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Realistic or Modern Beyond Devaria: (Royalty) with @rainywrites

Sub Genres
Adventure, Platonic

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
A long time ago, there stood the kingdom of Devaria. It has long been believed that both men and women used to rule hand in hand, for the sake of their people and politics. Until a woman of the name Ceanna one day betrayed the interests of both her people and family, stabbing her husband and taking over Devaria. Ceanna then sat on her bloody throne and claimed Devaria a new kingdom, the kingdom of strong women. From this monstrous founding, Ceanna has made many enemies and many allies. It has separated her people and left her nineteen-year-old daughter Anya to fix the many mistakes of the past. Devaria is very beautiful. The castle itself was made of stone, it is tall and has many balconies and rooms. The villages below consisted of cottages, beautiful oak trees, and some wells for water. Looking from her balcony, Anya could see soldiers monitoring below, and beautiful white horses tied to fences. Children laughing, playing games perhaps. As well as the local baker and farmers trying to sell goods. Her mother, Ceanna, had left this blossoming kingdom in conflict. So, as Anya sat with her beautiful brown hair dangling beside her, enjoying the joyful presence of her people. She would also need to remember their hatred towards Anya and her leadership.
April, Anya's handmaiden. Who is of thirteen years of age, stood behind her, brushing the knots out of her hair. She could see Anya's confliction but did not know if it was right to ask. Anya remembered the day she met April, Anya didn't know her origin and didn't think to ask. April was always very slim, malnourished, was a better way of putting it. Anya had always thought of perhaps demanding for April to be fed a grand meal, but with the intense state of Devaria and the criticism of their people. Anya knew it wasn't the right time to act. There was a tight watch of the politics and gossip around Anya's kingdom. There were talks about a spy present, within the staff of the castle. Anya declined to know that if she had accepted, it would look to the people as if she came first. She always seemed to worry about others more than herself, it was a surprise Anya was disconnected from social circles. She blamed the past, and partially blamed herself. Was there something Anya wasn't doing?
"April," Anya asked, placing her folded hands on top of her sparkly gold gown, "Why do these people seem to despise me."
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
April was the queen's maid.

APRIL was the QUEEEN'S MAID! she'd never pictured herself here. and it was certainly unexpected turn of events that had gotten her here. April had spent her whole life in dirt, covered in it. she lived on the streets, she'd eaten whatever she could find. and, more often than not, that wasn't enough to survive. as she got older, people got less generous, and she got a bigger stomach to fill. so she'd resorted to stealing. only a coin or two from any one peasant, not enough to leave them hungry. but after five or six people, she might have enough to perhaps get something to eat. even with stealing, she never had enough for a full meal in her life.

the rebels had respected her.

there were many groups of homeless people on the ground. the last queen had left many poor with her taxes, not that April knew much about that. the only way that had affected her was that because of the taxes her parents couldn't afford another child. so when she was born, April was dropped off in a trash can on the street. she hadn't died, but she'd never had a family for her. the rebellion had claimed, just a month ago, that they would bring a fairer, more equal, future. April didn't care, she just wanted to eat. they'd promised her they'd set up an interview for her at the castle, and she'd gotten the job. she knew she was short, and thin, and every time the queen had looked at her this past week it was with quiet pity. April just pretended not to notice. she didn't want to be rude, she just wanted to keep her place in the castle. that was her part of this process.

she didn't mind brushing the queen's hair. it was quite pretty, and it was fun, almost. once she'd gotten the hang of it. being a maid wasn't all that bad of a job. speak when spoken to, talk highly of the queen no matter what you believed, help her get dressed and brush her hair so an older more experienced maid could do it, wish her a nice day, and that was all. two meals a day and a bed came with the deal, in a room that joined the queen's. when she got asked the question, she stood on tiptoe to look at the kids playing. she'd never been one of them. nobody wanted to play with a girl who had been covered head to toe in dirt. still, she responded in a way she though the queen might like. "My lady, who could ever despise you? I mean... when I lived out there, I was very hungry." she still was hungry, most of the time. but not in the insistent, near starved way she had been. "I know your mother made a lot of people lose their homes with her taxes. but that's not you, my queen. and anybody who says the apple fell near the tree has never met you. yeah?" she squeezed the queen's shoulder, gently. although she'd been given a bath every other day, it still surprised her at the shade of her skin.
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
"That's enough April," Anya snapped.

