I wouldn't mind showing this side to you all… only once though."
"I have to admit, it is adorable. Seeing you blush never fails to make me smile, C.C." Leila, the Witch's former prey and bully target, joined D.S. Perhaps the green-haired immortal was going too easy on the blonde messiah lately.
'These two! I will have to remind them who is in charge of our dynamic.' The rest of the girls were forgetting who is the main wife-to-be in their relationships.
Lelouch gave D.S. and Leila a wink. "We'll get her, don't worry."
"Hmph," C.C. stared hard at Lelouch who only laughed back. "If you're all feeling so carefree then let's proceed with our ritual before you all continue fooling around."
"Indeed, let's begin."
The four of them started as Lelouch moved to the side to give Leila more room. The blonde Geass user stepped forward and placed her hands on C.C.'s shoulders. Leila could feel that despite everything, the Witch was nervous. Even if the immortal was hiding it, the trio before her could see it easily. Leila gave her one last reassuring smile to confront her before both of her eyes sparkled with blue colour as the reverse Geass symbol appeared in them.
'This is it.'
The blue reverse bird of Geass flowed from Leila's eyes as it moved towards C.C.'s golden orbs. The witch's eyes went wide, her pupils were covered by blue circles. The code on her forehead, the symbol of Geass, lit up in a bright red colour. C.C. remembered the years of pain and loneliness. Of how she wanted nothing but death and to finally be free from it all.
And then she remembered how she met Lelouch.
How many centuries have passed since that day in the church? C.C. was young and naive back then, thinking the nun had the best intentions for her, but in reality, the old tormented immortal only sought death. Some hungry peasant girl who wouldn't survive a winter was just a means to an end for her.
'Just like how Lelouch was when we first met. He was just another Geass user I would observe and be disappointed when they would fail to progress, one able to receive my Code… but I was wrong.'
The annoying boy with delusional dreams was anything but a disappointment. Almost three years passed since the day she gave him the Power of Kings. These three years were more fulfilling than the centuries C.C. lived through until then. Before, decades moved in the blink of an eye for the immortal woman. However, in this short time, she got more than she ever hoped for. She got to see and be part of crazy schemes to take down the world and then take it over. She witnessed things even C.C. couldn't fathom. All thanks to the boy who was supposed to be her means to the end.
'I'm loved and I love.'
No longer was she loved because of her old Geass, no. This was real, sincere love and C.C. answered Lelouch's love back. She was no longer alone, with him she had a partner. One she will treasure until the end of times.
'He is the Warlock and I'm the Witch. My Code be damned! I won't allow fate to take this happiness away. Zero Requiem, revolting masses and my cursed immortality, none will stand in our way.'
The Geass symbol on her forehead started to change. Its colour slowly shifted from bright red to blue before it gradually disappeared.
It was gone. Her Code was destroyed.
C.C. felt lightheaded as Leila had to help keep her balance. Lelouch moved to catch his witch, worried she was too weak. D.S. remained to the side, smiling slightly as she watched another soul tormented by the Power of the Kings regain her mortality.
"Did… it work?" Leila asked with an anxious expression, fearing that she might have failed.
C.C. didn't answer, instead, she regained her focus before she pulled out a small knife she had for self-protection. Without any words, the witch left a small cut on her palm and waited. Everyone waited. Before, small wounds like this meant nothing, healing in less than a minute. And yet this time, nothing happened. The wound didn't close up and blood was slowly leaking, but the Witch wasn't afraid or in pain.
Her wound didn't disappear. Her body didn't heal itself.
She was free of the Code, of her immortality.
"I- this, it worked!" C.C. shouted, not believing what just happened. "I- hah, ahahaha!"
She was no longer immortal.
Her laughter was on the border of hysteria as C.C. struggled to contain herself, she was feeling light. She was worried she might fall, but Lelouch held onto her, tearing off a piece of his robe to use as a bandage to stop the blood. Lelouch was gentle as he did so before looking up at C.C., who was having a hard time containing her shock and excitement.
Leila turned towards D.S. "Did it work?"
"I can't feel the connection between C.C. and World C anymore." The avatar of God smiled. "I don't sense the Code anymore. She is mortal."
"At long last." C.C. managed to hold back the mix of her emotions. She didn't cry despite wanting to do so. Her hand was still feeling pain, reminding her that she was now a normal human and would no longer be immortal. Perfect, she wouldn't want it any other way.
Lelouch watched her in silence as a smile never left his face. The Emperor then glanced at his lovers.
"There is something between me and C.C. must discuss. Please tell Kallen that we will be there soon."
D.S. gave an understanding nod before walking up to Leila and taking the blonde's hand. The girl who destroyed the Code waved at the green-haired woman, smiling from ear to ear as two of them left the two alone.
Lelouch turned to C.C. as he took her hands into his own.
Lelouch spoke her true name gently, his voice full of love. C.C. froze, her eyes focused only on the Emperor speaking.
"We went through a lot. We learned about each other and hid secrets from each other. After all this time, you finally got rid of your Code. Are you happy?"
C.C. smiled brightly. "You know the answer to this, Lelouch. This is everything I ever wanted."
The Witch spent centuries looking for a way to die, even agreeing to an insane plan to slay God. But it wasn't her real wish. No, all she ever wanted was to smile, not to be alone, to be loved.
'And now I have it. I'm no longer alone.'
She won't have to watch Lelouch and others around him age and die from the strain of time while she continues to exist in the world without him. No, now she will be able to join him when Lelouch will close his eyes for the last time with her, in a distant future where they are happy together.
"Did I not promise you the smile you've always deserved?"
"You did." C.C. moved as Lelouch smirked.
"Now that you're immortal, you're no longer bound by our old contract. Which means we have to make a new one. Therefore I must know-"
Lelouch asked before kneeling before her. The White Emperor pulled out a small box. Her golden eyes goggled at the object inside the box. A ring.
"Will you stay with me, C.C.? Let's renew our partnership, make it legal."
The mortal Witch couldn't take it anymore. Tears started to fall from her face, she didn't sob as these weren't tears of sadness but of happiness. C.C. had to wipe away her eyes, still smiling like she never did before.
'Me, the old Witch who wanted nothing but death, crying like a young maiden. Hah. Ahahaha! This is-'
Beyond anything, she ever expected to happen. C.C. never dreamed of it and yet, it happened.
"Someone has to keep their eyes on you," C.C. spoke, tears still on her smiling face as she took the ring before examining it. "Who knows what kind of insanity and foolishness you will try to accomplish without someone making sure you won't get yourself killed? You're still a boy, too cheeky for someone who wants to rule the world."
"Good thing I won't be alone at this." Lelouch's smirk widened as he stood up. "I will have my partner always to guide me, support me, and waste my funds on her pizza obsession."
"Hmm, the last part sounds quite appealing to me."
"So? We have a deal, my Witch?"
C.C. smiled brightly as she put on a ring. The Witch, now future empress, admired how the golden object hugged her ring finger.
"How's this for an answer?"
Before he knew it she'd leaned in and captured his lips, placing a kiss on them. Unlike the previous times, this one went on, neither wanting to ever stop. The kiss lasted a long moment, it meant to reinforce their contract with each other once again.
On that day, the Demon freed the Immortal Witch, with the help of those under his banner. Said followers weren't too far away.
D.S. lied, she had a camera on her all this time. Both she and Leila were hiding behind one of the nearby trees as the director of OSI was filming every moment before them. She was going to use it to remind C.C. of this magical day! And show how adorable the girl looked when she was crying from happiness to the rest of Lelouch's lovers.
Pendragon. August 20th.
The Royal wedding was an event that the entire nation, no, the entire world was watching. Not only did it help to calm down the more traditional Britannians about the security of the Royal family's future, but it also worked as a good distraction for the masses. The number of revolts was well within the White Emperor's expectations and therefore many good political moves were made to take away attention from the issues. As with everything else. His Majesty used even his wedding to unite the people, as well as spread his control further. No longer was it only a wedding of Britannian Royalty, but now of the world's ruler. No matter what people thought of Lelouch and his regime, everyone had to admit it was an important event and that alone was already solidifying Lelouch's power over the people.
Of course, such matters were of secondary concern for the groom himself. Lelouch would like to think everything was going according to his plan, and it was security-wise. However, the emperor was also a nervous wreck at the moment.
"She's taking too long, what if something happened? What if she won't be here?" The mighty Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia was whispering to himself beside the pastor who will register their marriage… said the pastor was also far from ordinary.
"Do you really think she will run from her own wedding? Please, Lelouch. Just take a deep breath and calm down… if you need help we can get behind the doors and quickly-"
"Diana, please," Lelouch whispered as he forced a smile.
The White Emperor was currently inside one of many rooms the Imperial Palace provided. His wedding was going to happen in Pendragon's church hall. Britannians were Protestant and Protestantism was still the biggest school of Christianity among them, even if the Royal Family of the past perverted religion with Darwinism, making older religions less important, or at least tried to do so. Over the centuries since Napoleon kicked the Royal Family from the British Isles, the church went through changes in Britannia. So it wasn't shocking to have a female pastor. What might be shocking for the empire is what the pastor says.
"Oh come on, Lelouch. Don't you think it would be hot to have sex with a nun right before your wedding?" D.S. said as she lifted part of her robes to showcase the skin under them. "C.C. won't mind, if anything she asked me to do it quickly if you felt scared."
"First, we aren't doing that here, not right now. You will ruin my clothes." Lelouch was wearing a tailcoat, the Emperor picked it personally and made sure it was following his preferable colour scheme, black and gold. "Second, you aren't a nun, you're a pastor. And finally, I'm not scared, just a little worried."
Why did Lelouch allow D.S. of all people to be the one to officially register him and C.C. as husband and wife? Worse, the Dimensional Supervisor made it clear she will do it at every wedding Lelouch was going to have, including her own. How that would work was beyond his understanding but he felt like the horny pastor would find a way. Still, the Director of OSI wanted to play the role of a religious figure in public. Her reasoning?
'It is simple, Lelouch! I will have to appear in public sooner or later. Why should I be OSI Director when I can be the figurehead of your religious base?' When Lelouch informed her that the Britannian Emperor was the figurehead of the Church in the Empire, D.S. simply waved it off. 'Second in command, whatever. Oh and not just Christianity, but every religion out there! After all, religion and the secret service go hand in hand nicely. And I'm the closest thing there is to 'God', isn't that right my Champion?'
"You weren't as worried before the final battle, Lulu. Don't try to lie to me or yourself." D.S. placed a quick kiss on the Emperor's cheek. "It is completely fine to be nervous. For humans, their wedding is a special day. I imagine it is especially the case for you, a person who treasures his loved ones so dearly. Don't panic and don't overthink everything. C.C. said she wants this day to be best for both of you, so don't think about the negative stuff. And seriously, Lelouch? Do you think Cera wouldn't come here? Please."
"You're right, you're right." Lelouch took a deep breath before looking at the mirror. Everything was prepared, and all necessary preparations were made. Security was everywhere and on guard. Too many important people were there and nothing was allowed to go wrong. "I think I'm good to go."
"Great, because we are starting now. Let's get your first wedding started, Your Majesty.'"
In the main hall.
The giant room was filled with guests from all over the planet. Since the nobility was purged the guests were made up of government officials and military officers from all over the Britannian Empire, which meant the entire world now. Above all else, this wedding served as a good uniting event for the higher-ups within Lelouch's empire. More than half of them weren't Geassed and their loyalty needed to be appreciated by showing that the White Emperor trusts them enough to invite them to his special day.
Kallen didn't bother herself too much with caring about administrative duties, that was Lelouch's front. However, she and the rest of the Knights of the Round were more preoccupied with security. The Royal Palace was surrounded by the entire White Legion, everyone was ready. As for the Knights of the Round themselves, they were all within the hall to provide direct protection if needed. They were outside their Knightmares, but their battle machines were nearby if needed.
"This is so exciting!" Kaguya happily said as she stood next to Kallen and the other bridesmaids. "First Royal wedding I'm attending that Lelouch doesn't plan to crash."
"C.C. will kill him if he decides to ruin their own wedding," Kallen said with a small smile. It wasn't her and Lelouch's wedding, yet, but the redhead was happy for the annoying pizza lover. As long as Kallen was with Lelouch, she was ready to tolerate almost all other women within Lelouch's heart. Even going as far as being their bridesmaid.
Indeed, C.C. made sure Kallen was among the bridesmaids, even if the redhead would rather stay as close to Lelouch as possible. Well, she was at least in good company with Leila, Kaguya, Milly, Princess Marrybell, and Cinder. Actually, scratch that, the Pirate Queen was far from a good company.
"I can't believe I will see Lelouch getting married here of all places," Milly spoke with a small smile. The bridesmaids were close to the altar, standing on the right side of the hall. The rest of the bridesmaids, save Kallen and Cinder, were wearing beautiful dresses. The two female Knights remained in their official uniform. "Feels like a fairy tale."
"It is a big event for everyone, but I'm sure Lelouch and C.C. are the most excited about it." Leila nodded. "I imagine she must be feeling quite emotional right now."
"You know who else feels emotional at the moment? Bishop." Cinder smirked as she glanced at the Knight of One on the opposite side of the hall.
Lelouch's groomsmen were made up of Rivalz, Arthur, Peter, Bishop… and Tamaki of all people. How exactly the loud and mannerless redhead managed to get into the Emperor's closest circle was anyone's guess. It was strange enough that the loud idiot was appointed the position of Japan's Minister of Culture, he was even publicly seen hanging around with Lelouch and now this. Somehow, because of all this Tamaki managed to become a popular topic in the Empire's talks and discussions. As well as getting recognition for his past as a Black Knight, of which the loyalists were now led by the Knight of Zero. It was absolutely bizarre and even Lelouch couldn't predict such an outcome, but for some reason, people liked Tamaki so it was alright.
