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The Demon of Notre Dame

Chapter Text

The morning in Paris was clear and sunny. The cool spring air wisped throughout the colorful city. The trees all a different shade of healthy green and the gardens filled with colors of green, pink, red, yellow, purple, orange, and blue. As the city awakens to the bells of Notre Dame, among the millers and the weavers with their wives, the fisherman fishes, the baker man bakes, the farmer farms, to the big bells as loud as the thunder in a storm, and the small bells sound as soft as a psalm. To the people of Paris, hearing the bells gong and jingle throughout the times of the day is music to their ears. So many colors of sound, so many changing moods are beautiful tunes to the people in the city. But................

 

 

They don't ring all by themselves, you know?

 

 

Up there in the cathedral, high, high in the dark bell tower lives the mysterious bell ringer.
Who is this person? What is he? How did he come to be there?
All will be revealed in this tale, the tale of the boy in the bell tower.

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo0

 

It was a cold winter night when it all began. The night air breeze flowing through the city which tore its way to the docks near Notre Dame. As we close in on the docks, we can see a Parisian ferryman taking 3 Romanians, who were sneaking illegally into Paris, across the dock. We can hear a baby crying loudly as his mother and father tried their best to quiet him down before his ravenous cries alerted any wandering soldier.

"Shut it up will you?"
"We'll be spotted!"
"Hush little one!"

As the baby finally quieted down, the 4 frightened Romanians slid silently under the docks. Their feet making 'crunching' noises on the snow as they got off the ferry. The ferryman checked their surroundings to see if there were any soldiers nearby, but found none. As the coast was clear, he extended his hand out to the Romanians and spoke, " Four guilders for safe passage to Pari-".
The ferryman was interrupted when a arrow zipped passed him and struck his ferryman's pole. The ferryman and the Romanians all turn their heads to the direction where the arrow came from and are ambushed by a squadron of soldier-like thugs.

"Get behind me!" yelled one of the Romanians. He hid his friend and his wife behind him, shielding them from the thugs' weapons. As they are cornered by the thugs, the Romanians gazed up in fear and alarm as they noticed a familiar silhouette that striked fear into their hearts. As the figure neared them, it clutched its hand like iron as much as the bells of Notre Dame.

"Judge Ferid Bathory..." the Romani man muttered under his breath, his green eyes widening in fear. As the judge nears them on his black horse, his face is revealed. Pale skin, long silver hair tied back in a ponytail with a black ribbon. His eyes were a striking red with his pupils round. As the Minister of Justice and a high-ranking public official, he is dressed in black robes, a purple and black striped hat with a red ribbon attached to the bottom, and shoulder pads with red and black stripes. He also wore rings on his fingers, two on his right hand and one on his left hand, with the jewels colored red, green, and blue. He smirks at the Romanians while his horse's hooves click on the snowy pavement as they made their way to the gypsies, his eyes following their every movement without making a noise.

The man immediately wraps his arms around his wife and their baby, hoping his clutches were tight enough for the thugs to be unable to separate them. They continued trembling in fear as Ferid closed in on them while on his horse. He looks down upon them with a sadistic gleam in his cold red eyes. Ferid was a cruel, sadistic judge. He longed to purge the world of vice and sin and he saw corruption everywhere except within himself.
The Romanians completely froze under his gaze and let their guards down, giving the thugs an opportunity to snatch the Romani man away from his wife and clasps handcuffs on him, his friend, and the ferryman.
As the thugs took them away, leaving the wife and the baby, Ferid sneered at them with disgust,"Bring these gypsy vermin to the Palace of Justice." he ordered.
The Romani woman slowly walked away, hoping the judge and his minions wouldn't notice her. Unfortunately, one of the thugs caught her walking off through his peripheral vision.

"YOU THERE! WHAT ARE YOU HIDING!!" he shouted. The Romani woman squealed in fright from his outburst and tried to run, only having her arm tightly grasped and pulled harshly. She began hyperventilating, fearing what will happen to her and her baby. She looked up at Ferid with tears beginning to form around her tear ducts. The Minister eyes her for a moment before he notices the bundle in her arms.

'She thought I wouldn't notice those stolen goods in her arms, didn't she? How pathetic.'

"Stolen goods, no doubt. Take them from her." he commands.

 

Snap!

 

At that exact moment, the very moment that order spilled out of Ferid's mouth, the Romani woman froze. She stopped trembling and instead she just.......stood there, completely still. Her chocolate-brown eyes were wide, but somehow she looked...emotionless. She didn't blink and it looked like she wasn't breathing.
As the thug's hand neared her, she snapped her head to his direction so fast, her neck could've snapped.
And....there was gleam of blood lust in her eyes.

Suddenly, the thug let out a pained groan after the Romani woman's knee came in a harsh brutal contact to his crotch, as he dropped to the ground, hands clutching that area tightly. The woman wasted no time and sprinted away from Ferid and the docks.
"DON'T JUST STAND THERE YOU IDIOT! SHE'S GETTING AWAY!" Ferid shouts angrily at the thug. Seeing the thug still rolling on the floor in pain, the minister growls and chases after the gypsy woman.

 

She huffed and puffed as she ran through the cold winter night. The wind whistling in her ears and her midnight-raven hair flowed as she continues to dash throughout the city. Where is she heading? She heads for the cathedral of Notre Dame, seeking refuge there.

Everything was a blur. The lights, the colors, the houses, everything was a blur. Just as she was beginning to slow down to catch her breath, she hears gallops belonging to a horse and turns her head to the direction of the sound and sees Ferid catching up to her. She takes a deep breath and quickens her pace. She pants as she continues running through the snow and takes a sharp turn to the right, catching Ferid's horse, Snowball, off-guard. Now that her speed has picked up, she can no longer hear anything anymore. Only the wind in her ears, the galloping of Snowball, her heart beating, and her panting.
It seems as she has been running for hours. Her feet begin to feel numb and tired as she continues dashing through the snow, her lungs burning for air, she can already feel fatigue creeping up on her body.
'No! I can't give up now! The judge has already taken my husband away from me, and I won't let him take my baby as well! God knows what he'll do the poor child!"
She looks back again and sees Ferid is awfully close to her and his hand almost reaching her. She squeals in fright again and spurted her speed. Luckily, there was signs from the local shops that slowed him down as they smacked his face. She takes another sharp turn to the right and leaps over a fence and looks ahead and sees the cathedral, it's familiar shapes getting bigger and bigger. The Romani woman keeps running and running, while clutching her baby, until her lungs could no longer cooperate with her breathing, and she makes it to the stairs of the very cathedral of Notre Dame. She jogs to the door and halted, panting. But she doesn't stop there. Though her lungs were burning and screaming for oxygen from all the running, she repeatedly bangs on the door of the cathedral and screams, " SANCTUARY!!! PLEASE GIVE US SANCTUARY!!!"
The Romani woman turns her head to the sound of a horse whinning, and sees Ferid has found a short cut to the cathedral and now is darting to her direction. She presses her baby against her and makes a break for it, hoping while she is being chased around, the Archdeacon will open the door and stop Ferid.
Unfortunately, luck was no longer on her side anymore. Ferid has finally caught up to her and was able to snatch her baby. She clung to her baby with a death-like grip with no intention of letting go. That's when Ferid's temper ran short and he kicked the Romani woman with his steel boot, kicking her down into the stone steps of the cathedral, thus breaking her skull and killing her. Her blood seeping out from the back of her head and slowly spilling out on the steps of Notre Dame.

The snow fell quietly from the sky, laying another white lace of blanket on the ground while freezing the earth. The once cool winter air turned harsh and windy as Ferid stares at the lifeless body of the Romani woman, but............with a sadistic smile on his face.

"Foolish gypsy. Thought she could run away from her crimes. How pitiful!" The silver-haired male utters with a honeyed tone in his voice. As Ferid cotinues admiring the corpse, his thoughts were interrupted by a baby's cry. It's loud cry breaking the silence of the night. He notes that it came from the bundle of cloth the Romani woman was holding on to.

"A baby?" he questions. As the minister unravels the cloth, it is revealed that it is indeed a baby. The silver haired judge gasps. The sight of pinkish skin, tuffs of raven hair, tiny hands making bawling fists as it continues to cry. But that's not what caught the minister by surprise. What surprised him was....................

 

 

The tiny horns sticking out the baby's head.

 

 

As the baby stopped its crying and only letting out pitiful whimpers, it opened its big eyes. It's big, slit , bloody red eyes. Ferid breathed in sharply and continued gaping at the baby. Many thoughts running through his head until his mind came into a conclusion: The baby is a demon!
" A monster!" Ferid hollered in horror. He covers the baby's face back with the cloth and looks around frantically, searching to see if there was any nearby weapon he could use to slay the demon. As a minister of Justice, he is tasked to protect the city, and for that he must eliminate any threat, and the unholy demon in his hands is a threat to the city of Paris!

That is when nearby well catches his eye and an idea pops into his head: He could drown the demon by dropping it into the well.
As Ferid leads Snowball to trot over to the well, the black horse flips his head and lets out a tense snort when they arrive. The silver-haired minister looks inside the well, only seeing that it appears bottomless, pitch black, and cramped. He extends his arm out to the well, the baby in his hand, ready to end its life. As his grip begins to loosen on the cloth, the judge is stopped by a shout.

"STOP!!!" cried the Archdeacon.

Ferid turns his head and sees the Archdeacon appeared on the stairs of Notre Dame. He was a short, young man with long dark, purple hair (which defied gravity), a long bang that covered his left eye, pale skin, and crimson red eyes. He wore a white robe with a colored strip of cloth draped over his shoulders, a golden pectoral cross around his neck and brown sandals. He also wore a brown cloak with the hoodie pulled up. His name was Asuramaru Tepes. He looked petrified as he caught sight of the Romani woman's lifeless form. He scrambles to her body and puts her in his arms, only to see blood spill out the back of her head soaking the snowy ground. The Archdeacon looks over Ferid and sees that he has his arm extended out to a well while holding a bundle of cloth. Identifying the bundle of cloth as a baby, he glares sharply at the minister.

" WHATEVER DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!" the Archdeacon shouts.

" This is an unholy demon. I'm sending it back to hell, where it belongs." Ferid replies back, calmly as if what he was doing was perfectly normal.

See there the innocent blood you have spilt on the on the steps of Notre Dame

" I am guiltless. She ran, and I pursued." Ferid defends himself. He leads Snowball towards the Archdeacon to hear the man well.

Now, you would add this child's blood to your guilt on the steps of Notre Dame

" My conscious is clear!" Ferid fends himself off again, sneering at the Archdeacon.

You can lie to yourself and your minions
You can claim that you haven't a qualm
But you can never run from
Nor hide what you've done from the eyes
The very eyes of Notre Dame

The Archdeacon points at the stone statues of saints decorating Notre Dame to prove his point to Ferid. The minister turns his gaze to the statues of saints and sees that they all have apparently turned their eyes on him. They all glared at him with judging, menacing eyes and for one time in his life of power and control, Ferid felt a twinge of fear for his immortal soul. He gulps and asks the Archdeacon without looking at him, " What must I do?"
As Asuramaru carries the lifeless gypsy woman to give her a proper burial, he turns to look at Ferid.

 

" Care for the child, and raise it as your own." he deadpans.

" What?!" Ferid exclaims.

" You've heard me Ferid. Raise the child as your own, it's the only way to atone your sin. If you don't, you'll be damned to hell for your actions." the shorter of the two reprimands.

" I'd be settled with this monstrous-?", Ferid pauses for a moment and thinks. If he raises the baby as his own, the child will grow to be useful to him one day. Perfect! " Very well. But let it live with you, in your church."

This caught the Archdeacon by surprise, "Live here? Where?" he asks.