The coldness of her voice frightened Anya herself. With all the pressure piled on her, she had caught herself off guard. She had even felt the brush pull at her hair, as April had jumped backwards. Anya faced the window for a while at first, then she stood up folding her hands in front of her, like how she was taught. She kept her face straight first but softened it as she found herself staring at April's petite figure. It shocked April how someone could be so rigid, perhaps it was terrible of her to look at April in this way. Anya pitied her, she wondered if this many people in their kingdom looked the same way April had. Anya's hands unfolded and she relaxed walking over to her closet, looking at her beautiful dresses. She started to take off her shoes and wondered what she would do with her long hair.

Tonight she would share a dinner with one of the kingdoms closest allies, King Issac Blackburn. A very cold man that had held lots of grudges against Devaria. It was once believed that he had been Ceanna's long lover, but that was quickly proven wrong by the kingdom's family tree books, along with gossip. Anya didn't enjoy that everything circled around her mother or to be exact, what she had done. It felt like a terrible burden and would get on Anya's nerves. So, instead of complaining and dreading the long years of recovery, Anya believed reaching out now was the best time in all aspects.

"I apologize April," Anya kept staring at her dresses, she was very unfamiliar with this type of conflict, "After these beautiful people decided to turn away from me, I have questioned my leadership ever since."

Anya turned towards April, grabbing her hands. "I have promised my people that they will live long lives full of joy and trust, there are too many children starving, I must connect with them again."

Anya stood for a moment, looking for ideas. "After this lovely dinner with King Issac," Anya brought out the word lovely, for humorous effect. "I shall meet my people, not standing on a balcony, but standing in the crowd and shaking their hands."

With their hands still connected Anya took time to glance at dresses, she would wear, Anya herself thought it was possibly selfish that she couldn't decide which to wear. When the less fortunate didn't have these incredible pieces of fortune. Her eyes returned towards April.

Anya brought their hands closer in excitement, "Oh April, will you accompany me tonight? As a guest?" Then she let their hands go.

She wasn't quite sure how the young girl would respond, Anya had thrown everything out in the open. Hopefully, she hadn't frightened the poor girl. The truth was Anya couldn't have any close friends. Sure some knights seemed to love her company and often joined her in the library as they laughed about ridiculous stories. But Anya had never been able to get close, because of the threats against her and her family it wasn't quite clear when Anya would be able to have a friend or a companion.
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
April was confused. she didn't jump away, she didn't make a sound. she just pulled back, flinching. it was an instinct from the streets. cry silently or don't cry at all. protect your vital organs by haunching away. she didn’t squeal or squeak, her eyes just stared, like dinner plates, up at the queen’s back.

this is it, her head warned. This is the moment when that little bit of dissent gets me killed. I’m sorry, rebels. I couldn’t do more for you.

And then... the queen was apologizing. To a maid. To a thirteen year old maid who she’d torn off the streets just days before. April’s eyes widened, if that was even possible, in sheer confusion at the situation. What was she doing? Why was she apologizing? And going on about beautiful people... did the new queen really care so much about them? Had perhaps taking one in as a pet of sorts allowed her to see them as human? If April had done that for the people, she was proud.

but she was going on sarcastically about some dinner with another king. Oh! That must be why she’d asked to wear such a nice gown for this evening. She had other royalty to impress. It made a degree of sense to April, and now she was worried. The Queen was moving on and April hadn’t finished doing her hair! She couldnt go out looking like that.

her hands were grabbed by the queens, and she met the gaze of the ruler of her country. “Oh...” why was that the first word that came from her mother? Honestly, it was all just so sudden. And the request was odd. She’d never heard of a queen going out to just talk to people. And yet, she knew what the more experienced maids had drilled into her head. “I’d do anything if it pleased her majesty.” That was all she knew how to say, really. “Now... may I please brush your hair out? Annie will have a fit if it isn’t properly combed when she comes to style it...” Annie, her majesty’s Maid and April’s boss.Annie taught April proper etiquette, how to respond to the princess, how to brush her hair and draw a bath and make a bed... it felt good to learn something productive. April did not want to let Annie down. Even if she knew she would.

“and... your majesty... if it helps... those children you see all have families. They eat every day.” They were the children April had spent her whole life jealous of. People with mommas and poppas who cared about them. April just had herself. And there wasn’t a whole lot of the short thin redhead in the first place. Most people disliked April. She was a street rat, vermin, a thief with filthy money and a filthier face. Nobody wanted to love a kid like that, until she’d taken a bath and met Annie and suddenly non rebels were interested in her and the things she had to say “Most of the kids like me are dead.” It was an offed set of circumstances that had kept April alive this long. If only barely. It wasn’t often that abandoned children lasted a week.“I’ve never heard of another one alive.”
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
Anya had felt terrible for snapping at this poor girl. It scared Anya this thought, maybe something deep inside herself wanted for her to be mean. It wasn’t the first time she had felt this feeling, or maybe more so, this thought. But that’s all Anya convinced herself it was. A thought, it needed to be, it had to be. Anya did not want to become her mother.

