Title: Ever After Story
Genre: Romance/ Humor
Pairing: Royai, EdWin
Summary: Rebellions, gunshots and dogs. Prince Roy can handle them all. But he could never be a king without his queen.
Disclaimer: Full Metal Alchemist is not mine.
Once upon a time when fairy tales and legends were still famous and when high-tech gadgets were still overshadowed by alchemy, there stood a kingdom known as Armestris. This kingdom was famous for its beauty and splendor, for its wealth and power and mostly for the story of the people who lived in it.
Many generations of kings ruled Armestris and it’s true that only a few of them were really qualified to handle the job.
Okay, so there were some exceptions but the only reason why they were called great was the fact that the people under their rule were cleverer and more hardworking than them.
This land was aided by the power of alchemy, which is a helpful yet dangerous art of science. Its capacity depended on the beholder; they could use it either for their own sake or for the sake of others.
Ironically, alchemy was also the reason why Armestris hadn’t been safe from some traumatic problems like civil wars.
Well, we don’t have to discuss the history and troubles of Armestris further because it is none of our concern.
The war mentioned above was the problem of the heir to Armestris’ throne – Prince Roy Mustang.
The youngest and the only son among four the children of the deceased King Mustang, Roy began to reign the kingdom at the age of twenty just minutes after his father died.
Since he was the only son and all his sisters were already married and living in other kingdoms, there hadn’t been any objection from the people about him being their next king.
Their newest ruler, according to them, was worthy of the throne. After all, he was not known not only for his looks and position but also for being the famous Flame Alchemist.
Over the past few years, the prince handled the kingdom well. But just like the other typical fairy tales that we know, he and his kingdom would have to face one big problem.
Ever After Story
“Ah, yes…” He gently whispered. Now was the time when he was free from all of the tiring work that he had to deal all by himself. He truly anticipated this hour of the day wherein all he had to do was relax and enjoy.
It was really comforting; he was isolated from the irritating noises that he kept on hearing every now and then.
There’s no doubt that this had always been his favorite pastime…
Then again, he could sense something disturbing and it was starting to ruin the moment. In a blink of an eye, all his peaceful thoughts vanished in as his eyes drifted upon the blinding light.
An old maiden stood before him with her head bowed slightly. Her face was a bit grumpy because of the fact that she had been trying to wake the man on the bed for like, a century already. “I apologize from my intrusion, but I was ordered to wake you up as early as possible.”
The man annoyingly covered himself with the comforter to avoid the servant and the sunlight that was streaming from the window.
Hell, he was in the middle of his desirable dreams when he was interrupted by a stupid order from a maid who has no right to command anything to him in the first place.
He was the one who implemented the rules and regulations here; no one else but him.
Over the past few years, the prince had been used to the fact that he was the most important human being in Armestris. Every word he uttered was law, every ground he walked on was worshipped and everyone bowed down to his feet.
And this had always been the first scene every morning.
The old servant had no choice but to leave her master’s room. She knew very well who the man she was dealing with. One tiny mistake could mean the end of her career. She bowed her head once again before scurrying out of the room.
The Prince of Armestris became satisfied upon hearing the soft thud of the door and the maid’s fading footsteps.
He was about to resume his sleep and continue his dream of being with a beautiful woman when another voice interrupted the tranquility of the place.
“Wake up you sleepyhead!” The comforter was yanked away from him, exposing him to the sun’s Ultraviolet rays as well as to the man who was in front of him. The cold wind coming from the opening started to chill and wake his body.
The man who was wearing glasses tried to pry him off the bed, only to find the prince sprawled on the floor.
“Hughes, you have ten seconds to leave this place.”
“Aw, come on Roy! This day is very lovely and somewhat special! You shouldn’t trap yourself in this room!”
Roy Mustang irritably sat on his bed. He knew very well that once this man wakes him up, he wouldn’t have a chance to rest again.
