Vanilla

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Princes, Dancing in the Dark

A/N: Hulloooo Beans! Welcome to Inkitt (if this is your first time here) and I hope you enjoy this special, super romantic AU I have in store for our favourite ship Seesaw (omg that rhymed). I've been wanting to write a fanfic about two characters as Kings/princes for the longest time but like what better idea than to write my o w n f a n f i c because yeah I don't have any fans :'D wheeeeeee

It'll be useful to keep in mind that both Leroy and Vanvan retain their personalities but have very mixed up families in this alternate universe. Also, I miiiiiggghhhtt continue this in a second part if you guys end up liking it. So without further ado... enjoy.






The long-time tradition of having the royal families across the eight kingdoms in the country meet at its epicentre every five years—sparking some form of controversy every single time they did and in turn, making the headlines for papers across all kingdoms in juicy bits of information.

It would, therefore, be of no surprise that such traditions often led to arranged marriages and talks of alliances and possible kingdom mergers but peace and quiet was not what this story was about today, no. Not some fortune-favoured marriage or Cinderella story about a member of the royal family falling in love with a passing butler or a maid.

This was a story of sheer discord and tension: a clashing of personalities and the intensity of the heat that stemmed from such friction, a pair made perfect for kingdoms of opposing methods of governing, values and rules of state—a story of rivals.




Prince Leroy was six when he first met the rumoured glacial beauty of the north. Having lived six years of his life in the heat of an eternal summer, the prospect of the very opposite, an infinite tundra of frost mountains and frozen lakes, was simply unimaginable.

And as though the north had decided to prove him wrong by presenting yet another element of absurdity, it brought him a boy so enchantingly beautiful he could freeze an entire room of eyes.

On him, they were. Prince Julian had hair so soft and pale, it looked to him like snow atop his head, disappearing into the thick coat of fur upon the prince’s shoulders. Leroy himself, dressed in nothing but a white dress shirt and mandatory vest for official events like these, couldn’t understand how those from the north had the capacity for such clothing. After all, the epicentre of all eight kingdoms was decently warm.

Leroy’s royal tutor, Jeremiah Reyes, had once told him that the people of the north revered every bit of fire and warmth and was known to be jealous of those who had the privilege of enjoying such luxuries as were those of the south. And then there were the things he’d heard about the prince born a year later than himself: revered by royalty and commoners alike for his beauty and rumoured silence. Like ice, they had said.

A quiet boy at parties who never really talked.

And to that, Prince Leroy could relate. He was honestly no different, the prince of the kingdom of the south; of bubbling volcanoes and the scorching heat. They adored the prospect of frozen waters and chilled desserts, envious of those who had the privilege of enjoying such luxuries. It’s young prince, like the former, was known to be quiet at parties and once prompted to speak, often lit words into flames and fill the room with the scent of smoke.

Unfortunately, neither royal families from each kingdom had the will or conscience to yield to one another and admit the revere each held for the other. Neither was willing to be the first to give in and raise the prospect of talks regarding the underlying tension between the two rival kingdoms, stemming from ideological differences and that in heritage as well. No king, queen, prince or princess from the north and the south ever got along and the Center Ball was a known dreaded event for every member of these families.

One would assume five years to be a long time but the truth was that for the north and the south, five wasn’t long enough. Or so it would seem until the princes of the 52nd generation of each rival kingdom met for the first time at the Center Ball, along with those of the five other kingdoms seated at the longest table in the country.

They’d sat across each other by coincidence, having had a newly-elected council member assign the seats who had completely forgotten about the north-south rivalry and had made the families sit across one another.

And as perfectly awkward and stiff as it sounded, the dinner table found themselves pleasantly surprised by each family’s ability to ignore one another.

It was the mere curiosity of children that often broke the rule: stealing glances at the other boy across the table and finding the other oddly interesting with the apparent differences in dressing, mannerism and general appearance. Prince Leroy could not comprehend the need for a thick furry coat on Prince Julian’s small shoulders and the latter considered teaching the former on proper fine dining etiquette. After all, he couldn’t fathom the prospect of a prince not learning how to eat at a table when he himself has had lessons since the day he was born.