As her feet stood on the floors of her chambers, she stood listening to April. It made Anya happy that April would accompany her. But disappointed April had given the same response she had heard before, by others. Either way it didn’t bother Anya that much, she had more important things to worry about. Including Annie. Annie came to style Anya’s hair. Despite her quite mellow personality, her hands often pulled tightly at Anya’s hair. Not like how April gently brushes the knots out. It often came to Anya that hair brushing was pointless, especially when Annie made knots in your hair after. It wasn’t her Annie’s fault though. She did do Anya’s hair beautifully.

Anya had cared so much about these people she hardly knew. It was important to learn more, but she was confused on what to do next. Perhaps she was taking everything too fast. Or maybe not fast enough. She found April’s partial story heartbreaking, and was honoured that April had shared this little moment with her, even if it was little. Anya nodded towards April. Anya walked over towards the chair, standing by it for a second. She picked it up and moved it in front of her mirror and sat down. Anya didn’t want to look out onto the villages anymore.

“I am so sorry to how this past kingdom has treated you April,” she started but then failed. “I’m sorry who am I to talk I haven’t been through half of what you have.”

She paused for a moment, there was silence and Anya didn’t know what to say.

“You can continue to brush my hair... if you’d like.” Anya chuckled, “They’ll most likely be back before Annie even touches my hair.”

And then a terrible grief overthrew Anya. Had she dodged such a valuable conversation? Did April want to open up to her a little more? Maybe she was as lost as the past. But she saw something in April, she wasn’t quite sure, but there was something there that was special.
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
April didn't know what to say. she'd never been the subject of any of the queen's indecision before. and she'd never had to deal with it alone. usually one of the maids who had been their stepped in front of her and took it, dealing with the queen and rerouting her back on track. April didn't know what to say about this sporadic decision to leave the castle, but even Queen Anya's guard wasn't in the room to help her decide.

she was sort of glad when the chair was moved. it meant she'd be able to see how the queen looked in the front as well as the back. but then the queen was apologizing for the kingdom's people, and she shook her head. a violent blush dusted her cheeks, visible through the mirror. "no, your majesty. it's not your fault. you... you gave me a chance to be human." and in fact, she felt more human in the castle than she'd ever felt before. even if she knew it would come to an end when the rebellion brought in democracy, she enjoyed that people looked at her and spoke to her here. the rebellion promised more than the castle gave. they promised three meals a day, anda job that made enough money to buy the food herself. that was instead of a job that paid in no money but instead a bed and being fed twice a day. but just because she knew she was going to have a better life someday didn't mean the life she had now was all that bad.

"I would like. Annie tasked me with a very important job of making your hair braidable." she smiled, proudly, as she began to run the brush through the queen's hair again. she didn't hate this, even in silence. it was fun to help the queen brush through her hair. april's hair was so different from the queen's. it was a bright red, whilst the queen's wasn't. and hers was so shourt, only just reaching her shoulders. the queen had far longer hair. April loved it. "someday, i'm going to have hair this long." she promised to the queen, before blushing. "I... i'm sorry for speaking out of turn, highness."
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
Anya was delighted by April, she was happy that someone was actually listening. She didn't quite know April's stance on all of this, whatever it was, but Anya was happy she was answering with something she had never heard before. Anya even wondered if it might've been too much for April to handle? Did she overstep any boundaries? She cared very much for others, even if it meant putting herself last. Which might be terrible, but necessary for her. Now as she was looking in the mirror, she could feel April's gentle touch brushing her hair. She could see her own, very structured face, and her light skin. Her eyebrows were rounded and bushy, which she had never really liked. It reminded her of her mother, and how many men, whom she was to marry upon her mother's request. Had criticized her, not just by her mother, but by looks. She would often judge herself and question her authority. Anya had heard about a rebellion, it didn't anger her. She knew times were changing, and all that they promised. The best Anya could do was be a good leader now, and try to help people. There was nothing she could do to prevent this rebellion, although certain personnel had advised her to do rather cruel things. Anya couldn't stop this new evolving world. The only reason she had ever been scared like now, was because King Issac had been rumoured to be a spy. However, there were many rumours that circulated around this odd man. Maybe this is why she invited April? Despite Anya's joy from April, as of now, she trusted her the most. If something were to happen, she thought that maybe April would be there to help? But nonetheless, Anya didn't know where anyone stood, she had to be brave.