And now the bizarre hero was quietly chatting with Rivalz as both of them were happy about something. Arthur looked decent if only a little nervous, and often sent smiles to the crowd. Most often to his lover among the assembled Glinda Knights.
The Knight of One looked like he would burst into tears any moment now. His best friend Peter looked at him with a disappointed look and prepared napkins, having a good idea of how it would go.
"I imagine it would be bad if people saw the first knight losing his composure on national news." Milly awkwardly laughed.
"It would be," Cinder sighed. "Lelouch even Geassed Bishop into staying calm and not crying in public for today." Obviously, Jeremiah or Leila were going to nullify the command once the wedding was finished. "But even now he is barely holding up."
And truly, the red circles around Bishop's pupils were disappearing every now and then, an indication that the Knight was on the verge of breaking his Master's command.
"This wedding is exhausting." Cinder took a deep breath.
"Standing here is exhausting, I would rather prefer being next to the altar." Marrybell eyed the spot where the bride was supposed to be with a predatory look, licking her lips. "If C.C. doesn't show up, I'm fully prepared to take her place. I know every word of the wedding vow and have a wedding dress on me."
Kallen deadpanned. "You aren't replacing C.C. on her own wedding. You are his sister- wait, what do you mean you have a wedding dress on you?!"
Instead of answering, Marrybell lifted up her skirt to show the rest of the girls a white dress underneath her pinkish bridesmaid's dress.
"It is very light and won't crumble. I made some changes to the dress and can easily tear it apart with one move-"
"Don't," Cinder said with a serious tone. "If you want to live through your incestual fantasies, you will do it on any other day."
Kaguya nodded with a disapproving look. "Marrybell, we talked about this. No sabotaging on the wedding days of the other girls, you know the schedule. You will patiently wait your turn. If anything, I'm the one who should be complaining and being jelly since mine will be only in 2021."
"Agh, fine." Marrybell wasn't happy with the rules but had to play by them.
"Good- wait what schedule?" Both Cinder and Kallen looked at the rest of the bridesmaids with questioning looks. "What the hell are you talking about?"
Leila was the one to answer. "We needed an official schedule for the upcoming weddings Lelouch will have. So, I and Kaguya made one. And Marrybell better not get ahead of others if she wants to still have her very special day next year."
Marrybell rolled her eyes. "Yeah, yeah. Don't get full of yourself, Leila. Just because you're ahead of me by a few months."
"Nine months and ten days to be precise," Leila spoke with a small grin. "And it isn't just me, D.S. booked the first of April and Cécile asked to be placed somewhere in June or July."
Both female Knights looked at each other with dumbfounded expressions.
"Why didn't we hear anything about this schedule?"
"Yeah, and why are you booking dates without asking us?! Wait, Lady Cécile is in on this too-?!"
Milly looked at them with an apologetic smile. "Sorry girls, but most of the time when either of us tried to approach you, you two were sparring with each other-"
"Trying to create an accident where one of us will die in unfortunate circumstances." Cinder corrected her and Kallen quickly nodded.
Milly gave them a hard look. "Sure. Anyway, you wouldn't bother to hear us and we already made a list of those who booked the dates for the next few years. But you're in luck! Since Kaguya isn't getting her wedding until 2021 you two might be able to secure a safe spot sometime before that."
"As much as I would prefer to have my wedding sooner, there are certain matters we better not push so hastily." Kaguya knew that even if her reciprocated feelings for Lelouch were sincere, the White Emperor might be a little troubled in marrying her right now. It might be still too early for Japanese people to accept the last member of their nobility marrying into the Britannian Royal Family, not to mention it might look strange if the Emperor married a girl who is underage according to the Empire's law.
Lelouch didn't want to be like Odysseus eu Britannia. Even if the age difference between him and Kaguya was only three years, it would be safer to wait another two years before the Japanese Princess could tame the Oni via marriage. Kaguya was content with waiting, plus in a very complicated way, her childhood plan of marrying Lelouch for peace between Britannia and Japan would work out.
"Ok, let's ignore the part about us not being informed about this very, and I mean absolutely, important topic. But why aren't we top priority brides?!" Cinder asked as she gestured at both herself and Kallen.
"I'm his Shadow, I gave the oath to protect Lelouch. I might be considered his wife as well by this point."
Leila waved her away. "None of that counts. A Knight's oath is one thing, marriage is another. Now that you know about the schedule list, get in line girls."
"And what if we want to move up in the list?" Cinder asked with a smirk. "I bet Lelouch doesn't even know about this list so what if I decide to propose to him, he will answer me in kind won't he?"
Leila nodded, still having that smug grin. "You're correct, Lelouch is unaware of this list, he doesn't have to know." Everyone immediately agreed with it. "And if you want to go out of your way and ruin all the planning we did, then feel free to bring it up with Lelouch's official wedding triad."
Leila pointed towards the sitting crowd. Cinder's and Kallen's eyes followed her finger as they saw Alfred sitting among Lelouch's most valuable and close retainers.
"Alfred will be easy to convince," Cinder informed and Kallen believed her.
However, the triad wasn't made up of Alfred alone. The blonde Messiah of Europe smirked in a similar way to Lelouch's usual devilish smile. Leila then pointed at another person, one that made both Cinder and Kallen freeze as the chill ran down their spines.
Sayoko Shinozaki. The battle ninja maid and the closest person to Lelouch's mother figure were happily sitting among the guests. Next to Kallen's parents. She was wearing traditional Japanese clothes, smiling as she witnessed the wedding of her master and Lady C.C. However, when she noticed the gaze of the two Knights of the Round Leila pointing at her, she immediately understood what they were talking about.
Still smiling brightly, Sayoko closed her eyes and pulled a small sharp object, her kunai, one among many. She then proceeded to make a movement of kunai slowly going over her throat, of course not literally, before pointing a finger at Kallen's and Cinder's direction. To say that both Knights were terrified would be an underestimation of the century.
"Yup, we are done for." Kallen knew Sayoko was still giving her a cold shoulder. Cinder wasn't on the maid's good list either.
"There is also Jeremiah, but he is currently with Lelouch. Of course, he and Alfred aren't the hardest to convince. But Sayoko, well, you two screwed up. Heh, good luck."
"How did any of you manage the secure place with Sayoko acting as one of the judges?" Kallen asked with a perplexed look.
"Good manners and sincerity on my part." Leila was the first to explain. "After losing my friends I decided life was too short to worry about everything and not enjoy the feeling of a loved one by my side. I know for the sake of Europe I might have to tie Lelouch to it via betrothal, but it is mainly for my own self. After everything I endured, I think I deserve to be a little selfish when it comes to this."
"I had plans to save Japan by marrying Lelouch when we were kids. Then I wanted to marry Zero and support him as a wife. Neither plan really worked back then, but now I can and will accomplish it by supporting Lelouch." After everything that happened in Japan almost a year ago, Kaguya made up her mind. "Sayoko was supportive, but also said that it would be better if I waited a bit."
Kallen and Cinder looked at Milly who nervously looked down. "Heh, I know it might be strange for me to be in this, but Lelouch and I have been engaged since childhood. Yeah, it was called off once Lelouch was sent to Japan and then you know the story."
"Are you serious, Milly?"
The blonde reporter gave Kallen a wink. "We shall see, hehe. Who knows what will or will not happen? But I would like to see the chaos that will be Lelouch's personal life, that will be entertaining to watch."
Kallen couldn't help but give Milly a small smile while Cinder looked past the blonde reporter and childhood friend, and gazed at the princess who liked her brother a little bit too much.
"What about you? I can't see Sayoko accepting you."
Marrybell nodded. "She didn't. She wasn't a fan of my love for my dear brother and said it is immoral. Huh, after everything we dealt with, somehow little love between two half-siblings is apparently forbidden, but having a harem isn't. Don't make me laugh."
"You're a weirdo." Cinder sighed. "Come, Marry. Tell me how you got on the list. I did save Oldrin for you."
"Only because it was convenient for you. Tch! Fine, I challenged Sayoko Shinozaki and fought her to a standstill. Afterwards, she acknowledged my feelings and devotion to my goal. So don't you dare make fun of my love when I proved I meant it." Marrybell said with a proud smile, even if she still remembered how her body hurt like hell after the battle.
"You fought Sayoko and didn't die? Bullshit." Kallen wasn't able to sense the ninja maid and how she could move behind you with a blade. How could some princess, even a soldier, fight Sayoko? "Did Cécile Croomy fight her too or what?"
"Nope. But after hearing Cécile's numerous failures to get married, Sayoko herself asked the scientist to marry Lelouch." Milly giggled. "I think Cécile herself didn't realise that Sayoko meant it. Oh, well, it will be quite a surprise for both her and Lelouch, I can't wait to film their reactions."
"As for me. Well-" Marrybell snorted. "I know how to handle a sword and fight in a proper duel. Lady Sayoko is good, really good, but I wasn't going to give up so easily. If you want my advice, go for direct combat…and bring enough painkillers for the aftermath."
Both Kallen and Cinder looked at each other with unsure expressions as they thought about it carefully.
"We both can try to take her out at the same time. She shouldn't be able to handle two of us at once." Cinder provided a viable, perhaps only winning strategy.
"We both have Geass commands so we can activate them, I think. I can imagine that Sayoko is standing in my way of protecting Lelouch. While for you, you can think that she is an enemy of Lelouch's future with you or something."
Cinder nodded. "Yeah, that might work. We might have a chance. I recommend we challenge her right after the event, today. Before she can change into more flexible clothes."
The two Knights were scheming how to fight and beat their future 'mother-in-law' who was also a ninja maid. Meanwhile, the rest of the bridesmaids and groomsmen went closer to the altar as the main event was about to start.
Lelouch was the first to arrive, in the company of Jeremiah. The Royal Captain followed his master until the altar before leaving to join the rest of the groomsmen.
The doors opened as the bride walked in. The first Empress regnant-to-be walked towards the altar. The green-haired pizza lover looked stunning in a more classical white wedding dress. Her Warlock waited for her with a content smile as the ceremony started. Everyone was silent, only the sounds of traditional music were playing as C.C. walked. Every guest could see how beautiful the bride was. Those who were present at the royal banquet night a while ago would remember that even back then the mysterious woman was very shameless when it came to showing affection to the Emperor in public.
Soon the music died down as both bride and groom were standing right in front of the pastor. D.S. proceeded to read out the vows:
"Dearly beloved, we have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage were established by God in the creation of this manner of life by its presence and first miracle at the wedding in this new age of humanity. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Britannia and God, let it be honoured among all people. The union of husband and wife is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given to each other in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Collective. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God."
D.S. changed some parts of the vows by her own choice. According to her, for a better and more stable rule under Lelouch, the question of religion will have to be handled by her. The collection of human consciousness wanted to become a more known factor in the lives of humanity, if only through sneaky methods. So, the Caretaker of Spacetime decided to tie it to already existing religions. With Lelouch's Britannia backing her, it won't be a hard task, it was only a matter of time. Perhaps some in the crowd had questions on why some parts were changed, but none would dare to comment in fear of the Emperor's wrath, or worse, the Empress. For the sake of letting the masses know the name of the first Empress, it was decided to simply leave it as "Cece". C.C. didn't want anyone but a select few she allowed to know her true name.
"Into this union, Lelouch vi Britannia and Cece now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not be lawfully wed, speak now, or else forever hold your peace." D.S. turned towards Lelouch. "Your Majesty, Lelouch vi Britannia, will you have this woman to be your wife to live together with her in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health and, forsaking all others, be faithful unto her as long as you both shall live?"
"I will," Lelouch said without a second thought.
"Cece, will you have this man to be your husband to live together with him in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health and, forsaking all others, be faithful unto him as long as you both shall live?"
"I will," C.C. said.
"Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder. I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride!"
Lelouch leaned forward as he placed his hand over C.C.'s face to close the distance between them. However, the now Cece vi Britannia was quite bold as she grabbed her husband by the collar before capturing his lips.
Unknown to the many, in the shadows of the upper level of the hall, close to the ceiling was hiding a certain masked individual. Even if she didn't move or say anything, the young girl under the mask smiled as she watched the procession.
It was the final straw for a certain Knight of One as Bishop couldn't take the emotional blessing he was feeling. The old knight started to cry out loud as his friend Peter rolled his eye and gave him napkins. He knew it would end up like this!
The rest of the ceremony went without any issues. Emperor Lelouch had to be saved from Bishop's and Jeremiah's bear hugs as the two loyal Knights had a hard time containing their inner emotions. In the end, it was Tamaki and Peter who had to save Lelouch before a knight of one and of orange could accidentally break him. Peter had to act as the rational one among their ranks, and he hated every moment of it. Arthur had run away with Liliana somewhere, to do something lewd. As for Cinder and Kallen, after congratulating C.C. and then accusing her of keeping information from them, both gave Lelouch a strange warning of keeping his schedule free. The last time anyone saw them was on that day when the two went outside after Sayoko. According to rumours that would spread about the first wedding, witnesses saw both Knights attack the Emperor's oldest guardian… and no one knew if they emerged victorious.
And like that the royal wedding went on as both Lelouch and Cece vi Britannia enjoyed the rest of their day together. The young married couple was congratulated by numerous guests. However, beyond polite replies, the Emperor and Empress only paid real attention to the people who knew them very well. The after-party went without any issues. The entire world saw the first wedding, one among many events Lelouch vi Britannia will use to spread his influence over the people in every way.
Administrative Special Zone of Japan. Tokyo. April 21, 2020.
"Good morning, Tokyo! Milly Ashford here reporting from the heart of the city near the former Britannian Victory Memorial Center that was closed for the sake of rebuilding the former Tokyo Tower, which you can see right behind me!" Milly Ashford happily announced.