"Anywhere." Ferid replies and looks up at the belltower.

Just so it's kept locked away
Where no one else can see

" The bell tower, perhaps.", the silver-haired minister suggests, "And who knows, our Lord works in mysterious ways." Ferid gazes down at the infant in his arms and smirks.

Even this foul creature may
Yet prove one day to be
Of use to me

 

Since Asuramaru didn't trust Ferid on naming the child, he names the baby, Yuuichirou, the name meaning kindness/superior/courageous. Ferid genuinely poses as a intimidating, yet oddly influential, father figure, for the next 16 years. However, he still remained cruel. He refused the boy any happiness or freedom by keeping him locked up in Notre Dame, forces the boy to call him "master", and he also showed no love nor compassion towards the boy, except for bringing him food, teaching him how to read and write, dressing him, and keeping him. And when the boy was tasked to ring the bells, he was given earplugs by Asuramaru to prevent his ears from getting damaged and becoming deaf. Although he was raised by a cruel man, the boy grew up to be a kind, healthy, gentle young man.

 

 

Now our story shall begin.

OoOoOooOoOOoOoOoOoOoOo

Chapter Text

As the bells of Notre Dame rang to signal it is dawn, a figure is shown to swing on the ropes of the bell tower to safely land on the floor. As its feet touch the ground, they walk to to the balcony of the tower and looked up the sky. The warm orange of the dawn mixed together with the fading blue of night in beautiful harmony, with hints of pink and a dash of lavender, adding more beauty to the clear sky of dawn. When they step out into the sunlight, the figure is revealed to be a handsome young man. He was no older than 16, with short, messy midnight colored hair, bright green emerald eyes, and sun-kissed skin. He is quite a sight, isn't he? He was dressed in a a long, short-sleeved green shirt that revealed his shoulders a little bit, brown tights and black shoes. He turns to a gargoyle, where a nest was resting on its head.

"Good morning." He says soft-spoken. A baby bird pops out of the nest, waking up from its slumber, it chirps in greeting. The boy smiles tenderly at the bird.

"Will today be the day? Are you ready to fly?" The bell ringer asks cheerfully. His smile immediately turns into a frown when he sees the bird look away with doubt, chirping sadly. He gently lifts the bird out of its nest and lays the bird in his hands.

"You sure? Good day to try.", he extends his arms to show the baby bird the city below them, the people below chatting and setting up what appears to be a festival, "Why, if-if I picked a day to fly, oh, this would be it. The Festival of Fools!"

The baby bird gulps and turns to the boy, chirping sadly again. It begrudgingly begins to flap its wings. " It'll be fun, with jugglers, an-and music and dancing!" the boy encourages. He pulls his arms back to his sides, seeing the bird fly in place. The ravenette chuckles, as the baby bird chirps happily. The boy extends his arms out again for the bird to land back safely on his hands. Just when the baby bird lands back safely, a flock of birds past by them. The baby bird chirps excitedly. The ravenette sees that the bird longs to fly with them, so he encourages the baby bird more.

"Go on. Nobody wants to be cooped up here forever." he pats baby bird gently on the head, the bird chirps happily, then flies away to join the flock. Watching the baby bird fly away, the boy could only watch with silent envy.Oh how he longed to be free from the bell tower and see the outside world with his very own eyes. Like a caged bird, he has never given up, never stopped seeking the independence that he has. Forever trying to escape this prison he was put in and feel true freedom with his own eyes But.......................................

 

 

 

 

It is just a dream he can laugh off.

 

 

 

 

 

As the ravenette continues looking at the sky dishearteningly, he didn't hear the quiet footsteps sneaking up on him.

 

"BOO!!!!"

"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!"

 

The boy turns around to see who startled him only to see a short girl with lavender hair tied around her head in a braid tied with a dark bow, her bangs loose and framing the sides of her face. Fair skin, rosy pink lips, and bronze, rose petal eyes. She wore a beige dress with a white petticoat and black flats. She bursted out laughing as she succeeded scaring the bell ringer.

 

"AHAHAHA!! Oh Yuu-san! When will you ever stop entertaining me?" she smirks.

 

"SHINOA! Don't scare me like that! You almost gave me a heart attack! You happy?!" Yuu snapped, ready to smack the short girl.

 

"Please, no violence! You guys are not supposed to fight!" a voice yelps.

 

Shinoa and Yuuichirou both turn their heads to the direction of the voice and see a young boy with shoulder-length brown hair, big olive, innocent filled eyes, his bangs framing the sides of his face, and fair skin. He wore a gray tunic, white pants, and brown boots. He was one of Yuuichirou's long-time friends. The brunette ran between the ravenette and the ashen-haired girl, extending his arms out to separate the two from fighting.

 

" Please don't fight! Let's make peace!"

 

" But she's being so annoying!!" Yuuichirou snaps, glaring at the Shinoa's direction.

 

" Well, sometimes violence is never the answer. There's a better solution for this!" Yoichi argues.

 

" And what makes you think that'll stop them from fighting Yoichi?" another voice said.

 

This time it came from another one of Yuuichirou's long time friends, Mitsuba. She had blonde hair in two pigtails, her bangs framing the sides of her face, fair skin, rosy pink lips, and beautiful lilac purple eyes. She wore a medium purple sleeveless dress with a white long sleeve button shirt underneath, a white apron on her waist and black flats. Next to her was Kimizuki, another long-time friend of his. He was a tall, handsome young man with messy, short pink hair, sharp reddish pink eyes, black thick framed glasses, his left ear pierced, and tan skin. He wore a white collared shirt with a brown suit vest, black pants, and knee-high gray boots.

 

"Trust us Yoichi, we tried stopping them but nothing works." He deadpans.

 

" I suppose that's true. The fighting can be stopped if only Shinoa-san stops provoking Yuu-kun." Yoichi sighs in defeat.

 

" I don't PROVOKE, Yoichi-san! I only tease him. C'mon, you guys have to admit, Yuu-san can be quite the entertainment if you hit his buttons right." Shinoa cackles.

 

"Ha-ha-ha!", Yuuichirou laughs sarcastically, "Go a scare a nun, Shinoa." he turns back to look at the citizens setting up the festival. He leans onto the balcony, resting his cheek on his left hand. Oh, how badly he wants to be part of them and enjoy the festival himself instead of watching them have fun.

Shinoa walks up a bit closer into Yuuichirou, invading his personal space, trying to get a view at what he was gazing at. " Hey, Yuu-san, what's goin' on out there? A fight? A flogging?" she asks.

"A festival." Mitsuba answers her.

"You mean the Festival of Fools?!"

"Uh-huh."

Shinoa immediately beams up and her eyes light up brighter than they were before. The Festival of Fools was always her favorite festival, the fun games there were, the funny costumes, the jokes, etc,. She squeals in excitement.

"All right, all right! Pour the wine and cut the cheese." she jokes cheerfully.

"It is a treat to watch the colorful pageantry of the simple peasant folk." Kimizuki adds in walking to Shinoa and Yuuichirou, adjusting his glasses.

Shoving Yuuichirou aside, the ashen-haired girl walks to Kimizuki's side and looks at the city below them. "Boy, nothin' like balcony seats for watching the festival!"

"Yeah, watching." Yuuichirou leaves, downcast.

Without even noticing her friend leaving with a saddened look on his face, Shinoa smirks wickedly as a mime catches her eye. "Oh, look, a mime." as she prepares to spit on the mime, she is stopped by Mitsuba, who covers her mouth with her hand. She gulps and looks up at Mitsuba, seeing the blonde glaring at her for doing something unladylike. Mitsuba turns and points to Yuuichirou. The squad all turn to see the ravenette is upset. Yoichi is the first to speak after a few pauses of silence.

 

"Yuu-kun, are you okay?"

"Aren't you going to watch the festival with us?" Shinoa asks.

No response.

The squad all turn to look at each other, concerned about their friend's lack of response.

"I don't get it." Shinoa bites her lip nervously. For the first time, she has no idea what to do. She was always prepared and knows how to react to a situation, heck, she was even considered as the leader of their group. And for her to have no clue to solve a situation, she is shocked.

"Perhaps he's sick." Yoichi assumes.

"Impossible!", Kimizuki crosses his arms and walks to Yoichi's side, " If 10 years of listening and having to deal with Shinoa hasn't made him sick by now, then nothing well."

"How dare you, Kimizuki-san!", the ashen-haired girl shrieks, with a pained expression littering her face, "I am hurt that you think of me like that! I've been your friend for so long, yet you treat me poorly!" she clutches her chest where her heart is and leans into Mitsuba, making a dramatic pose.

Yoichi looks up at the tall man beside him, "But, watching the festival of fools has always been the highlight of the year for Yuu-kun."

Mitsuba decides to pipe in to the conversation," What good is watching the party if you never get to go there?"

 

The squad walked inside the bell tower and into Yuuichirou's room. Yuuichirou's room was very spacey and it had a clear view of the city below and the entrance of the cathedral. In his room, there was a decoration of hung shards of stained glass and a scale wooden model of Paris and the Cathedral itself with figurines of the people of Paris and toys. Yuuichirou developed his skills in handicraft as a hobby since there's not much to do in the bell tower, other than ringing the bells and practicing his reading and writing. Sure he has Shinoa, Yoichi, Kimizuki, and Mitsuba to keep him company, but they have their own lives and families they need to tend to. As the ravenette made it back to his room, he sat on one of the chairs near the wooden model of Paris and rests his elbows on the table and buries his face and his arms. He looks at the at the figurines and toys, downcast. His friends stood behind him, looking at each other with pity in their faces. They couldn't do anything about it. If they could, they can take Yuuichirou to accompany them to explore Paris, but sadly, they can't. The bell ringer was forbidden from ever leaving the bell tower. Mitsuba decides to be the first one to comfort her friend and grabs a chair and sits near him.

"Yuu, what's wrong?", she asks, patting the raven's shoulder, "Wanna tell us all about it?"

"I... I just don't feel like watching the festival, that's all." Yuuichirou replies after a few moments of silence.

"Well, did you ever think of going there instead?" Kimizuki suggests as he leans against the table.

"Sure, but I'd never fit in out there. I'm not... normal." Yuuichirou says doubtfully.

Mitsuba pats the ravenette's shoulder more, " Oh Yuu, Yuu, Yuu..." she is interrupted when she feels something press against her back. She turns her head and sees Shinoa cuddling her. The blonde blushes deeply when the ashen-haired girl looks at her with a seductive gleam in her rose petal eyes. Mitsuba slams her fist against the table hard, frightening everybody in the room.

" DO YA MIND?! I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A MOMENT WITH THE BOY, IF IT'S ALRIGHT WITH YOU!!!!" she glares sharply and points at Shinoa.

Shinoa decides to ignore Mitsuba's outburst and walks to the wooden model of the bell tower and picks up the mini wooden sculpture of Yuuichirou, crafted himself, and places the figurine in front of the ravenette.

" Hey, quit beatin' around the bell tower! What we gotta do is to disguise you."

" As your friends, we insist you attend the festival with us!" Yoichi pipes in and tugs on Yuuichirou's arm.

" Me?" Yuuichirou asks, unsure.

" No, the pope.", Shinoa says sarcastically " Of course, Yuu!" the short girl shoves the figurine of the Archdeacon, Asuramaru, into the ravenette's mouth.

Kimizuki walks to Yuuichirou's side and yanks the figurine out of his mouth, " It would be a veritable potpourri, an educational experience." he adds in to the encouragement.

Yuuichirou wipes the saliva off his chin and Shinoa pops out from behind him, juggling some figurines of the women of Paris that the bell ringer carved himself. " Win women and some!" she wiggles her eyebrows suggestively leaving the poor ravenette confused.