Anya looked at April as she told the queen how this job, or opportunity perhaps, had given her a chance to be human. She could see the blush on her face, and in a way, it made Anya calm. With April, Anya could tell her answers weren't generated. It grounded her reality. Then she watched as April smiled with pride, brushing Anya's hair. Unlike Anya's hair, April's hair was short and a bright red, that reminded Anya of maybe a berry. It was far different from anything she's seen in the castle. April's hair was very beautiful.

"Well I'm very glad that you seem amused to brush my hair," Anya stated, "Don't apologize... your hair is very beautiful April, short or long... maybe one day I'll cut mine short, it does get very aggravating sometimes."

Anya liked honesty.

"Call me Anya... now I wonder what I should wear?"

Although it was calming for Anya to sit and relax, Annie stormed into the room. Partially scaring Anya, it puzzled her how Annie could travel so fast around the castle. She was very committed and sweet to the queen, like everyone in the castle was. Anya sometimes thought it would be good if someone close to her despised her instead of doing everything for her. It was an irrational thought. With much consequence. The interaction with Annie and the queen was a little awkward. Yesterday Annie had walked in on Anya enjoying a guards company... perhaps a little too much. She liked this guard his name was Jamys, she wasn't sure what he thought about her. They would often spend time together, but she knew that at the end of the day she couldn't marry him even though she loved him and that she had to trust others besides him. Annie knew Anya wasn't to have these interactions, especially a guard and especially with danger in Devaria, but she said nothing to no one and Anya appreciated that.

"Annie, April is to join me tonight at dinner," she smiled towards April and kept a stern face for Annie.

Annie didn't seem to be too thrilled about the announcement, but she walked away preparing a dress and shoes. With April and Anya alone and Annie across the room barely able to hear, she gave a low sigh.

"This little dinner with King Issac is going to be delightful," she let on sarcastically again, "I heard that he's handsome but rather unintelligent, maybe the kingdom gossip isn't the best." Anya chuckled, "Why is it so hard for me to keep good people in my life."

She was worried after Anya had blurted the last part out if anyone had heard. Maybe they would brush it off and hope it was about something else, but secretly Anya wanted for someone to talk to her about it.
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
April quickly fell into a rythm, brushing the queen's hair. she'd already gotten the tangles out, now it was the part where she just used a soft brush to comb hairs into a beautiful, put together, ladylike look. she may or may not have been brushing longer than she needed to. she liked seeing the happy, contented look in the queen's face. she really did look quite lovely today. April wanted to say as much, but she was fearful. she'd already been quite candid, today. there was no need to push her own luck. she did keep brushing, though. not mentioning that it was already completely brushed through. instead, she just put a little extra scented oil near her scalp to give it a hint of extra shine. there was just a hint of a nondescript humm in the back of her throat as she got lost in her task, letting the queen get lost in her own mind, too.

she wasn't sure why she cared so much for the queen. she knew, eventually, she would be instrumental in the overthrowing of this same woman. and yet... she wanted to make today bright for her. especially with her kindness and her jokes, when it was just the two of them. and... she was proud. she'd done good, with this hair. she'd been really gentle and it looked really good. she hoped Annie would like it.

the girl couldn't help but meet the queen's eyes in the mirror. "I-I can't call you... that's illegal, my lady. everybody knows that." and yet, she'd been given a direct order, to call her by her first name... " royal highness, please don't ask that of me." she didn't want to break the law any more than she already was. it was terrifying. she didn't want to break the law, even when it was just the two of them. she didn't want to get in trouble. because even if she knew it would all come crashing down.. she did like this job. she liked having a bed and a roof and being clean and smelling nice. she liked helping a funny queen and she didn't mind the dress a maid wore as much as she thought she would've. at this request, she looked positively like a deer in headlights.

"I think, your highness, that you should wear whatever Annie tells you too." it was when she said those words that the woman in question walked in, and nodded appreciatively at her little apprentice. Annie and April got along well. the woman had the spirit of a mother hen, always making sure everyone was doing the right thing, presentable... every morning she fixed april's hair just so, to the point where she'd just turn whenever she saw the woman, presenting her bun with the girlish ribbon tied around it. even now, Annie found something wrong with the ribbon, straightening it ever so slightly. April bit back a wince as it tightened into her scalp, before nodding at the older woman. she meant well. and she wanted to teach april to be the best maidservant she could be.

the smile dropped off Annie's face as she heard april was to be attending the dinner. it confused April, too. "My lady... I thought i was escorting you outside... not... not to a royal dinner." she was quite sure this was a bad idea, and Annie's frantic mumblings only seemed to pressure her she was right. Annie looked at April up and down. she straightened her bow once more and rushed around, trying to find just the perfect pair of earrings. as she did, april just continued to brush, not wanting to get in Annie's way.