Maes Hughes was the head of Armestris’ army. Supposedly, his only task was to report and discuss the topics concerning his area. Little did Roy knew that his friend would also become his adviser, his messenger, his personal guard, his self-proclaimed photographer and even his alarm clock.
Without missing a beat, Hughes dramatically clapped his hands and a group of servants immediately entered the room, carrying a dozen of expensive clothes for the prince.
“What the…? Hughes, what is this crap all about? I don’t need twenty servants to dress me up!” Roy disbelievingly shot a glare to his friend as the servants crowded into his room, waiting for any signal. He was scarcely wearing anything and his bare chest was visible to everyone in the area.
Obviously, the bespectacled man was the only one who could pester him without fear.
“Well as you can see Roy, I’ve already told you that this day is kind of special for you…and also for me because,”
There he goes again.
“I just got a new copy of my beloved Glacier’s photograph, you see!” Maes pulled a picture from his pocket and smacked it several times.
“I couldn’t wait to see and propose to her tonight! Hey you wanna see? Wanna see? C’mon, you know you want to! Just don’t dare take her away from me!”
He was now gluing the picture to Roy’s face, who on the other hand had no idea how to get out of his current situation.
He shoved the picture off his view and tried to demand an explanation to the intrusion of his rest in a serious tone.
He damn well craved for privacy right now. He was still in his sleeping attire and several people were already in his bedroom without any permission from him.
“Explain this to me now Hughes.”
Sensing that the ruler of Armestris was not in a good mood, the military leader tried to go to the threshold of the prince’s misery.
“Ok, ok I’ll tell you but first I would like to apologize for disturbing your beauty sleep.” He pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and read the message encrypted on the sheet. “Princess Elizabeth from the Aquroya kingdom would be arriving at any minute.”
Roy cocked his eyebrow in disbelief. Was this a sort of surprise?
“So you invited a person without my permission and now you’re preparing me for her arrival?” Roy asked slowly. “If that’s the case, I would forgive you.” He approvingly smirked. This day wouldn’t be that bad after all. Women had always been his favorite subjects.
Maes interrupted, feeling the sudden change of atmosphere, “And someone’s getting married.” He professionally proclaimed with a large grin on his face.
The raven-haired prince remotely listened to the man before him while waving his hands to the servants to evacuate the room. “I supposed I know this ‘someone’ that you are referring to. Is he a relative of mine or a hardworking citizen of Armestris?” he apathetically questioned and saw that none of the servants left.
“Of course, you know him very well your majesty.” Hughes slowly and clearly emphasized his last words for the prince to understand.
“Well, I extend my heartfelt gratitude and best wishes for this man. You may serve and give what is right for him” He droopily answered and lay back on the mattress, pulling the thick blanket over him. “One more thing, make sure that the princess of Aquroya would feel at home here. Might as well prepare a fancy meal for the both of us.”
The wide smile on the military officer’s lips just grew larger. “In your case Roy, you’re not just going to date her.”
This time, Roy’s eyebrow twitched. “And what exactly are you trying to imply?”
One by one, the faces of the maids in the room changed into an odd looking one like their husband just left them.
“Well, you should do this and that, here and there, over and under until you form something. In shooort… You’re getting married!”
The sun rose beautifully just like any other day in Armestris. It was still early but the villagers who were too busy buying and roaming around the stands and stores already packed the main town.
Hot steam of food floated in the air from the bakeries and eateries. Children of different ages began loitering around the street corners, either playing hide and seek or just doing pranks at anyone who trespasses in their territory.
It would just be an ordinary day for the town folks if the announcement from the newspapers and the gossip circulating the market hadn’t reached their ears.
Their prince would be engaged soon and after a few more months, days or hours he would marry someone whom they would call their queen.
Some were glad, for they say that the time had come for the prince to have a change for the better of their kingdom. However, others say otherwise. According to them, the kingdom might face a crisis because of the change or the prince was still too young to get married.
But the decision was not in their hands.