" You can learn to identify various religions of Jesus." Kimizuki adds in knowing the boy has always been taught of the religions, Christianity and Catholicism.

Shinoa, once again, pops out of nowhere, but this time in front of Kimizuki and holding a bucket of water. "Bobbin' for snails!" she comments randomly.

"And let's not forget the indigenous folk music and drama! That's my favorite part of the festival!" Yoichi says, trying to encourage the bell ringer.

Mitsuba grabs Yuuichirou's shoulder and turns him to her direction, " Yuu, listen. Sometimes in life you've got to take risks, cause who knows, you may never get to have this chance again. If watching is all your going to do, then you're gonna watch the your life go by without ya."

" Yeah! You're a human like us, Yuu-kun! So I don't see the problem why you shouldn't go to the festival. Right Shihou-kun?" Yoichi adds in.

"Yeah, Yoichi has a point. People won't judge you as long as you remain calm. You look human like the rest of us. So I don't see why you're so hesitant on going."The pinkette states as he walks to Yoichi side, along with Shinoa.

"Yuu-san, just grab a fresh tunic and and clean yourself up to go to the festival! You gotta make a good impression out there!" Shinoa insists and grabs Yuuichirou's hand and tugs him to the tub, but he yanks his hand out of her grip. He turns to look at all his friends.

" Thanks for the encouragement you guys. But you're all forgetting one big thing." Yuuichirou says.

" What?" They all ask nonchalantly, shrugging their shoulders.

" My master, Ferid." Yuuichirou reminds them and holds up the figurine of Ferid that he carved.

Yuuichirou's friends all cringed as they were reminded of Yuuichirou's foster father. They didn't like him at all one bit.

" Well......", Yoichi hesitantly speaks, " When he says you're forbidden from ever leaving the bell tower, does he mean ever ever?" the brunette asks.

" Never ever! And he HATES the Feast of Fools!" the ravenette reminds them, " He'd be furious if I asked to go!" the bell ringer panics, fearing his master's wrath if he asked for permission to attend the festival.

Shinoa looks at Yuuichirou with pity evident in her face until an idea pops into her head. She smirks devilishly and rubs her hands together at her idea. You can see devil horns forming on her head.

" Who says you gotta ask?" she smiles smugly at the ravenette.

Seeing the ashen-haired girl smiling devilishly, Yuuichirou cringes and begins shaking his head in disagreement.

"Oh no!"

" Oh yes~!" Sneak out! It's just for one afternoon!"

" I-I couldn't-"

" Aaaaaannnnddd, you sneak back in."

"He'll never know you were gone!" Mitsuba adds in, encouraging Shinoa to insist her plan.

"If I got caught." the ravenette panics more and grips his raven locks hard, afraid that he'll face Ferid's anger.

" Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission." Kimizuki deadpans.

" But he might see me!" Yuuichirou argues.

" You could wear a disguise," Shinoa suggests, " Just this once. What Ferid doesn't know can't hurt ya."

" Ignorance is bliss." the pinkette quotes.

" He heh, look who's talkin'." Shinoa grabs Kimizuki in a head lock and rubs his head.

" Nobody wants to be cooped up here forever." Yoichi quotes, saying the same thing Yuuichirou said to the baby bird.

 

The ravenette thinks back to what he said to the bird and thinks long and hard about it. ' I did say that. But......is this really worth it? I mean, master will be upset. But......Mitsuba said I have to take risks. Who knows how long it will take for me to have this chance again. Maybe they're right! If the baby bird got a chance for freedom, then so can I!' Finally convinced, Yuuichirou gets up excitedly.

" You're right! I'll go!" The squad cheer as Yuuichirou tells them what he'll do in preparation.

" I'll get cleaned up, I'll stroll down those stairs, and march through the doors, and..."

" Good morning, Yuu!" Ferid's shout echoes throughout the bell tower.

Yuuichirou and his friends are stopped on their tracks and widen their eyes in fear when they heard the minister's voice. Yuuichirou walks to stairs and gasps in surprise when he sees Ferid climbing up the stairs.

" Hide somewhere! My master is coming up here!" The raven whisper-shouts to his friends. They all scurried to find a hiding place from the minister of justice. After 10 years of befriending Yuuichirou, Ferid never knew about them or that they discovered the black-haired boy when they explored the cathedral when they were little kids. And the ravenette certainly didn't want to his friends to suffer Ferid's wrath.

When the squad were hidden well, Ferid makes it to the top of the stairs, with a basket full of food in hand. Yuuichirou rushes to stand in front of Ferid and greets him.

" Good morning, M-Master."

" Dear boy, whomever are you talking to?" Ferid asks, pointing out that he heard the bell-ringer speaking to someone.

"My...," the ravenette turns his gaze and looks for an excuse. His eyes catch sight of nearby half-finished gargoyles, "friends." He points to the gargoyles.

" I see." Ferid taps the head of one of the gargoyles, making a hollow echo throughout the bell tower.

"And what are your friends made of, Yuuichirou?"

" Stone." Yuuichirou replies, avoiding making eye contact with Ferid.

The ravenette feels a cold hand lifting his chin up and he's forced to look at Ferid's cold red eyes. Even after 16 years of living with this man, the boy is still afraid of looking into his eyes.

" Can stone talk?"

" No, it can't."

" That's right. You're a smart lad." Ferid teases him for believing that they could.

Ferid walks to the dinner table nearby and sets the basket of food down. The silver-haired male sits down in his seat with his head held up high like he was royalty.

"Now, lunch." he orders and Yuuichirou rushes to get their dishes. You can hear dishes making clacking noises as the ravenette searches for their lunch plates. He runs back to Ferid with dishes in hand, and sets them down on the table. Placing a silver plate and cup in front of Ferid and rundown, wooden plate and cup for himself. Yuuichirou sits down with his back straight and his leg crossing the other, awaiting for his meal to be served. Ferid smiles at him, proud that he was able to teach the bell-ringer some proper table manners. The minister pulls out a book out of his sleeve.

" Shall we review your alphabet today?" He asks the ravenette.

"Oh, yes master. I would like that very much." Yuuichirou replies, politely.

" Very well," Ferid pulls out a wine bottle from the basket and dislodges the cap, pouring wine into Yuuichirou's cup then to his own. " A?"

" Abomination."

"B?"

" Blasphemy?"

"C?"

"C-C-Contrition." Yuuichirou stutters out, getting nervous by the minute. Ferid puts the cap back on the wine bottle on sets it on the floor, grabbing his wine cup.

"D?"

"Damnation?"

"E?"

"Eternal Damnation." Yuuichirou says proudly without hesitation and stuttering.

"Good. F?" Ferid sips on his cup of wine.

" Festival." Yuuichirou says proudly again only to wince he hears Ferid nearly choking on his wine. The silver-haired minister pulls out a napkin from his sleeve and wipes the wine he spit chocked on off his lips.

" Excuse me?"

"F-F-Forgiveness!" The ravenette blurts out after realizing he has said 'Festival' instead of 'Forgiveness'. Because of Ferid's deep religion, he has also taught Yuuichirou a rather depressing religious alphabet, which allows one to see that, despite his dark methods, he is at least familiar with the belief of "forgiveness", presumably because of his faith. The bell ringer hopes his master will forgive him for his slip-up and not punish him.

" You said 'Festival'." Ferid hisses in disappointment, shutting the vocabulary book loudly, while sneering at Yuuichirou.

"NO!" the black haired boy shouts, slamming his hands on the table and covering his face in panic. He can feel his horns protruding his head and fangs forming in his mouth. Yuuichirou takes deep breaths to calm himself down.

Ferid stands up from his seat and leaves the room. "You are thinking about going to the festival." he scolds. Yuuichirou follows him out the room and down the stairs.

"I-I-It's just that...you go every year." Yuuichirou stutters.

" I am a public official!! I must go, but I don't enjoy a moment!", Ferid retorts and continues, "Thieves, cutpurses, drunkards, and gypsies, the dregs of humankind, all mixed together in a shallow, drunken stupor!" the silver-haired minister sneers and makes it out to another balcony that the cathedral has.

"I didn't mean to upset you master." Yuuichirou apologizes.

Ferid leans on to the balcony staring at the sunrise, the warm orange and the pink and lavender colors disappearing slowly, the sky turning to a clear baby blue. The judge inhales deeply, calming himself, and turns his head to face the bell ringer.

"Yuuichirou, can't you understand? When your heartless mother abandoned you as a child, calling you a demon spawn, anyone else would have drowned you. And this is my thanks for taking you in and raising you as my son?" the minister scolds, guilt-tripping the ravenette.

"I'm sorry sir." Yuuichirou apologizes politely again, clasping his hands together and bowing his head in shame.

Ferid looks down on him, pitifully, and places a hand on the raven-haired boy's shoulder and looks out to the sunrise again. "Oh, my dear Yuuichirou. You don't know what it's like out there. I do. I do."

 

The world is cruel, the world is wicked 

It's I alone that you can trust in this whole city

I am your only friend

 

Ferid turns back to Yuuichirou and turns the ravenette to face him, and grips his shoulders. Seeing that he nearly hurt the boy by gripping his shoulders, the silver-haired man cups the young boy's face and smiles at him, caressing his midnight black hair.

 

I who keep you, feed you, dress you

I who look upon you without fear

How can I protect you boy, unless you always stay in here

Away in here?

 

Ferid leads Yuuichirou back inside the cathedral, with a hand on the boy's shoulder. He then proceeds to walk in front of the young boy, lecturing him on the way upstairs.

"Remember, what I've taught you, Yuuichirou." he continues.

 

You are demon...

I am a demon.

And you are ugly...

And I am ugly.

And these are crimes for which the world shows little pity

You do not comprehend...

You are my one defender.

 

As they reach Yuuichirou's room, Ferid walks to his scale wooden model of Paris and continues lowering the poor boy's self esteem. Yuuichirou picks up one of the many figurines he crafted and a figurine of himself looking at every one of the other figurines he made, with dejection.

 

Out there they'll revile you as a monster...

I am a monster.

Out there they will hate and scorn and jeer...

Only a monster.

Why invite their calumny and consternation?

Stay in here

 

Ferid brushes away the figurines away, making space to set the food basket on the table, and continues manipulating Yuuichirou's mind with doubt and self-hate and venom.

 

Be faithful to me....

I'm faithful.

Be grateful to me...

I'm grateful.

Do as I say, obey, and stay.

In here.

 

And with that, Ferid gently takes Yuuichirou's figurine of himself and places it on the wooden model of the bell tower, making his point vividly. He turns his head to glare at Yuuichirou and the boy could only stare back with a pout on his face. The minister walks pasts the bell ringer and reaches the stairs.

"You are good to me master. I'm sorry" The ravenette apologizes once again to Ferid.

" You are forgiven. But remember Yuuichirou, this is your sanctuary." Ferid smirks as he leaves.

" My sanctuary." Yuuichirou mutters to himself.

After Ferid was out of sight, the ravenette slumps on a seat with his shoulders hunched and head down. He looks up at the many bells above him, seeing the sunlight shining on them he begins to sing again:

 

Safe behind these windows and these parapets of stone

Gazing at the people down below me

All my life I watch them as I hide up here alone

 

Yuuichirou climbs up to a nearby window and looks down below the city, the spring wind breezed through his raven locks and the sun's warmth kissed his skin. His bright, emerald green eyes flashed down at the people below him, watching them with silent envy, amusement, and admiration. After watching them for awhile, he climbs back down to his room. He began to clean up the mess of figurines that fell down on the floor, placing them back on the table. He grabs the figurine of himself and places it among the other ones.

 

Hungry for the stories they show me

All my life I memorize their faces

Knowing them as they will never know me

All my life I wonder how it feels to pass a day

Not above them

But part of them...