"you probably heard wrong. I'm sure he's a very smart man if he's a king, right?" she didn't want to say anything bad about any ruler. that was a surefire way to get on anybody's hitlist. that was something a street girl learned and learned quickly. "good people? you have a lot of great people working in the palace. I mean... Isn't annie so kind?" she didn't mean to speak loudly enough for the woman to hear, but she could feel the smile as the woman gazed over at her. Annie sent over an affirmation to April in response for the compliment, telling her exactly how lovely she'd made Anya's hair look today. hearing that, April beamed.
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
April finished putting oil in Anya’s scalp. It looked nice and made Anya’s hair shiny. She liked how it was styled and was always excited for her how each look would turn out. She liked doing her own makeup though. As she put on a little blush and some powder she stood up and walked over to her wardrobe. She stood trying to decide what to wear, despite Annie already trying to put a look together.

Anya felt a little disappointed in herself, she had new she had taken everything too far fast. She had never had someone be so open with her. April was right, everything that Anya had asked was so irrational and reckless. It made her cheeks go red and she didn’t quite know how to react.

“I’m so sorry April,” she started, “you have been truly so kind to me today, you are right, the last thing I would want was for anyone to get in trouble.”

It was silent for a while after, as Annie started on Anya’s hair.
Anya didn’t know why she was so fond of April. There was a rebellion building up and she didn’t know what side April was on. Apart of Anya hoped that when the rebellion happened she could join them. She had always wanted to live a normal life or a remote life. As silly as it sounds. She was very fortunate for her wealth, but it was all too much. In truth, Anya never wanted to be queen after the ruling of Ceanna. There were so many rules, too many to keep up with. Even the little things like a yawn was rude. She was being monitored all the time. It was delight at any moment that anyone would maybe enjoy the queens humour. Or even her company.

“I’m sure Annie will pick something beautiful.”

Despite the tension between Anya and Annie. Anya liked Annie in a bittersweet way, she didn’t like how she would pick out the smallest things to change or scold people on. But Anya knew Annie was doing her job and Annie seemed to care about April. Anya needed to respect Annie’s deeds.

“Your dress is ready, my highness,” Annie said to Anya.

Anya nodded, stepping behind a divider. She stepped out revealing a golden dress, with lace sleeves and a sweetheart neckline. The lace continued down the back where there was a little train with glitter. Annie continued putting on her crown, which wasn’t too big but big enough. Anya glanced at herself through the mirror, it made her nauseated. She didn’t like to see herself like this. It was silent throughout this whole process, then Annie finished and proceeded to the other side of the room again.

Anya turned to April.

“If you wish to just escort me outside, that will also be wonderful... I apologize for acting out of hand.”

Anya chuckled at April’s remarks, perhaps this would get Anya in trouble. Despite her grudge against Issac, she had to be careful.

“Perhaps you are right April, I’m sure he’s a very reasonable man.” Anya was not the best at confrontation or complimenting people whom she didn’t really admire. “Annie is...”

Did she want to expose these secrets to April? Was April comfortable listening to them. Anya had to be careful and she didn’t know how April would handle it. Maybe now wasn’t the time, but she wanted to be honest.

“Annie is a very lovely person, there’s just confusion between us.” Anya whispered quietly, and then spoke up “thank you so much Annie and April for making me look dazzling.”

She felt butterflies in her stomach and turned to April again whispering. “Perhaps confusion within myself, about someone else.”

It was a risk to take maybe a big one. But Anya was desperate to know if April was comfortable with talking more. It was a big jump that might fail.
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
when Anya rescinded her order, April heaved a sigh of releif. she could feel that beside her, Annie took one too. the two servants both knew the implications of doing wrong by the queen. after all, Annie had taught April everything the younger girl knew. "thank you, my lady." she smiled, happy with that. she was glad not to be asked to do anything illegal.

as Annie did Anya's hair, April made herself busy. she brought Annie everything she needed upon request, just like she'd been taught. but there was a pause where she was just standing around, and instead of doing that she began to make Anya's four poster bed, drawing the curtains up and fluffing the pillows. yes, she'd done this earlier. but as things were laid across it and people sat upon it the sheets wrinkled. it was worth a redo. and besides, she wanted to be busy. Annie gave her approving looks when she kept busy. and Annie might just be the closest thing April would ever get to a mother. she wanted to make the woman proud.

"she always does." April agreed, before turning to see the dress Anya had picked out. and she was right. yet again Anya had picked out a lovely dress. while the princess changed, April walked over to annie, excitedly telling her that much. Annie, for her bit, smiled and nodded. there was a self satisfied twinkle in the woman's eye as she watched Arya come out. soon, both maids were doing work. Annie was tying the cinces, and April was doing the bows on her sleeves. of course, Annie had to straighten them, but while she was, April stepped back to admire the queen. "you look like the prettiest person in the whole world, my queen." it was said with genuine adoration. she liked that dress on anya. "why is it that every day i see you you look prettier?" Annie always seemed to outdo herself. but it was definitely something April approved of.