“What the hell are you thinking!? I am the one who is suppose to choose who I want to spend my life with!” the Flame Alchemist exasperatedly declared.
Fuming silently, he walked over the perfectly trimmed grass and searched for something to be sitting on.
“On the contrary Roy, if you would be the one to choose, every woman in this land would be addressed as queen,” reasoned Hughes, who seemed to be enjoying the expression on the other man’s face.
“I don’t want to marry yet!” The prince’s footsteps were getting heavier.
“That’s the problem Roy. It may take a hundred years before you decide to have a wife,” the Armestrian officer said with a chuckle.
“Are you contradicting my orders?” Roy retorted.
“No, of course not. Your uncle Bradley was the one who started this arranged marriage.”
“King Bradley?” Roy stopped his tracks and sat on one of the palace’s kiosks that were located in the garden.
“Yes, he would be spending dinner here tonight,” Hughes shrugged at the prince’s questioning look.
He knew perfectly that this creature had no intention of marrying any woman. Maybe just a simple concubine would be enough for him.
But because he was the prince of the kingdom, he had to get married soon and produce a legal heir for Armestris.
All of the citizens were concerned about his marriage.
The lively officer lowered his voice and for the first time looked sincere. “Your majesty, just settle down and accept what is good for you and your people.”
Roy averted his pensive gaze from the man who was waiting for his answer.
It was not really a big issue for him; he just didn’t want to be married at this time of his life. He could still handle the kingdom with cleverness and he still didn’t need someone to bear him a child.
“I don’t want to be married to a woman I’ve never seen or love.” He reasoned while looking at the bunch of white wild flowers that was crawling on the ancient wall of the palace.
“There are kings who lived before you who never really loved their queens.”
“Exclude me, I’m different from them.”
Hughes had to laugh at the statement. He wondered if the man that he was talking to at the moment was just an imposter.
The prince was a well-known womanizer; he’s just making an excuse to cancel the engagement.
Hughes adjusted his glasses and reached for the piece of paper in his pocket that he earlier presented to Roy.
He reread the message, thought that it was best to tell it again to the alchemist but to his dismay, he saw that the man he was talking to was already walking away from the garden grounds.
He didn’t need to predict where the prince would go. He still had to mind other things like treating the burn that he just received when said alchemist incinerated the tiny paper in his hands.
The prince’s job wasn’t just about sitting on his royal chair and commanding the laws he made or listening to the problems and requests of the people in his court.
He also had to see, read and sign the papers of the transactions that were coming in and out of the country.
For further clarification, yes, it’s called paperwork. The same thing that Roy described as the most detestable parchments he had ever seen.
He would always say that he was in the mood of lethargy, or even insulted the handwritings and the wrong grammars of the businessmen.
He would be seen working on them diligently for just an hour. In reality, he was just scanning and flipping the poor papers and signing them without even reading its contents.
And that was how the ruler of the greatest and most prestigious kingdom handled his responsibility.
There was a place especially dedicated to his most detestable parchments.
Located at the ground floor of the palace, near the throne room was the place wherein the prince could always be seen with his so-called subordinates. The room was spacious and had a typical office table in the middle of the area.
This was where the transaction papers were placed and signed by the ruler of Armestris. Before you could reach this table, there was a larger wooden desk before it that was made for his subordinates who helped and make sure that he was really doing the papers. Most of the time these men just loitered inside the room, telling stories and spending the time of their lives.
There was silence. It had been hours since someone had spoken in the group. Their eyes were all fixed at the man behind the towering bunch of papers, which he never even laid a single finger on since he entered the vicinity. Although they never spoke a word, their eyes were the ones who did the talking.
“The prince is going to get married!” said the wide eyes of a not-so-fat-according-to-him man who was secretly munching bread as he quietly stood at the left side of the entrance.
“Yeah, everyone knows about that since the sun had risen. Better see the princess to know if she’s my type.” The lazy eyes of the man leaning on the right side of the entrance replied at the man opposite to him. An unlit cigarette was hanging from his mouth and he secretly wished that he would be allowed to use it here.