One of the youngest and most successful news reporters in the Empire was standing before the red Tokyo Tower that saw complete reconstitution. From the ruins that were meant to showcase the might of Charles's Britannian invasion of Japan, this place now symbolised the union between Britannia and Japan. The reconstruction works were done as a collaborative effort by both Britannians and Japanese on orders of the Prime Minister of Kaguya Sumeragi.
"And I'm not alone here, as we have a special guest! Let's say hello to the Minister of Culture of the Administrative Special Zone of Japan, Shinichirō Tamaki!" Milly introduced the former Black Knight as Tamaki walked into the camera view with a grin and hands making two peace signs.
"Wazzup!" Tamaki's unusual greeting caught many viewers off guard, but many enjoyed it. One of his assistants who was appointed by both Lelouch and Kaguya to make sure the minister won't do something stupid in public quickly whispered something into Tamaki's ear. "Oh, I mean, greetings, good day and everything."
"Ahaha! I'm glad to see you in a good mood, Minister. I and many of our viewers are happy to see that Japan is rebuilding its former legacy that was lost following Charles's invasion. But we're also curious to know if the new administrative government has more plans beyond rebuilding destroyed relics of the old Japan. What can you share with us, Minister?"
"Oh, well, I heard the boss was planning to build a shipyard for a new battleship-"
The same assistant quickly pulled on Tamaki's sleeve and whispered. "No disclosure of classified information, sir. We talked about it."
"Ah, yeah yeah. My bad," Tamaki quickly corrected himself while Milly was happy there was a few moments delay and that her news team was rather adept in cutting segments no one needed to see. "As for cultural plans and other things like that, well, eh, for now, we're focused on rebuilding as the first phase of our long-term plan to fix the damage that was done to Japanese culture in the last decade. As well as introduce new elements that will depict the stuff that happened while Japan was in shi-I mean, in a bad position. We're talking about events, memorials, and many other things to show respect to the Black Knights who lost their lives."
Tamaki sounded surprisingly serious as he talked before he quickly added.
"Oh, and we're totally going to make new movies and anime! Hell yeah! We're bringing our best media back to life. And this time we will do it in partnership with Britannians and others around the world. I even found a perfect star for many upcoming movies and documentaries! They are going to be full of action and no CGI. Nah, we will be using real Knightmares to show-"
"Minister," His assistant cleared his throat.
"Ehhh, you want to see our main star? He's here, I wanted cameras to see him to hype up future trailers. Wait one sec, I will bring him here."
Milly nervously shook her head. "There is no need for that, sir-"
However, Tamaki quickly ran away. His assistant apologised on his behalf and followed the Minister before he could do anything foolish. Milly awkwardly smiled at the camera before speaking.
"Well, dear viewers. As you can see, the future of Japanese cultural development is well secured in the hands of-"
"Here we are, everyone! My second best buddy." Tamaki laughed as he brought a new familiar face into the picture.
"Oh, hi Milly," Rivalz Cardemonde, the same person who was studying with Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia when the young world ruler was still in hiding, and was later seen at the royal wedding was now there with Minister Tamaki. "How are you?"
"I'm fine, but what about you? And what are you doing here?"
Tamaki smirked. "Met him back at my boss's wedding. Turns out I threatened to shoot him back during the Black Rebellion. But after talking, we found out the two of us have so much in common, now we're best buddies! Well, he is my second best friend with big E being first. Same for him."
Both men laughed wholeheartedly while Milly felt an upcoming headache.
"And you're going to play a part in the Japanese cultural movie program?" Milly asked her old club member.
"Yes. We're already filming a few scenes of the future documentary about "Lelouch Lamperouge's life in Japan". We already found actors for all the important roles."
"Why wasn't I informed about this?" Milly wondered aloud before returning to the news reporting. "And what role will you be playing, Mister Cardemonde?"
"Myself," Rivalz pointed his thumbs at himself. "How I and Lelouch used to hang out, including our gambling adventures. Also, what I did in my free time, such as my car racing. Oh! And we will have a scene about how I and Lelouch had a car chase! That one I'm looking forward to the most!"
"Don't worry, buddy. I will make sure that scene will have as many explosions as needed to make it more credible." Tamaki reassured Rivalz, while his assistant corrected the Minister of Culture.
"But there weren't any explosions, only drugs sir Cardemonde was carrying in his car." One of the OSI agents from that day corrected his new boss.
Milly had to bite her lip. The blonde reporter was worried if her agency had already turned off the broadcast because of how it was going… and was surprised, to say the least, when she received a message from the channel director asking her to keep the camera on these two and continue asking them. Their views were only increasing thanks to Tamaki and Rivalz.
Milly Ashford wondered if royal life would be less strange than this… well, at least in comparison.
Administrative Special Zone of Australia.
"What a mess."
Orpheus Zevon turned off the TV and walked towards the exit. The former noble and terrorist leader covered his face from the sun as it blinded him. Their house just happened to be in the middle of nowhere in Australia. Just their luck, Zevon supposed as he checked on the farm animals. Their new place was pretty good, a modern building with everything needed and a secured area around the farm.
The only issues were the neighbours.
"Come on, Oz. Do you think animals will jump over the fence?" A sultry female voice asked from behind him.
Orpheus didn't bother to look at X. "I'm just making sure they're fine. It is hot outside."
"They have water, speaking of, want some?" X offered a bottle. Orpheus narrowed his eyes but reluctantly accepted. He realised his mistake only when X covered her lips with her hand and let out a short giggle. "Heh."
"What do you want, woman?" Orpheus turned away with a slight blush.
"Just making sure the man of the house is fine," X looked at Orpheus from top to bottom. "Yup, you're fine. Solid eight."
Orpheus sighed. "X, if you're bored then at least do something useful."
"I already finished my chores and now want to spend time with my partner and hubby," X said the last part with more focus and enthusiasm.
"Our so-called marriage is nothing but a farce and you know it." Orpheus narrowed his eyes as he looked over their farm.
Following the final battle and death of both Schneizel and Nunnally, Emperor Lelouch quickly took control of the UFN. Orpheus was still needed for their Geass experiments for some time until Leila Malcal finally deprived him of his own Geass. X was working for the Britannians to help him apparently. That in combination with Oldrin speaking up for him with her princess managed to secure X and Orpheus a solid future.
The former Peace Mark members were officially dead, but the two of them were allowed to live in Australia. They were given a good farm and house to live in, new documents and identities. And to Orpheus's horror and X's delight, according to their new IDs, they were a married couple now.
"It is real if we want it to be, dear!" X sent him an air kiss. "And I'm very much into this new identity of mine. Mrs Smith, heh. Brits lack imagination but it will do."
"Not even going to bother to give me your real name? And you expect me to take this married life thing seriously."
"I'll tell you my name and even moan about it after you do a few small things for me, Oz." X winked at him and leaned forward to show her very noticeable cleavage. Even when two of them were supposed to be regular farmers, this succubus managed to act flirtatious. Oz was glad he was the only one on the farm and no one else would see X like this… not because he was feeling defensive over her or anything!
"Sure, I'll do anything for you after you get the latest Knightmare and access to Britannian intelligence."
"Tch, such a good deal would have been so easy to do last year. But now the game's changed and you know it. Lelouch is victorious and he makes the rules. If you don't want to make dear Oldrin angry or sad, you know neither of us can do anything."
That was the hard truth Oz still didn't want to accept. They lost and Lelouch won. The Holy Britannian Empire was the one running everything, the entire world was part of it and the White Emperor was spreading his rule even further, cementing it. Oz still had access to the internet and news. He could see signs of worse things to come, even if every media outlet and the majority of people online were praising it.
Britannia increased its army. The Black Knights, at least those who didn't join the Second Rebellion, were reorganised into a new Imperial Defence force. Any attempt to revolt was crushed, sometimes with words, sometimes with Knightmares. Many were praising White Emperor for bringing security and change to poorer countries. Orpheus had to admit that Lelouch was trying to fulfil his promises of prosperity. Former victim states of three superpowers were getting the best treatment. Last he heard, the Empire was investing heavily in the least developed nations, building their infrastructure. Public schooling, universal health care, newly available jobs, and secured institutions to support all of it.
Since there was one only global government, the world economy was still going through changes. The globalisation of the economy, Constitutionalism of international and national law. One giant system where everyone was dependent on each other and needed the rest for survival and prosperous development. One state needed food and water? One of the agricultural states will provide it via new supply lines that are appearing almost every month. Did someone need Sakuradite? Russian and Japanese reserves were open for them. It wasn't free, but neither of the Administrative Zones could really demand exorbitant prices from others when everyone was technically part of one government system. Britannia had complete control over the military and police forces of every Zone. If you wanted to serve, the Imperial Army was your only choice. Britannia had a monopoly on violence and wasn't afraid to remind it whenever someone tried to stand up against the Emperor.
"People gave their freedom for the sake of security and development," Orpheus whispered to himself as he sat on the bench before their house. "This isn't even the Britannia as I knew it. There are no nobles or numbers, now everyone is part of Britannia."
"Doesn't it mean no one is Britannian then?" X half joked as she sat next to him. "Oz, people all over the world knew pretty much nothing but war. Whenever you looked, there was some kind of conflict, be it in Asia, Europe or in Britannia. We aren't even twenty-one, but we saw so much shit over the years. The same goes for entire generations. If you are safe and know that your future is stable and secure, giving up some of your freedom will be an easy choice for many."
"Today… every nation gave up their sovereignty to Lelouch. People are more or less fine with him as their ruler. But what about tomorrow? What if it won't be enough for the White Emperor or his successors? What if they keep taking and taking until there is nothing left?"
"Then someone will rebel, start a new revolution. A new Zero will appear and fight the empire. If Lelouch and his children try to bite too much, people will eventually fight back. But that isn't our fight anymore. We tried and did our best and we still lost. Orpheus, unless you want to get yourself killed fighting your own sister, accept our reality and-" X moved closer and leaned against Orpheus's shoulder. "I just want to live the rest of my life as a normal person. I'm tired of being this spy, of being X."
"And what if I'm not tired?" Orpheus asked with a serious tone. He didn't forgive Britannia, it didn't matter if it was all but destroyed under Lelouch and reborn into whatever it was today.
"I see the way you look over the farm every day. You don't want to admit it, but this place is growing on you. We were here for less than a year, but you are already putting so much effort into this place. If you want to escape you won't bother with this place."
"Running? Please, we're under watch 24/7 from OSI. But-" Orpheus sighed. "I will agree on one thing. This farm grew on me. I will hate to see this place destroyed by Brits as revenge for me taking the mantle of a PE cell leader again."
"Well, I suppose that is good enough to reassure me. Wouldn't want my only entertainment to die for nothing." X giggled before leaning closer and leaving a quick kiss on Orpheus's cheek. "I will go and cook us something."
She left the flustered boy as Orpheus glared at her back, ignoring a blush on his face. The former leader of the terrorist cell returned his gaze towards the farm and the area beyond it. It was peaceful, quiet, and relaxing. No city sounds or claustrophobic submarine walls, no war around them.
"Perhaps I'll wait a little bit longer and see how Lelouch is handling the world. If he makes a giant mess, someone will make him answer for it." And perhaps Orpheus will join the new revolution, or perhaps he won't. Only time will tell.
Pendragon. Knights of the Round's Headquarters.
The capital of the Empire was an active place, to say the least. Besides being the home to the Emperor and his confidants, the giant city was also a central place of many organisations within the inner structure. From administrative and political institutions to the main military and science department. And the Knight of the Round's main base of operation played a primary role in preparing the strategy for the upcoming battles the most elite order was going to fight in the future.
"Attention!" The Knight of One, Bishop William shouted as the rest of his fellow knights focused on the older man. Almost all of the Knights were there today, sitting around the table as Bishop pointed at the screen behind it while it showed the map of Asia. "As you would know, ever since His Majesty defeated the False Empress and her forces in Japan, Emperor Lelouch brought peace to this world. However, we know that reality is harsher and despite our master's best efforts we have to continue fighting and guarding the weak and innocent from the forces that want to destroy the peace our master created-"
"Cut to business, Willy. Christ," The realm's Knight of Three, Peter Thomson, didn't even bother looking at his best friend as the one-eyed knight was more focused on his Animal crossing playthrough. "I and the boys were planning to hit the pub after it so be quick with it, bestie."
"Peter, I told you I can't join you. Liliana wants me to meet her parents and we planned to buy presents for them today." The Knight of Four, Arthur Calhoun spoke with an apologetic tone. "I'm sorry but I really can't."
"Bleh, If you can't then surely Akito and Ashley can. Right, boys?" Peter turned towards the new Knights of the Round.
"Hell, yeah! Just let me call the rest of my team. The more the merrier right?" the former Euro-Britannia, then European and now Britannian Knight Ashley Ashra spoke with an excited grin. The former W-0 was now wearing the Knights of the Round uniform since he was now the Knight of Five. His old team followed their leader since they knew he would get himself killed even as a Knight of the Round, perhaps by one black-haired demoness.
"Pass." The new Knight of Seven, Akito Hyuga spoke with a neutral tone. "Sorry, but I would rather spend my free time doing something else than being next to drunk Ashley or you, Peter. No offence."
"Guys, take this seriously! We're having an important meeting." Perhaps the only one among them who was paying attention was the new Knight of Six, Oldrin Zevon. Besides Bishop, she was the sanest member of the order, even if the bar was pretty low.
Following the aftermath of the final battle, W-0 didn't know what to do. Leila was there to guide them, but from now on it meant working with Britannia and Lelouch. Not the easiest pill to swallow, but somehow they made it work, even with all their issues. Akito and Ashley were knighted and given ranks at the Round Table. Neither of the former W-0's best pilots was serious when they pledged loyalty to Lelouch, and to his credit, the Emperor was understanding about it. Lelouch didn't demand much from them, only working together with his Knights and trying to avoid making trouble. Leila was the one who made sure they were knighted. It was more of a political move to showcase the unity between Lelouch and Europe, with Japan now having two of their people within the Knights of the Round.
