Title: Red Ribbons
Rating: PG13?
Pairing: None really, but there is slight ConYuu, so it's up to you guys.
Summary: It had to happen sometime, the day that punishment meant death. And the humans don't like it, don't like it at all.
Warnings: Minor-ish character death.
AN: My first fanfiction in this anime, so bear with me. The ending is weak, and I'm planning on working on a sequel to it. Un-beated, so please point out mistakes!

It was only when Yuuri slowly opened his eyes, in Conrad's firm grip, that he realised that the Maou must have come out again and he'd passed out. "What happened?" he questioned, somehow already dreading the answer. He hadn't collapsed after he became the Maou for a while now and Yuuri was slightly worried.

He was ignored as Conrad got to his feet, dragging Yuuri up with him, and it was only when Yuuri swayed dangerously on his feet that Conrad spoke. "Come, Your Majesty, we must leave."

"Conrad. What happened? I don't re-" Yuuri cut himself off and looked around the battlefield in horror.

"Weller! Get him out of here!" Wolfram's voice shouted from across the way, sounding distressed and furious. "Now!"

"We must leave, Your Majesty." Conrad repeated as he bent down and picked Yuuri up.

"Are they-" again Yuuri cut himself off, his voice jumpy from being jolted as Conrad ran. "They are," with dawning horror, he paled. "Conrad! Please tell me I didn't-"

This time Conrad cut him off. "Do not worry yourself about it."

"I think I'm going to be sick." And he was. Violently. All down Conrad's chest but Conrad carried on running and didn't seem to mind in the least.

They arrived back at Blood Pledge Castle a couple of hours later, yet throughout the ride Yuuri had clutched firmly onto Conrad's back and hadn't spoken a word. He tried to ignore the worried looks that everyone was giving him.

The humans of the South-East border had started up a revolution and had somehow managed to kidnap Greta. It was meant to be a simple search and rescue mission, but the humans had played dirty and the beginnings of a civil war had reared its ugly head. They'd killed his daughter, in front of him, with a swift slice of her throat, before anyone had time to react. That was all Yuuri remembered.

"Your Majesty," Conrad's voice rumbled through Yuuri's chest and he closed his eyes tightly shut, not bothering to reprimand Conrad for not calling him his name. "We're back at the castle."

"I want to stay here for a while. On the horse."

"Of course." And if Conrad was saddened by the bleakness of Yuuri's voice, he didn't mention it.

"No guards," Yuuri continued.

"I'm afraid that's not possible, Your Majesty. The rebels…"

"No guards," Yuuri repeated firmly, looking off into the distance.

There was a moment of silence before Conrad lowered his head. "As you wish."

He had blonde hair. Yuuri remembered this fact now as the sun began to set. Blonde hair like Wolfram's. He wouldn't be able to look at Wolfram again without remembering the human. The murderer. His daughter's murderer. The blade had been jagged, almost blunt, but with the force that it had been rammed into Greta's throat, it had broke her neck on impact. He had been too late to save her; too stupid, too naïve. She had died needlessly, crying for him… for her father. Sobbing actually, if Yuuri were to be honest with himself.

"Your Majesty." Yuuri ignored Conrad. "Your—Yuuri," Conrad tried now. "Please, come indoors. It's getting cold. You need to be seen to."

"No. I don't deserve it."

"Yuuri." Conrad's voice was sad and Yuuri felt his throat close and tears settle in his eyes.

"I let her die, Conrad," he whispered, still looking out into the distance, always into the distance. "I let her die and then I killed them all."

"It wasn't your fault, Yuuri!"

"There was so much blood everywhere. And bodies. Dead bodies. And I did that. I did that." His voice lowered and Yuuri tried to tell himself that his voice wasn't hitching as he spoke. "I did that, Conrad," he whispered.

Warm arms settled around him and lifted him off the horse – his body had long since become numb and he was too cold to be bothered by it anymore. "Come, Yuuri. Inside, where it's warm."