“I heard the strawberries in the north are amazing,” said the girl seated on his left at what they’d called ‘the other table’ for princes and princesses. Children. Who weren’t allowed at the main table when the adults came round to speaking about politics. “These don’t taste very good but I have some at home that are like huge and also pistachios. Do you like pistachios? I like spicy things.”

They were down to the final dish of their eight-course dinner—dessert. The only time children weren’t allowed at the table of politicians and now, what seemed like a class of students at some elementary school had been gathered by their attendants for some panna cotta with strawberry compote and fresh strawberries on the side.

Prince Julian had been appreciating (or not, because the girl was right about the strawberries and he did feel as though the consistency of the panna cotta wasn’t as smooth and creamy as he’d liked it to be) his course of dessert when he was caught off guard. At the very least, he managed a simple response.

“I… well, I’ve had pistachio cream napoleons that were decent.”

“Is ‘decent’ a word?” piped a boy who sat diagonally across him, who’d already devoured his panna cotta in seconds. “I know ‘meme.’ I learnt that yesterday from my tutor. His name is Dmitri Ford and he’s super cool. This dessert is pretty bad.”

Prince Raul was from the north-west and was never one to pay any attention during his etiquette or history classes. That which he absolutely adored however, were the general information sessions he’d have in the afternoons with his favourite royal tutor, whereby he would be updated on recent trends and happenings in the world.

“What’s a… pistachio… cream, thing?” The girl posed to no one in particular. “I don’t know what ‘decent’ is and I’ve never heard of the ‘meme.’ What’s the ‘meme?’ I’m Si Yin by the way. My mom says I’m from the east but I also don’t really know what that means…”

At once, Prince Raul launched into a blow-by-blow explanation of what a ‘meme’ was before correcting the princess on the use of the term. He soon got himself into an argument with Princess Violet, who claimed that her head butler, Nash Ford, would have had Raul’s tutor sacked within seconds. She also mentioned how even she could have made a better dessert than the one in front of her.

“Hey, Dmitri’s suuper cool okay? He taught me how to… uh, study smart.” “And be the only prince who’s taken the GP three times?” “What! You had to… you have a very stupid hair.” “Uwa! Please don’t fight, everyone…” “Everyone shut up! You’re going to make Chip cry.” “Ugh, just let him cry.”

Ah, youth. The intellectual conversation regarding memes, study tests and luxurious desserts went on for the rest of the evening, successfully entertaining the majority of the table except the two seated at the rightmost end.

And while that single sentence about pistachio cream napoleons by Prince Julian was all that he had to participate in the conversation held over dessert, he seemed to have piqued the interest of the boy seated across him.

While the others were invested in memes and raving about their tutors or complaining about the homework they had and forgetting about the apparently inferior panna cotta, the boy seated across him was quietly finishing his plate of dessert.

There was a hint of a flinch every time he’d spooned a bit of the strawberry compote into his mouth or bit into the fresh strawberries, as though momentarily stung by the explosion of sourness on his tongue. Yet, the prince ended up finishing the entire dish without a word of complaint and had thanked the waiter who had his glass of water refilled.

It was an odd moment of fascination; one that he hadn’t expected to feel for a boy younger than himself or at a boring political event that he’d dreaded coming to when he could have been out riding all afternoon or in the arena with the chief guard, sword-fighting, or in the kitchen with the head chef, learning about spices.

Hours ago, he wouldn’t have imagined himself entertained by the sight of a five-year-old prince squirming slightly whenever he bit into a strawberry and despite this, continuing to do so. Even the older princes who’d paid a visit to his kingdom had demanded their dish changed once a single pepper flake had been out of place or a lemon peel ‘unsightly.’

But here he was; strangely fascinated. Oddly interested. Perfectly… enchanted.






But it was not until five years later that they would meet again at the very next Center Ball, scheduled till late in the evening with an additional segment (or so one that would see its return after a decade’s worth of political talks): a night of dancing. And while the previous instance had seen a shorter version of this segment, concluding the twice-in-a-decade gathering of eight royal families and their subjects at ten o’clock in the evening, this one lasted past midnight, all the way into the wee hours of the next day.

