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    Laura S. Fox
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

This Strange World Needs A Kicking! - 12. Two Plus One Makes Three Troublemakers

Chapter Twelve – Two Plus One Makes Three Troublemakers

Sebastian felt a slight tinge of annoyance at the excitement he felt while waiting for Milo to unwrap the package that had just been delivered to his door. The mail services in this world were equally impressive. Throughout the day, in school, he had imagined this moment, which had caused him to be caught daydreaming a few times by the teachers. Luckily, he had studied so assiduously that he had managed to avoid their wrath and possibly detention. A few of his classmates were still in awe over his newly found ability to respond correctly to the questions addressed by the teachers, but otherwise, the strange looks thrown in his direction had been fewer and fewer.

What he needed was to blend in, and feeling excited like a kid on their birthday over something that had to be considered commonplace in this world rightfully annoyed him.

“Do you want to open it?” Milo handed the package to him.

“Can I?” His fingers were tingling. To think that people could place orders on things such as clothes and get them the next day was unfathomable in Ifigia. Each garment he owed was the result of the diligent work of an army of tailors who took his measurements, searched for the desired materials, and summoned him to try those clothes at least several times until the result was perfect. All that work lasted weeks, if not more.

He ripped the foil covering the clothes, hoping that Milo didn’t consider him strange in his impatience. The fabric of the trousers felt a bit coarse, and a few threads were coming off here and there.

A grimace threatening to twist his lips was stopped in time. This outfit was destined to help him earn money and food for his family, so it wouldn’t serve to apply his usual set of standards.

“Come on, try them on,” Milo encouraged him.

He had no trouble getting undressed in front of his boyfriend, although it appeared to be perceived as a lack of modesty to do so. Secretly, Sebastian now enjoyed Milo’s small comments and exclamations as he shed off his uniform.

At first, he was surprised at how tightly the trousers fit him. Definitely, they weren’t particularly comfortable. Well, one had to suffer inconveniences, as it seemed, for the sake of duty. A pair of uncomfortable pants was nothing compared to fighting monsters.

He walked to the mirror in the hallway and took a critical look at himself. Kai’s body was nothing like his but not unpleasant to look at, either. It had a boyish charm, but Sebastian winced when he noticed how low the trousers sat on his hip bones.

“Wow,” Milo commented. “This is, um,” he rubbed the back of his head, “even more revealing than I thought.”

Sebastian turned to have a look from the back. Any lower and those pants would show way more than they should.

“Did I get the wrong size?” Milo moaned. “I suppose I should be glad that your crack’s not visible. Maybe it was a bad idea.”

“No. I can live with it. Please, bring me the rest.”

Milo came back with the thin leather straps and helped him put them on, and then offered his assistance with the wig.

For a moment, Sebastian stood frozen in place. It was just the artificial hair, but for a moment, he thought he had caught a reflection of his own. The wig was stiff and of a plain white color, nothing like his actual platinum-colored hair, but the illusion was there.

“Dude,” Milo said excitedly, “you’re totally rocking this look, I can’t believe it!”

“Dude,” Sebastian replied stiffly as he took a long look in the mirror, “I believe I do.”

“You’re so going to win the contest. I know it!”

“I must,” Sebastian said while giving himself another once-over. “Will I have to walk on the street like this? I’m afraid it would be inappropriate.”

Milo snickered. “No, of course not. I’ll have my bag with me, and we can stuff everything in there.”

“All right.” Sebastian stared at his reflection, longing to get another glimpse of his own self.

“Come on now. You’re going to put a hole through the mirror if you keep staring,” Milo joked and dragged him along. “And you need to get out of this outfit, or you’ll be in serious danger of me jumping your bones.”

Sebastian no longer had to be explained everything, and for a moment, he considered whether it wouldn’t be a good idea for Milo to jump his bones. No, they didn’t have enough time. Maybe later. Then he would enjoy the other boy’s body to the fullest, as he deserved for putting up with all the strangeness of this world.

***

So far, being Prince Sebastian kind of rocked. He had ice magic, he could make dragons cry, and an entire castle was at his feet. However, while it was cool and all that, he needed to find whoever had summoned him to this fantastic world.

What if it wasn’t just a trip? Kai slowed down his horse. He hadn’t thought of that before. Any boy his age would want to be in his shoes right now. Well, there was the downside of being caught in a BL story, but it was a minor downside. Tiny.

Still, how long was he going to be there? Wouldn’t people start missing him in the real world? His mom and Tani? And Milo? Sebastian must be filling his role, but what if he started yelling that he was a prince and all that? Kai munched on his bottom lip. That could be bad. His real body might end up in a loony house or something. He had seen plenty of anime shows to know how to behave in his current situation, but certainly, a prince like Sebastian had to be clueless.