"i'd be honored to do anything that would please you, my lady." she glanced at Annie, who nodded to her. yes, those were the right words to say. she smiled, a little proud. "but... isn't it... unsuitable?" a word Annie used a lot, describing most of the mannerisms that April had to be taught to do away with. "to bring a maid to a dinner with another king?" even if she did make jokes at his expense, Anya obviously cared enough to meet him. didn't she?? the way anya smiled at April over Anya's shoulder told her all she needed to know. she'd phrased that well.

Anya took april away from Annie once more, back to her makeup station, to do her final touch ups. April was smiling, offering encouragement, when she was thanked she smiled, but the other things Anya said... those left more questions than answers. confusion? about who? was this the kind of juicy tidbit she was supposed to report on? she looked at Anya, curious. "about who? the king? or... or is she mad at you for taking me in?" she knew she'd taken away some of Annie's duties. she hoped the woman wasn't resentful of that... even if she seemed happy, April didn't know how she felt.
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
It was weird for Anya that Annie and April looked at their work with pride. But she didn’t judge, after all she looked amazing and they had put all their energy into this. It was just hard being in the spotlight. Anya didn’t say much after everything. There wasn’t much to really be said. With the maids complimenting Anya she held back her tongue and put on a smile. Despite this attention she nodded.

Now Anya was sitting by the mirror again. After the long silence and dialogue she had partially forgotten. Anya continued loudly.

“I would not have looked this beautiful if it weren’t for both of you, thank you so much April, perhaps it’s the rest I endure after many hours of high politics and work.” Anya laughed and Annie gave a slightly stern look but Anya could see a grin showing through. “I apologize I really shouldn’t be complaining.”

Then Anya continued to talk to April.

“Perhaps you’re right April, maybe this King Issac isn’t at all as bad as I imagine, but as my mother once said, despite what she has done to Devaria, if a person cannot respect another persons friend or company, despite their status. They shouldn’t be meeting with you.” Her eyebrows furrowed, maybe Anya’s mother was crazy. “Nonetheless you’re right this is a formal dinner to try and restore Devaria, perhaps he would laugh in my face.”

Anya trusted April, but she also knew part of what the maids were supposed to do or act upon. Maybe that’s why she was eager to hold back a little. Her voice became lower.

“It is not about the king or about Annie, April, you are a lovely maid and Annie is proud of you.” Fidgeting with her hands she started again, it was a big risk. “Perhaps this is madness for me, but it is about a man. Silly how everything revolves around men, quite sad how I sometimes contribute to that. His name is Jamys, it’s silly castle drama. Unless you would like to hear?”

The queen nodded partially scolding herself. Perhaps she thought she should stop obsessing, and focus on tonight. But she needed to get this out, or maybe keep it to herself, depending on April’s response. Anya didn’t want it to sound like she didn’t care about tonight, she cared to great extent. There’s always just that small voice in the back of everyone’s head, that always seems to cause some trouble.

“It will be dinner soon if you’d rather not talk about this,” Anya wanted to give April some options. “Perhaps it might be better to focus on dinner?”
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
"you're very very welcome." she smiled, holding up one set of earrings after another to the dress, trying to find a pair that looked just perfect with them. she kept the ones that she thought Annie would like on the table. as for all the ones that didn't work, they went back in the jewelry cabinet. April didn't understand why Anya seemed so adverse to politics, but it seemed a hot button topic in the room. perhaps she'd ask when it was just the two of them. for now... for now, she just smiled. "i have the easiest job in the world. making you look beautiful doesn't take any effort." none at all.

she was glad when the queen conceded. it always seemed to be on eggshells. she liked talking to Arya, but she didn't want to step too far out of line. otherwise she'd be invited to formal dinners and become the country's embarrassment. she was still a work in progress when it came to her table manners. food was the one thing she loved. and though she always knew there would be meals, they never quite filled her up for the whole day. the palace had guards and royals to feed. it skimped a bit on maids and servants. but April was happy, regardless, to be eating at all.

"a boy?" she whispered it equal measure. because april was just besaide Arya, it was easy. "does annie know?" that, working under the uptight woman, was april's first thought. if Annie knew, it had to be okay. April wanted to build a reputation of being able to keep the queen's secrets. but past that she really was curious. "is he nice? what kingdom is he prince of?" she couldn't imagine a queen not marrying a prince or a noble.