Reason being, well, the princes and princesses no longer had their bedtimes stuck at half-past ten. And having had years of private ballroom lessons and dancing at every birthday ball they’d been invited to, the ten to fifteen-year-olds were expected to participate in the first dance of the evening.

Needless to say, these brats had somehow transformed into unfairly beautiful monsters and artfully charming ghouls. Elaborate gowns and fitting waistcoats seemed nearly too much for a child in the midst of transitioning into a teenager.

Yet, the eleven-year-old Princess Violet of the northeast had on her neck the most stunning freshwater pearls around her neck and dangling from her ears, matching the pearlescent sheen of her ivory dress and the dainty tiara she had atop her head. The youthful blossom of her cheeks she’d somehow retained felt as though they did not belong to the same owner of those large, green eyes—now rested upon Prince Leroy, whom she was dying to have as her first dance partner.

As most eleven-year-old princesses were, Violet was not alone in her sentiments and obsession with fairy tales and their happy endings. The lack of interaction with human beings beyond the confines of their palaces was something they had to be living with, and the prospect of being whisked away by someone from another kingdom seemed perfectly ideal for a princess like herself.

Si Yin on the other hand, was dressed in an elegant scarlet cheongsam which she naturally had not bothered to pull off very well. After refusing her father’s instructions to participate in the first dance, the princess had occupied herself at the buffet table with an extra-large plate and a glass of orange juice. Prince Julian was, at once, quietly envious.

He’d been told to have his first dance with a princess from the south-west, who, throughout the entire waltz, had been staring at Prince Leroy dancing with Princess Violet. It was offensive to not have the entire attention of your dance partner, let alone the distraction being a prince from a rival kingdom he barely had much of an impression of. All he’d heard about Prince Leroy was that he absolutely despised reading and, well, as an avid reader himself, Prince Julian figured out that it was simply unacceptable for anyone to despise the world of words.

The conclusion was simple: someone like that wouldn’t get along with him.

“I’d like to take a breather at the balcony,” he’d told his royal tutor, Vaughn Alekseyev, who’d been standing stiffly by a pillar in idle thought, as he would often be found in social situations.

“As you wish, Prince Julian,” the tutor cleared his throat upon turning away from the scene of festivities, brushing aside the snide comments he had running through his head about foolish royals. During the hour, he’d witnessed a pair of lovebird butlers sneaking what appeared to be bowls of chocolate trifle under their tailcoats. “Your book bag is in the drawing room adjacent to the sun terrace. You’re on the thirty-fifth book of your list, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde page seventy-four line eight. Should I fetch it for you?”

Prince Julian shook his head, starting towards the double doors. “It’s alright, I’ll do it myself. Thank you for telling me.” He very much appreciated Vaughn’s ten years of service but was perfectly unaware of the extent to which he’d been influenced by the tutor’s love for literary geniuses. This ultimately concluded the prince’s preference for books and reading over a night of careless laughter and dancing, which was certainly on the mind of his tutor as well.

And so having retrieved his book from the drawing room and found a quiet little balcony at the end of the hallway facing a forest of silent trees, the prince returned to page seventy-four, line eight, and began his reading. He found himself appreciating the presence of an outdoor tea table, complete with a pair cast aluminium chairs that, although weren’t the kindest cushion for long-term sitting, served its purpose.

He flipped a page, increasingly aware of the lack of light that would most certainly have an effect on his eyesight but so be it! He was already bespectacled. Reading was more important than—

“You sure about that?”


He turned, startled by the voice. Leaning against the doorframe with his hands in his pockets and blazer over his shoulder was the prince he’d never thought he’d get along with. From where he was sitting, out in the darkness of the night and facing the stranger who had his back against the light, one would think it nearly impossible to observe the other’s face.

Yet, perhaps by some magic of the moon or the spell of its light, Prince Julian found himself staring at the intruder of his peace and quiet; the flame in his eyes nearly disarming in quality. It seemed to produce a light of its own. A heated orange that wavered not in the presence of a challenge but instead, flourished in it.

“Good evening,” managed the younger of the two, wary but ultimately unable to stop the offhanded remark at the back of his head from escaping his lips. “I hope you didn’t leave Princess Violet without a dance partner for the rest of it.”