Hmm, that kind of worried him.

Lost in thought as he was, he didn’t notice he had ended up quite far away from the castle. A look over the shoulder assured him that he could barely make up the silhouette of the majestic building in the distance.

“Maybe I should head back,” he told himself.

He was about to turn his horse when he noticed something. His eyes were playing tricks on him, or a bush far to his left had just moved.

“Come out, whoever you are,” he boomed. Yeah, it was nice being Prince Sebastian. Even his voice sounded like belonging to a royal from a fairytale.

The bush shook, and finally, someone emerged. It was a young man dressed in fancy clothes. He walked toward Kai, stopped, and made a long curtsy, in which he remained without saying a word.

“Do I have to… All right, you can stand,” Kai said with a sigh.

The young man straightened up and looked into his eyes daringly. Kai groaned internally. Another bishonen? Really, he had enough trouble with dodging Conrad’s and Pepin’s advances. This guy was not as tall as Conrad nor as short as Pepin. He had long wavy hair, the color of ripe chestnuts tied in a low ponytail, and bright hazel eyes. A few rebellious strands caressed a tall forehead. And he was every bit the type of character one would meet in a BL anime or novel. His clothes were quite impressive. He wore dark green velvet pants and black high riding boots, while a waistcoat was accentuating his slender waist. The shirt underneath poked at the neck and the sleeves of the velvet coat, the lace decorations having been designed to draw attention to this particular character.

But maybe, just maybe, he was jumping to conclusions, and this guy wouldn’t say anything outrageous the moment he opened his mouth.

“Well,” Kai said impatiently, “speak. Who are you and why were you hiding in that bush?”

Much to his surprise, the young man started laughing. He stopped after a few good moments, a time during which Kai raised an eyebrow in annoyance until his forehead hurt.

“I know we haven’t seen each other in three years since you were officially put in charge of Ifigia, but I wasn’t expecting you not to recognize me, dear cousin!” The young man exclaimed and opened his arms wide.

“Cousin?” Kai sighed in relief. Good, so at least this dude wouldn’t jump his bones. He was in enough trouble already. “What cousin?”

“Your cousin Galien. Doesn’t ring a bell?” He appeared disconcerted for a moment. “Of course, I should introduce myself properly since I also received an important title since the last time we spoke. I’m Galien Ansoul, the Duke of Kelonia, Your Majesty.” Another long curtsy followed, but this time, the young man didn’t wait to be told to get on with it. “And I am here,” his voice dropped to a whisper, “on an important mission.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Kai said as his eyes thinned. “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”

Galien appeared offended by that accusation. Forgetting all about his convoluted curtsies from before, he crossed his arms and began tapping his foot. “Sebastian, how can you say something like that? After everything you’ve been through together? And how can you not recognize me?”

Well, there’s a good explanation for that, only that no one would believe it. I guess saying that I’m from another world might make things a bit more complicated than they already are.

Kai thinned his eyes further and measured Galien up and down, pretending to be thoughtful and search for memories of them doing whatever together. Then he snapped his fingers. “Galien! Right! Of course! You’re from my mother’s side, right?”

Galien nodded enthusiastically. Good, at least he had gotten that right.

“But why didn’t you come by the front door?” Kai asked.

Galien pulled at his coat and cleared his throat. “Dear cousin,” he said in a grave voice, “you are in danger. Someone’s scheming to have you assassinated.”

“Ah, that. That happened already.”

Galien lost his composure at that. His eyes grew wide. “And how did it go?”

“Seriously?” Kai was starting to have a feeling that Prince Sebastian’s cousin was not a particularly clever guy. “I’m still here, right?”

Galien nodded thoughtfully. “Who tried to kill you?”

Kai shook his head. “You don’t know? What kind of sensitive information you thought you were about to deliver? It looked like someone from the house of Uxilan.”

“But you destroyed the house of Uxilan.”

“Ah, well, it looks like I didn’t do a thorough job. Or someone just came back from the dead as a zombie. Although he was moving quite fast for one.”

“A zombie?” Galien had a stricken expression on his face. “What kind of foul creature is that?”

“Foul, indeed,” Kai said under his breath. “The guy who tried to stab me with a poisoned blade ran away but left his coat behind, and the coat had the crest of the house of Uxilan,” he explained.

“The blade didn’t touch you, right?” Galien asked, now obviously worried.

“Dude, I’m here, and I’m fine. No, Conrad got stabbed, though.”