 

He returns back to the window he climbed previously and jumps off, holding on to one of the pillars to land safely to another balcony. As he makes it down safely, he sees Shinoa, Kimizuki, Yoichi, and Mitsuba, out of their hiding spots, awaiting for him. When they caught sight of him, they smiled as they saw a grin worn on the raven's face. Yuu rushes to their sides while continuing to sing:

 

And out there living in the sun

Give me one day out there

All I ask is one to cherish forever

 

 

He continues singing, weirding out Mitsuba and Kimizuki, who only looked at him with one eyebrow arched and like he was crazy. While Shinoa and Yoichi on the other hand, only continued to smile at him as Yuuichirou hugged them both. The ravenette began swinging on each pillar until he finally reached the balcony where the time showed.

 

Out there where they all live unaware

What I'd give,

What I'd dare

Just to live one day out there!

 

Yuuichirou looked down below at the citizens again, looking at a one particular part of the city of Paris. There he saw a woman reading a book while walking, a man cleaning out his rug, another man driving a cart full of hand-made clothes and blankets to sell to the market, and a large woman yelling at a mother and her child.

 

Out there among the millers and the weavers and their wives

Through the roofs and gables I can see them

Every day they shout and scold and go about their lives

Heedless of the gift it is to be them

 

As the wind continued wisping through his hair, caressing his face as it danced past him, Yuuichirou jumps off the balcony and slides down the water gutter of the cathedral, stopping as he steps atop a gargoyle and cups his hands for water to pour out, and splashing it against his face.

If I was in their shoes, I'd treasure every instant

Out there, strolling by the sidewalk, taste a morning out there!

 

He then proceeds to climb all the way up to the cathedral and begins to swing around the weathervane without a care in the world.

 

Like ordinary people, who freely walk about there

Just one day, and then I swear I'll be content

With my share

 

The ravenette climbs down the weathervane and lands on another roof of the cathedral. Since Yuuichirou is very agile and acrobatic, he is able to quickly move across rooftops, scale buildings, rope-swing, and climb large structures with relative ease. As he finally reaches the very top balcony, he stands on it and extends his arms out, welcoming the wind and a flock of doves fly past him.

 

Won't resent,

Won't despair,

Old and bent,

I won't care

I'll have spent one day out there! --

Chapter Text

Down below the city, you can hear a horse whinnying while the people of Paris chattering was heard among them. A tall, bulky man walked into the city with his white steed, gripping on the horse reins tightly to prevent his horse from wandering off on its own. He looked to be in his late 20s in age and wore a blue cape that covered the golden armor underneath, with a brown belt at his hips with a sword attached to it. He had long black hair pulled into a braid, his bangs the color of red, tan skin, and dark red eyes. He was looking at a map and appeared hopelessly lost, Moments passed before he became frustrated.

"Hmm. Uh-uh." he mumbles as he crumbles the map into a ball. "You leave for a couple of decades and they change everything." he groans in frustration. Two guards, an Oafish and Brutish, passed him without second glance despite him trying to attract their attention. "Um...excuse me, gentlemen, I'm looking for the Palace of Justice would you-" he stops midway, knowing full well that they were both ignoring him,

"Mmm, I guess not." he sighs in defeat. As he continued walking further into the city with his horse, searching for the Palace of Justice, he can hear music that is well known to be played by Romanians, or as the Parisians like to call them, gypsies. He notices a little girl running towards the direction of the music, jumping excitedly, only to be pulled harshly away by her mother.

"Stay away, child! They're gypsies. They'll steal us blind!" the mother warns her child, as she avoids crossing paths with the Romanians.

By the corner of the street, there were 6 Romani children and a young Romani man dancing and playing music. Four of the Romani children, little girls, were dancing to the rhythm of the music, a little boy playing the trumpet, another little boy sitting on the wall for look out, and the young man played the tambourine. The red-head smiles and chuckles at the little girls as they smiled at him. He dropped a handful of coins into a small hat that collected money. A the man averts his gaze to look at the supposedly care taker of the children, he is taken back. The young man that was playing the tambourine was a beautiful sight. He had fluffy, wavy blonde hair tied back into a ponytail with pink hair tie, his blonde locks framing the side of his face, porcelain skin like a china doll, rosy pink lips, and beautiful sapphire blue eyes. He wore a white top that revealed his hard-muscled chest, with a teal and gold bodice, along with a purple sarong and lavender baggy pants. He also sported a golden hoop earring on his left ear, a golden bangle on his left wrist, a matching bracelet and anklet on both his right hand and ankle, and he was barefooted. In other words. the blonde was just so...............captivating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The man couldn't help but stare and drink in his beauty.

How can a man look so beautiful?

The blonde noticed his stare and flashes him a pearly white smile, the man returning it back with his own. Suddenly the music stopped when the little boy on the wall, whistled and ran off to a different direction. The blonde beauty turns around and gasps and yells in his angelic voice: "Hurry, let's get out of here!"
As the young Romani children ran to different directions, one little girl with shoulder length brown hair runs to the hat filled with money, dragging it by the edge, only to have coins spill out.

"BIG BROTHER!" she shouts.

The blonde beauty stops in his tracks and runs back to the little girl. helping her put the money back inside. "You go on ahead of me! I'll meet you guys back at the Court of Miracles!" he orders. The little girl hesitates for a second before obeying him. As he was was reaching for the last coin, he is stopped by a foot and finds himself cornered by two guards. He glares at them.

"Alright, gypsy." the Oafish guard began, " Where'd ya get the money from?"

"For your information, I earned it." the blonde beauty replies, gritting his teeth.

"Gypsies don't earn money." the Oafish guard scoffs.

" Yeah, they steal it!" the Brutish guard agrees, immediately putting both of the blonde's arms behind him.

"Of course, YOU would know a lot about stealing." the blonde retorts.

"You're a feisty troublemaker,eh?" the Oafish guard sneers at the blonde, only to get kicked square in the jaw. While the Brutish guard held back the blonde from attacking his friend any further, the Oafish guard reaches a hand up to his mouth and finds blood on his finger, and his jaw felt loose. The blonde Romani has powerful kicks.

"Maybe a day in the stocks will cool ya down!" the Brutish guard threatened.

After hearing the threat, the blonde slams his head as hard as he can to the Brutish guard's face, causing the guard to lose his grip on him. The blonde the kicks the Oafish guard again on his face and runs off with the money.

"Come back here, gypsy!!" the Oafish guard screams out.

After recovering from the hits, both guards got back on their feets to chase after the Romani , the man moves his white steed in their way, making them both collide on his horse. One fell behind the horse while the other fell backwards.

"José, sit!" the man orders with a whisper. The horse sat down , pinning the taller of the guards to the floor.

"Whoa!" the Oafish guards yelps as he was confronted by an extra weight on his body.

"Oh, dear, I'm sorry! Naughty horse! Naughty!" the man pretends to scold his horse," I apologize in advance, sir! He's just impossible, Really, I can't take him anywhere." the man says sarcastically. The nearby civilians started laughing, making the Oafish guard blush in embarrassment.

With the whole crowd of people continuing to laugh their heads off, the tall guard threw a tantrum like a child while whining.

"Get this thing off me!" he whines.

"I'll teach you a lesson, peasant!" the Brutish guard threatened as he pulled out a dagger.

"What's all this commotion about?!" a voice exclaims.

The man and the guard turn around to see two busty women in their mid-twenties making their way through the crowd. One of the women having short, purple hair, a slim figure, bug,childish red eyes, fair skin, and dark pink lips. She wore a dress with long blue sleeves, a dark blue bodice, a white shirt, and black heels. The other woman had long curly, bouncy blonde hair, pale skin, sharp, red eyes, and lips red as a rose. She wore a gold and white casual dress and black flats.

"Lady Chess and Horn!" the Brutish guard yelps in fear.

"What is going on?" Horn asks, ignoring him.

"U-um, this peasant right here has assaulted-"

"CROWLEY-SAMA!!!" both women shout, interrupting the Brutish guard.

Both Chess and Horn ran to the man, Crowley, and wrapped their arms around him, nuzzling into him. Crowley switched between one and the other, smiling and laughing.

"It's so wonderful to see you two again after so long! I've missed you both dearly!" he chuckles as he hugs both his lovers.

"We missed you too, Crowley-sama!'" Chess says, letting out a few tears of her own while Horn allowed her tears to just simply flow out of her eyes.

"U-uuhm.......Lady Horn? Lady Chess?" the Brutish guard stutters, interrupting their reunion.

"What?!" they both snap rudely.

"We have unfinished business with this peasant!" the Oafish guard shouts from underneath the horse, still struggling.

That's when Crowley responded by unsheathing his sword. The sword he had wasn't just any sword, it was sword used by the many heroes in the previous wars. It was a sword made with the finest iron, metal and gold. A golden handle with a shiny ruby embedded in the middle, the silver of the blade shining in the sun. This sword meant that Crowley........

 

" You were saying..........Lieutenant?" Crowley questioned, smirking.

" OH, C-CAPTAIN!!" the Brutish guard stammers, "At your service, sir!" both the Oafish and Brutish soldier shouted, saluting him.

Crowley chuckles at their wittiness, sheathing back his sword. He feels a hand on his shoulder and turns to see it is Horn.

"Crowley-sama, I hope you don't mind me asking but.......what brings you here?"she asks.

"Yeah, I though you were back in the war. Or has the war ended?" Chess chimes in.

"Unfortunately, the war is still going on but, I have been summoned by Judge Ferid Bathory to come here," Crowley replies.

He turns back to the Oafish and Brutish guards, seeing that the fat one has finally got Achilles off his friend.

"Now then boys," Crowley shouts, getting their attention, "Where is the Palace of Justice?"

"We can take you there ourselves, Crowley-sama!" Chess volunteers.

"Of course, captain!" the Oafish and Brutish soldier salute again.

The guards led Crowley, Chess and Horn to the Palace of Justice where they were supposed to meet Ferid. When the three walked into the dungeons, the sound of whip-cracks and screams filled the air. They walked through the door to see Ferid talking to the torturer.

"Stop!" Ferid ordered.

" Sir?"

"Ease up, will you? Wait between lashes. Otherwise the old sting will dull him to the new." the silver-haired male stated.

" Yes sir." the torturer said, walking back inside the chamber and proceeded with the whipping. Ferid turns to face the captain. "Ah, so this is the gallant Captain Crowley Eusford, home from the wars! And you two are?" he asks, pointing at Chess and Horn.

"Oh, this is Chess Belle and Horn Skuld. I'm sure you have heard of them and they can be trusted." Crowley introduces them.

" I see. Well, it's a pleasure to see you have arrived here safely, Crowley-kun."

"Reporting for duty, as ordered, sir." Crowley salutes.

"Your service record precedes you, Crowley-kun. I expect nothing but the best from a war hero of your caliber." Ferid praises, looking up and down at his figure.

"And you shall have it, sir. I guarantee it." Crowley reassures him.

"Yes, you know, my last captain of the guard was, um, a bit of a disappointment."

A loud crack of the whip followed by a scream sounded soon after, frightening Chess and Horn and catching Crowley off guard, while Ferid on the other hand, smirked sadistically.

"Well, no matter. I'm sure you'll whip my men into shape." the silver-haired minister jokes, dryly.

"Uh, thank you. It's grea-tre-uh, tremendous honor sir." Crowley stammers, still shaken from the whipped man's scream.

As Ferid walks to another one of the many balconies that the cathedral has (seriously how many balconies will this cathedral have XD) with Crowley, Chess and Horn following him in pursuit. The minister leans on the sill, where they could accurately see the activities of the people of the city.

"You've come to Paris in her darkest hour, Crowley-kun." Ferid said, "It will take a whole army to save the weak-minded...from being so easily misled." the minister drifts off.