Leroy snorted, cracking a smile. “Like you’re allowed to be here.” He left the door, closing it behind him before filling the seat across the northern prince. The latter felt increasingly surprised.

Did sitting down indicate interest in having a conversation? Were they having a conversation? According to the book of manners, Prince Julian was inclined to consider the exchange of words a form of greeting likened to small talk. Still, he couldn’t decide between the stranger merely needing a place to sit and him actually wanting a conversation. But wouldn’t that beg the question of purpose? What was Leroy doing here in the first place? Surely, he could have found a place to sit in the ballroom with the rest of his subjects and perhaps even found far suitable conversations elsewhere…?

He’d said the question aloud before he knew it and Leroy had turned to him with a fair look of amusement. Embarrassed, Prince Julian found himself staring down at page… page what was it again?

“It was getting boring.” He heard him say and looked up at once. Surprised.

“You don’t like parties?”

“Some. Some are okay,” said the prince rather shortly, but visibly honest all the same. The light of the moon cast a veil over half their faces and Leroy could not help but notice the nearly glowing locks of hair on his companion’s head. They sat in a moment of silence, gazing out into the night before the former’s eyes glanced sideways at the latter. “You?”

“Me?” Prince Julian blinked, having not quite expected to be asked in return. “I prefer reading to a night of dancing. It’s not like I have a problem with meeting new people—I’m just annoyed that this and dancing must come hand in hand. It happens at every ball I attend, and I don’t quite know what to make of it. Also, reading furthers my pool of knowledge whereas dancing simply… dancing simply does no benefit to the world.”

Prince Leroy found himself increasingly amused with every word, suddenly glad that he’d come out for a breather without having to act with the knowledge of eyes upon him. This, he observed, was much more entertaining than dancing, indeed.

“I hate reading,” he said to provoke the other; just to see his reaction. Although the entire statement was nothing less than the truth. “And writing.”

“Well then, how else are you to be educated?” Julian seemed to be genuinely surprised. The least bit offended. “Are you not the heir to your father’s throne? Surely, you are being prepared for the future?”

“We prioritize combat skills, I guess,” shrugged the other. “Wouldn’t want to rule a kingdom of books.”

This, Prince Julian begged to differ. “W-well! I wouldn’t want to rule a kingdom of… a kingdom without brains. We should agree to disagree. Because I believe it’s simply a cultural difference which we each have to accept. Either way, the north and the south are known as long-time rivals, so as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we differed in every single aspect of governance.”

His companion laughed. “You’re like a fucking dictionary.”

Red dusted the pale cheeks that belonged to the northern prince. “That’s—! It’s illegal to use such… such vulgar terms in front of royalty. And you’re eleven. You shouldn’t be learning such things in the first place.”

“Yeah and you’re ten,” Leroy pointed out. “You know too much.”

The bespectacled bean paused, visibly surprised. “Well, I… it’s not much of a… you know. We’re expected to be kings one day. If that would mean having to read up on politics instead of ‘All You Need to Know About Ingredients Around the World’ then, I suppose I would be obliged to.”

This seized his companion’s attention by the leash. “You cook?”

“I, well… not really, no. Reading culinary books would be my guilty pleasure, but I’m not quite allowed in the kitchen, you see.” He could not help the crestfallen shoulders as he said this, forgetting that he as a book would be one that was open and easily read.

“Same,” Prince Leroy snorted. “I sneak in. Riding’s fine. Hunting is, too. And combat. I just look for a break sometime—that isn’t reading and writing.”

Julian caught himself laughing; and the moment he did, the tips of his ears displayed every emotion. Clear as day.

“I thought you said they prioritized combat skills,” he pointed out after clearing his throat. “Well it’s not surprising. Every member of the royal family is expected to read and write to a certain extent and level—which unfortunately applies to hunting as well. And in combat, of course.”

Leroy glanced sideways with a smirk. “Don’t like it?”

“To take a life for the purpose of entertainment is completely beyond my understanding,” stated the waking dictionary, glasses reflecting the light of the moon. “Hunting is… it’s unfathomable. Is what it is. Combat skills are a necessity, yes, but all I need to know is how to defend myself and other people. Leading the charge in the notion of war is… it’s frightening.”