"i'm focused." she assured, continuing her matching of the earrings against the dress. she didn't know if the queen still wanted to talk about this. but regardless... she hoped that the fact that she was indeed focused would be enough. she wanted to leave room for anya to steer the conversation in whatever direction the queen wanted.
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
"Thank you very much April." Anya just accepted what April had said this time. They had made Anya look beautiful.

April had just finished finding some earrings to give to Annie. Which she would place on Anya's ear before they walked out of her room, there was no need for more weight and discomfort. Not that she could really complain about her life.

Anya questioned if she should open up this much to a maid, but she took the chance. It was just a silly boy, and the worse thing that could happen was it turning into a rumour. She was perhaps in love with Jamys, and she had thought about what she would do when the rebellion struck. Anya didn't want to give up on the kingdom just for some man, there were already enough men to deal with. She wouldn't call her thoughts questioning her judgement, instead just alternate realities maybe. It wasn't necessarily bad, she thought. Jamys knew Anya would be the queen first, but when the rebellion would come they would see what would happen. Plus maybe April would like a little gossip? Her thoughts were Always irrational. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, telling April about her silly life with the possibility of April getting in trouble. Anya fought back her urge at first, but she decided to tell her some information. Nothing that would put April in too much danger.

"Yes, Annie knows," Anya looked down at her folded hands, smiling. "he is very handsome, very kind, he sees me for who I am and not for what I am worth." she quickly looked up and kept a straight face, quietly continuing. "he is a royal guard." Anya caught herself saying this quickly, catching her breath. "but we know our places and I am queen to Devaria first before I am a love interest."

Anya wondered if she had told April too much, would she be okay to handle this. Perhaps there was a better place to do this. Anya furrowed her brows standing up from her chair. It was time for dinner with King Issac. Annie put on the earrings April had matched with Anya's dress.

"Thank you, Annie, that will be all." The queen replied.

With her less than comfortable shoes, Anya walked over towards the door. She was dreading this dinner, there was a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. She felt uneasy but reassured herself it was only kingdom gossip. Who knows maybe Issac was a smart man who was confused about women and their capability to rule? She'd wanted to punch men like this before, she had always hated the stupid royal code. She hoped he wouldn't be like the rest, they were always so messy and didn't have proper manners. They had exposed how people turn out when they live a life of great power. Yes, Anya had power too but as a woman of royalty. There were many more protocols you had to follow. When men could rather run off and do whatever they wanted, with some hatred towards them obviously. But nonetheless just as bad. Anya wondered if these were also the ways of the common folk?

Anya stood in front of the door taking deep breaths. She patted her dress down and turned towards April.

"I really shouldn't be complaining," Anya continued, "I should look on the bright side, King Issac is going to have to watch me greet my people tomorrow, whether he agrees with it or not, it's always joyful to make men of great privilege mad." She kept telling herself she was thinking irrationally. "in all seriousness I am a queen first I should not be complaining.”
 
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rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
her eyes widened. she didn't know much of castle politics, but she did know that queens weren't to marry guards. or kiss them. or love them. it was all just bad bad news. her eyes were wide and she was scared for the princess and for the secret she now possesed. Anya clearly trusted her with this. "I won't tell." she assured, even though she knew it was a lie. "and... as long as you're a good ruler of Devaria... It doesn't really matter who you love. right?" it seemed right, but she didn't know. she hoped so.

she watched the queen mentally prepare for the dinner, stepping back to give her space to do so. April didn't know what was going through her head exactly, but considering the sarcasm she knew it was probably dread. Annie was gone, it was just the two of them in the room. April smiled, trying to be reassuring. "hey. Maybe... um... maybe you'll have a good time? I mean, it's a big fancy dinner." just the idea of that made her grin, no matter who she'd be stuck with.

she sighed, internally. it appeared that the queen didn't actually care about the people, only about spiting the visiting king. still, she was quiet. she smiled. "you'll show him." she didn't know if that was what the queen wanted, but it sure seemed that way. "now you need to go, or you'll be late. i'll see you after? to help you get undressed?"
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
Anya was happy that April had agreed to keep the gossip or perhaps politics rather a secret. Maybe Anya wanted this gossip to get out? It was an irrational thought, but maybe they would realize the queen had faults. Maybe it would make others realize Anya was human like everyone else, but she was scared it would ruin everything Anya had started. She told herself to stop thinking this way, Anya always seemed to be uneased or unfocused. Tonight was important, she didn't need any other distractions.

"Thank you, April." Anya smiled warmly, "Perhaps you're right, but I need to be a good ruler first."

Anya knew she could trust April, Anya supposed she was crazy for trusting someone so fast but this was all she had. Of course she thanked Annie for keeping it a secret but she was never close with her. Anya wondered why, of course it had to be her fault. Being queen was complicated.