"Misled, sir?" Horn asks.

"Look down below. What do you see?" Crowley looks down to see a group of Romanians dancing and playing music," The Gypsies live outside the normal order. Their heathen ways inflame the people's lowest instincts and they must be stopped." Ferid continues, sneering at the Romanians.

" I was summoned from the wars to capture fortune-tellers and palm readers?" Crowley asks incredulously.

" The REAL war, Crowley-kun, is what you see before you." Ferid informs, noticing some ants on the sill, " For 20 years, I have been "taking care" of the Gypsies..........one by one." he drifts off again, squashing the ants on the sill." And yet, for all my success, they have thrived." he lifts up the block to reveal a swarm of bugs underneath. " I believe they have a safe haven within the walls of this very city. A nest if you like to call it. They call it the "Court of Miracles"." Ferid chuckles at the name.

" What are we going to do about it, sir?" Chess asks.

Ferid says nothing but smirks at her. He slammed the block reverse side into the crevice he created, smashing it over the bugs, killing them all.

"You make your point quite vividly, sir." Crowley deadpans again.

"You know, I like you, Crowley-kun." Ferid purrs, making both Chess and Horn cringe.

Down below the city, a loud cheer erupted from the square while fanfare played. Hearing those sounds only made Ferid groan in frustration and roll his eyes.

"Ugh, duty calls. Have you attended a peasant festival, Crowley-kun?" the minister asks.

"Not recently, sir. It's been quite a long time since I have." Crowley responds.

"And you two?" Ferid asks, looking at Chess and Horn.

"We're actually part of the festival, sir." Horn replies.

"Then this should be quite an education for you, three. Come along." Ferid smirks, leading Crowley, Chess and Horn into the city.

Chapter Text

"Come on Yuu-san! The festival is starting!" Shinoa shouts.

" I change my mind. I don't think I should go." Yuuichirou hesitates, trying to go back to the cathedral.

"C'mon, Idiot Yuu! It's too late to chicken out now! You're already out the bell tower!" Kimizuki shouts, beginning to lose his patience, " Yoichi and Mitsuba are waiting for us outside!"

"Alright, alright! No need to shout at me!" Yuuichirou whines, "If we want to get me out, I suggest you lower your voices before we get caught!" Yuuichirou whisper-shouts at the two, sneaking towards them.

" Caught doing what?" a voice whispers behind the ravenette.

Yuuichirou freezes midway in his tracks, his heart beating fast as panic rushes through his veins. Shinoa and Kimizuki stood frozen at where they stood, fear and panic evident on their faces, too frightened to make any sudden movement.

"Ah!" Yuuichirou gasped. It was a cry that he couldn't help; which he was not conscious of having uttered. His blood turned like ice in his veins and his hands immediately went clammy with moisture. The ravenette slowly turned his head, fearing of what will come next and who was the person who has caught him trying to sneak away from the cathedral. He comes face to face with a rather short, young man with long dark,purple hair with a long dark bangs covering his left eye. It was the Archdeacon of Notre Dame, Asuramaru Tepes. The very man who practically raised him and taught him things that he needed to learn. Yuuichirou flinched from Asuramaru's crimson gaze, averting his eyes from the Archdeacon.

"Yuu, what are you doing outside the bell tower?"

"Uuummmm.....I......I.....," the bell ringer stammers, beginning to feel anxiety creep up his back and through his veins, " I-I-I was just....ummm...well..you see...I-I -".

" You were planning on going to the Festival of Fools, weren't you?" Asuramaru smirked, his crimson red eyes gazing into Yuuichirou's soul and looking dead into his emerald eyes. Despite his small stature, he carried a lot of power and he was intimidating. He isn't to be taken lightly.

"NO! I-I-I--" Yuuichirou stops mid-way from his sentence, interrupted by a chuckle, "Huh?"

What happens next surprises the 3 adolescents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asuramaru burst out laughing.

 

His laughter echoing throughout the halls of the cathedral. After a while, he stops, brushing the tears that formed from laughing so hard. He hasn't laughed that hard in years.

" What are you so nervous about? If you want to attend the festival, then go on! No one is stopping you." the Archdeacon smirks.

Yuuichirou just stands there frozen for a moment until he suddenly glomped Asuramaru with a bear hug while Shinoa and Kimizuki sigh in relief. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You're the best, Asura! How can I ever repay you?"

Asuramaru chuckles and pulls away from the hug, " Well, you can repay me by having fun and being safe at the festival. Now go on and have some fun!" he says as he hands the bell ringer a black cape, "You might need this if you want to avoid Ferid seeing you."

The ravenette grins as he puts on the cape, giving a last hug to Asuramaru before joining Shinoa and Kimizuki outside, " I will! Thank you!"

"Just be safe and return unharmed!"

Yuuichirou runs outside laughing excitedly as he, Shinoa and Kimizuki join Yoichi and Mitsuba outside. The brunette and blonde turned their heads to see the other 3 running to them. Mitsuba taped her foot against the ground impatiently and crossed her arms.

"What took you 3 so long?!" she asks, impatiently.

"The Archdeacon caught us." Shinoa replies.

" He did?!" Yoichi exclaimed.

"Yeah, but he gave Yuu his permission to come with us to the festival." Kimizuki chimes in.

" That's great!"

"I know right!"

"Alright squad, on wards! To the Feast of Fools!" Shinoa orders.

"To the Feast of Fools!!" the squad cheers.

The Shinoa squad (as Shinoa likes to call them) ran as fast as they can to make it to the start of the Festival. After 3 minutes or so, they finally arrived at the town's square where the festival was beginning to start.

"When's the festival going to start?" Yuuichirou asks, impatiently.

"It's going to start soon Idiot Yuu, just be patie-"

" SHIHOU!!! " a voice yelled out Kimizuki's first name.

Both Kimizuki and the rest of the Shinoa squad turned their heads to the direction of the voice, seeing a young girl running towards them, with long reddish brown hair, reddish pink eyes, fair skin, and light pink lips. She wore a pink coat over her white dress that reached past her knees, white stockings and black Mary Janes.

"SHIHOU!" she yelled again, running towards Kimizuki.

"Mirai!" the pinkette exclaims, lowering himself to the young girl's height, spreading his arms wide. The young girl, Mirai , runs into his arms nuzzling his neck in as she sighs contently.

After pulling away from the hug, Kimizuki looks into her eyes and cups her face, "Mirai, what are you doing here?! Aren't you supposed to be laying in bed back at home? Weren't you sick shortly before I left?"

"I felt all better this morning! My tummy ache went away-!! I rubbed my tummy clockwise and my fever went away too!" Mirai gleamed back at him, her contagious smile affecting him.

Kimizuki sighs in relief, "Thank God you're alright. It'd would've been too sad to leave you behind at home when you've been looking forward toward this year's festival."

Yoichi walks up beside Kimizuki and lowers himself to Mirai's height as well, " Mirai-chan, I'm so glad you made it...I was worried when I heard that you were too sick to come." he smiles gently as he pats her head.

"Hehehe, thank you for your concern, Yoichi-nii san. I'm feeling all better now." Mirai chirps.

" Oh my gosh, they look like cute parents when they're around Mirai." Shinoa comments making both Kimizuki and Yoichi blush furiously.

" Grrrrr, shut up!" the pinkette growls, turning his head the other direction.

" Who's this?" Yuuichirou asks.

" Ah! Yuu-kun, we would like to introduce to you to, Mirai, Shihou-kun's little sister. Mirai, this is Yuuichirou-kun." Yoichi introduces.

" Hello~!" Mirai greets with a grin.

" Hello. It's a pleasure to meet you, Mirai. I've heard a lot about you from your brother." the ravenette greets back with a returned grin.

" Hehehe."

" Mou~ Mirai-chan...where's my hug?" Shinoa whined.

" Don't go ignoring us like we don't exist! It's unacceptable to keep a lady waiting!" Mitsuba shouted, placing her hands on her hips.

"Oh~. My bad. So, where is this lady I've kept waiting?" the young girl teases, trying to look behind Mitsuba jokingly.

"WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY HERE?!" the blonde shouts angrily.

"Ah! I'm sorry!" Mirai apologized before giving both girls a hug.

"Much better~" Shinoa says satisfied, " Now that introductions are over, let's enjoy ourselves and what little time we have in our youth! We cannot afford to waste anytime~! Let us begin!!"

"Yeah!!!"

It felt good to wander around the festival with just his friends, Yuuichirou felt elated. He was finally able to attend the festival he always dreamed of going, but what was better is that he was going with his friends. He followed his friends throughout the town square, looking like a curious child as he went. Everywhere he went through the festival, he either had curiosity or amusement sparkling in his emerald eyes. After 40 minutes or so, Shinoa dragged the whole squad to a bunch of stands and proposed many ridiculous competitions, which is what made it fun and enjoyable. Yuuichirou never laughed so many times in his life, there were times where he had to muffle his laughter with his hand and clutch his stomach for laughing too hard. He was having the best time of his life. Can things get any better? Just then, a loud cheer erupts from the crowd as the fanfare begins playing.

"Finally, it's starting!" Mitsuba says, as she squeals in excitement.

" Okay you guys, let's stay together! Don't let go of each other," Shinoa orders as Kimizuki places Mirai on his shoulders, "C'mon, Yuu-sa-"

She turns to see that Yuuichirou is nowhere in sight. She looks everywhere frankly, hoping to see his mop of messy black hair. " Where is he?!"

" Oh great, we lost the moron!"

" Yuu-kun?!"

" Where are you, Baka Yuu!?"

"Yuu-san!"

" Yuu-nii san!"

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

Yuuichirou wandered through the crowd, watching as several others try to get a closer look and gathered to see a line of hooded people holding up flags. Throngs of people were crammed between rows of market stalls lined with colorful flags. Despite that, it was quite enjoyable. He also watched as several people throw on masks, obviously getting ready to perform. People on stilts, some with pots on their heads, some keeping bones in their mouths, there was no shortage of oddities here. The ravenette didn't mind at all, he was used to seeing these kind of things. He watched the festival ever since he was young, watching people celebrating from afar; but this year is different. This year, he has finally got the chance to see the Festival of Fools in person. It was far more lively, far exceeding the ravenette's expectations. Wandering some more, Yuuichirou tried to get a closer look, but failed; so he decided to climb a pole and hang on to the ropes tied to it. Finally getting a better view, the bell ringer held on, but unfortunately, the ropes weren't tied well and were let loose. Feeling like he was falling, Yuuichirou held on the rope for dear life and has landed in front of the hooded figures.

 

Come one, come all!

Leave your loops and milking stools

Coop the hens and pen the mules

Come one, come all!

Close the churches and the schools

It's the day for laughs

Come and join the Feast of...

 

Just then, a young man looking to be in his early 20s , with spiky bleach-blonde hair pulled back into a small ponytail, a goatee, and sharp, mischievous brown eyes slid out from underneath of the robed figures, singing out : "Fools!".

As he shouted out "Fools", a swarm of confetti sprinkled out like rain; the crowd cheering and the poles that the white-robed figures were holding were revealed to be colorful flags. Yuuichirou eyed him curiously at the man in front of him. He seems to be wearing a jester outfit; which included a fuchsia mask with yellow trimming; the color scheme of his outfit was violet, fuchsia, and yellow. He also had a small, golden cloak with gold bells on the ends. On his leggings, one leg is purple, while the other is bright purple with vertical gold stripes and a large-purple hat (which was slightly torn) with a golden feather. He also sported an earring on his left ear and curled-toed shoes. He let out a loud, booming laughter as he watched the crowd cheered in excitement. His laugh was so contagious that the ravenette let out a quiet chuckle himself.