Working with Britannia was strange, to say the least. However, Leila made sure they understood that it was no longer the same Britannia they fought against before and that now the entire world was under their protection. Also, Leila warned them not to screw Lelouch and her plans for world peace. The last thing either Akito or Ashley wanted to see was the angry blonde messiah who got a little bit more aggressive after spending so much time with the Emperor, who was also her husband.
Personally, both W-0 members more or less become accustomed to the rest of the Knights. Save for Ashley starting an argument and then a fight with Cinder… or Jeremiah… or sometimes Peter. Actually, Ashley was probably the biggest troublemaker. As for Akito, the Japanese pilot was content with doing his job as a soldier and helping Leila. Not to mention, Arthur appeared to be the most pleasant company among his new comrades.
Peter and Ashley were talking about their upcoming crusade at the pub, most likely followed by a drunken fight between both Knights in said pub. Meanwhile, Arthur was more focused on family meetings with his girlfriend's parents, whom he might as well marry at this point. The Knight of Two and Knight of Zero were absent. It was quite expected in the case of Red Lotus as she followed His Majesty everywhere. While the Second was usually either on the solo search and destroy missions, or following Kallen and making her life harder.
The former knight of honour of Princess Marrybell gave Akito a stern look. The Japanese pilot nodded before turning towards his redhead friend and kicking his leg under the table. Oldrin made a similar move towards Peter who didn't even look bothered until Bishop took away his Switch.
"Oh, come on, Willy."
"Oi! What the hell, Akito!?"
"You can get drunk on any other day when we don't have a strategy meeting, Ashley." Oldrin narrowed her eyes at the only redhead Knight in the war room before turning towards the First. "Lord Bishop, please continue.
"Thank you, Lady Zevon. Now, as I was saying." Bishop cleared his throat. "We are currently facing a serious threat from the Kingdom of Zilkhstan. The desert Land of Warriors was responsible for arming multiple rebellions and terrorist groups all over the world following the glorious victory of His Majesty and the aftermath declaration of protecting the world. We have evidence of that and parliament is already introducing a number of sanctions that are meant to damage Zilkhstan's economy and ability to produce Knightmares."
"But sanctions can do only so much," Oldrin pointed out. "Neither the king nor his court will feel a thing while common people will suffer because of them."
"Yeah, not to mention Zilkhstan was never that invested in actual trading with the outside world. Their only export was their mercenary soldiers." Ashley was the one to provide more info. "Heard a lot of spooky stuff about these fuckers. But they operated primarily in the black market, so that means they won't have much trouble getting Knightmares through it."
Bishop nodded. "We expect this. I and Peter heard many stories about the Kingdom and how it was able to fight to a standstill against Britannia before I even became a Knight. Their military is not to be underestimated no matter what. However, any action that can hurt their fighting capabilities is the advantage we will use. I understand your concern, Oldrin. I too don't enjoy forcing civilians into dire circumstances, but their government would never accept the reality of the new peaceful world His Majesty started. The sooner we manage to deal with them the better it will be for everyone in that country."
"Willy, remember one of the guys who were with us in Alcatraz? The one who mysteriously died after he tried to eat my dessert?" Bishop gave his friend a long stare before Peter continued. "Well, I remember how he said he served in the Zilkhstan army. Tough bastards, but unless you're a fighter or scum, your life in that shithole is far from pleasing. So raise your heads, kids, we're going there to spread security, and prosperity in the name of the Empire. All Hail Lelouch and that shit."
"All Hail Lelouch." Both Oldrin and Arthur enthusiastically repeated while Akito looked unsure.
Ashley leaned closer to Akito before he whispered. "No matter what happens, Zilkhstan will be better off. Trust me, the place is worse than even Japan was back when Clovis ran it. So, think of it as helping people."
"You're right… it might be the only way to protect everyone."
This was the new reality of their world. Akito wasn't a fan of such a mindset, but then again, what else could he do? His entire life he was a soldier. The EU treated him as cannon fodder. Black Knights failed to protect the world and themselves threatened it. If it wasn't for Leila, Akito would have died back in Europe without ever knowing what having a real family felt like. His family died because of an insane person who wanted to see the world on fire. But Rai was dead and now Akito needed to make sure no one like him would repeat what he did back in Tokyo. If the King of Zilkhstan and his court were anything like Rai, Akito would stop them.
Both European Knights of the Round joined the rest as they quickly repeated. "All Hail Lelouch."
"All Hail Lelouch." Bishop smiled before turning back to the huge screen with Zilkhstan's map on it. "Very well. Now, let's focus on the upcoming plan. Parliament introduced sanctions month and it will be some time until they will have any effect. However, Zilkhstan has another weapon in its arsenal. Something similar to what was used by the terrorist Rai on W-0."
Akito clenched his fist. His fear was correct. "Then it means we must deal with it."
"We will put down the king and Zilkhstan's ruling class. However, some of their more dangerous elements might be dealt with by an outside party while we're preparing." Bishop paused, a knowing look formed on his face. "The reconnaissance inside the Kingdom informed that they saw a familiar face, or rather, a familiar mask acting within the borders of Zilkhstan. Knowing how our masked mysterious figure operates, it is likely that their goal is taking out one of the most dangerous targets on our list, or perhaps more. We shall see, and prepare an attack force. Zilkhstan is a desert nation with few natural borders between cliffs and the sea, the country is made up of roughly 90% desert and we will easily achieve air superiority."
With Nemesis acting as the main battleship and its arsenal it was easy to destroy military targets. Upgraded Damocles on another hand gave the Empire absolute dominance since now the fortress acted as the KMF carrier, capable of transporting the entire army. New Britannian military doctrine was to achieve absolute control of the skies and be capable of bombing enemies into submission.
"The only issue might be the capital Gralbahd. The capital is the heart of the nation and contains all government institutions. It is the most heavily protected strategic target within the Kingdom. We will prioritise taking it over as quickly as possible. His Majesty is expecting a heavy resistance and therefore warmed us to get ready. Our Emperor was benevolent enough to show me his early plans for the upcoming operation. Because of the certain figure inside Zilkhstan and economic sanctions placed on the Kingdom, the invasion was scheduled to begin in four months. Peter, Ashley, make sure neither of you will say anything unnecessary out loud in public."
"Come on, Lord Bishop. Who are you taking us for?" Ashley asked with a confident smile.
"..." Bishop's silence was enough of the answer for them as he turned towards Akito. "Sir Hyuga, I'm sorry to ask you this but please accompany those two after the meeting is over. I know Peter is responsible… at times. But I will feel calm knowing that someone else is there to watch over them."
"Very well, Lord Bishop." Aktio complied.
"Excellent, now onto the upcoming strategy."
Bishop continued to explain the details of their future operation and required preparations. The Kingdom of Zilkhstan wanted to defy the new world order that Emperor Lelouch created and it was going to feel the outcome of such a decision.
Pendragon. Imperial Research and Development Centre.
While the Knights of the Round were preparing for the upcoming military operation, the scientists and engineers behind their war tech were busy with their own work. Following the "unification" of the world under one system, every aspect of life was affected by it. Above all else, scientific innovation and technological development received special attention from his majesty.
The brightest minds all over the planet were now working together to solve issues and improve life with their achievements. Which also included the development of military hardware and surveillance technology as well. Emperor Lelouch wanted a safe and secure world, and for that, he would also need the latest-generation arsenal to deal with potential threats if words alone cannot solve the problem peacefully. The global superpower couldn't secure its position and status by kind words alone, an iron fist was required.
"Cécile! Cécile! Look! I made another 3D model of the new space station!" Lloyd Asplund happily declared as he showed his assistant another miniature model of the airship. "It can even fly! Isn't it awesome?!"
The woman in question took a deep breath before speaking. "Lloyd… this is the third week in a row that you've made toy models. We didn't even get approval for the first actual station yet and you already made follow-up projects. And every new one is bigger than the previous."
"But we already started production on the first space station. His Majesty has already green-lighted it." Lloyd said proudly while Cécile shook her head.
"No. Emperor Lelouch asked for verification of whether your first model is actually realistic in the first place. We were supposed to run simulations and not move on to the following projects. Especially when we didn't even get an order for them, Lloyd! The budget can't cover so many colossal projects at once! We will get defunded!"
"Oh, Cécile! If we will need a working space station, I will build it in one month, tops! Schneizel's goons built his Damocles in some jungle with limited resources compared to us! And If push comes to shove I will just upgrade Damocles to be fully operational in space and tah-dah! His Majesty gets his first space station! Everyone will be happy and we will get more funding. Win-win." Lloyd ignored Cécile as he continued to play with his new toy.
Cécile blamed whoever allowed Lloyd to use a 3D printer without control. After the battle and the Emperor's declaration of new world order, Cécile and Lloyd were given new responsibilities. Now instead of creating new Knightmare units, Lelouch wanted them to focus their attention on spacecraft. Especially stations that were capable of staying in Earth's orbit and acting as warehouses for military equipment. Including a fully functioning long-range missile system and KMF-carrying capabilities. Damocles acted as an example of what direction His Majesty wanted them to pursue.
"Lloyd, I will tell Emperor Lelouch about how you spent time playing with the 3D printer instead of doing your job. And who knows, perhaps His Majesty will give this project to the Germans as he did with the new Camelot Program."
The eccentric man immediately froze before looking at Cécile with a frenzied look. "What?! He wouldn't dare allow them to steal another project of mine! No! It is terrible enough that they're working on the Knightmare program based on my-sorry, our achievements! But I won't allow them to get the upper hand over me again! If these brain-exploring Huns think they can get away with it again, they will be surprised! I'm not losing this time!"
Cécile smirked at her little victory. Since all prominent Knightmare research teams across the world were now under Lelouch's command, the Emperor decided to see who was the most suitable for the new Knightmare development. Now that the Empire controlled everything and had control over every KMF production facility, Britannia needed to build a future generation of war machines following one common design. For now, it was decided to keep focusing on building Vincent Wards and Akatsuki as mass-produced standard units, with Gareths as heavy support. Hounds were already ordered to be replaced within the next two years, still having drone systems instead of traditional pilots. Some of the Black Knight's KMF designs were saved for more specialised army groups to be used in small numbers.
Lloyd expected that he and Cécile would be in charge of new KMF generation development. However, much to egocentric scientists' shock, Emperor Lelouch gave precedence to development teams from the former EU. Some Germans who were hired by the Knight of Two, Cinder Fall, in the past. From what Cécile heard, it was done because Emperor Lelouch trusted Lloyd more than anyone else with new spacecraft development after he built him Nemesis. And because new European teams were grounded and were less likely to create new Knightmares that couldn't be used by 99% of pilots like the original Lancelot was. Granted, the German scientists were rather fixated on building "grand" war machines, but after some rough convincing from Lady Fall, they fell in line with the Emperor's wishes. Personally, the female assistant was fine with working on something besides KMFs.
"Hahah, what is that? Earl of Pudding can't accept that he isn't the best? Has reality finally hit you, Asplund?" A new voice spoke with a pleased tone as a familiar face entered their lab.
"Rakshata," Lloyd said with venom as he greeted his arch-nemesis. "You say that but don't forget whose Knightmares were critical in our victory in the last battle."
"Yeah, I remember, My Guren and Shinkiro," Rakshata smirked. "And you don't forget who made the new Guren Type Special for our dear Knight of Zero, Lloyd. Not to mention who is currently working on some personal units for His Majesty. Development of future mass-produced units might be handled by our friends in Berlin, but I'm still the Emperor's go-to when he needs something new for himself and his knights."
"Pff," Lloyd turned away, not wanting to admit that she had a point. Emperor Lelouch was ordering more specialised Knightmare models from Rakshata while Lloyd and Cécile focused entirely on new air and space crafts. "What are you even doing here? Aren't you supposed to be a cybernetic research wing right now?"
"Unlike the foolish individual, I won't name-" Rakshata gave Lloyd a cocky grin. "My team is working ahead of schedule and we're allowed some small breaks thanks to it. I decided to run by and see how you two are doing. Oh, and Cécile, I wanted to give you this."
Rakshata handed over a letter to the indigo-haired woman who blinked.
"Meh, not interested," Lloyd said before walking towards his favourite 3D printer.
"What is it?" Cécile asked while opening the letter.
"An invitation from the Randle family. Sophie is having a baby shower soon and invited us. Well, I'm pretty sure Takeru was the one who invited me and asked to give you a letter as well." Rakshata giggled while Cécile covered her face with a palm to contain her excitement.
"Oh, my! With all this work I almost forgot Sophie is expecting!"
"Don't stress it, Cécile. I'm sure the Randles were also busy with their share of jobs. Although, unlike us, they aren't working for the Emperor's projects, well not directly at least." Rakshata added.
Per the wishes of Leila Malcal, all of the W-0 members were pardoned for whatever criminal record they had as former members of the EU's military and were heavily compensated for their service by their old commander. All of them were allowed to pursue whatever path they wanted in the new world. Randles decided to return to their old passion, medical research. Of course, Leila made sure both were sponsored and His Majesty didn't bother managing their work, trusting his advisor and lover.
"Little Anna will be there too. Last I heard, her new semester didn't start yet and she won't miss such a party. The science team is getting back it seems."
Cecile smiled. "And Nina?"
"Eh, I think she will sit this one out. Our Einstein is hellbent on speedrunning her university life as fast as possible. Won't be surprised if she is already writing her thesis despite only being in the second year." Rakshata sighed. "Kids these days. They're either running the planet or doing what took us a few years in a matter of months."
"Still can't believe Anna and Nina are studying together."