And that's when Yuuri finally cried. Great gut-wrenching sobs as he clung to Conrad's back, his fingers brittle and red-raw with the chill. "What have I done?" he wailed into the crook of Conrad's neck. "What have I done?"

Gwendel turned away from the scene and left for his office. This wasn't something that he wanted to witness.

"The other human populated counties of Shin Makoku are rebelling," Gwendel announced over breakfast a few days later. Yuuri stopped picking at his food and looked up. Conrad shot his brother a warning look; Wolfram kicked Gwendel underneath the table while Günter tried to cause a distraction. But Yuuri's sole attention was on Gwendel and the older man continued, ignoring the others around him. "Word has travelled about what had happened at Toritzu. They now fear the Maou and are rebelling. It won't be long before this isn't just a civil war."

Everyone turned as Yuuri pushed his uneaten breakfast away and stood up. "Thank you," he mumbled, voice low, before taking his leave of the room.

"Gwendel," Conrad spoke up as the door closed, his voice tense and his eyes hard. "What was the point of telling Yuuri this now?"

"Because he needs to know. He needs to prepare."

"At least let him come to terms with what he's done! With what he's lost!" Günter spoke up now, leaning forward on the table; his hands pressed flat against the wood.

"Wolfram is dealing appropriately with Greta's death. His Majesty should be doing so also." Wolfram looked away at his brother's words.

"You have no heart, brother," Conrad said and stood up.

"There are no feelings in war," Gwendel replied as Conrad left the room.

"No, please—no, Gret—NO!" Yuuri shot up, the covers tangled around his feet, his arm outstretched in front of him. He sighed, running a hand across his eyes, before falling back down onto the pillow. Slowly, Yuuri turned on his side, looked out of the window and into the night sky beyond it. He stayed like that until morning.

Conrad stood at his post, outside Yuuri's Wolfram-Free room, and listened to his King cry softly. Helpless to do anything about it.


"But Your Majesty-"

"-I said no, Günter."

"But—Your Majesty—you don't understand…! The relations between several of our allies have already crumbled, and that means only more countries will follow. They are preparing for war against Shin Makoku."

"Then let them. We will not be apart of it." Yuuri pushed the document away, a document that if signed would recruit more men into his soldiers rank.

"Your Majesty!"

"I refuse to. If that is all, Günter." Yuuri didn't wait for Günter's distressed reply and left the room, only offering a nod to the guards stationed there. They saluted him until he turned the corner at the bottom of the corridor and Yuuri tried to ignore it as he walked aimlessly around the castle. It wasn't long until he bumped into Conrad. The older man just walked next to Yuuri and didn't say a word, and he found himself glad for the company. "Do you hate me now, Conrad?" he asked after a little while. They had walked into the gardens and Conrad sat on the ledge of the fountain.

"Of course not, Your Majesty."

"I wouldn't blame you if you did." Yuuri poked at a blue flower; Conrad's flower. Conrad Stands upon the Earth. "Everyone is preparing for war. Yozak has confirmed it from his spy position. I don't want a war, Conrad. I want peace."

"You will get it."

"We're not fighting."

Conrad let a moment pass before he spoke up. "Come, sit." Yuuri did so without a word and Conrad put an arm about his shoulder and drew him nearer. He didn't move his arm and Yuuri didn't move it for him. "We shall fight to protect your life, Yuuri. Even die fighting if we have too. All of us."

"No," Yuuri replied, his voice soft with conviction. "No you won't. There's been enough deaths because of me."

"I assume you have a plan?" Conrad questioned.

Yuuri snuggled into Conrad's shoulder. "You could say that."

"You look terrible, Shibuya!" Murata exclaimed, slightly horrified. "You can't afford to loose any more weight, you know. And try sleeping sometime, eh?"

"I want to go home, Ken. Just for a day or two." Yuuri said, ignoring him.

"Yuuri… you're needed here."

"Just for a couple of days."

Murata studied his friend for a moment. "I'll see what I can do."