Hearing a quiet giggle, the bleach-blonde turned to the bell ringer eyeing him curiously. Sensing his gaze, Yuuichirou averts his gaze and covers his face with his hood, walking away. As he tried to look for his friends, Yuuichirou is stopped as he feels a hand grabs his forearm and pulls him. The ravenette turns his head to see that the jester-like man pulled him to dance with him.

 

Once a year, we throw a party here in town

Once a year, we turn all Paris upside down

 

The bleach-blonde haired man sings as he lets go of Yuuichirou's arm and swings around a pole, playfully as he jumps on a puddle of water. A dummy that is dressed like a king appears, only to turn out to be a clown as it does a back flip, switching it royal clothes to be as like a clown's. The crowd bows jokingly as if the clown was an actual king.

 

Every man's a king and every king's a clown

Once again its Topsy Turvy Day

 

The blonde man watched the crowd in glee as he successfully makes them smile once again, like every year. Yuuichirou uses this chance to run and search for his friends and begins to slowly walk away, hiding in the crowd. Unfortunately, the bleach-haired man caught him sneaking away through his peripheral vision. The man smirked mischievously as he chased after the poor ravenette. After a little while, he catches Yuuichirou hiding behind a bunch of balloons. He smirks devilishly as he takes out a pair of scissors out of nowhere, cutting the strings revealing the poor bell ringer. Yuuichirou gasps and runs off somewhere else.

 

It's the day our silliness in us gets released

It's the day we mock others and shock the priest

Everything is Topsy Turvy at the Feast of Fools

 

As the ravenette continued running, he was surprised at the many things he ran into. He caught 3 dogs walking their owners as if THEY were the pets, a crazy man on top of a horse with no head, but with 2 rears, people wearing the craziest masks, a lobster bathing a chef in a cooking pot, and others wearing jack-in-the-box masks whom were popped with needles, poofing out confetti. He hasn't seen these types of oddities when he watched the festival from up the bell tower.

 

Topsy Turvy!

Everything is upsy daisy!

Topsy Turvy!

Everyone is acting crazy

Cross is gold And weeds are a bouquet

That's the way on Topsy Turvy Day!

 

Yuuichirou was seen running through the crowds, running away and avoiding the blonde jester but was tripped and fell into someone's tent. He fell over a stool and accidentally pulled down a curtain, revealing a buck-naked young Romani.

"Hey!" the young man shouts in surprise as he quickly covered himself with a robe.

The Romani turns to glare and scold at the intruder only to see that Yuuichirou has fallen down. He calms himself down, tying his robe together before asking: " Are you alright?"

" I-I-I didn't mean t-to, I-I'm sorry..." the ravenette stammered as he covered his face with his hood again. Yuuichirou tried to crawl away from the young man to avoid having anymore problems only to feel a tug on his hood.

"You're not hurt, are you?" The Romani man asks, concern evident in his voice. He tries to pull the bell ringer's hood to check if he had any injuries, but Yuuichirou was stubborn and kept moving around, hoping to shake off the man to prevent from seeing his face.

 

 

 

It wasn't helping him.......

 

 

He can feel his horns protruding his head once again, his gums hurting as his fangs formed and his five senses becoming more enhanced than it was before. Yuuichirou was turning into a demon. He usually does when he gets distressed. He began taking deep breaths, trying to revert back to human while trying to get away from the stranger's wondering hands.

"Are you okay?! I can hear you breathing hard!" the Romani asks again, concerned.

"I-I-I'm a-alright, no need to-to worry..."

" Let me see if you're hurt."

" No! No! N-no!" Yuuichirou protests to no avail. The young man removed his hood and revealed his face.

The ravenette's breath hitched, his heart skipping a beat. Not only was it because the man revealed his face but also cause of how beautiful he was.

The young Romani before his eyes was just so........

 

 

 

 

Beautiful.

 

 

He had beautiful golden, wavy hair that was as bright as the sun with the roots at the top of his head white as snow. His hair looking so soft and fluffy as it framed his face. His eyes were the perfect shade of sapphire. They glistened like the sun's light on a calm stream and the ravenette wanted nothing more than to drown in them. His skin was pale as a china doll and looked soft as the finest silk in Paris. But what made him more gorgeous was his smile as the young man looked down beneath him as he lifted the ravenette back up. His rosy pink lips stretched upwards as he smiled kindly at Yuuichirou, flashing pearly white teeth at him. His sharp nose and sharp angles on his face gave him a more mature look to his appearance. Not to mention, the young man had a hue of pink dusting his cheeks, adding more beauty to him. He looked like an angel in of those paintings he saw in the cathedral. No, he was more gorgeous than the canvases in Notre Dame. The blonde was literally an angel walking on Earth.

"See? No harm done.", the blonde Romani gives the ravenette a gentle smile, "I just wanted to see if you were okay."

Yuuichirou was beyond stunned. Not only at the fact that the man before him was beautiful but also because the Blonde Angel (as Yuuichirou likes to call him now) calmed him down. Just a second ago, the ravenette was panicking and his demonic traits were emerging but, just looking at this blonde beauty quelled his distress and he was no longer turning. The bell ringer continued staring at the Blonde Angel for awhile, worrying the poor blonde.

"Um....hello? Are you there?" the Blonde Angel asks, waving his hand in front of Yuuichirou's face.

Snapping out of his trance, the ravenette shakes his head before replying, " Uh...YES! I-I'm fine! Thank you fo-for your concern!" he blurts out.

" Are you here to enter the competition?" the blonde asks.

" M-Maybe," Yuuichirou stuttered, "I'd considered it."

" Well you should," the Blonde Angel encourages, "just try to be a little more careful." he chuckles. The blonde leads the ravenette to the exit of the tent, smiling at him kindly once again.

" I-I will." the bell ringer replies.

As Yuuichirou exits out the tent, the Blonde Angel speaks to him again, "By the way," the ravenette turned towards him when he spoke to see him winking at him, " I'll see you at the competition." and with that, the blonde shuts the tent's flap and returns inside. Yuuichirou's face took on a dream-dazed expression before it shattered when he remembered what he was doing before he entered the Blonde Angel's tent.

'Oh crap! I forgot about my friends! I need to go look for them ASAP!' and with that, Yuuichirou runs off in search of his friends.

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

 

"Yuu-kun!!"

"Yuu!!"

"Yuu-nii san!!"

Yoichi, Kimizuki and Mirai searched frantically for Yuuichirou. They called out his name and asked people if they have seen him. But alas, no one has seen the ravenette. Shinoa proposed that if they split up into 2 groups, they'll cover more ground and the chances will be higher if they find their friend. Shinoa went with Mitsuba to go look on the other side of the town square to search for Yuuichirou, leaving Kimizuki, Yoichi and Mirai on their own to look for him. She strictly said if they have found the ravenette, they should return back at the entrance of the town square in the next hour. It has been a while since Yuuichirou disappeared and they were beginning to lose hope. While searching for their black-haired friend, Mirai found a food stand that has caught her attention. She suggested they could probably lure him with the smell of his favorite food. Kimizuki rejected the idea saying that Yuu wasn't some dog but, after some thinking he agreed since Yuuichirou reminded him of a loud puppy.

As they went through multiple food stands, Kimizuki finds one that has caught his interest.

"Wow! Look at all that food!" Mirai exclaims, looking around.

"Mirai, would you like to have sake ginger glazed salmon for dinner?" Kimizuki asks as he examines the ginger before him.

"Yes please!"

" Ginger would also go well with dumplings." Yoichi suggests.

" Yeah it would. That's why I bought some," the pinkette says, holding up a small basket of said dumplings," I thought I would make some dumplings if you decide to come over after the festival."

"Eh? You didn't have to. I'm not being a bother am I?"the brunette says, waving his arms around.

"Of course you're not! If it makes you feel any better you can bring your sister over as well." Kimizuki chuckles, patting Yoichi softly on the head. Yoichi blushes lightly when he feels Kimizuki's hand on his head. Just even the smallest gestures from the tall pinkette got Yoichi as red as a tomato. He can feel his own heart beating fast and skipping a beat as he looks up at Kimizuki. His olive green eyes sparkle when Kimizuki blushes as he stares into his eyes. After a few seconds, the two boys look away from each other, flustered. The feeling of Kimizuki's hand still linger on Yoichi's head. A moment later, the small brunette continues on where they left.

"I'm sure she would love that. Oh! What about pumpkin ginger nut muffin for dessert? We could also use ginger for that!"

"That does sound great."

"Yeah."

"It's been a long while since I've last seen Tomoe, so it'll be great to see her again."

"Yeah, I'm sure she'll be glad to see you again, especially Mirai-chan, she gets along with her just fine."

"I'm glad since she's usually scary and all."

"Hey! She's just being overly protective of me, that's all."

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure what she was going to do to me the last time you slept over my house is being overprotective."

"It's not my fault you were all over me when you were asleep."

"Gak! I wasn't all over you! I-I was just....giving you more warmth... since Mirai was hogging all the blankets."

"Mirai wasn't even in the same bed with us, but I don't mind if you use me like a teddy bear when you're sleeping, Shihou-kun."

" I wasn't....I...you...shut up!!"

"Hehehe."

Mirai sat on her older brother's shoulders witnessing everything beneath her. She stared at them, switching between one and the other, in confusion. Kimizuki and Yoichi continued to talk as if they weren't smiling at each other like love struck fools (which they were doing as we are currently speaking).

'What's going on here? Am I witnessing a lovers spat? No, not a spat. It was lovers something. Something that Shinoa-onee san would always say whenever Shihou and Yoichi-nii san are around each other. Does Shihou have it bad for Yoichi-nii san? Does Yoichi-nii san reciprocate Shihou's feelings? How does one know that they like someone or how does one know someone likes someone? I don't understand these types of things...'

" Mirai!"

The young girl snaps out of her thoughts when she hears her brother shout her name. She looks at each one of them, seeing both Kimizuki and Yoichi are concerned over her.

"Mirai-chan, did you hear what I said?" Yoichi says, worry evident on his face.

"Ah! Sorry! I spaced out for a moment! What did you say to me again." Mirai asks blushing in embarrassment.

" He asked if you wanted pumpkin ginger nut muffins for dessert tonight." Kimizuki replies.

"Ah! Yes! I would love to!"

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

"Ne, Mitsu! Check this out! No wait, how about that one! Whoa!! Did you see that?! That guy just literally swallowed that fire and belched it out!!," Shinoa giggled, laughing her head off, " Let's go watch some jugglers next!!"

"Cut it out, Shinoa!" Mitsuba hissed, " We're supposed to be looking for Yuu not at some jugglers or fire breathers! Let's try not to get sidetracked from our mission."

"Oh my gosh, you make it sound like we're in a military or something." the ashen-haired girl jokes.

"Shut up!" the blonde growls as she continues looking around, hoping to find the ravenette. "Grrr, this is all his fault! If only Yuu listened and hadn't wondered off to God knows where, we wouldn't be here right now and instead be having fun or something!"

"Well, you can't blame him. He's never been outside the cathedral so it's kinda normal for someone to go exploring places they've never been to. You can't stop human curiosity, you know."

"Still, that doesn't mean he should run off and leave us to go looking for him.Who knows he could be hurt or worse! I just want him to be back by our side again. Where I can see him."

" Aaawwww~ Mitsu-chan~! You're so bold! You want to see him so badly~? Do you, perhaps like Yuu-san that way? In a romantic light?" Shinoa teases, her heart clenching," I never knew you liked him like that~."

" I don't like him in that way, Shinoa. He's just my friend and I can't stand the thought of him being hurt on the first day he's outside the bell tower." Mitsuba replies, calmly.

Shinoa is taken back. Usually, the blonde would get defensive and get flustered when teased about it, but this time, she didn't. That means she's telling the truth.