Cecile quickly grew fond of the EU's pink-haired engineer, while Nina was still a good friend in her mind. Of course, after all the F.L.E.I.J.A. business, Nina wasn't the same shy and timid girl they knew. According to rumours, after the final battle, the creator of the weapon of mass destruction asked His Majesty to reveal to the entire world who created the F.L.E.I.J.A so everyone will know who was responsible for the death of millions. Emperor Lelouch denied her this wish and instead suggested that Nina must make up for these deaths with her brilliant mind. The girl wasn't fine mentally after all these events but agreed. His Majesty even provided a scholarship for her to one of the best universities within the Empire. It was quite a surprise that Anna Clément ended up in the same year as Nina. Both Cecile and Rakshata suspected that it was the Emperor and his blonde advisor doing so Nina would have some positive encouragement and competition. It goes without saying that Einstein was constantly under protection in case someone would want her for the re-creation of F.L.E.I.J.A. Nina was growing up, and in Cecile's opinion was going in the right direction.
"I… read some of the scientific papers they already posted in some journals. Pretty good stuff." Lloyd suddenly added after being silent, doing something with the 3D printer. "I also saw some works from Mariel Lubie, quite an interesting topic all of them chose. Pretty sure they are studying at the same university. Of course, with Mariel being a different year."
"Mariel," Cecile had a melancholic feeling when she remembered their youngest assistant. "I hope she is doing ok. Last we spoke, she wasn't very fond of His Majesty's new world. She was still hurt after everything that happened, but didn't turn down an invitation letter from the facility."
Rakshata analysed this info. "Three young and promising geniuses together at the same place. This cannot be a coincidence. But, eh, not our concern. Let's leave politics and world-changing decisions in the hands of the youngsters. They surely know more about it than we do."
"Hehe, yup." Cecile had to admit that sounded ridiculous, but in their reality, it was a norm. "By the way, we need to start preparing for Randle's party! We need to prepare presents, oh and what we will wear!"
"I'm not wearing anything besides what I already have on me," Lloyd spoke. "I won't be forced into wearing stupid official clothes anytime soon.
"Pff, you weren't even invited, Asplund." Rakshata laughed while Lloyd looked at her with a flabbergasted face. She ignored his desperate question of why he was left outside the party and focused on Cecile. "I already checked out some popular places in Pendragon online. We can visit them right now, let's call it a day off. My team is good and your portion can be handled by Lloyd."
"What," Lloyd asked calmly.
"Agreed," Cecile immediately answered.
"WHAT?!" Lloyd asked calmly again.
Both women ignored him as they started to walk outside the lab, still talking and ignoring Lloyd who was trying to get their attention.
"Oh, by the way, Takeru wrote that we can bring our partner. And I mean partner, Cecile. I didn't have time to love in a long time, but I heard you had more luck than me in this department. Something to do with a certain young dashing monarch, eh, Cecile?" Rakshata gave her colleague a wink. "Going after the young and powerful, aren't we? My, I didn't expect this from you, Cecile. Or should I start saying, Your Highness?"
"Rakshata, please stop!" Cecile blushed deeply. "His Majesty and I just shared some late dinners together. It was primarily official report meetings!"
"Sure, sure. And I bet he was giving similar treatment to Lloyd as well."
"He didn't as a matter of fact… I wouldn't say no to some coffee and lunch if he paid for it actually." Lloyd commented.
Cecile cleared her throat. "There is nothing between Emperor Lelouch and me beyond professional relationships… but if he has free time and won't mind attending a party with me, I don't see the reason to not invite him… only out of respect!"
"Atta girl! Go and get yourself some Emperor! Don't end up alone and pathetic like a certain Earl of Pudding." Rakshata cheered her while Cecile's blush deepened, but she didn't disagree with the more mature woman.
Meanwhile, Lloyd had to keep up with two women as they were leaving him alone.
"Hey, what do you mean by that, Rakshata?! Hey! Stop and wait, you two!"
Pendragon. Royal Palace.
The Royal Palace is the centre of Emperor Lelouch's reign and his usual spot to relax and enjoy his time. After a failed attack by Peace Mark's combined forces, the capital and Emperor's castle saw some new reconstructions that were meant to provide additional protection. Among the security measures, there were also new architectural changes that were meant to showcase Pendragon's growth as part of the new world system. New building designs and structures were supposed to replicate the cultural peculiarities of different countries around the globe. Before Lelouch, it would have been unheard of and scandalous to see post-Napoleonic European architectural styles, in a mix of Chinese and Japanese unique tones.
The Royal palace was going through a renovation as well, with parts of Japanese architecture starting to slowly appear all over it. Still, it didn't stand in the way of showing off the might of the Emperor's home in any way. Many parts of it remained the same, like a royal garden that was currently occupied by a few young women.
"Being mortal sucks," Started the Empress Regnant Cece vi Britannia for everyone. "Any small scratch won't heal in a moment. I even have bags under my eyes. Don't even get me started on pimples and wrinkles, I never had them before. I have to be careful about my diet or I will gain weight. I can't eat pizza all the time!"
For the green-haired Empress, losing her Code was a blessing. However, she quickly realised that an immortal body and eternal youth had their privileges. The worst thing for Cece was that neither Lelouch nor anyone else even needed to remind her of it. The Witch had to look after her own daily routine unless she wanted to appear as anything but the mystic beauty she was for centuries.
Her companions held back their snickering but the Empress would have none of it. "Diana, I blame you for this!"
The head of OSI and now self-proclaimed head of world religion nearly choked on her tea. "Me?! You are the one who wanted it and I only helped! Or did you want to stay as a teenager while everyone around you aged? You know it will be creepy seeing an adult Lelouch and his never ageing first wife. And if you want to blame anyone, then blame Leila! It was her power after all!"
"Oh, please. I didn't even know what my Geass could do until you two told me." Leila waved off before offering more tea to Kaguya and Marrybell. "It is only fair that Cece will experience the hardship of mortals, including taking care of yourself. Or what? Did you think you will keep your looks without a proper diet or working out?"
"I… agh, this is too much." C.C. sighed in defeat. "It would have been far easier to turn Lelouch into an immortal instead."
"No can do, girl. Charles's code was destroyed and Lelouch didn't inherit it. Not to mention, if he did there would have been a high chance of him eventually going apathetic to world affairs just like you." D.S. paused to take a sip of her tea. "Two immortals would eventually stop bothering themselves with the world and its people and just focus on each other. And while that might have been a good deal for you, Lelouch is unlikely to agree. Besides, what is the problem? Can't the wisest woman in the world deal with some simple diet plan?"
Cece looked at her with pleading eyes. "But pizza-!"
"You can keep eating junk food if you want to," Kaguya tried to brighten her mood. "Just not every day, or every week!"
"And workout, have a stable sleep schedule, make sure you-" Marrybell added as well.
The four women were giving her advice on how to look after herself while C.C. became more exhausted by every moment.
"I want to turn back time." the First Empress whispered.
D.S. smirked. "The best you can get is for my counterparts to witness this dimension and see you whining. But knowing myself, they won't help you out on this, C.C. By the way, have you been feeling well lately? Fatigue? Maybe nausea or miss pe-"
"I'm not pregnant, D.S." The green-haired woman narrowed her eyes.
"Oh, man and here I was hoping for good news." D.S sighed. The Dimensional Supervisor didn't even bother hiding her intentions for women close to Lelouch, including herself. The bigger the vi Britannia family will be, the stronger Lelouch will be tied to life and this world. "I'm doing my best on my end, but I need you two to pick up the slack. This is a team effort! What about you, our dear Second Empress?"
Leila gave her a stern look. "Children are not on my priority list for this year, Europe is still not fully stable with rebel groups popping out all over the continent."
"Excuses! Nothing but excuses, Leila! The Empire needs an heir and I need to make sure Lelouch won't decide to do something foolish."
Marrybell tried to stand up, excited and ready. "Well, if it is for Lelouch's sake then I-"
"-will sit down," C.C. said with a commanding tone. Surprisingly Marrybell did as she was told. The Witch smirked. This was the power of the Empress Regnant and head wife. "Good girl. Just because Oldrin is no longer around you as a knight of honour doesn't mean you can just jump Lelouch without my approval."
"Pff." Marrybell narrowed her eyes but did as was told. She was going to get what she wanted and therefore it would be better to not damage her relationship with the First Empress. "Speaking about Oldrin, the Round Table must be having a meeting right now. One concerning Zilkhstan."
"Oh, yes. While the Kingdom didn't fall under my responsibilities, I did see many troubling reports coming from there." Kaguya commented.
"Meh. Just a small nation with nothing but hardcore mercenaries who can't do anything but fight. They will be better off under Lelouch's rule. Of course, after that, we will deal with their Geass users." A dangerous look appeared in D.S.'s eyes as the third Empress spoke. "Their head priestess, Shamna and her stupid overpowered Geass is the biggest threat among them. Still, nothing careful planning can't solve. And I already knew a good extent of her and others' powers so they lack an element of surprise. My dear hubby already prepared a plan, or like a dozen of them."
Marrybell nodded. "Brother was rather focused on this matter. Not surprising when it is she who will play a crucial role."
"She is already in Zilkhstan. Not alone of course. Our best maid and butler went with her." C.C. lazily added.
It went without saying about whom they were talking about. After all, for the world, the identity of a certain new masked individual was a mystery. For the inner circle of the White Emperor, it was obvious who was under the new mask.
"Speaking about siblings," Kaguya decided to change the topic. "How is Cornelia doing? The last time I saw her was during her tribunal."
Among all those who joined Schneizel's side and followed the False Empress, Cornelia was the only high-ranking Coalition member who survived and was convicted of her actions. The death sentence was brought up, but thanks to the mercy of the Emperor and multiple law loopholes, it was decided to make the former Britannian general compensate for her crimes via hard labour.
"OSI keeps an eye on her. Her old friend Nonette Enneagram pretty much reports everything Cornelia and Guilford do. Last month they were helping with humanitarian aid for the victims of the earthquake in Syria. Enneagram said all three of them will stay for another month before moving to whatever mess will need helping hands. Obviously, we make sure they are under guard in case someone will want to avenge the people Cornelia killed in the past." D.S. spoke. While the avatar of God was anything but merciful to people who played a role in Lelouch's misfortune, she had a somewhat soft spot for the only living older sister.
"I'm sure Cornelia will put her best into doing her tasks. Even if it is because Lelouch left her no choice." Marrybell said with a small smile. "She was always the strongest among Charles's children who stayed in Britannia."
"And right now one of four, sorry, three Royals who survived. Anyway, let's move the conversation to a more important topic. Leila, you and I are finding Lelouch and-"
Before D.S. could even finish, Leila turned to the rest of the girls. "Just this month alone I had to talk to numerous civil activists who had dozens of issues, and hardly any were serious. At least I resolved it peacefully, but I'm getting overwhelmed with them sometimes."
"Good work, Leila!" Kaguya clapped, having somewhat similar issues. "The peaceful protests are the hardest to deal with, honestly. At least with violent terrorists, you know what to do, but you can't fight people with posters."
"Who could have guessed that one of the biggest issues for Lelouch will be not armoured militias but normal people huh," Marrybell laughed. "Lelouch doesn't want to treat them harshly. At least the propaganda machine does its job well. Now it became easier moving with Thought Elevator working as portals between each other, a shame not all of them are activated yet."
"You all welcome by the way about all of that." D.S. proudly smirked. "Not only is it thanks to me, and C.C. 's, help we made half of Thought Elevators work properly, but I did a good job on the intelligence front. Thanks to me, the public gets to learn only about the stuff we allow. Everything else is nothing but rumours, misinformation, and online trolling with no reliable source to back it up. Truly, the true wonder of technology is the ability to feed people with so much information from all directions, they simply can't analyse everything and start treating everything as noise."
Leila had to agree. "Personally I'm not a fan of lying or withholding information from people on this scale, but if it means protecting them it is a necessary evil."
"We are victors who help everyone, therefore we can't be evil," C.C. lazily stated. "The masses will believe whatever they want to believe, which means we must make them believe Lelouch and his new world order is objectively the best future for them. The silent majority will accept it, while a radical minority will make itself known and we will deal with them with due force and measures. Lelouch's Geass is a better alternative than outright killing, won't you agree, Leila?"
"Hmm, the EU put democracy and freedom above all else… but it only applied to specific people on the continent and if they weren't poor. Absolutism is new to me, but so far it proved itself to be more effective in creating conditions where people can live in peace." The blonde messiah of Europe couldn't help but laugh. "Look at me, talking about things like this, huh, Lelouch did corrupt me after all."
"The Demon Emperor corrupting the heart, soul, and body of modern Jeanne d'Arc? My, now that is impressive." Kaguya joked with a sly look. "But you're correct, it is surreal to realise I'm pretty much a warden of my own people. I governed and led Japan for Lelouch. But I can't say it is worse than being in Area 11. At least now Japanese people are treated as equals and can be a proud nation."
"Under the rule of my brother," Marrybell reminded others. "Leila, Kaguya, don't forget you and everyone else who knows the true intentions of Lelouch agreed to assist him and follow his vision of a perfect world. The people would have been manipulated and lied to in any system. The difference is, ours will be the most effective and grant results that will make everyone happy. I still remember how often my Order was sent to deal with uprisings in the Brtiannian colonies. So far, there haven't been rebellions of the same size, so I consider it an improvement."
"Part of the reason for that is because OSI makes sure to learn about them in advance. Afterwards, Lulu sends either of his favourite attack puppies to deal with it. But I will give credit for the first part." D.S. made a peace sign while C.C. gave her a long stare.
"Did you just call Kallen and Cinder… puppies?"
"Better than calling them his dogs or bitches, right? Sounds cuter!"
Cece took a sip before speaking. "I'm telling them about this."