“Who’s Conrad?” Galien seemed to search for something with his mind. Then his eyes grew wide. “Don’t tell me… Prince Conrad of Estfalia? But you were at war with his country, the last time I heard news from you.”

“Yeah. Well, I beat him, and now he’s my concubine. Long story. Also, not very interesting,” Kai said quickly.

Galien’s lips twisted in a playful smile. “Concubine? Well, now that’s quite the development. But it means that you spared his life.” A reverent sigh followed. “It would have been such a shame to kill him.”

“You’re welcome at him if you want him,” Kai said.

That would solve at least half of the problem I have right now.

“Oh, cousin,” Galien covered his mouth in a coy gesture, “I would never. Everyone knows that anyone who has the misfortune of warming your bed longs for you forever. So, tell me, how did you make the proud prince of Estfalia bend the knee? Did he fight a lot? Please, don’t spare any detail.”

Great. Another dude into dudes. At least, this one wasn’t going to try to get into his pants. Not that Conrad and Pepin had tried that since he was mostly naked around them…

Wait, why am I always naked around them?

“Let’s head back to the castle, and… talk about something else.” Kai assumed that he needed to play the host. “Where is your horse? Don’t tell me you came on foot or something.”

Galien surprised him by placing two fingers in his mouth and blowing a loud whistle. From behind him, a beautiful bay horse emerged. Kai observed the animal as he trotted toward his master.

“You’re still the prettiest, Thunder,” he whispered in his horse’s ear. Thunder snorted in agreement.

Kai watched Galien mount his horse, a bit envious at how elegant and fanciful the duke appeared to be in everything he did. He was probably a scatterbrain, otherwise, but it was clear that he knew his manners.

“Shall we?” Galien asked.

Kai nodded.

“Now, tell me everything… Wait, did you just say that Conrad was stabbed?”

“Yeah. He just thought it clever to put himself between me and the assassin.”

“How peculiar,” Galien said and tapped his lips with an index finger. “I would have thought he hated you.”

“He does, but he’s a weird guy,” Kai replied. “He constantly tries to get into my pants.”

Galien surprised him by bursting into laughter.

“What? He does,” Kai insisted.

“Where have you picked such a drole manner of speaking, dear cousin? One would not have caught you dead using such words, as far as I remember. It appears that you’ve become quite a man of the world during our time apart.”

A man of another world, actually, but Kai wouldn’t correct his so-called cousin on that.

“Well? Aren’t you going to tell me?” Galien continued.

“Tell you what?”

“How did you and Conrad come about? I know he is handsome, but --”

“Temporary insanity,” Kai replied right away. “I got hit in the head. By a horse. Not this one.”

Galien examined him from the corner of one eye with a sly smile. “That explains quite a lot, then. Has that old physician seen to your wound?”

“What wound?” Kai was busy trying to come up with believable lies so that this cousin wouldn’t start suspecting him.

“The one to your head,” Galien said slowly as if he couldn’t understand regular speech now.

“Ah, that one. I healed. No signs of it now.”

“I see.” Galien nodded, but he kept staring at Kai. “Now, tell me. What kind of lover is Conrad?” His voice dropped low, and he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“He’s… I’m not going to tell you that! It’s rude!” Kai blurted out.

“Since when?” Galien asked in apparent disbelief. “You’ve always told me everything. But your hit to the head must have been pretty serious if you don’t remember me.”

“I do, but, you know, it’s all a little hazy. Feel free to fill me in. How’s your family?” Kai asked, trying to sound as chill as possible.

“Ah, you know. Mother is busy roasting everything and everyone in her path, and father just tries to keep out of her way.”

“Roasting? She’s a comedian or something?”

Galien chuckled and threw Kai an amused look. “She’s the Fire Goddess. I doubt anyone she roasts would find her amusing.”

Ice Goddess. Fire Goddess. Well, that was quite the family he was part of at the moment.

“So you have fire magic?”

“Me?” Galien seemed completely surprised. “Unlike yours, my mother married a human. I’m afraid I only inherited my sire in all respects.”

“And who did my mom marry?” Kai found himself speaking.

That earned him another long look from Galien. “That hit to the head must have been something. Your mother, my dear Sebastian, had you on her own. In other words, she made you using her ice magic.”

“So, I don’t have a dad?” Kai asked, feeling sorry for Prince Sebastian.

“Oh, don’t look so stricken. Not even as a child did you ever cry for your father. Or your mother who only took you with her when she wanted to teach you your magic. I must admit that you seem quite changed. Don’t tell me you’ve fallen for Conrad, and this is you, smitten and head over heels.”