“Dream on Havoc! Even if you try desperately, she won’t be yours even in your dreams!” The huge eyes taunted the lazy ones. “I know you’ve waited for this day haven’t you? You want the prince to be taken already so that you will finally have a chance to hear the sweet word ‘yes’ from the women who once broke your heart because of the prince!”
“Shut up, fat ass! At least I can confess my feelings to the women I love, unlike you who talks about nothing but food!” the lazy eyes of the taller man were now having a glaring competition with the latter.
“What did you say!?”
And it seemed like their eyes were already falling out from its cradle. This was their unique language, which was called the eye language. They proudly described it as more effective than hand or dog language.
Thankfully, the door that was carefully opened blocked the view of the two who were now throwing death glares at each other.
A gray-haired man who wore the same uniform like the two appeared and bowed in front of the prince’s table.
“Your majesty, the guest has arrived.” The man breathlessly proclaimed the announcement.
It took seconds before they heard a reply from behind the bunch of papers.
“Hm? Good, I want to see her. Thank you Falman.” There was a tinge of enthusiasm in his voice.
Roy Mustang rose from his seat as he left a pink letter on his desk which all of the men immediately recognized as a love letter. Of course, meeting the princess didn’t mean that the prince was already decided to marry her.
The huge clock’s hand at the room turned signaling that it was already six in the evening.
Before the prince could take a step out of the room, another man came rushing towards the area. He had an unfamiliar face, telling Roy that he was also a visitor in his kingdom.
“Your highness!” He was a young man, younger than any of them in the room. He wore big squared glasses and he was desperately in a hurry to deliver his message to the prince.
He knelt while panting heavily. “Your highness, Princess Riza is missing! I already looked for her all over the palace but I couldn’t find her! Forgive me!”
The word ‘what’ was plastered on Roy’s face. “And where do you think might she be?” he calmly yet somewhat urgently asked.
The lad was gasped for air but decided to continue anyway. “She could have trailed off in the forest.”
“Forest? What will she be doing there at this hour?” The flame alchemist curiously questioned the man kneeling in front of him. He knew that the garden was the tourist site for the princesses and not the dark, gloomy forest.
“She loves the forest as well as hunting.”
Hunting? The prince thought deeply. Princesses had distaste for hunting considering that it’s a man’s game and it might rip their elegance and beauty because of the dirty substances and the sticky sweat.
Now he was really curious on the real identity of his bride.
“Havoc, Breda, come with me. Falman prepare stallions. We shall search for the lady.” He ordered.
“But your majesty, you can just wait here while we search for the princess.” Falman proudly offered the option.
“No, it’s getting late. I’ll search for her.” Their majesty confidently opposed.
Darkness started to envelop them as they entered the woods. The only light that was visible was the tiny fire from the torch that each of the prince’s subordinates (he liked calling them that way) was carrying and the glow of the full moon over them.
The black spiky-haired lad who reported the princess’s disappearance joined their search party. Although the other men weren’t paying attention to him, he introduced himself as Cain Fuery, the princess’s sort of guard and helper.
Creepy sounds emanating from the distance sent shivers to the men as they began telling ghost stories to each other, which only succeeded in escalating their fear.
“…She went towards the river and saw a woman who wore a white garment and whose face was covered by her silky long black hair. The only visible part of her was a bloody eye.”
“W-what happened next?”
“She screamed and ran for her life without realizing that she had seen her own reflection in the water.”
The only thing that was left to do was to scream.
The noise and distraction made the Royal Highness angry so he ordered them to shut their mouths.
Hunting or going to the forest wasn’t really one of his interests. One of his reasons was the fact that his sisters told him once that there were ghosts in the area and some of them were their friends.
They further threatened him that if he didn’t agree to be their doll, they would send him to the dark gloomy forest and offer him to their ghost friends as a tribute of their friendship.
Being a good and innocent child, he believed them. The rest was history.