A curled up fist slammed onto the table in front of Yuuri and Günter squeaked. "I will not have it," raged Gwendel, his ponytail swaying in his anger. "You will allow me to deport the soldiers, Your Majesty, and you will allow me to do it now."

"No," Yuuri answered simply. "I will not. When they come, I will meet them at the border."

"I will not allow you to do this. You are putting the innocent lives of those in Shin Makoku in danger!"

"I am saving them."

"You are killing them!"

Yuuri looked over at the flustered male in front of him seriously, his gaze hard and cold. "Then on my head be it."

Gwendel felt his eye twitching in frustration… just when he thought that Yuuri would make it as the next Maou, the kid had to turn around and do something like this. Letting his emotions rule his actions, almost to the point of putting other people's lives in severe danger. "I will deploy the army with or without your word."

"Then you shall find yourself detained in the dungeons," Yuuri answered calmly.

"Your Majesty!" Günter gasped, his eyes wide.

But Yuuri had made his point, and with a furious snarl, Gwendel turned on his heel and stormed out of the room.

"It can't be done," Murata stated sadly, shaking his head. "Ulrike is unable to perform the transfer."

"Why?" Yuuri asked calmly and Murata didn't like this side of Yuuri, not at all.

"She is incredibly busy, Shibuya, you must understand."

Murata watched Yuuri's jaw clench and work for a moment. "Right." Then he left without another word. The Great Sage bit on his lower lip in worry.

That night Yuuri cried himself to sleep again and Conrad listened outside, silently listening to his young charge's despair.

"Will he be alright?" the voice came from his long-time friend, Yozak.

"He's not been himself since…"

"Yeah," Yozak agreed. "I think it hit him hard."

Conrad smiled sadly in response and continued to listen to his King sob, closing his eyes against the sound when it became too much for him to bear.

"They are two days travel away, Your Majesty. There is still time to gather our resources and meet them head-on."

"I know you're worried Conrad, but no. I will not allow it. I shall meet them at the border when they arrive."

"We," Conrad corrected. "You shall not go alone, not in this."

Yuuri paused for a moment, and looked away from the window and into his mentor's eyes. For the first time in a long while, he smiled. "We shall meet them at the border when they arrive," he amended.

"You wimp!" Wolfram's enraged voice could be heard three corridors down. "You're letting Greta's death and the Maou's justifiable judgement, get in the way of your responsibility to keep your country safe!"

"There's never justice to death!" Yuuri yelled back, the first time many had heard the King raise his voice in a long while. It was rich and thick with emotion. "They were wrong to kill Greta, but that does not mean I had the right to decide if they lived or died! I am not God, Wolfram!"

"No, you are the Demon King! They deserved to die for what they did, and if you hadn't have done it, then I surely would have!"

The door opened, and people that had been listening in, scurried off in all haste. Before Yuuri closed the door, he spoke to the wall in front of him and didn't bother to turn around. "You sicken me."

With a formidable slam, the door shut.

There was a roar of thunder and a clap of lightning and Ao snorted, but Yuuri kept petting him; his sodden hand slipped easily through the strands of his horse's hair. The young King was soaking wet through and Günter could be heard from the castle bemoaning the fact that Yuuri was going to get ill. They'd already tried to get him indoors, but Yuuri would only move to brush his wet hair out of his face or to slyly tilt his head to the side to see if Conrad was still leaning against the post.

"You're going to get sick," Yuuri muttered after Conrad had been stood with him for half an hour. The solider was soaked through by now.

"As are you, Your Majesty."

Yuuri smiled a little. "Then we can both get sick together."

The warm smile that Conrad gave Yuuri made the young King feel just a little bit like his old self.

Gwendel had taken it upon himself to pretend that Yuuri didn't exist, much like how he'd first acted when he'd first arrived in the Demon land, and even though Günter told Gwendel to believe in Yuuri, the longhaired scholar wrung his hands nervously and had a pinched expression on his face whenever he half-heartily muttered the words. Wolfram seemed to flinch whenever Yuuri was so much as referred to, clearly remembering the disgust that had infused his fiancé's voice that day when Yuuri had stormed off, and he didn't seem so inclined now to question His Majesty's words.