Kai bristled. “No, I told you. I only hit my head.”

“All right. No need to have my head for suggesting it. And how is that lovely servant of yours? As possessive as ever? Your taking Conrad to your bed must have saddened him.”

It was true, and Kai felt guilty toward Pepin for that. But it wasn’t his fault! “He’ll live,” he said shortly, not wanting to say yet another thing that, most probably, didn’t sound like Prince Sebastian at all.

“How cold of you to say that,” Galien commented. “But hey, if you ever want to lend Pepin to me, I’ll make sure to offer him enough consolation to forget about you.”

“I don’t,” Kai said brusquely. No way would this fancy man take Pepin away from him. Who did Galien think he was to ask for someone’s favorite manservant like that?

His cousin let out a small all-knowing laugh. “Of course. He was your mother’s gift to you, right? You’ll never allow him to leave your side. Just let me know about the wedding a couple of years in advance so that I can prepare a proper gift.”

“I’m not marrying Pepin,” Kai protested right away.

“You’re not?” Galien appeared surprised. “It’s true that you’ve always dismissed it. I just thought that you’ve warmed up to the idea in the meantime.”

“Not really,” Kai said. “I’m ice cold to the idea.”

“All right. Forget I asked. But I will ask you again in a few years’ time.”

“On your next visit?”

Galien burst into laughter again. “My apologies, dear cousin, but you appear to have developed a knack for comedy. Or was it a hint that I haven’t visited in so long? I do apologize for that. It’s just that I was made a duke, and, of course, I now have duties to attend.”

“And yet, you forgot about everything and came here to tell me about the assassination attempt,” Kai pointed out.

“It was a matter of life and death. I’m surely glad to find you alive and well.”

“How long will you stay?”

“Eager to get rid of me?”

“No. It’s just so that I know what to tell Pepin.”

Galien didn’t question why Prince Sebastian had to inform his manservant about his cousin’s visit. “I’ll be here for a few days if that’s all right with you. It’s quite a ride back to Kelonia.”

How far was that, anyway? Kai needed a map of the world so that he could learn a bit more about his surroundings. It couldn’t be that far if Galien had arrived on a horse with no supplies whatsoever.

“We’ll catch up and have some fun,” Galien continued. “You’ll introduce me to Conrad. I’m quite interested in seeing a dragonborn from up close.”

“Dragonborn?” He had thought Conrad’s eyes were like a dragon’s, in a way, but otherwise, he appeared to be completely human.

“All right, so it’s just a rumor,” Galien admitted with a slight grimace. “But you know that I like handsome men, just as much as you. And Conrad has quite the reputation.” He chuckled. “I supposed it is a merciless twist of fate for him, a ruthless breaker of hearts, to end up in your bed. Tell me he’s spitting fire each time you put him in his place.”

No, he wasn’t spitting fire, but he could be intimidating. Good thing Kai had all Prince Sebastian’s powers, or else he would be scared shitless of a guy like that trying to jump him all the time.

“He’s not spitting fire,” he retorted.

“What does he do then? Did you two --”

Kai covered his ears, risking falling off the horse. Luckily, Prince Sebastian’s good balance and training kept him in the saddle. “I really don’t want to talk about it!”

“Oh, then I pity Pepin.”

“Why would you pity Pepin? He’s fine,” Kai protested.

“What do you mean, why? You obviously have feelings for Conrad. And you still haven’t told me about how he got wounded by an Uxilan poisoned blade and survived.”

“Well, that’s a long story, but also interesting. Do you want to hear it?” Kai asked, excited at the idea of telling someone about his adventures at the dragon’s cave.

“Sure. Go ahead.”

The road back to the castle was surely more enjoyable now that Galien was silent and Kai was busy recounting his and Pepin’s quest to get the dragon’s tear.

***

“Master Galien,” Pepin welcomed them right outside the stables. “What brings you here?”

Kai watched his manservant and his wary manner of speaking to Galien. Could it be that his cousin was only pleasant toward people of his own rank and higher? If he talked Pepin down or did anything to make the servant feel bad, he would –

Galien dismounted and threw the reins to one of the stable boys. “Is this how you welcome me? You’re breaking my heart, Pepin.” He walked over to the servant, hugged him tightly, and kissed him on the lips with a loud smack.

Kai grabbed his jaw and pushed it back. “What the hell?!”

Both Galien and Pepin stared at him wide-eyed. Apparently, getting worked up over seeing his loyal manservant getting manhandled like that wasn’t Prince Sebastian’s usual MO. Still, he couldn’t let it slide.