“C-can we go back now? Maybe the princess has already found her way back to the palace…” the heaviest man trembled in terror.
“But we can’t just depart and leave the princess here!” forcefully argued the youngest though his wide eyes said otherwise.
“Yeah he’s right,” said Havoc, lighting his cigarette, unconcerned with the people around him.
“Don’t worry, we will find her before the ghosts reach us.” Falman impassively assured.
“B-but what if the ghosts find us first?”
“They won’t,” Roy infuriatingly replied to whoever said the last line.
“Are you really grown man or what!?” His patience was evaporating. He, being a well-known alchemist never believed in ghosts like he used to when he was young.
He had nothing to be afraid of; his flames were more fearsome than anything.
Their horses went deeper into the forest and they use their verbal battles an instrument to lessen their fears.
Suddenly an unexplained noise coming ahead of them interrupted and alerted their senses.
“Breda,” Roy uninterestedly signaled his subordinate to lead the way and search for the source of the unfamiliar sound.
“W-why me?!” Breda asked, now in the state of panic. His sweat began oozing from his forehead.
Full of hesitation, Breda followed his lord’s order and lead his horse before them. How could he disagree with the prince who was already impatient and annoyed at their current situation?
They had been searching for the princess for hours and yet they hadn’t found her.
What if she wasn’t actually there? Surely Fuery would be responsible for this entire thing.
His heart throbbed as he realized that he was getting farther and farther from his comrades and his flambeau was now the only source of his light.
The high prehistoric trees created weird gestures around him, like they were laughing at him and their shadows were formed different silhouettes of monsters and ghosts in his imagination.
A creature hiding in the darkness was standing in front of him.
The last statement earned him a hit from the raven-haired prince. “Idiot! Ghosts cannot eat people!”
“S-sorry! My mistake!”
For the first time in his life, Roy wondered how these people stepped on his palace and why did he suggest searching for the lady himself when he can spend his time with other women who were much worthy of his attention.
He decided that they would return once his subordinate comes back. He would just let Hughes handle the search brigade.
Speaking of Hughes, his friend was proposing to a woman at the moment when he should be here cleaning this mess up.
Before he could voice out his decision, a loud scream echoed in the area.
Roy Mustang immediately signaled the other three to move and see what was going on.
The dusk loomed over him as he was left alone and his soldiers obeyed his command. He prepared his stallion to follow them behind as his eyes carefully scanned every direction he took.
It was better for him to stay in the dark alone rather in the light with his companions, where he could be easily spotted.
Going into the forest at the middle of the night was a risk. It was the place and time wherein rebels and criminals plan and make their next move to their victims.
He gently kicked his horse to move, and listened intently to the sounds of his surrounding.
It was too palpable for him to notice that someone was gazing at him behind those silent trees and bushes.
His horse started to walk in a slow pace, sensing that the being was near from where he stood.
His iris looked behind his tracks and without realizing that he had let his guard down, the prince of Armestris was taken aback when a creature in front that he could tell was a wolf lunged and tackled him to the ground.
Seeing that his master fell from his back, the horse cowardly dashed off, leaving the human to dwell with the living thing all by himself.
The flame alchemist was able to snap his fingers and form a spark of flames to directly hit the filthy creature that tried to plant its teeth in his arms.
The creature jumped back and was burned, avoiding another attack from the man. It was cried out in pain, yet he could tell that it survived.
Roy Mustang tried to pick himself up, aware that another attack might soon follow. His clothes now had a stench of mud.
He decided that he had to finish this mess right away and take a bath as soon as he went back to his palace.
As he was about to shove himself to stand, someone thrust him back to the ground and pointed the sharp tip of a gun on his forehead. He thought that he had seen the golden moon but before he could react, his mind deduced that he wasn’t seeing the celestial body…
Standing before him in obscurity, was a lone form of a person whose bronze orbs stared menacingly back at him.
And that was the start of their story.
To be continued...
Crossposted everywhere. Srsly.