"Don't worry, he'll be fine. I'm pretty sure he can defend himself on whatever he comes across."

" I know that, but it's just that I'm worried about him. This is his first time from being away from the cathedral, I just don't want anything bad to happen to him that can affect him to the point he'll never want to go outside again after years of gathering his courage to do so." Mitsuba rambles on, letting her worries and fears taking over.

Shinoa stared at the blonde, her mouth partly open. She understood now. Mitsuba really did care about Yuuichirou, but honestly, this isn't the first time she rambled on about someone. She does it to people she cares about. She even rambled when she heard Mirai was sick. Mitsuba may be a total tsundere and deny when teased about it, but she cares deeply about her friends. Shinoa couldn't blame her. The blonde lost a few of her friends a few years ago to some freak accident, that she was sure Ferid and his minions were behind, that scarred the poor girl to the point she gets really anxious or angry when she would worry. She couldn't lose anyone else anymore. Shinoa continued gaping at the blonde as she furrowed her eyebrows in worry.

"Well, don't lose hope. We'll find him eventually. Let's just hope he'll be safe and sound when we find him. Hopefully Kimizuki-san, Yoichi-san and Mirai-chan are having better luck at finding him." Shinoa says, reassuring the blonde.

"Judging at the way they are around each other, I bet they're looking at each other than looking for Yuu." Mitsuba jokes, smiling and giggling towards the ashen-haired girl.

Shinoa blushes and her heart races when she sees Mitsuba's smile. Another reason she has fallen for her. Over the years, Shinoa developed romantic feelings for Mitsuba to the point where she fell in love with her, but has never gotten to confessing those feelings. Despite the fact that Mitsuba's isn't hers, she still treasures their friendship and the way it is now.

'Mitsu-chan...I hope you'll reciprocate these feelings I hold for you someday.'

After that, the girls went back into searching for their black-haired friend. They searched high and low but they couldn't find him after a while. After 30 minutes of searching the west side of the town squre again, both girls sat on top of wooden boxes, resting their exhausted legs.

"Where could he be?!" Mitsuba asks, after catching her breath.

" He could probably be on the other side of the town square." Shinoa pants, trying to catch her breath, "We only have a few minutes before we regroup back in the center. Hopefully, Kimizuki,Yoichi and Mirai found him."

Mitsuba sits back up, catching her breath. She averts her gaze hoping to catch sight of familiar black hair only to freeze for a moment.

Noticing her friends behavior, Shinoa asks, "Hmmm...what's wrong?"

"That stuffed teddy bear looks so cute!!"

Mitsuba immediately stands up and runs to a stand that was nearby the girls. Shinoa's eyes widen and gapes at the blonde. She has never seen her run so fast in her life. Deciding to follow her friend, Shinoa stands up from her seat from the box and walks to the stand where Mitsuba ran to. Above the stand, was a sign that read: "Spill the Milk", and in that stand were a line of stuffed animals. The ashen-haired girl averted her gaze to the blonde beside her and saw that she is gazing dreamily at a huge, white stuffed teddy bear with a purple bow tied around its neck.

'So that's why she ran. She just want that teddy bear.' Shinoa thought as she continued staring at the blonde.

"Ne Mitsu," Shinoa says, catching the blonde's attention," how badly do you want that teddy bear?"

"More than anything in the world." Mitsuba replies, determination sparkling in her lilac, purple eyes.

After staring into the blonde's eyes for awhile, Shinoa gives in and decides to get her the teddy bear.

"One ball, please." Shinoa says as she pulls out 4 guilders out of her pocket. The man in the stand smiles at her and hands her a ball. "You only get one chance."

As she receives the ball, she licks her index finger and lifts it up in the air to test the direction of the wind. She looks up at the stand's tent flap, a pole near the stand, then a flag. She furrows her eyebrows as she thinks long and hard for a strategy. Mitsuba, who has been standing there watching Shinoa, stares at the ashen-haired girl impatiently.

"Are you gonna go or are you just gonna stand there doing whatever you're doing?" the blonde huffs and crosses her arms. Shinoa turns to her and smiles, not her usual mischievous smile, but one with sincerity. The short girl takes a deep breath before aiming carefully, and throws the ball missing the target.

"Shinoa...you missed." Mitsuba mutters.

"Did I, Mitsu-chan?" Shinoa says, giving the blonde her usual shit-eating grin.

Both girls look up to see the ball rolling off the tent's flap quickly before hitting a nearby pole, bouncing off many walls, rolling off from another tent's flap, hitting another wall, before aiming towards the 3 pins. Both Shinoa and Mitsuba move out the ball's way, avoiding to get hit by the ball, and striking all 3 pins down and flying off to God knows where.

Mitsuba and Shinoa both stand up from where they hid and walked back to the stand, seeing the 3 pins have been knocked down. The man in the stand smiles at both girls before speaking loudly: "Pick a prize, any prize! Which one would you like, ma'am?" Shinoa glances back to Mitsuba, seeing the blonde eyeing dreamily at the stuffed teddy bear before again. The ashen-haired girl smiles at her and looks back at the man in the stand. "I would like to have..........that one!" the short girl smiles to herself when she hears the blonde beside her gasp.

"Alright, one teddy bear, coming right up!" the carni man says as he hands Shinoa the white teddy bear.

"Wow, that's so cool, Shinoa! How'd you do that?" Mitsuba says as she stares at the stuffed bear in Shinoa's arms.

"It just takes alot of thinking and strategy when it comes to things like this. Don't tell me you don't think I'm a natural born leader, Mitsu~?" the ashen haired girl teases, "You can have this teddy bear if you want."

Mitsuba gapes at her, "Are you sure? You're the one who won that teddy bear fair and square."

" Nah, I only wanted this teddy bear cause I saw how much you've been gazing at it from afar." Shinoa smirks to herself when the blonde blushes, "so, here. You deserve this teddy."

Mitsuba stares at the teddy and Shinoa, hesitantly, before taking the teddy bear from Shinoa's arms. The blonde stares at the teddy bear before letting out an adorable giggle and tackling Shinoa with a hug.

"Thank you so much! You're the best, Shinoa!"

Shinoa blushes a crimson red as she, not only feels Mitsuba's breast pressing against her, but as she gets intimate contact from said blonde. After a few seconds later, Shinoa returns the hug and inhales the blonde's scent.

' So worth it.'

Mitsuba pulls from the hug and grabs Shinoa's hand, flustering the poor ashen-haired girl even further and drags her along with her. "Come on! What are you waiting for?! Let's show the boys what you got for me!" the blonde turns to Shinoa and flashes her with a pearly-white grin, her eyes sparkling like an amethyst, making the short girl's heart skip a beat. Shinoa returns the small back with a kind smile, before averting her gaze.

"Yeah."

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

Topsy Turvy!,

Beat the drums and blow the trumpets!,

Topsy Turvy!,

 

As the crowd continued singing along, Yuuichirou ran trying to avoid a certain blonde jester, at the same time looking for his friends.

'Where could they be? Don't tell me they left without me? No, they won't do that. They're my friends, family even, they'll never do such a thi-' the ravenette couldn't finish his thought as the bleach-blonde he tried so hard to avoid, pulled him away and began to swing him around in an odd dance.

 

Join the bums and thieves and strumpets

Streaming in from Chartres to Calais,

Scurvy knaves are extra curvy

On the eighth of April,

All because it's Topsy Turvy Day!!

 

Unbeknownst to Yuuichirou, Ferid arrived in his booth with Crowley not far behind. The silver-haired judge sat in his booth and had four guards surrounding him in the booth. The ravenette eventually broke away and found a nearby spot by the stage where he could catch his breath. He glanced around hoping to see if any of his friends are nearby, but alas, they weren't anywhere in sight.

"Where are you guys?" Yuuichirou mutters, "Shinoa, Kimizuki, Mitsuba, Yoichi, Mirai.....please, please come find me-GAK!!" the ravenette screams as he feels an extra weight on his shoulders, seeing that it was the blonde jester hoping over him.

 

Come one, come all!

Hurry, hurry here's your chance

See the mystery and romance

Come one, come all

 

The bleach-blonde haired Romani shouted, effectively getting the attention of the entire crowd from his place on the stage.

 

See the finest man and woman in France

Make an entrance to entrance

Dance la Mikaela and Krul!

 

Then all of a sudden, the blonde jester slams what appears to be a smoke pellet into the ground and vanished, leaving 2 people in his place. In his place stood a small Romani girl with long, fluffy pink hair put into a ponytail, chocolate brown eyes, black lips and pale skin. She wore a skimpy red dress with purple sleeves, a golden tiara on her head, and a golden hoop earring on her right ear also being barefooted. Next to her was...

'The Blonde Angel!!' Yuuichirou screamed in thought.

 

 

 

The ravenette shuddered as he gaped at the beauty of the angel. He changed. The blonde had his hair put up in a ponytail and a golden hoop earring on his left ear, but what made the ravenette jaw drop was that the blonde beauty was half naked. He didn't wear a shirt at all, giving Yuuichirou a chance to drink in his body. His emerald eyes widened at at the blonde Roman's perfectly sculpted body. His upper body looked so untainted, smooth, curvy, and muscular! Every muscle was defined in perfect definition. His body was like a marble statue. Perfectly constructed to look like the divine creature he was. Yuuichirou caught himself drooling at just the mere sight of his body. He is so beautiful. Alarmingly beautiful.

 

'And he must be mine.'

 

Yuuichirou gasps when he hears that thought in his head. 'Whoa!What was that? Was that me? What am I saying?! Where did that come from?'. The ravenette shakes the thought off and clapped his hands as he continued watching both Romanians dance.

Ferid sat there in his booth, his jaw dropping once he caught sight of the blonde Romani. He was shocked, to be sure, but how was another matter entirely. Both the blonde and pink-haired Romanians began a sensual and exotic dance that turned more than a few heads.

"Look at their disgusting display!"Ferid sneers, as he tried to seem disgusted.

"Yes sir!" a few soldiers enthusiastically replied, making Crowley roll his eyes. As both Romanians were beginning to end their dance, the blonde Romani ran up to a soldier and grabbed his spear with both the pinkette and him twirling on it, ending in a provocative pose. Needless to say, the crowd went wild, with the men whistling and cheering as they threw golden coins at both Romanians, while the women sighed dreamily. Without missing a beat, the bleach-blonde Romani continued.

 

Here it is, the moment you've been waiting for

Here it is, you know exactly what's in store

Now's the time we laugh until our sides get sore

Now's the time we crown the King of Fools!

 

"We all remember last year's King?" A lazy alcoholic arrived being carried on a mock throne snored as he slept soundly.

"Last year's competition was about whoever drank the most will be King of Fools! This year's competition will be different!" The bleach-blonde Romani announces, his voice booming throughout the town's square,"This year's competition will be....whoever dances in perfect harmony with Mikaela here, will be this year's King of Fools!!"

 

Why?

Topsy Turvy!

C'mon folks, forget your stage fright!

Topsy Turvy!

You could soon be called your Highness

Put your dancing skills on display

Be the King of Topsy Turvy Day!

 

Yuuichirou looks up to the stage to see the blonde angel, now named Mikaela, to see how he felt towards the competition and caught the blonde staring at him with a smirk. As he did, Mikaela reached into the crowd and pulled the ravenette up to the stage, making him drop his cloak during the process. As he pulled the bell ringer to him, Yuuichirou, being the klutz he was, tripped by his own two feet and fell face first into Mikaela's chest. The ravenette pulls away after a few seconds, his whole face flared with a blush as he averted his gaze away from the blonde Romani. He turns his gaze back when he hears Mikaela chuckle, making the poor ravenette blush to the tip of his ears.

