Chapter 1: A Prince
A boy with golden hair and deep violet-colored eyes, age 18, sat on the royal throne of Vethela. It was solid gold, decorated with intricate carvings and jewels covering its surface. The arms of the throne were laced with only the finest violet jewels without a blemish or imperfect facet, set in with the utmost of care. The legs possessed the same purple gems, the feet bending outwards and holding up the dedicated sitting place of a king with elegance. The throne’s cushion possessed a plum color, a fine fabric that comforts and soothes the soul that sits on it.
The crest sitting on the cresting rail depicted all sorts of white flowers, carved from pure and untainted marble. Among them intertwined a royal bouquet of heather, delphinium, hydrangeas, stock, and white roses that made up the royal crest. Emerald leaves poked up from them, providing life and color, vines mixed in here and there in between the white flower carvings. This was the royal seal, flowers dazzling the eyes and providing some kind of serenity.
That boy was the next to sit there, giving a smirk at the power he felt. It was hidden from him all the years he’d been alive, but at that moment, he felt it all unleashed. The power he was about to inherit from his royal bloodline was coming through and giving him an aura of elegance. And indeed, he possessed such elegance, enthralling his subjects, servants, and any other that passed him, bowing to him in respect.
“The agenda?” he asked, speaking to the man standing next to him.
“The fitting for your coronation begins at 1:00, the appointing of your royal guards will be just after 3:30, and we have meetings for you to attend from 4:00 to 6:00 with a select few nobility. After that, you have a thirty-minute break, and after that, some more meetings with nobles and influential people in the nation. You’re to attend that with your parents.”
The blonde male stood up and gave a confident smirk, giving a nod to his informant. Though the man was his great uncle, he was treated like a servant. As he had previously been regent, it was only right for him to give up the throne to the true heir. The man had no objection either, but he was more than a little surprised when it had been the blonde male that was on the list to inherit the throne.
“To my fitting then,” the blonde smirked, making his way through the elaborate halls of the castle.
On his way to his first appointment of the day, of which there would be many more for the future king, he bathed in the luxury of his surroundings. It was only fitting for him, after all. Golden accents on the walls, expensive portraits by historical masters, and some depicting his ancestors. The castle contained all types of arts. Statues, paintings, portraits, tapestries, stained glass, even elaborate fountains, and mosaics. All of it was to please the future ruler’s valuable eyes and do his utter beauty justice.
He’d made some readjustments to the castle, of course, placing a picture of his beloved grandmother in the throne room so she could watch over him and keep him company. Of course, if she were still alive, she would have rather dreaded the thought, but the blonde didn’t seem to think so. It was something he would believe in even if everyone else told him it wasn’t true. He wouldn’t be swayed so easily by people beneath him, after all.
The servants’ uniforms were also different, done by his hand. Before, they were luxurious, expensive white and purple fabrics adorning their forms perfectly with elaborate detailing in gold. They were something to be envied, something that claimed them as a superior worker capable of serving royalty or even being in their presence in the first place. The blonde didn’t want the women or men, for that matter, daring to wear the same colors as him. He maintained the expensive degree of the clothing but changed the design so as to compliment his form more and that of his future queen.
Every step the male took was history that in the making, something that people would rever upon. People would be lucky if they got to look at him doing something so simple as walking. He was simply invaluable, one of the most powerful men in the world, and he was only still a teenager. Mature though he was for his age, he could also be maltempered and quick to punish another, especially those he deemed extremely below him.
The amount of power he was beginning to wield was almost dizzying, but it was like he was drunk on it the way he reveled in it. Since he was born, he knew it was his destiny to rule over Vethela, just as his grandmother did with such elegance and grace. Still, some would say he was unfit to have the throne for some reason or another which was why they needed to be silenced.
The blonde walked into a large room, of which two guards opened the door for him, bowing at his feet with complete respect for him. He smirked at the thought. The tailor was there as well, bowing deeply and waiting until he instructed for her to rise and get to work on him. His coronation would be coming soon to crown him the legitimate king, and he simply couldn’t have normal clothes. The ones that would be made for him would be the very definition of beauty and luxury, fitting for his glowing form.
As he was beginning to get measured for the cape and adorning outfit, the blonde couldn’t help but let his mind wander to reasons people would oppose his rule. True, he was adored in his country for not only his handsome appearance but for his many talents. He was always able to pick something up and master it rather easily, making him a fitting candidate for king. Not only that, but he was a charismatic and charming leader that could put his people at ease. Even his enemies would grovel at the sound of his voice. It was the loveliest thing that anyone would ever hear.
However, the blonde was not the true heir to the throne. His mother was the younger daughter of his grandmother, the previous queen. Both daughters were perfect ladies, but they began to realize around their early twenties that only one of them would be able to have the throne and although tradition was that the eldest would inherit the throne, the younger daughter was a favorite in the public’s eye. Power seemed to be the one thing they wanted more than their mother’s love, and they resorted to heinous actions to achieve the crown for themselves.