“What is it, Sebastian?” Galien asked. He was still holding Pepin, and Kai frowned as he pushed himself up in the stirrups and tried to see where the guy’s hands were.

“Don’t be handsy with my servant,” he said and winced at the aggressive tone of his voice.

Galien laughed. “Would you prefer me to be handsy with you?” He wiggled his eyebrows, making Kai roll his eyes. “That reminds me of the good old times.”

Kai froze on the spot. Even with his cousin? Prince Sebastian was quite the character!

Pepin took them both by surprise by pushing Galien away in a firm but polite manner. “Stop joking, Master Galien. His Majesty might just believe you.”

“I’m just having a little bit of fun,” Galien replied and didn’t seem affected by Pepin’s rejection. “He told me he hit his head, so I was trying to put some new memories in there.”

“They are not memories if they never happened,” Pepin argued. “And when did you hit your head, Your Majesty?” He examined Kai with keen eyes.

“You weren’t there,” Kai said defensively. “Now, come on, don’t just stand there. Take Galien to the guestroom or wherever it is that you put him whenever he comes to visit.”

“Of course.” Pepin nodded shortly. “Please follow me, Master Galien.”

“Make sure not to touch Pepin inappropriately,” Kai yelled after them.

Galien turned and bowed. Then he threw Kai an all-knowing smirk and a wink.

“So this is the famous rake of Kelonia,” Kai heard someone talking as soon as Galien was out of his sight.

Conrad was, fortunately, dressed in clothes that didn’t hug his body tightly. Therefore, he wasn’t as distracting as usual. He was on the back of a horse, so he must have been on a ride. Also, he appeared to have witnessed everything.

“Rake?”

“I won’t apologize, even if it’s your cousin,” Conrad said thinly, and his eyes narrowed.

Now, that was one dude ready to get into a fight if only slightly provoked.

Kai shrugged. “I’m not asking you to. But why do you call him a rake?”

“You should know better. People say that you don’t allow him to be part of your court as you fear that he might steal your lovers.”

“Really?” Kai snickered. “Then I should dare him to steal you.”

The next second, he felt hot breath on his face and Conrad’s arms around him. “You shouldn’t joke with such things, Your Majesty. You made me yours by putting a spell on me.”

Oh, great. Kai endured Conrad nuzzling his neck since he didn’t want to make Conrad’s bum meet the ground with so many people watching.

So…

One troublemaker…

Two troublemakers…

And now, three.

That was just frigging great.

TBC

 

As I promised, le wild extra character makes an entrance in the shape and form of a cousin! I know, I know, I just like things complicated, but let's face it, Pepin - seemingly - accepts everything Kai says and does because he's in love with Sebastian, Conrad doesn't really know the real Sebastian, and everyone else wouldn't dare to assume that their prince is suddenly someone else. Hence, a real challenge needs to be introduced to the scene! Please let me know what you think of Galien and the chapter in general! I love hearing from you!
Until next time,
Hugs,
Laura.
Copyright © 2021 Laura S. Fox; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Yay another man ho!!!!!!! I mean yay another complex character who'll no doubt have an effect on our hero.

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Galien smells like fun, I mean trouble... 🤭🤭👍 Wonderful!

I hope we get more insights on the world Kai has landed in. I already know the other one, where Sebastian is, no more  interest there.

 

On a different note, I was seriously reading the story... And then couldn't stop laughing:

 

“Roasting? She’s a comedian or something?” [...]

“She’s the Fire Goddess. I doubt anyone she roasts would find her amusing.”

Galien was right, this chapter is very funny.

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On 6/20/2021 at 7:48 PM, Wesley8890 said:

Yay another man ho!!!!!!! I mean yay another complex character who'll no doubt have an effect on our hero.

He-he-he... that's a good way of putting it, Wes!

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5 hours ago, johnnyboy2285 said:

Galien smells like fun, I mean trouble... 🤭🤭👍 Wonderful!

I hope we get more insights on the world Kai has landed in. I already know the other one, where Sebastian is, no more  interest there.

 

On a different note, I was seriously reading the story... And then couldn't stop laughing:

 

“Roasting? She’s a comedian or something?” [...]

“She’s the Fire Goddess. I doubt anyone she roasts would find her amusing.”

Galien was right, this chapter is very funny.

Kai just had to ask that question, lol! And Galien supplied, of course! Yes, there will be more of the isekai world, so to speak, while Sebastian will be more busy discovering himself in 'our' world!

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Ohhh! A handsome rake.  I wonder how jealous Kai is going to get with Galien around to stir up mischief.  Pepin and Conrad are definite targets in Galien's sites.  

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