His companion stared, then cracked a smile that looked quite as though he’d seen some things the other hadn’t.

“And if it’s kill or be killed?”

The northern prince had to pause. “When the situation arises… I… I suppose it would be considered an act of defence.”

“Then you need to learn how to kill,” shrugged the boy who seemed to live in an entirely different world.

In the air was what seemed like the silken touch of icy flames; molten without a bite, chilly without a sting. That which encompassed a clash of differences and an encounter of extremes made for disagreements that were certain and determined in quality. Neither was keen on backing down and yet, there seemed in the night, a breeze that melded the two—red and blue.

Each were given a glimpse of the depths that was the other. One, hidden behind a flame and the other, glass. Prince Leroy knew by this point how wrong those rumours were; how the pale-haired prince was, indeed, so much of a talker that he could easily beat anyone in his court of knowledge. Quiet was an understatement—a shallow interpretation of a mind so elegantly loud and free.

It made him curious, prompting Julian about his apparent silence at parties.

“Well,” the ten-year-old began. “I’m… I’m afraid I’d sound too—so my uncle says that if I sound too clever, I’d make more enemies.”

The response was not one that he’d been expecting from a child younger than himself. Such a thought had never crossed his mind and now that he’d thought about it, he, too, had had moments of similar nature: whereby hiding what he excelled at would, at times, be advantageous. These were the words of his chief guard, Xander Jaxon, who’d trained the prince from birth.


He turned to face the other seated across him, something tugging on the edge of his lips. “You’re like a snowflake.”

This took Prince Julian by surprise. “W-what,” he managed, defenceless. “How! How dare you. I am not some fragile speck of frost easily swayed by the—”

“Delicate at a glance but,” he went on, unfazed. “Complex once close.”

It was to Julian a moment he’d never forget; one that made him to irreversibly embarrassed at the mere thought of uttering such odd words that seemed neither dull nor pleasant. Put together, they sounded almost affectionate. He couldn’t see past the several interpretations one could derive from a remark so short and lacking of context and whether or not Leroy had meant it as a compliment or an insult.

Puzzled, the younger of the two decided to leave it up to his safety mechanic of words to do the work.

“W-well, if I’m a snowflake then… then you’re a… a candle.”

Prince Leroy narrowed his eyes at once—his initial reaction nearly reflecting that of his companion’s moments before. “What. You think I’m—”

“The kind that’s… that’s awfully hard to look away from after a while because it’s so still and perhaps even more hypnotising than the pendulum that magicians use for that purpose and I’m sure of that because we once had a magician over at my birthday ball and he tried to hypnotise Aunt Lucienne and it was absolutely ridiculous.” Prince Julian managed without tripping over his words, blurting out whatever it was that had been on his mind whilst fiddling with the book in his arms. “Are we still having this conversation, or would I have to think of more comebacks for the next fifteen minutes?”

The silence that followed these words was soon dispelled by an amused laugh. One that felt as though it had been forever since it was last heard in the presence of another.

Disarmed by his companion’s laughter, Prince Julian blinked once, the strange thought of being unusually relieved crossing his mind—glad that the night was dark enough so that the other couldn’t see the heat on his face. “I’m not quite sure why you’re laughing.”

He turned and their eyes met.

Observing, then, that Leroy could not seem to wipe the expression of amusement off his face, Julian felt the need to reload his ammunition of comebacks. The last thing he expected was the other to be back at it so quickly.

“Not just fifteen minutes,” candles for eyes teased. “Do it forever.”

“That’s ridiculous. Forever is a very long time and I-I wouldn’t like to waste it on you,” was what Julian responded with, quietly proud of himself. “Why would I have to think of comebacks even when you’re not around?”

“Precisely because I’m not around,” said the other prince with the hint of a smirk on his lips. Fromm the other side of the tea table, he extended a hand. “I’m Leroy.”

The bespectacled boy had his eyes blinking behind those frames, aware that they’d somehow messed up the entire procedure of things and that for some reason, introductions had ended up being the very last of their interactions. Come to think of it, they’d never been formally introduced.