When they realized their mother was beginning to become weary of their tactics to inherit the throne, they started to use dreadful tactics to gain her favor since she had the ability to choose who inherited the throne. At first, it started with actions to appease their mother through doing big community service projects or fundraisers to show how well they could lead and how they felt about their country and people. However, when things turned serious, the youngest daughter even planned an assassination on her older sister. In retaliation, the older daughter posted fake news about the younger daughter leaching money and other cruel things for her own benefit.
It was then that the reigning queen gave up on her children, disgusted with them and the way they hurt one another behind her back only to smile and get along when she was around. Thus, she decreed that none of her children would gain the throne. So the two daughters resorted to marrying well and having prestigious children to rule in their place. The youngest daughter gave birth to her firstborn, Kazuki, two years later, gave birth to Ichiro, and two years later, gave birth to the male who was about to attend his coronation in just a few short weeks.
The first princess born to the queen also had a son, but he was the youngest and was stricken with a feeble body and a weak immunity to disease or ailments. Some days he was unable to get out of his bed, not to mention rule an entire nation while maintaining peace with neighboring nations.
There was a large political debate about who would take over, but no one looked at the Queen’s daughters, knowing their corrupt and self-centered ways, looking, instead, to their sons. The Queen loved all of her grandsons, seeing how pure and loving they were, unlike their mothers. However, there was one that caused great fear and disgust to boil in her, making her lash out at the young boy. She thought of him as a monster and absolutely hated him.
His name was Rei. He possessed blonde hair with an almost golden appearance and a stunning appearance, a talent for mastering whatever he wished. On the outside, he appeared a perfect specimen. He was kind, generous, and a perfect leader, excelling in his royal lessons, able to do so without a tutor or any sort of help. However, on the inside, he was a mess. Perhaps he wasn’t always like that, but he possessed split personalities, one of them inherently sadistic and cruel and the other to mask his evil intentions.
It seemed his grandmother was the one of the few who was able to determine his true nature or was the only one who seemed to openly care about it. His parents were well aware but were uncaring as long as he was as perfect as he usually was. The queen despised him, however, and nothing changed that. The last breath she had in her was used to curse the boy, even if no sound came out of the woman as she passed.
Still, Rei believed with his entire being that the woman loved him. She was the only one who was able to show her disgust with him, and he absolutely adored it. The woman didn’t ever lie or sneak her way into his good graces nor did she care about sparing his feelings. It was cold, just as cold as he was, and as far as he was concerned, her voicing her disgust with him was a pure and absolute love, unconditional in all facets.
Others would have known the truth. The previous queen had verbally abused him, tearing him down all the while he held a blissful smile on his face. It wasn’t that he was a masochist, containing an aura far more of a sadist, but she was the only one that could understand and accept who he really was even if it was in an utterly negative way. He loved her far more than any of his siblings though he was close with his eldest brother.
If the woman would have known that Rei would have inherited the throne, she would have killed him with the remaining life she had within her before she passed. Allowing a monster to ascend to the throne was not something she would accept, especially not the sadistic freak that the blonde male was. However, the public knew nothing of this as his parents turned a blind eye to it.
The original plan the queen had announced was that when she died, she wanted her oldest daughter’s son to take her place. Until he turned 18 years of age, she wished for her brother to act as regent for him. Unfortunately, his sickness progressed and he was unable to keep up with his duties as the heir to the throne. Thus, it was determined that in a few days' time, the male would rescind his throne to the next eligible person who was Kazuki, the firstborn to the younger daughter.
Rei smirked at the thought. His parents had an ace up their sleeves to make sure that he was the one to inherit the throne instead. It was by no means kind of loving towards their other children, but they had more faith in the blonde than the others. Power was the only thing that they wanted, and they knew they would only receive it if it was Rei that became king. Thus, his ruling over Vethela was inevitable.
Soon the tailor appointment had ended and the blonde was sent on another mission he was supposed to do before his coronation. There was much to prepare, after all, and much of that was his responsibility. Lessons, meetings, choosing the decor for the coronation, and everything in between. Though he left the planning to his mother, he chose to participate in most everything else even if it took up most of his time.
Candidates for his royal guard were to be chosen, so too were the people he chose to attend the coronation in the front row. Of course, no one who spoke against his ascent to the throne would be able to have the honor, and they would be rather ridiculed at that point in time. Though he did not appear it, the blonde male was a rather bitter person when it came to people he despised, and never let a grudge disappear. Speaking against him or insulting him could oftentimes be a death sentence.
“These are candidates for ladies in waiting,” Rei’s assistant spoke, opening the door for the male, “They are noble girls, obviously, with prestigious backgrounds. They are all very eager to serve the royal family. Their appointment isn’t mandatory at this point in time, but you did state your wish for me to find the best ladies in waiting.”