"Haha! Please don't. Cinder is really into bondage and Kallen is getting interested in it too," The most recent and Second Empress Consort looked genuinely spooked. "I don't mind rough sessions, but I can't handle the two of them."
"That sounds like your problem."
D.S. pouted. "C.C. you meanie! Hmph!"
The Empress Regnant couldn't help but chuckle. Somehow, this simple meeting was far more pleasant than C.C. expected. Just talking with other people about everything without losing interest felt refreshing. Now that the Witch was no longer immortal, the limited time she had with others actually mattered. Life could no longer be viewed through the eyes of an immortal. She would age and die one day. This was her life now and she was enjoying it. Stil-
"Some pizza right now would be nice."
D.S. smirked. "Shame that I gave the palace's chefs orders not to make any pizza even if you threaten them. Said it was Lelouch's command-"
The Caretaker of Spacetime had to duck as C.C. threw her tea mug, only after finishing the tea though. She was a Britannian empress after all.
Kingdom of Zilkhstan. Gralbahd.
The capital of Zilkhstan was a beautiful place said to be the gem of the desert Kingdom. Sitting on the seaside, the city was home to beautiful Middle Eastern-style brick buildings, as well as modern-style steel and glass buildings, giving a nice contrast between the old and the new. It was also the military heart of the nation and therefore had the best defence and enough forces to hold off any siege. Perhaps the nation and its heart were the last remnants of resistance who refused to bend over before the Britannian Empire.
And it was currently under martial law as sirens rang all over the city.
The army was searching every house and every corner in their attempt to find the criminals who dared to steal the king's most prized treasure.
His older sister.
While the kingdom's military was trying and failing to find the culprits, the people behind this situation were on their way outside the city.
Sayoko Shinozaki jumped over one of the walls before she landed at the evacuation point, an old warehouse that had been abandoned. Wearing her battle gear, the maid made sure everything was clear before giving a signal to her teammates. The Emperor's butler Alfred followed shortly after, carrying a person who was very much alive inside the human-sized bag on his back. Despite looking quite old, the OSI agent was anything but physically unfit for whatever task his master had for them. And finally, the last person joined them.
If one saw the masked individual, their first thought would be that Zero returned again. However, upon closer look, everyone would notice how different this masked hero of justice was from the famous revolutionary.
The person in the mask was clearly shorter than Zero. The cloak was shorter, barely reaching knee length, with the colour scheme having new changes in the form of fewer yellow stripes. And then there was the mask. The 'eye' orb was closer to pink than Zero's dark purple. If one had words to describe this version of Zero, then one might call it less regal but more upstart, in a good way.
Quite fitting for Faker.
"The second phase of the operation was a success," Faker spoke with a low voice, doing her best to sound serious as she contacted their transport. "Target is secured and we're ready for evacuation."
"You don't have to lower your voice like that, mistress." Sayoko couldn't help but smile as she watched her lady freeze before glaring at the maid through the mask.
"Sayoko! Never call me like that in public ever again! What if somebody heard you?" Faker, better known in the past as Nunnally vi Britannia, the supposedly dead False Empress scolded, frustrated.
Her maid and guardian giggled. "Don't worry, my lady. This place is empty."
"And even if it wasn't, silencing the witnesses is hardly a matter of your concern, my lady," Alfred spoke as he tossed the bag with a human on the ground like it was a sack of potatoes.
"Is that… ok? I mean treating her like this? Won't she wake up?" Faker looked at their prisoner who didn't move. Part of her was worried if she was even alive after everything. "His Majesty asked to bring Shamna alive for questioning."
"Oh, don't worry. She is fine." Alfred said before he poked the unconscious Shamna in the side with his pistol. "We used enough drugs to make a lion nap. She won't wake up for the next twelve hours, enough time for us to leave Zilkhstan's borders."
"O-ok." Faker was a little hesitant but decided to trust the somewhat sociopathic butler. She was a little nervous since it was her first big operation and the most important one.
Ever since that day when Nunnally and Lelouch finally saw each other, her life changed. Nunnally vi Britannia was dead, killed by the White Emperor for the sake of his wishes. However, Faker was born from the dreams, fears, and hopes of Nunnally. Serving as the new hero of justice under Lelouch, Faker was tasked with helping the new world order from the shadows. Instead of being a doll, or a puppet, Nunnally became an active player. Her role was similar to how Zero and the Black Knights initially acted in Japan, busting down the underworld and criminals. Revealing the corrupted politicians who managed to get into Lelouch's perfect future. Faker was no one, she wasn't bound by any laws or public opinion like the Empire and its ruler was. A perfect agent to carry out justice without limits.
It was both thrilling and scary. A girl who in the past couldn't walk on her own was now going on secret operations and protecting the world from the shadows. It was similar to the comic heroes Rivalz told her about. Nunnally didn't think of herself as a hero, but it felt good knowing she was doing something close to it.
"My lady," Sayoko smiled as she walked closer to the Faker. "You did wonderfully out there. I'm proud to see you improve and that our training is paying off."
Faker turned away, under her mask the former princess couldn't help but feel embarrassed. "P-please, Sayoko. I did nothing compared to you or Alfred. I only distracted Shamna long enough for you to render her unconscious."
Their plan was rather simplistic in Faker's mind. Shamna's Geass made it impossible for any mistake, their team needed to kidnap the Head Priestess on the first try without letting Shamna die. Even with the info D.S. gave them, it was far from an elementary mission.
"That's still an achievement. You held on your own against the head priestess and showed no fear. Not to mention, being able to stay hidden from her guards and enemy Geass users. You still need more training, but soon you will be the 38th Successor of the Shinozaki School of Martial Arts!"
"Haha… heheh." Faker couldn't even fake her excitement. Nunnally was grateful to Sayoko for training her and making sure the formerly crippled girl knew how to defend herself. However, for someone who didn't walk or couldn't see for a good portion of a decade, suddenly receiving ninja training was a nightmare. As it turns out both Nunnally and Lelouch were more similar since both siblings shared a hatred for physical training.
"Oh, and don't forget about our training as well, my lady," Aflred said while placing a small explosive device on Shamna's body in case they lost her. "I still need to show how to properly interrogate your prisoner for information and what tools to use."
"..." Nunnally was looking for these lessons even less than for Sayoko's nightmarish training. At least Jeremiah was kind enough to let his lady rest when she was on missions and simply talked to her about Knightmare mechanics. The Orange Knight was more focused on making sure Lelouch was in shape, always. Neither of the vi Britannia siblings was getting easy treatment from their trainers. Speaking about Jeremiah-
The ground before them started to tremble as the green lance-like drill pierced the earth. It was followed by the appearance of Sutherland Sieg with upgrades needed for underground movement. The cyborg pilot exited the machine before greeting them.
"Sorry for being late, but the underground cave system appeared to be more complex than I expected. Anya stayed back, someone had to prepare a distraction in case we needed another one." Jeremiah apologised before grinning upon seeing they were successful. "As expected! My lady was victorious in her quest! Let it be known that no one would dare to stand against the might of vi Brit-"
"Lord Jeremiah, I know you like your speeches, I enjoy them too, but it isn't the time or place for one. Let's move before Zilkhstan's military and King Shalio can find us. I'm sure little Anya is waiting for us as well." Sayoko offered with a small smile while the cyborg knight blushed in embarrassment. The former knight of Six, now another assistant of Faker, was still waiting for her legal guardian and the rest.
"Oh, of course! Come this way everyone, and don't forget the target." Jeremiah quickly said before turning back towards his Sutherland Sieg.
Alfred lifted up Shamna and moved toward the giant Knightmare. Faker left a small piece of clothing, something resembling Bolvona Forgnar's attire. Now that his sister was kidnapped, King Shalio will be on a witch hunt so why not let him go after his own court in the meanwhile? Whatever Zilkhstan was reduced to just before the Britannian invasion was a win in her book. Faker pulled out a small device, a detonator in the form resembling a chess piece. As they entered the Knightmare, Nunnally pressed the button before Sutherland Sieg entered the hole. What followed was the series of explosives around the warehouse as a means to get attention to find fake evidence.
Once all of that was done, Faker and her teachers/guardians left the scene of the crime. By the time Shamna will wake up, she will find herself in Britannian custody, getting her Geass destroyed by the Second Empress Leila and revealing everything to Emperor Lelouch.
The gates of Thought Elevator were located on Nemesis and opened as someone stepped inside C's World. The dimension of "God" stayed the same as Emperor Lelouch preferred it, a green field reminiscing one of his happier childhood memories. Of course, a few dozen KMF units right next to the door weren't part of that memory, but the Emperor certainly didn't mind their company. C's World was still used as storage in some way by Nemesis. Now that the Thought Elevators were working again, at least half of them, Lelouch and his confidants had an easier time moving around the world. It made it easier for Lelouch to respond to world issues, as well as to check on his lovers when they were on different continents.
Still, not that was a concern of a certain Knight of Two. Cinder Fall, still not vi Britannia to her scorn, walked inside C's World, looking for her dearest. Instead of being welcomed by the embrace of Lelouch, Cinder was greeted by an annoyed look from Kallen.
"And here I thought it was someone important." The Knight of Zero sighed as she sat on one of the chairs Lelouch 'imagined' in C's World for her. When the redhead knight wasn't on the missions or visiting her parents, she spent her time making sure Lelouch was safe. Even if he was inside the realm where next to none could enter.
"Good day, Kallen! How was your day? Oh, me? I had a wonderful time wiping out the resistance, thanks for asking!" Cinder clapped her hands and showed Kallen a fake smile. Afterwards, the black-haired beauty stared at her comrade with a lukewarm expression. "You know if you want to be irritated then at least be good at it."
"I can say the same to you, Cindy." Kallen stood up as both knights moved towards where their leader was supposed to be. "But congratulations on the job well done anyway."
"Heh, thanks," Cinder looked proudly as she spoke. "Wann hear details of how it went?"
Kallen shook her head. "Knowing you it was most likely a one-sided fight with you constantly taunting poor bastards who can't even fight back properly."
"It is so nice you know my style, Kallen!" Cinder sounded genuinely touched. "But hey, we need to remind every small insect out there who is in charge now and forever will be. Can't allow cockroaches to think they have any chance of winning."
"The rebels were hiding in Afghanistan, right? I heard some of the former Black Knights hid there too after the second Black Rebellion." Kallen spoke with a little venom. The Knight of Zero considered the members of her old organisation who didn't join Lelouch as anything but traitors who were just as bad as White Death. "Perhaps it would have been better if I was the one to get rid of them."
After Emperor Lelouch's declaration of the new world order, many refused to accept it. Different groups all over the planet, with different histories and views, went against Lelouch's order. The peaceful protests and activities were dealt with via efforts of Leila, Kaguya and D.S.'s OSI manipulation. Whenever it was possible to solve problems with words and promises, it was done so as to avoid bloodshed and present Lelouch's regime in a positive way to further spread his control. However, some people didn't want to oppose Lelouch's rule in a peaceful manner. Former members of the old world superpowers, radical extremists from the either political spectrum, religious zealots of any kind, criminals who wanted to make a profit and of course Zilkhstan's mercenaries. All of them wanted to make the world go back to the older status quo where war was a tradition and chaos was the natural state of the world. Of course, some of them had more understandable reasons. Anyone could see where the world was going at this rate, absolutism on a global scale, perhaps for generations to come. And not everyone was ready to accept it. Lelouch himself expected revolts and resistance from his subjects. He welcomed it, after all, he was once revolutionary too. So it was understandable if some wanted to see their worth and challenge the White Emperor and his future.
Too bad for them that neither he nor his retainers were planning on making it easy for the rebels. While some protests could be solved without violence, in other instances, brute force was the best solution. The Empire was to show itself as a benevolent rule, but it didn't mean it was a weak one. Violent uprisings were crushed without mercy, and put down before rebellion could grow. Some were destroyed publicly to showcase the military might and denounce failed rebels as terrorists who wanted to destroy the world. Others were cut down from the shadows, leaving nothing but trails of blood to make it clear what happened to those who went against the will of the White Emperor.
"If we send you and Guren, you would have destroyed their mountains, too messy. Anyway, how have you two been?"
"The usual, Lelouch was having endless meetings and gatherings. Some were crucial, but most were worthless. I got tired of standing and listening for the same shit hundreds of times and so did he. He got exhausted and wanted some time to relax. I have been here since our last meeting." The worst part of being the Emperor's bodyguard was the boredom of constantly having to endure numerous talks Lelouch had to partake in the Empire's administration, civil representatives, and so on. It was a nightmare. "This place's atmosphere is way more preferable to lifeless halls and meeting offices, even if this place is an illusion."
"Ha! By the way, any news on our people in Zilkhstan'? Was too busy to read reports."
Kallen nodded. "Jeremiah sent a message that they are already on their way out, and got the target out alive."
"Good, good. At least we don't have to worry about whatever bullshit powers the King's sister has. Can't wait to finally fight against the proper military again. Dealing with insurgencies is fun and all, but it isn't as thrilling as fighting an enemy army that can put up a fight. Even if it's a short one." Cinder said with a dreamy expression.
"You psycho," Kallen let out a short laugh. Somehow she got used to Cinder's crazy side. For all her barking and making out herself look like a mad woman, the Knight of Two was rather tame on the battlefield unless the opponent refused to surrender. Perhaps it was per Lelouch's orders or maybe Cinder was putting on a tough facade, but Kallen didn't bother too much. "How many surrendered this time?"
"Almost all of them. Once I broke down into their underground base, they didn't even have time to react. Some tried to attack me with their machines, but I didn't even bother slicing all of them to pieces. Meh, not really fun. Now that almost every worthy opponent is either dead or on our side, I will have little choice but to quench my need for proper duels with you, Kallen. How unfortunate."