And while the true underlying reason could have very well been attributed to the rivalry between their kingdoms, it made for the most authentic of introductions—one that did not feature titles and power, labels and standing, stemming from a raw, genuine desire to know the other.

“I’m… Julian,” he said with seeming confidence, albeit taking the hand gingerly and shaking it. His companion appeared unconvinced.

Frowning, he held the icy hand in his and refused to let go. “That’s your name?”

“Um,” the northern prince found himself caught off guard. “Well, I… no, not really but…” One look at those candle eyes was enough to weaken the defences he’d put up. “Don’t laugh. On account of my unusually pleasant mood this evening, I’ll tell you my full name. But you aren’t allowed to laugh o-or smile or… or anything like that. Just acknowledge that you’re incredibly lucky and, well, accept it as it is.”

“Can’t smile?” Prince Leroy raised a brow with a smile so oddly attractive and hard to resist that Julian himself found the need to look away.

“Oh do whatever you like,” he huffed, giving up and glancing over uneasily. “It’s Vanilla Julian White. My uncle calls me Vanille. I’d prefer to go by my middle name in public because it isn’t only embarrassing but also awfully unfortunate to have a name that means ‘plain’ and ‘simple’ and obviously uninteresting—”

“Vanilla.” The combination of such words and the look in his eyes; those things needed to be banned once he rose to the throne, or so Vanilla thought at once. “I just said you were like a snowflake. Delicate. But complex.”






Prince Leroy,

I’ve only ever written political letters to subjects residing in the embassies of other kingdoms. This would be my first attempt at a sentimental (or not) letter and I’m still not entirely sure what should go into this. For starters, I’d read several examples of historical letters sent in the past but they all seemed to involve some form of ‘missing’ the other.

I must make this clear: I do not miss you. Neither do I wish to meet you any time sooner than five years later, should you still be alive (a mere possibility, considering the nature of your kingdom).

Should you be curious, I’ve sent along with this letter a photograph of my training grounds. Having given your words some consideration, I have decided to take my combat lessons a little more seriously. Perhaps in some near future, we would duel on the top of a hill, at the setting of the sun, in the midsummer breeze.



Signed,

Vanilla Julian White.






Wow, you miss me a lot.

I tried to read the book you talked about. Doesn’t make any sense. Vulture is a dick.

Made a library. Here’s a picture.


Leroy






Dear Prince Leroy,

Is that the proper way to be writing a letter? I trust you’re done with the first book by the time you’re reading this and have changed your opinion regarding said vulture. Additionally, I’ve figured you’ve had some misunderstanding about what a REAL library is, so I’ve attached a picture of a real one. Libraries do not consist of three books, Leroy.

It has come to my attention that your birthday is in a month’s time. Assuming it takes thirty-five days (as stated on the instruction manual of the royal post) for this letter to arrive, I am including a generous, handmade bookmark for your reading ventures. It is procured by means of Japanese folding called ‘origami.’ I hope you find it to your liking.


Sincerely,

Vanilla Julian White

P.S. What is it about ‘I do not miss you’ that is so incredibly hard for you to understand? I do not miss you! I do not.






What the fuck is procure?

Half a year and you’re already harder to understand. I have five books now. Thanks for the gift. Got you a dagger. Happy birthday.


Leroy

P.S. Fine. The vulture is not a dick. He’s a cool dick. The owl though. Feels bad.






Dear Prince Leroy,

It has been nearly two years since I’ve last heard from you. This would be my fourth attempt, and I can only hope that my letters reach you despite the snowstorm that has been going on for the past six months.

My subjects have brought news of an erupting volcano in your region. While I am aware that lava would be an unlikely cause of death considering how far your palace would be from the volcano itself, I have my concerns regarding volcanic ash.

It has come to my attention that you may very well have received the other three letters I’d sent and had your reasons for not wishing to write a response in turn. Whatever it may be. And should I have a part to play in that, well, I apologise. Perhaps I may be coming across as someone persistent. Should that be the case, I would like to be corrected.

I must admit: it wouldn’t be very pleasant to hear news of your death. What would I do with the endless comebacks I’d thought up while you weren’t around? Surely, they would have to be expressed aloud.

