By the shore of the sea, two figures stood there, one watching the other. They looked identical, almost as if they were twins. The young teenagers, only fourteen years of age, had the same golden blond hair, pretty cerulean eyes and fair skin. However, the similarities end there. The male of the pair wore a worn outfit fit for a servant whilst the female wore a delicate gown of a princess.
The young princess silently watched her faithful servant with hidden affection as he stepped into the seawater before huffing. "Honestly, Allen. Why on Mother Nature did you drag me here for?"
The young servant, Allen, simply smiled as he bent over, letting go of what he was grasping in his hand on the soft waves. "Princess Riliance, have you ever heard of this folktale?"
This caught the princess's interest, though she tried not to show it. Allen knew she loved tales. "There are many tales that exist in this country, Allen. You should specify the one you're referring to."
"Ah, sorry." Allen laughed sheepishly as he stepped out of the water, standing next to the princess. "Allow me to rephrase. Have you ever heard of the 'Sea of Woe'?"
"Oh, that tale? Why, yes." Princess Riliance nodded in recognition as she remembered the folktale. "The tale originated from the locals around here, I believe. It is said that the sea is always sad and weeping. Always grieving. So, should it accepts the dreams or wishes of a sorrowful person, it will grant that wish someday. I heard that the locals always ask for ridiculous wishes such as more gold, mending relationships with a loved one and on and on it goes."
As she reached to the end, her arms were waving in a circular manner. Suddenly, she had a thoughtful expression on her face. "Allen, what did you wish for?"
Allen smiled in amusement, a mischievous glint appearing in his eyes as he answered. "I wish for my lady's breasts to grow."
"W-what?" As expected, the princess stuttered, blushing as she crossed her arms over her apparent 'undeveloped' chest. "Give me a reason not to imprison you this instant."
Princess Riliance's eyes twitched as he had the nerve to laugh. The young servant glanced out at the sea before turning back to the princess. "I was merely jesting, my lady. I wished so that you happiness may last forever. That's my wish. Perhaps you can try this too, my lady."
A scoff came in reply as she raised her head in a dignified manner. "It is a simple game for peasants. I do not require this type of absurdity in my way as the soon-to-be queen. Besides..."
She met Allen's eyes as she clasped her hands behind her back, smiling with pure innocence radiating in her princess's eyes. "I always have you grant my wishes, am I right?"
"Yes." Allen said as the two gazed at the gleaming glass bottle filled with a single wish, floating away. "I suppose you are correct."
The waves rolled and clashed against each other as a hooded figure strolled along the beach. The warm seawater landed softly on the sand, covering the footsteps of the figure. The evening sun slowly sink into the sea, creating a magnificent view as the surface of the sea shining with the reflecting sunlight. Seagulls flew in the cloudless, orange sky that was slowly turning purple and landed on the jagged boulders, squawking.
The figure stopped and slowly turned towards the shimmering ocean, slowly pulling down her hood. Golden blond hair swayed along with the wind, sad cerulean eyes filled with desperate hope. Her lips was curled into a small smile, though it did not held the same innocence as it did a long time ago. She wore a worn, beige coat over a simple dress that was once a beautiful gown. In her hands clutched a glass bottle, a folded piece of paper in it.
The former queen Riliance glanced down at the glass bottle she held so tightly. She pursed her lips, as if hesitating, before stepping into the seawater, stopping when the water reached up to her knees.
"Please." She whispered as she held the bottle to her lips, kissing it softly. "Grant this wish of mine."
With those words so softly spoken, she bent down and placed the glass bottle, pushing it tentatively, as if motivating it to move. The glinting object slowly float away as the former queen watched it. She remembered that day, before she became a queen. Allen had told her the tale and she remembered how she simply scoffed at that.
Now, here she was, doing the same as he did all those months ago.
"Allen..." Riliance's smile faltered at the thought of her faithful servant. It was her fault. She knew that everything was her fault. It was her childishness, her selfishness, her cruelty, her pride that brought her in her current predicament. She knew Allen bore feelings for the maiden. She knew that killing the maiden would spark a war between the neighbouring country and her own. She knew that there may be no chance of earning the prince for herself if she does that.
Yet, she did it anyway.
She still ordered Allen to kill the maiden that the prince fell in love to. Because she knew Allen was sworn to carry out her order. She still ordered the minister to discriminate the country where the maiden had come from. Because she could not control her blinding rage.
All because she wanted to the prince to herself.
"A-Allen..." Queen Riliance gasped as her hands flew to her mouth, eyes widening in horror. "Wh...What...?"
"My lady." Allen spoke in return, bowing down. "I have accomplished my task."
Allen's clothes were bloodstained. His blond hair was matted with dry blood, the dagger was dripping with red liquid. His eyes were glistening with unshed tears. Yet, he smiled at her, almost sadly. "I apologise for my appearance, my lady. I encountered a slight... complication while I was completing my task."
Immediately after, the queen hugged him, not caring if there were stains in her clothes. Allen was shocked to feel tears dripping on his shoulder, whether it was sadness or relief, he doesn't know. So, he slowly patted a gloved hand on the queen's back.
"My Queen." He separated the hug and cupped his hands around her face. "I do not wish to see you unhappy."