Conrad was the only one who believed in Yuuri.

Yuuri mounted his horse with help off Conrad and he looked around at the others coming with him. Conrad, Gwendel, Wolfram and Günter. He refused to take anyone else and that meant even turning Gisela down. Even though the four soldiers had refused to leave their swords at the castle, it was the most peaceful approach that Yuuri could put together. He wanted to go on his own, but he'd been denied something chronic on that account. So they had compromised.

"When will they arrive?" Yuuri asked and his voice sounded older than his years.

"By noon," Günter replied, wrapping the horse reins around his wrists. "Your Majesty, are you sure that you want to do this?"

Yuuri ignored his question. "And when will we get there?"

"In time," Conrad assured. "Do you have a plan, Your Majesty?"

"It's Yuuri," he muttered in reply, giving Ao a quick jab with his heels to get the horse moving. "And you could say that."

Conrad looked troubled at the same reply he had got last time he'd asked after the King's plan, but set his horse in motion anyway.

They were there, lined up in rows and rows upon angry, burly, looking men. Some of them had swords; some of them held sharpened sticks but most seemed to be relying on their fists. Yuuri shot the others a frown when their hands automatically went for their swords but that only made them loosen their grips on them slightly, and none of them fully let go of their weapons.

"I see you're not going to hide away from us," leered what Yuuri believed to be the 'leader'. "Oh? Where's your army?"

"There isn't one," Yuuri's soft voice carried across the distance easily.

"Oh? That cocky and sure that you'll beat us are you?" There was a roar of rage and angry sounding threats from the humans. They soon became serious as Yuuri dismounted his horse. The humans watched on nervously as the Maou told his own men to stay at ease and walk over to them confidently.

They didn't expect him to drop to his knees and bow his head before them. The leader ignored the kid's entourages' astounded exclamations and sneered down at the child before his horse. "I'm so sorry," he said, and he sounded it too. "I didn't mean to kill those men."

The rest of the men began laughing, but their leader hushed them with a raised hand. He kept one eye on the male with sandy coloured hair, because he looked edgy and jumpy. "You're sorry?" he snorted. "You didn't mean to?"

"They unjustly killed my daughter. I lost my temper. I don't have control when the Maou comes out. I'm so sorry." Yuuri's voice sounded thick with tears but the human ignored it.

"Your daughter, eh? I wasn't aware that you'd fathered a child. A bastard bitch, was it?" he goaded and his light eyes darkened as the young Maou clenched his fists tightly.

"I adopted her," he whispered, his head bent low. He ignored Wolfram's terrified shout to get back over to them.

"No doubt a Mazoku," he brushed off the child's death. "Any of us would have done the same. You beasts are all the same; dangerous creatures that should be put down."

Yuuri shook his head, and faint whispers of tears could be seen on his cheeks. "No," his voice wasn't carrying as well as it was before. "She was a human. She was my daughter. I loved her."

His Majesty Yuuri Shibuya didn't get a reply.

"That was a very foolish thing to do, Your Majesty," Conrad's soft voice tickled against Yuuri's ear as the half-human studied him carefully. "What if the humans hadn't of cared? Or didn't believe you? You'd surly be dead by now." Yuuri didn't answer Conrad. "You need to be more careful, Your Majesty. You would be greatly missed if you were to die."

"Would you?" Yuuri spoke up suddenly, his fingers curling in his blanket as he snuggled down into bed. "Miss me, that is."

"I, Yuuri, would miss you the most."

That night, Yuuri went to sleep with a smile on his face and didn't cry himself to sleep like the so many nights previous.

Yuuri knew he was slowly healing, slowly getting over the death of his daughter and slowly, ever-so-slowly, he was coming to terms with what he had done. Conrad held out his hand, a baseball in his free hand, and beckoned him outside. Yuuri smiled and ran to him.

It would be a long time in coming, but he knew… he knew, with Conrad by his side, he would.