Yours Sincerely,

Vanilla Julian White

P.S. Have you read the ending of the trilogy? It’s been a year since it was published but I never willed myself to turn the page. I’m at the mercy of a human being I’ve never met and I don’t know how to feel about that. Do you?






Hey.

I’m alive. Nearly died twice.

Your snowstorm is shitty and needs to go away. Had thirty books (that’s a library right) but the fire got them.

Lost my dictionary too. Need a walking one.

Can you come?



Leroy

P.S. I’m king now.

Fuck






Dear King Leroy,

Buy your own dictionary. Also, you are terrible at writing letters and I was admittedly so fed up with reading your nonsense that I almost refused to write in response. Please learn how to write by actually responding to questions and the sentiments of your partner. Now that you’re king, this should all the more come to you as natural and important.

That said, I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve heard you’re in the midst of repairs and rebuilding half the kingdom, which also gives you no time to mourn. I wouldn’t be too worried about a thick-headed person like yourself, but. Should you require any assistance from neighbouring kingdoms, well. Perhaps I will see you at the coming Center Ball.

That said, I’m glad you’re alive.

That said, I’m concerned about our letters being intercepted. Should you really be writing about you being alive? Or nearly dying twice? Please be careful.



Yours Sincerely,

Vanilla Julian White

P.S. I’m king too.






Dear King Julian of the north,

This letter is written on behalf of King Leroy as an apology and an update of recent developments in the kingdom that have resulted in a temporary ban on letter-writing.

The kingdom has unfortunately decided to cut off all communication with outsiders and will focus on addressing internal issues which we cannot disclose. The North will also refrain from participating in political summits over the next two months, including the Center Ball.

Granted, King Leroy is not very happy about this but has agreed to do so for the sake of his kingdom. This decision appears to be the hardest one King Leroy has had to make, and I greatly apologise for the disappointment it may cause and ask for your kind understanding and forgiveness.


Jeremiah Reyes

Advisor to King Leroy of the South

P.S. I’ve noticed the presence of a bookmark on the King’s bedside table for the past five years. I believe it’s one of his greatest treasures.




.

.

.

.

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Hey I’m turning nineteen this fall.

Sorry it took so long to lift the ban. They brought some old papers in this morning for updates on other kingdoms. Saw your picture.

Heard letters get around faster now. Jeremiah sent the invitations out yesterday. Violet and Si Yin are invited. Raul’s coming.

You?



Leroy

P.S. you’re hot






Dear King Leroy,

It’s been some time. Yes indeed, letters get around faster these days.

I’d love to attend your birthday ball but it is unfortunately being held on the exact day of my kingdom’s midautumn festival, the most celebrated night of our calendar. Would you be inclined to visit some other time?

Formalities aside, I despise you. Do you know how disappointed I was when you didn’t turn up at the Center Ball? I waited all evening only to receive that letter from your advisor the next morning before having to feel so angry at myself for being so immature and childish. Terrified by the emotions I was feeling, I couldn’t sleep for nights.

How is it that being a king can feel so lonely at times?

I must make this clear: I do not miss you.



Yours Sincerely,

Vanilla

P.S. Happy Birthday. I sent you something else to sleep with. Sleeping with a bookmark sounds ridiculously pitiful.






I had a dream and in it we fucked.

It’s either the teddy bear’s fault or I’m going crazy. Si Yin says I miss you too much. She stayed on for two days because she liked the palace barn.

Thanks for the gift. But I’d rather sleep with you. I keep forgetting to say it but I think we should fuck.



Leroy

P.S. I think I like you.






Good god Leroy Cox you are absolutely ridiculous and I have no words for you and your endless vulgarities. How dare you ruin my near-perfect letter of confession to confess first and make it sound so awfully unrefined oh you uncultured swine good god you need writing lessons oh my god you’re so uneducated I need to breathe can’t you at least be more romantic or subtle?? I had in my drawer the most perfect letter and now I’m too embarrassed to send it knowing that you wrote something so terribly uncouth you’d only laugh at whatever I’d written oh my god just get yourself over here so that I can scold you proper.



P.S. I like you too.



Yours,

Vanilla.




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