"You idiot." She muttered, smiling. "I am happy. So very happy. But please, Allen, I do not want to see your sadness, for it makes my heart hurts."
Queen Riliance wiped her face with her hands, sniffing as she tried to regain her composure. "I believe that we require a shower. Then, I asked of you to prepare the brioche for tea, is that alright?"
Allen smiled again, purely this time. "Of course, my lady."
Riliance gritted her teeth. She was so stupid. So childishly stupid, like a spoiled brat. She was so used to the lifestyle of a princess, that she expected to own everything in the world. She used Allen to do terrible crimes and she had paid dearly for it.
The previous queen had told her about Allen's heritage. That he and her were twins. But only one could ascend the throne, the responsibility of a queen. So, Allen was sent far away, to the suitable contacts in order to train him as a servant. While she stayed behind under the strict supervision of her parents.
His smiles, his laughter, his reassurance...
She missed it. All of it.
The queen stared out her windows, seeing the people who were once her subjects revolt against her. Allen approached her, grimly looking at the revolution taking place. "Looks like our reign is coming to an end."
"Yes." Queen Riliance stepped away from the windows just as the remaining soldiers fell to the leading red mercenary. "But I shall accept my fate."
Those were just words, Allen knew it. She was scared out of her wits, having enough composure not to break down, crying. So, he smiled at her and pulled her into a hug, Riliance's eyes watering at what he said.
"If you are full of fear, my lady," He stroked her hair softly. "Then please, allow me to take your place."
"N-no..." Her voice started to crack as tears began to fall. "This is my fate. I will not let you take my place!"
"Rin!" She gasped at the use of her childhood nickname. Allen had not called her that in a very long time. "Please, listen to me... I do not wish for you to lose your life.. Take my clothes and I will dress in yours."
"Run and seek somewhere safe... where you can live on." He broke the hug and gazed lovingly at her tear stained face, smiling. "Do not worry... We were born as twins after all... So, there can be no one that can see through our disguise for sure..."
"It is all my fault, Allen." Her voice wavered, the smile that was on her face disappeared as Riliance's vision began to blur. Then, she felt warm tears streaming down her cheeks. "I should have accepted my fate."
She paced worriedly at an empty park, dressed in Allen's clothes, trying to think of something that could save him. There has to be a way to save him, she just haven't realised it. The people, her former subjects, were gathered at the execution area, to witness the death of their 'queen'.
The death of Allen.
No. She shook her head at that thought. She can't afford to think like that. She couldn't. There has to-
Riliance gasped. "No... It cannot be..."
She ran out of time.
"I'm sorry." She collapsed into the sea as tears continue to fall. Waves of seawater drenched her coat and her face was red as she wailed but she couldn't care less..
She just want to see Allen again.
Riliance ran as fast as she could, making sure the hood was covering her face. She turned the corner and there it was.
The execution area.
Crowds of people had gathered, throwing objects as soon as they saw the prisoner. The former queen watched as Allen began climbing up the stairs towards the guillotine, deliberately moving slowly. As if he was stalling for time. Her eyes widened.
Quickly, she dashed forward, pushing through the crowds. Voices of complaints were called but no one truly looked at her, for they were too busy yelling at the condemned 'queen'. She stopped when she was in direct view of Allen, panting heavily.
She met Allen's eyes as he was pushed to his knees, the guards securing him on the frame. He smiled fondly at her, as if telling her that everything would be alright. He mouthed slowly, making sure that she would understood it.
"Remember what I said."
"Remember that I only wish for your happiness. So please, when I am long gone, be happy. You look better when you are radiating happiness."
The words Allen said echoed in her mind, making her eyes shining with tears. Yet, they didn't fall. Instead, she gave her best smile at him, letting it shine with pure innocence. For this will be the last time he would ever see it.
Allen smiled back, allowing the same amount of happiness shined through.
The red mercenary raised her hand, signalling the death of the condemned.
"I am so sorry..."
The blade dropped and Riliance shut her eyes, unable to look. The sickening sound echoed throughout the area, silencing the crowds for a moment. Then, they began to cheer. Unable to bear the pain, Riliance ran away, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"STOP IT!" Riliance wailed as she hugged herself as tight as she could, shaking as the events flashed through her mind. The tears kept falling, dropping on the ocean. The sun had long sank, light purple clouds covering the dark blue sky. "Please..Forgive me..."
She had never felt so alone in her life..
She felt so afraid without him...
The weeping tears of regret never stopped, no matter how hard she tried. The former queen covered her face with her hands, whispering with a broken voice as she did so.
Her hands moved to clutch the fabric on her coat, feeling an unbearable pain erupting from her chest. Riliance screamed out her next words, uncaring if anyone heard her.
"Please! If... If we were to reborn in another life..."
Suddenly, a warm feeling embraced her. Her cerulean eyes widened at the familiar affection, heart nearly stopped when she recognised it. A soft breeze touched her clutching hands and a voice whispered in her ear as he snuggled in her neck.
"Let us be twins once more. That way, we will always be together."
Quickly, she turned and reached out, but he was already gone, leaving her feeling as if she was alone. She knew better, however, as a smile began forming on her lips, glowing once more with happiness. Softly wiping her tear stained cheeks, Riliance gazed at the sky above, where a lone star seem to be twinkling brightly.
"I agree with you... Allen..."