"How unfortunate indeed. Don't forget we still have a score to settle."
"Yeah, yeah. What is the current score? 4-3 in my favour? Sounds like I will win this bet." Cinder smirked.
"You wish! And it's 4-4! We both passed out when… you know." A pink shade formed on Kallen's face. Even Cinder had to fight back the blush on her face as she cleared her throat and looked to the side.
"W-well, I remember seeing you collapse first, so it was my victory." It was rare to see the Second embarrassed by something.
"Lelouch said that we both collapsed at the same time. Sorry, but I trust his judgment more than your one eye."
"Not cool, Kallen. Not cool. But if you don't want to admit your loss in that, e-eh, unique fight then I suppose we can count that as a draw if even Lelouch insists on this. Still, that means we need to come up with a new idea for a duel."
It wasn't a secret that both ladies constantly duelled with each other. The training was a secondary reason, and most of the time it was to resolve a dispute of some kind or because they were bored. However, there was also competition between them. During the wedding day of the First Empress, both Knights managed to fight and defeat the mother figure of the man they fancied. Sayoko admitted defeat, but it was a hard-earned victory for the two. Still, the ninja maid was quite conniving when she asked a simple question once their fight for the Emperor's hand was over.
'Who will be first between you two?' Sayoko's fox-like smile was anything but sweet. After all, they both couldn't marry Sayoko's lord on the same day, obviously.
It was thanks only to the intervention of the other Knights that Cinder and Kallen didn't succeed in stabbing each other on that very spot. Who could have known that their short alliance would collapse the moment their common enemy was defeated? It was only after C.C. warned them to not ruin her day that both Knights came up with a solution. They will have different kinds of duels with each other. Whoever wins 5 times first will be the victor. However, each duel must be different from the rest so they couldn't just fight each other in Knightmares all the time. The majority of the duels were rather straightforward: hand-to-hand combat, a 5 km run and other regular competitions. Some were Kallen's victories, some were Cinder's.
…Then there was that one time when both got into their usual argument and spent a good portion of a night yelling at each other. The atmosphere became quite tense and both didn't notice how regular screaming and arguing turned into more heated and physical ways of trying to see who was right, even if it stopped being a fight after some time. According to Lelouch who walked on them, he was supportive of their new methods of solving disputes with each other, or on each other in that case.
"We still didn't have a Knightmare duel." Cinder pointed out.
"Yes, because collateral damage will be a pain in the ass to explain to Lelouch. It will get the attention of people and it might give us a bad look," Kallen answered why. "We need something else to settle our quarrel."
"Agh! We're wasting time trying to find out who will be first. I bet it was Sayoko's plan all along, as impressive as it is infuriating. Tch."
Kallen nodded. "Can't blame everything on her when we can't decide who will be first ourselves. Maybe Lelouch will have an idea for this."
"He will most likely suggest some kind of a game to settle it. I won our chess duel, so that's out of the question. Perhaps darts?" Cinder wondered.
The Knight of Zero sighed. "We will see, but for now let's go see him for your mission success. Plus, he has another meeting in an hour. Let's go."
Both Knights moved further into the C's World as they saw the sky above them change into the night scenery with the very distinct place around them. Kallen immediately recognized Ashford Academy which replaced the open green fields of the past. Even more appealing was that it was the terrace next to their old student council room. It was a moment of them launching fireworks, but this one was different.
It didn't take them long to find the Emperor. Not to mention, Lelouch wasn't 'alone' at the moment.
Around him, Kallen saw their student council, all of them.
Rivalz was trying to launch multiple firecrackers at the same time, while Shirley panicked and was trying to stop him. Milly was laughing as she filmed everything with Nina standing behind her, shyly smiling as her eyes were glued to the fireworks. Kallen was standing to the side, lighting up her own firecracker. Suzaku was nearby and holding a box of more fireworks… a little bit further from everyone there stood Rolo and Nunnally, with their own petards. Both Knights noticed that Lelouch's real sister was actually standing on her own and staring with wide eyes at the firecracker's light.
This was nothing but a mirage, wistful thinking of what might have happened in a more kind world. Kallen was on the run ever since the First Black Rebellion, Suzaku was a Knight of the Round, while Shirley and Rolo didn't live to see Lelouch accomplish his wish. Not to mention Nunnally… and yet there was something beautiful and sad about the monarch's little image of that time, even if it is a lie.
"I promised that we would have fireworks together as student council." Lelouch vi Britannia, not Lamperouge, spoke as he stood before this scene, there was no need for him to turn towards his Knights. Still wearing his royal robes, the monarch couldn't help but chuckle. "I tried to stay close to their true personalities and make this as realistic as possible. I know, I know. This isn't the best use for C's World's, but I couldn't help myself-"
"It's beautiful," Kallen spoke as she moved closer to give a closer look at the unmoving copies, especially herself. "This is like interacting with photos, even if it is more like your dream. Heh, at least you didn't make me look like my old fragile persona."
Unlike her regular days at Ashford where she had to hide her true self, here Kallen looked similar to how she appeared around the Black Knights. Spiky hair, with a somewhat annoyed but confident facial expression. Was this how Lelouch saw her back then? Quite satisfying.
"Meh, you look just as bland as you do in real life." Cinder offered her analysis as she walked closer and stared to pick at her cheeks while real Kallen tried to brush off her finger. "Lelouch, you have a rich fantasy. You could try to make Kallen more pleasing at least here."
"Watch your language before I take your last good eye, Pirate Queen." Kallen narrowed her eyes.
Cinder smirked. "Hey, can I use this one as a punching bag, Your Majesty? She won't get any worse than she already is. Pretty please?"
"Hahaha!" Lelouch had to hold his laugh as both Knights glared at him. "Sorry, it is just seeing you fool around that reminds me of the old student council days."
Both of them could see the melancholy in his purple eyes before glancing at each other. "You miss that time?"
"For me to move forward I also need to appreciate the past and make sure I don't forget the good and bad." Lelouch glanced at his first friend, his best friend. "We wanted to change the world for the better. How ridiculous. He is dead and I'm the Emperor of the place I hated so much. My, I'm curious when the next masked revolutionary will pop out to destroy my world. When that happens, I can finally admit that we absolutely switched the places in this play. But for now, when he and others are no more, the responsibility of our promise falls entirely on my shoulders."
"You aren't alone, Lelouch. You will always have me." Kallen placed a hand over her chest. "Everyone will be there for you, including this one." she pointed at her fellow knight.
Cinder rolled her eye but smiled. "Indeed. Not to mention, you did change the world."
"And all that is left is the 'for better' part. Something that might be more complicated when you don't have a single enemy to defeat and instead have to run the government. Still, I don't mind such a challenge even if it is rather boring." Lelouch chuckled before offering his hands to both of his Queens. "Cherish the past, move towards the future and enjoy the present. Shall we, ladies?"
"That sounds like a good mantra." Cinder was first to take his left hand and snuggled up to her Emperor. The black-haired beauty placed her head on Lelouch's shoulder as she whispered loud enough for Kallen to hear. "And I certainly know a few things that will help you enjoy the present."
"Hey!" Kallen quickly moved to take Lelouch's right hand and side and nuzzled against his chest. The redhead applied more strength to make sure Lelouch leaned closer towards her side. "Don't get cocky just because you had another successful mission. Lelouch needs to relax before another meeting and I won't allow any one-eyed vixen to disturb his time off."
"Oh, yeah?" Cinder tilted her head closer to Kallen. "How about I off you before relaxing with Lelouch, Q1?"
"Try me, Q2," Kallen answered similarly, her head moving closer until their foreheads were pressed against each other. The amber eye glared at two blue ones and vice versa. "We won't have to settle our argument if I get rid of you here and now."
"Ladies, please." Lelouch sighed before squeezing their hands. "Neither of you is getting rid of one other, so you might start getting along. Well, you were already back then at the palace, weren't you?"
Their silence was enough of an answer as both Knights turned away from each other, blushes on their faces. The Emperor smirked.
"See? You two know how to play nice with each other. Now, why won't we get out and get some tea? My next talks with my viceroys and parliament in less than an hour. I would rather spend that time hearing about your victory, Cinder. And of course, I want my closet knight to be with me there." Lelouch smiled warmly at them, knowing neither of his Queens would say no.
"Hmm, when you put it that way-"
"Good thing you have a cute face, Lelouch."
Still blushing, The Knight of Zero and Knight of Two walked forward. Still tightly holding on to their lover from both sides. The White Emperor kept smiling, enjoying their presence and comfort as the trio was leaving the C's World.
Before Lelouch vi Britannia stepped out of the 'Gods' dimension, the Geass user snapped his fingers. The night scenery of Ashford changed into the cosmos and planet with the red symbol of Geass over it. Lelouch glanced at it with a small smile before turning towards the gate that opened for the three of them. Checking on the old images and seeing what could have been was nice from time to time. However, the White Emperor had business outside this world.
Britannia, no, the world required Lelouch to keep playing his role in this performance, preferably until the end of his days.
'The perfect world. People call it an impossible and foolish dream, but they are wrong. For the Man of Miracles, this is nothing more than another challenge. And now, when I conquered this world and destroyed its foundation, I shall rebuild and transform it into something greater. For the sake of their memories.'
This is it, time to say goodbye
I have many emotions right now. I feel proud, ashamed, excited and sad about the fact that 'His Britannia' is over. Before we will get to talking about the Epilogue itself there is something I want to say:
First of all, thanks to all Beta-readers/co-authors who helped me to make this story exciting and readable. If anyone remembers how the original first 3 chapters looked back in early 2016, they might remember that it was very, very rough and that I needed help at that time. I started writing this story when I was 16, still in school and English was only my third language. Writing this story in the language I'm more comfortable with and know better, would have been a smarter move, but I wanted to show 'His Britannia' to as many people as possible and therefore used this site. I know for a fact that this story managed to get attention in its earlier lifespan thanks to the hard work of Tahkaullus01 who made my first chapters actually good. Over the years several people helped me to write this story and I'm incredibly grateful for that. Working with all of them was very enjoyable even if some stopped being active on this site. So thank you:
The Jingo (The King in White)
The Path of a Writer
Special thanks to Kingpin Lunamaria for helping me finish this story! Because of these writers, you can read 'His Britannia' in the way it exists today and I do hope our work made your time in this fandom more enjoyable!
Now, onto the context of this chapter. I like when stories come back to the significant/starting place, hence why return to Kamine Island for the last time. C.C. finally got her code deleted by Leila and can enjoy her mortal life as a normal human, well, as much normal as the first empress and Lelouch's partner can be. Then there is their wedding. I know some readers wanted a group wedding for Lelouch and all his ladies, but I thought it might be too corny/unrealistic even by this story's standards. So, a normal wedding for the Witch and her Wallock. And some comedic moments for ladies in waiting with all shenanigans. Poor Kaguya has to wait a few years because of political reasons since her marrying Lelouch too quickly might be too fast for the Japanese people who will need more time to accept the new Britannia. And yeah, I decided against writing every wedding separately because I felt it would be too repetitive for the last chapter. Kallen and Cinder were left out of the schedule and had to fight their mother-in-law for it, but nothing unusual. Tamaki, unknowingly for everyone, himself included, is becoming an important person in the empire's world. Arthur is too busy in someone and Bishop can't stop being a happy grandpa figure. Peter has to be the responsible one, which is worrying. Copied the wedding vows from the net because I couldn't really come up with my own, oh and D.S. now wants to influence religion and manipulate it for the sake of government rule, just like in real life.
For the next several parts I won't attempt to retell what happened, but I want to stress out one important moment in my opinion.
Lelouch's new Britannia is the absolutist dream state of every authoritarian admirer.
Obviously, I never meant it to be taken as a serious political message, and it is nothing but the writer's ideas for fanfic work. I'm telling it because sometimes people might take such matters out of context and think it represents the author's real-life views. It was written for the sake of the story's plot.
Now back to the upper statement. Since Lelouch's empire is now an absolutist state with no outside enemies, he needs to secure himself from inner problems. Rebellions will be a regular issue when your empire is the entire Earth and its population. That's why both peaceful and violent means to deal with them are needed. Lelouch is the person for whom the end justifies the means, even if he understands the price of some of these means. For the White Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia, to secure his peaceful future he needs to take away people's freedom to govern themselves and make decisions for their homelands. In exchange, he will give them security, prosperity and a promise of no war on a massive scale.
In the world of Code Geass, such promises will be more agreeable than in ours. Unlike canon CG future after Zero Requiem, here post-Puppet Requiem for the Empire to guarantee peaceful coexistence they need to use more power and brutal force when needed. Instead of trying to decrease the number of Knightmares and military, here Lelouch needs a bigger army to police his own people now when there is no more outside enemy in the form of Black Knights or his siblings. New Britannia will have to become a surveillance state, the state has to be the only source of violence where the empire can use legitimate governmental authority to control groups and individuals. I can't really call it a fascist state since I don't see Lelouch who wants to rule as a benevolent strong ruler using institutions and ideology similar to Charles and past Britannia.
The new empire won't oppress minorities for the sake of the state's policies but will heavily crack down on any attempt to destabilize the empire's control over the world and humanity. In other words, Lelouch's Britannia is a tolerant absolute monarchy that doesn't care about people's ethnicity, race, religion, etc. As long as you don't dare to go against Emperor Lelouch and his world, you won't be an enemy. It is fantasy, but hey it is a fanfic about mecha anime. Plus, I still think it is more realistic than the scenario where Lelouch's Empire is some kind of perfect utopia where everyone is happy with everything and doesn't try to rebel or something.