Mikaela lined him up with the rest of the ten contestants and walked up in front of the line. The goatee guy walked besides Mikaela and smiled at the contestants. "Are you ready?" he asks, the 10 of the contestants (excluding Yuuichirou) nodded enthusiastically, "Alright......begin!"

As soon as he shouts that, Mikaela begins to dance. Slowly, he starts rolling and rotating his hips, the gesture gradually becoming more exaggerated as he twirled, his hands above his head with one hand grasping his other wrist. Yuuichirou watched on to see Mikaela slowly dropped and run his hands down his body until they stopped at his hips. As if in a trance, the rest of the contestants walked to the blonde male and began to try to dance with Romani. Emphasis, on tried. The dance moves Mikaela was performing was too flexible and hard for them, but they didn't give up. Yuuichirou snaps out of his trance once again and tried to dance in sync with Mikaela.

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

"Have you guys found him yet?"

"I don't know Shinoa, do you see him anywhere with us?"

"Jeez no need for sarcasm, I was just asking."

"Well, if you don't see him with us then don't ask, shorty!"

"Okay! Gosh! No need to get your panties in a twist."

"Look at what Shinoa got me!"

" Guys, please no violence! "

The Shinoa Squad reunited back in the center of the town square after an hour, only to see that the other group arrived empty handed. Thus ending in only more panicking and arguments.

" Hey, I thought we were supposed to be looking for Yuu not for stuffed bears!" Kimizuki admonished, pointing at the stuffed teddy bear Mitsuba was holding.

" And I thought we were supposed to look for Yuu not food!" Mitsuba retorted, defending Shinoa.

" It was my idea, Mitsuba-san! I thought that if we made Yuu-nii san's favorite food, we could attract his attention, like a dog!" Mirai explained.

"Well you do got a point there with Yuu being like a puppy and all."

"Guys, let's focus on the subject. We need to find Yuu-san ASAP! He HAS to be here!!" Shinoa says, trying to calm down.

"Shinoa, we've known him for 10 years! 10 years! Name that one time he actually listened to any of us." Mitsuba snapped.

"I know he's stupid, but I didn't actually he's that stupid enough to wander off somewhere he's not familiar with." Kimizuki comments.

"Let's all calm down! We won't be able to think rationally if we panic! We must keep calm and keep searching for Yuu-kun." Yoichi says being the voice of reason he is.

"Why don't we ask Goshi-san?" Mirai suggests.

"Who's Goshi?" Kimizuki asks, looking up at his younger sister.

"My friend. He's the one who taught me on how to get rid of my tummy ache and ever since then I've been hanging around him and his wife, Mito-san. He knows everybody here in Paris." the tuscan-red-haired girl replies.

Yoichi looks up to see Mirai, "Well, do you know where he can find him, Mirai-chan?"

"He's probably.....somewhere.....ove-AH! He's right there!" Mirai exclaims, pointing at the stage, " He's right there! The blonde guy! With jester clothing!"

"Then let's go ask him!" Mitsuba says as the squad runs to the stage.

As they near the stage, they see a familiar mop of messy black hair. Their eyes widen when they see their friend dancing, watching other guys getting kicked off the stage by a shot pink-haired girl.

"Wait.."

"Is.."

"That..."

"Baka Yuu?!"

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

 

Envy coursed through his veins as he watched the other contestants try to put their filthy hands on Mikaela. His body was trembling. His face was red and heated; he could feel his veins popping out from his forehead, especially his horns. His hands and jaw were clenched. Yuuichirou watched as the other men looked at the blonde with lust in there eyes and loathed it. Just seeing them watching Mikaela like he was a piece of meat was enough to make the jealousy in his veins soar. He could feel his horns and fangs forming again but he could care less. Yuuichirou could feel he was slowly losing his humanity, his demonic side taking over.

'Damn humans! I'll kill them...I'll kill them all....he's mine to own...he belongs to me! Not some useless human...Don't touch what's mine.' the ravenette growled. baring his fangs.

Yuuichirou nearly snapped a man's neck when he touched Mikaela's hips, only to smile triumphantly when the blonde recoiled from his touch and was kicked off the stage by the pink-haired girl, Krul. Yet, there was one man left with on the stage with Mikaela and Yuuichirou, leaving his envy and wrath in place. The bell-ringer growled out loud, his face dangerously dark, rage blazing fiercely in his now red eyes, practically causing them to glow, when he saw the last man pull the blonde to his chest, pressing his lips against his neck. The sight made Yuuichirou want to rip the stranger apart, but the small part of sanity Yuuichirou had at the moment gave him mercy. Mikaela shivered in disgust and pushed the man off the stage himself, resulting with Krul howling in laughter. Now, the only ones left in the stage were Mikaela and Yuuichirou.

'Finally,'  Yuuichirou smirked to himself, 'He's all mine...just like how it should be...I couldn't stand watching those pigs looking at you that way....Your body is for my eyes only, Mikaela.'

As they neared each other, Mikaela stared at him warily, as if Yuuichirou was going to touch him in a certain way he didn't agree with. The ravenette only smiled as he calmed down a little, making the blonde Romani blush. Now that he had a closer look, Mikaela studied him over. He first took note of his hair, how messy it was yet looked so cute, especially the cowlick on the top of his head. His raven hair looking soft and silky and held the sun's light in his midnight raven locks. Next, he noticed he was tan, and not just any tan; his skin has been kissed by the sun giving it a beautiful glow. The next part that caught the Mikaela's attention the most, was the ravenette's eyes. His eyes were a emerald green color that held a certain light to them. They were the most beautiful shade of green he's ever seen. They were big and just full of life. They were gorgeous. They were more beautiful than any priceless gem he has seen in some merchant stands. His button nose, pink plump lips and scarlet cheeks completed and soften his features giving him a child-like appearance. Mikaela shook himself free of the hypnotic gaze and continued the dance off.

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

"Hey, Goshi."

"Hmmm."

"You know everybody here in Paris, right?"

"Why yes I do. Why'd you ask?"

"Have you ever seen him before?"

Krul and Goshi stood beside the stage watching Yuuichirou and Mikaela dance together. Krul was quite impressed. She didn't think anyone would be able to live up and match with her son. Yet, the fact that she has never seen Yuuichirou before around the streets, was quite unnerving for her. Goshi studies the ravenette for a moment before shaking his head.

"No, I don't think I've ever seen that fella before."

"Maybe Shinya has seen him?" Krul suggests.

"Alright, let's see," Goshi whistles at a albino male with blue eyes catching his attention, "Oi, Shinya-san! Have you seen this kid before?" he asks, pointing at Yuuichirou.

Shinya studies him for awhile before shaking his head, "No, I don't think I have. Why?"

" This kid just popped out of the blue and is dancing with Mikaela, like he's been dancing with him like, forever. I've never seen him on the streets nor in the past Feast of Fools." Goshi replies.

"This isn't right. Somethings weird is going on. Goshi, over here knows everybody yet he doesn't know who this guy is who is dancing with my son. Something is not adding up." Krul says as she shakes her head.

"That's why I've been chasing this kid all over town square. He certainly caught my interest." Goshi states.

"Maybe he's one of those Romanians who took refuge over here in Paris. Lately, since the war, a lot of people took refuge here." Shinya reasons.

"I guess that could be true." Goshi agrees with Krul following suit.

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

"BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I CAN'T BELIEVE HE'S DANCING! IN PUBLIC!" Shinoa howls in laughter, "Thank you, Yuu-san! Thank you for this black-material."

" I can't believe it.......he's.....actually using our dance lessons......to win this competition..." Mitsuba drifts off, staring in amusement as she watched Yuuichirou dance.

"Wow! He's a pretty good dancer! I never knew he had it in him." Yoichi says.

"Is this dance even safe for kids to watch?!" Kimizuki exclaims, covering Mirai's eyes.

The group of friends continued watching their raven-haired friend with a Romani in amusement and awe. After a few moment later, Shinoa claps her hands loud enough to attract her friends attention.

"Well since he's having fun, we should go have fun on our own and return here when the competition ends," she says, "C'mon Mitsu!"

"Hey! Wait up!" the blonde shouts. " Well I guess that means more alone time for you two." Mirai teases, flustering both Yoichi and Kimizuki.

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

Standing in front of each other, a few steps away, Mikaela bows and waits for the music to play.

After a drawn out silence, music started to play softly. The ravenette's and blonde's moves were slow with exaggerated gestures, almost like they were moving in water. Then, gradually, the tempo started to pick up, cuing both the dancers to pick up their pace. The music that had started out soft became more loud and dramatic, the dance becoming more and more exotic and sensual, it seemed.

At one point, both Mikaela and Yuuichirou stood in front of each other again, not close enough to bump into each other as they bent back, exposing stomachs. Hands ran down their vulnerable stomachs before a leg was kicked to the side to force them to spin. Yuuichirou was having a wonderful time dancing around the stage while shaking his hips in an enticing manner to synchronize with Mikaela. The ravenette smirked to himself as he danced. He was able to learn how to dance just by watching the Romanians dance everyday and during the Festival of Fool at a young age and (though Yuuichirou is too embarrassed to admit it to anyone) used the dance lessons he received from Shinoa and Mitsuba tried to teach him.

Finally, the dancers regrouped and danced around each other, the tempo at it’s max before it let out a final double drum beat, making the dancers clap their hands, and suddenly stopped, ending the dance with the two throwing arms up and snapping their heads to look towards the each other, their bodies bent to the side a bit.

It was silent. The crowd stared at the two boys with their mouths open. The tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Just before Yuuichirou was going to move from his spot, feeling self-conscious, the most unexpected happens.

 

 

 

The crowd cheered.

 

 

Men and women alike, whistled and clapped enthusiastically, the scent of fine wine and alcohol in the air. The clapping and voices of approval got louder. Yuuichirou let out a breath, and relaxed himself, his body covered in a thin layer of sweat that made him shine in the sunlight. He averted his gaze to Mikaela who was flashing a smile to the crowd and waving at them. Yuuichirou smiles and turns the crowd waving at them as well, only to have his blood turned like ice in his veins. Right there, in the crowd he caught sight of glowing red eyes staring daggers into him. He made eye contact with Ferid who was sitting in his booth, with a scowl on his face.

Yuuichirou's heart pounded rapidly against his chest. He can feel a panic attack coming up. His breathing begins to pick up rapidly as anxiety and panic washed over him. He trembled violently as two black horns sprouted from his head. This caught the whole crowd's attention. They gasped when they saw the horns sprout from he ravenette's head and purple markings spreading across his face and fangs forming in his mouth. Mikaela, noticing the crowd's sudden behavior, turned to their attention and gasped. He watched as Yuuichirou continued to shiver in fright and turn into a demon.

"What is he?!" shouted someone from the crowd.

" He's a demon! Just look at those horns!" a female exclaimed.

"An unholy being!" called another one.

"He must be the bell ringer of Notre Dame." A man yelled.

In the crowd, the Shinoa squad gasped as Yuuichirou's secret was revealed.

"Oh no..." Shinoa mutters.

As the crowd continued muttering and gossiping about the ravenette, Yuuichirou covers himself, falling to his knees, hoping and wishing a hole would appear and swallow him whole. Tears begin to form in his eyes until he hears: "Is this true?". He turns to the source of the voice, he sees it's Mikaela. The blonde is looking down at him waiting for a response. Yuuichirou hesitates for a moment before answering.

"Yes, I am a demon." He replies after a pregnant pause.

He waits for Mikaela to start to judging him or run away from him, but it never came. Instead, he feels unfamiliar warm arms wrapping around him. He turns to the owner to see that Mikaela is hugging him. The ravenette blushed at the sudden motion but still allowed the blonde to hug him. He blushes a deeper red when the blonde leans into him, his lips right beside left ear, whispering: "That's alright, you're still pretty great."

 

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