The blonde looked around at the women before him. They were beautiful, he supposed, and well dressed, likely to impress him greatly. If they were able to, their lives would be set, provided with fame, respect, and wealth. Not to mention the elaborate gifts and dresses they would be granted if appointed. Rei could tell that from the shy smiles on their faces. He would bet their families would kill to be in his good graces, especially those that had spoken against him in the past.
“Your highness,” they said in synchrony, curtsying as they held their dresses up, bowing their heads in respect.
“It’s nice to meet you, ladies,” the blonde smiled charismatically, putting on the charming mask he’d been so accustomed to, “I’m sure you are all excited about the prospect of having the honor to help and tend to my future queen, but I’m afraid I’m rather strict about things concerning her. I won’t be choosing anyone today, but I’d like to have some tests. Think of it as a high-end interview and keep your lovely heads up.”
The ladies in the room gave bashful smiles, some of them directing their gazes to the ground. He was kind to them, telling them not to worry their pretty little heads off, but it was for a selfish reason. The blonde needed them to be at their best to test the most they could take. He wouldn’t let just anyone tend to his queen, especially as her safety and happiness were the most important to him. The ladies in front of him were going to be pressed to their limits, and they needed to be more than ready.
“Why don’t we start by learning your names and your family. Then we’ll go onto your hobbies,” the blonde smiled but began to get sidetracked just a bit and let his mind wander to his future queen, “I’m quite fond of hearing my cupcake’s singing voice. If any of you have a background in music, I’d love to know.”
The girls proceeded to introduce themselves to the future king, curtsying respectfully and giving quaint smiles to appease him. Every move they made was intended to show him they were upstanding young women and were more than capable of the job presented to them. In a way, it was like an interview but was far more demanding even if they didn’t seem to think so. Every word they made, every little look they gave him, every small movement was being scrutinized by him in great detail. The girls finally understood when one “slipped up”.
“You may call me Clarisse Vaganay, your highness. My father is the Viscount of Perthes - ”
The blonde let a sny scoff run by his lips, his expression contorting into one of disgust mixed with a lack of amusement. It was a slip in his otherwise perfect charismatic disguise. The girls became silent, utterly shocked at his face and his clearly irritated displeasure. The blonde didn’t bother to put on a calmer expression, furrowing his eyebrows, as he scowled at the girl who had just spoken down. She gave an uncomfortable expression and closed her eyes in fear. The girl didn’t know what she had done wrong, having been perfectly polite and well presented.
“Your father is the Baron of Perthes,” he huffed, rolling his eyes, “Apologies, but your father is a nuisance. I find it insulting he mocks me behind his back but sends his daughter here to get into my good graces. Besides, a viscount is way too low a title to serve a queen. Please see yourself out.”
The girl looked shocked and mortified, feeling the other ladies’ eyes on her in a judging manner. It was to be expected, after all. The life of the court was filled with drama and necessities, and if one were to offend the royal family, they would be turned against. The royal family held more power in their country than presidents of other countries. People adored their monarchy, and often set trends after their likes or hobbies. Thus, as the daughter of a noble that formerly shunned and rejected the blonde who was soon to be king, she wouldn’t even receive consideration.
It took so much time for the male to get through the ladies, but he was relatively calm after the ladies from noble families that despised him left. They seemed to follow his mood, brightening up and having a lively conversation with him. Though they believed he was simply invested in the conversation, he was looking for anything he didn’t like or things he did like, keeping track of who he deemed fit. It would take much more time to test them, but at the very least, he had an idea of who he preferred.
After interviewing the ladies, he bid them goodbye kindly and had servants take them to their rooms which were beyond luxury. However, not as near luxurious as his was. A long day of work warranted him to return to his bed chambers. He let out a sigh as the doors were open, letting him take a breath of fresh air. Fresh flowers led to that effect, as did the open balcony overlooking the overly clear blue water of the ocean.
The male had servants undress him, letting them place on simpler clothes to sleep in. He let out a yawn and stretched his arms behind his back before opening the door to a side room of the master bedroom. There were many, including a bathroom, walk-in closet, and much more, but the one, in particular, he was entering was the music room. It was one he opted to share, especially since he had a love of the sound that came from instruments, especially the voice of his future queen.
“Excuse us,” Rei smiled, the music tutors for the girl leaving with a bow, “It’s lovely to see you after a long day of work. Your beauty is enough to give me all my energy back with just one look at you.”
The blonde’s grin widened, appearing more as a smirk than a smile, confident in all aspects. He placed his arms around the younger girl’s waist and rested his chin in the crook of her neck, adorning her skin with kiss after kiss. He even went so far as to slide down the sleeve of her nightgown to have access to more places he could kiss. All the while, he held her taught against himself, a simpering grin on his lips. He held her hand gently, staring down possessively at her hand which possessed a pink diamond ring placed perfectly on her ring finger.
“I can’t wait for you to be my queen, (Y/n).”