Throughout the entire story, I wanted to showcase that Lelouch's mindset is pretty terrifying when you think about his goals. A perfect world with one ruler has to be very militaristic and centralized in a unique way. There are still nations and borders, but they mean very little. Think of this as our irl EU, but there is only one army, one government and one law system. And no one but the Royal Family and the Emperor can change anything. You can see that it is a pretty terrifying concept and Lelouch in this story wants this system to become the world system that should exist as long as it can prove itself a reliable and a better alternative to the older systems of the Code Geass world. Democracy in their world was always a falling concept with authoritarian regimes regularly being stronger, and more stable than their democratic counterparts. Therefore I can see one Global Absolute Monarchy being the possible scenario with Lelouch. Where such a system would either prove itself to be reliable or will exist only until a massive widespread Revolution will occur that will start a legacy of a new Zero. And I can see Emperor Lelouch actually welcoming such a chance.
Either Lelouch rules the world as the Emperor and his children continue his plans and legacy, or a new masked revolutionary will be born and create a new Order to destroy Lelouch's Empire. After all, while Lelouch's Britannia isn't the old Darwisnsitc 'shoot civilians because they're Japanese' Britannia, it is a system that will take away your freedoms if it is necessary to maintain new world peace under subjugation. Any attempt to revolt for the sake of wanting to be free is valid. This isn't a scenario where Lelouch is objectively good and everyone else is bad. I can see White Emperor Lelouch who chose such a path, acknowledging this, but not backing down because in his mind either way it will be the best way to make Euphemia's dream true.
In this chapter, it is more obvious with Lelouch's demand for Lloyd to create a Damocles-like station whose primary mission will be to act as a military warehouse and outposts in orbit. In case of rebellion, such stations can be used to deploy Knightmares to deal with rebel groups. Lelouch never stopped recruiting soldiers and this policy will only increase since it will be required to have a huge regular army and police force to deal with civilians and rebels if needed. Not to mention it is also good propaganda and a uniting tool where people across the world will serve in one army under one ruler, their individuality won't matter and they will think of themselves as part of a collective. People who watch Star Wars, think of it as something similar to the Palpatine stormtrooper program which also had a goal to unite humans across the galaxy under one banner and ideologically. Of course, it isn't an easy task, some groups like Purebloods will have to be Geassed but in Lelouch's mind that might be a relatively small price to pay. Orpheus's concerns about the Empire's future are valid depending on how it will go. The Knights of the Round have no qualms with ignoring the sovereignty of nations for the sake of the Emperor's wish. Knights like Kallen and Cinder might be used more often to quickly and violently deal with more troublesome groups of whom no one will learn since the propaganda machine of the empire is everywhere. Former European members like Akito and Ashley might have some issues but can fall in line since like the majority, in their eyes, it must be done for the collective good. In fact, some might argue that the collection of human consciousness itself manipulates/pushes average people into subconsciously accepting such worldview and reality as a means of securing a peaceful world as either reward for Lelouch or part of its own goal for the stable world with no wars that perfectly aligns with Lelouch's goal. Who knows.
And now that we're done with silly stuff like fanfic politics and so on, let's get to the last part.
This story changed my life.
I know I know, this sounds corny. It does, but it is also true that some major changes in my life happened thanks to this chapter. I started writing this story back in 2016 when I was still a teenager who was consuming anime every day without a filter. I wrote this story as a harem because I love harems. I still do, but if I started writing His Britannia after 2019-2020 it would have been only Lelouch/Kallen/C.C. romance. Still a harem, but way smaller and I know it is more acceptable than huge harems with OCs. I know that this story isn't perfect. The primary reason this story managed to gain readers when I started writing it was thanks to Tahkaullus01 and because the concept of Emperor Lelouch and no Zero Requiem was rarely used. I know of shortcomings His Britannia has. Some people couldn't stand my OC, especially Cinder since she might come off as Mary Sue. Some didn't like how over-competent Britannia was immediately after Lelouch took over. Some didn't like moments with a harem that were seen as waifu collecting. Some didn't like D.S. because she was seen as a horny waifu and didn't have much to offer. And many, many readers didn't like the fact I didn't want to kill characters and that many of them survived for too long.
I know that not every idea was liked by readers, and I do know that you can never please everyone and I don't hope to do so. When I started writing this story I only wanted to write a fun harem story where Lelouch didn't die and stayed as the Emperor in the world that he controls with benevolence and an iron fist. Some of my thoughts from above were already in my mind back in 2016.
I always welcome criticism and try to fix moments that I see as issues from a writing perspective. For example, back in 2016, I wrote that I want a giant finale with as many characters as possible and some readers pointed out that it will be too much if I don't kill any characters and will have them all survive until the end. I agree with it, and after Endspiel, I saw that I wouldn't have been able to do so anyway. Some of the characters were left outside the battle since I didn't know how to properly write them in, like Akito or Xingke. I agree that in some moments of the story, my OCs dominated too much focus. In fact, I will go as far as say if I could I would have used only Code Geass characters instead of using my OCs. I do love the OCs I wrote, but Code Geass has such a giant variety of characters that can be used instead. Did you know that the main reason D.S. and Cinder were a big part of the story was that I wanted to have counterparts to C.C. and Kallen among other reasons?
Same with a smaller harem, If I wrote His Britannia now I would have replaced OCs I like. I would change Cinder for Alessandra Dolos, a Code Geass character whom I can see playing the role of "Britannian Kallen' with clear hints of romance with Lelouch- crap here I go for the harem route again. I can't help it, oops, but I don't feel sorry.
I also know that my moments of deus ex machina where characters should have died but didn't was annoying to many. While I acknowledge it and would have preferred to avoid it, I can also see it as something rather needed in some cases. Besides, Code Geass wasn't good at killing its characters when they should have died, like with Mao. If you think about it, only Diethard died in the final battle and everyone else survived. That isn't a cheap shot at canon anime, but killing characters doesn't make the story always better, but I see the need for consequences and so on.
Another issue I know some people had was the fast-paced romance and how some moments felt too rushed. For example, Lelouch took over Britannia and had next to no struggle during the EU war. While I would have liked to have more chapters that show things left outside the main focus and a more natural growing romance between Lelouch and his ladies, I had to speed up some aspects because of logistics.
Writing fanfic isn't as easy as people might think. Many people can start writing a huge story with massive planning and so on, only to ditch it for many reasons. Some might lose passion and interest, some might feel their work isn't good enough and feel ashamed, others can't for personal and irl reasons, and so on. Planning the logistics of your story is important, you have to be realistic and accept that some grand plans must be cut. Every writer has an image of the perfect story that tells every plot point in a satisfying way. However, the reality is that not many can achieve that. Many might stop writing because they think their story wasn't good enough and didn't live up to their own expectations. I have experience with such thoughts.
When I started His Britannia I acknowledged that it won't be perfect and that some plot points must be decreased, some because of my personal preference. For example, I don't like slow-burn romances because fanfic stories usually take forever and unless the author is determined to finish the story, they will never see the conclusion. I wrote Cinder and the rest of the knights of the round as powerful Knightmare pilots because I didn't want to waste time building them up from zero through dozens of chapters before they can even stand on an equal level to Suzaku and Kallen. I know some readers might have preferred it in a different way. But like with a slow-burn romance, such a concept would have taken too much time and no one can guarantee that the big story will ever see the finale. I know that my preferable style in general is to harry up many concepts because I put myself in the reader's position and I don't want to waste their time. Perhaps my other story Demon Emperor and Demon King is an example of how I try to write a romance between Lelouch and Maou Nobunaga slower than in His Britannia, but not slow-burn level of slow because I strongly dislike them. I just don't like when the story is taking forever to go anywhere and is left unfinished because the author wants to spend too much time building up relations and concepts slowly, too slowly for fanfic writers who cannot be sure to ever finish their story.
I always knew I would finish His Britannia because it meant a lot to me and I would see it completed even if it would take years, which it did. Part of the reason is that I'm a very lazy person. Seriously, if only I was more responsible, I could see His Britannia being finished in 2020-2021. I also had dozens of the stories I wanted/still want to write about Code Geass, but had to constantly stop myself from writing them because I had His Britannia, other fanfic writers might relate to this problem. Demon Emperor and Demon King was an exception because I got addicted to Fgo and then other gacha games (save me from this hell).
But overall, I was lazy and had irl responsibilities and hence it took literally 7 years to finish this story. These are excuses but I have nothing but excuses, sorry. Well, I also got into university as an International Law student and got a bachelor's degree last summer so 2018-2022 were kind of busy years for me... Oh, yeah! I got a scholarship for that degree thanks to this story actually :3
Yes, for real.
When I was interviewed as the final part of getting a uni scholarship, I went on a long discussion about His Britannia in detail back in 2018. I got a scholarship, then lost it, then got it back and lost again. Still confident that His Britannia is the main reason I got a scholarship. So yeah, thanks to this story I got my first degree, and it got me into many other adventures, getting jobs in the law field and currently getting a master's degree. Even if my assumptions are wrong, I will forever thank this story as a contributor to a huge and important part of my life.
So you might imagine when I say that His Britannia changed my life, I literally mean it.
This story was nothing but the attempt of some teenager to write an alternative ending for his favourite anime and a good ending with his favourite character, but it became a huge part of my life. Thanks to this story I got into uni, continued to interact with this site and got into many fandoms, met new people, improved my English (I hope) and just had a great time. Again, giant thanks to Tahkaullus01 for being there when I needed someone to make my writing look coherent and readable. If you want to see how bad it was you can read my 2016 story Fallen Prince and see how my writing used to be. If you think my writing style and skills are still bad, that's fair. I usually don't feel confident writing big stories without a beta reader, with my one-shots being an exception to that rule.
This Author's Note is turning into a mess but screw it! This is farewell so I might as well say everything I have on my mind. Want to hear my wisdom?
If you want to see a specific story that no one wrote before or you want to write fanfics/stories then just write!
Never think that you aren't good enough!
Just try and see how it will turn out. I was a terrible writer and thanks to the help of others His Britannia got attention and it motivated me to get better and keep writing. Now I have dreams of becoming a professional writer in real life as well. His Britannia was born because I wanted an Emperor Lelouch harem story after re-reading Lelouch vi Britannia, the 99th Emperor by Karndragon (great story btw). I know for a fact that this story managed to motivate at least 2 writers to write their own stories and I'm beyond happy about this fact.
In fact, this entire story makes me feel proud. Despite its many flaws that are of my own making. This story was enjoyed by readers I gained and managed to keep their interest. I do not know how many readers from 2016 are still reading it, I know many stopped enjoying it for their reasons and I understand why some might dislike the directions and moments I wrote. However, as long as I made some readers enjoy their time while reading this story, I'm happy.
Hell, if some of you want, you can take my ideas and plans for potential Code Geass stories I had in mind for years. Take them and change them however you want, as long as it manages to motivate you in any way or give you an idea for your own story, it means His Britannia and I are capable of being something more than mere pass time. Here are some ideas:
Code Geass/RWBY crossover: Emperor Lelouch's Britannia and RWBY Remnant experiment with teleporting technology at the same time. In Britannia, imperial scientists use Thought Elevator, while in Remnant their scientists used semblances with teleporting abilities. Both worlds become connected and despite efforts from the government of each side, through actions of Salem and her forces Britannia and Remnant start a war. It is obvious who is winning.
Code Geass/Gate: Jieitai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri crossover: If you know what GATE is then you already know the plot. Gate opens in Japan and Lelouch's Britannia has to deal with the fantasy world. ImmortalEmperorWithAnEpicBeard has "Gate: Thus Britannia Liberated There!" that is a good example of what I had in mind (please update it!)
Code Geass/High School DxD: DxD magical world makes contact with Code Geass world and Collective Human Consciousness feels threatened. As a result, it wants its champion Emperor Lelouch to deal with foes from the DxD world by using any means.
Code Geass's story: "His Japan '': Black Rebellion succeeds because one of the key players (V.V.) decided to not play his hand and teach his brother a lesson, and because of his own overconfidence. As result, Zero's biggest weakness wasn't exploited and Area 11 fell, Japan was reborn and now Black Knights had to lead in the world where Charles' Britannia had to be more active. The Black Empire by PaulXion was my inspiration, but in my mind, I wouldn't attempt to follow the plot of the second season and wouldn't make Lelouch get Geassed by Charles (also please update it!)
Code Geass's story: "Demon in Europe": During the events of Akito the Exiled, Lelouch regains his memories and manages to escape captivity. However, stuck in Europe he decides to create a power base there, destroy whatever authority Britannia has and if needed burn the EU with fires of revolution if it proves itself to be another failed system.
Code Geass/Nikke Goddess of victory crossover (yes, I joined another gacha hell, I'm beyond saving): Lelouch wakes up in Nikke's world after who knows how long time has passed and now has to act as commander in order to survive and understand what happened. Why is he still alive? Why do some Raptures react differently to him and how both Demon Emperor and Zero played a role in the creation of Nikke? Not to mention, the Ark might just irate Lelouch enough into destroying it by himself, and well, his army of Nikkies.
And many more stories I have in my mind. Believe me, I have dozens of them. And not all of them are about Code Geass!...just a huge majority, hehe...If you want to take these ideas and adopt them with your own twists and plans, then do so. I just want as many people as possible to write Code Geass stories because this anime means a lot to me. God, I wish I had the skills and mastery of Coeur Al'Aran to have a consistent schedule and update Code Geass stories weekly.
One story ends, another continues and a new one begins But alas-!
Ha, no idea what else I can say
So…this is it, yeah? The final goodbye?
I know some of you might read my other stories, but for many, this is the end of our relationships as author and readers.
I enjoyed this time and am thankful to everyone who read my story and gave their criticism and opinions on how I can improve it. Thanks to beta-readers and co-authors for sticking up with me and helping me write His Britannia. Thanks to Tahkaullus01 for being the reason the first part of his story was legible and thanks to Kingpin Lunamaria for helping finish His Britannia.
Thank you for reading "His Britannia"!