Tonight was the dinner of most importance. If Anya didn't patch things up with Issac it would most likely mean war or hatred towards Devaria. Devaria, already had enough enemies, they needed strong allies. And to make things worse, Anya ended up needing to be walked to and from events. There were spies and people wanting to do the worst to her. This is how Anya had met Jamys. Of course there were plenty of guards, but the night she had went to the library was magical. Sure he had spent moments talking out of turn, but Anya didn't want to be a queen with him.

Anyways, enough about men and enough about life being 'difficult'. Anya shouldn't be one to talk. She folded her hands nodding towards April.

"Maybe I will enjoy this dinner, maybe I will get a say, but there's always a possibility I will sit and smile politely," Anya stated, "whatever is to happen I shall do it for Devaria."

Anya hoped this would enlighten April, but maybe Anya was doing this for power or admiration. No. She hoped not anyways. Maybe she wanted the situation to go noticed as a signal. Anya knew of the rebellion, and she had secretly wanted to know more. Despite her ruling now. She was going to be the best queen nonetheless, but she wanted to feel safe for after. If that made sense. Maybe it was stupid?

"A guard will be here any minute," Anya smiled, "I'd been advised not to travel alone anymore."

Anya hoped Jamys didn't show up. He had promised not to interfere tonight, but we all know how jobs work. If were to show up, she wouldn't be mad. Her breath steadied as a knock fell upon the door. It opened revealing a tall man, he had a dark brown stubble. At first Anya had stood like a deer in headlights, until the man subtly with his eyes looked at her dress. He was holding back a smile. This had seemed to be a quite eventful day. Her face kept straight, it seemed she was better at this. Anya didn't know if April were to notice, maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing. But maybe once again, she was putting April in grave danger. Anya turned towards April. Anya didn't want to seem like she didn't care about what the castle staff contributed. Anya was very grateful for everything they had done.

"Once again thank you very much April, I should head to the dinner now." Anya smiled.

The guard moved to the side of the doorway. As Anya's dress flowed she walked through the door, quickly squeezing the man's hand trying not to make it noticeable. Anya let go and continued to walk. The guard then shut the door and followed close behind.

King Issac was a small man, not as small as you'd think. He was a little shorter than Queen Anya, but nonetheless short. When she walked in the room was just filled with Issac, guards, and his advisor. They sat on one side of the table, while Anya and her advisors sat on another side of the table. The guards stood in the corner of the room, behind their leadership. Issac stood up kissing Anya's hand.

"You look marvellous," he smiled.

"Thank you very much," Anya replied.

Dinner went smoothly, he had commented on Devaria's beautiful scenery and community. Issac had asked Anya's input, and they had gone through dinner very well. Issac promised security and safety to the kingdom in exchange for a few visits. This was very odd to Anya, no one had asked such things. Anya agreed and they finished dinner, but she asked why. Apologizing after speaking out of turn.

"I would like to know more about your family's history."

Anya began to feel unease, she sat and smiled like she practiced and was taught.

"It interests me how a queen so devoted to her people, was born from a woman who cared so little about you and Devaria."

Anya tried to cover her unease. She heard rattling behind her, she predicted it was Jamys, someone had stopped him. This is why Anya didn't want him to be here. It was silent at first, no one said anything. Underneath the tablecloth she folded her hands squeezing them into fists.

"Are you questioning my leadership, Sir Issac?" Anya knew this would create tension, it was very passive to call a King, Sir. Even though it was generally proper customs, they always seemed to grow angry.

Issac was much worse at covering up his emotions. His brows furrowed heavily, but he then smiled and the unease wiped off his face.

"I apologize, M'lady, of course, I do not question you, I meant I would like to get to know the kingdom of Devaria personally."

"Of course."

At the end Issac kissed her hands once again, instead looking up at her while doing this. It was a sign of mutual distrust, or maybe rather tension. She was glad they had promised their safety. This dinner wasn't bad but rather difficult if she were to do it for anyone. It would be for Devaria.

Issac's company left first, leaving on the opposite side towards the guest rooms. Then Anya left along with Jamys. She could feel his feet walking fast, but staying behind until they had properly left. It was a few hallways down where he angrily joined her side.

"I can't believe you let him talk to you the way he did," Jamys said.

"I do because it means protection for the kingdom." She continued not looking at him.

"I thought you were different," Jamys added.

Anya stopped. All her life she had never heard this, surprisingly not once. She knew it came from a rather dark or confused face, and her face softened. She was so confused about the way everyone wanted her to rule Devaria. Tears started to flow down her face, her cheeks turning red. She had only cried when she was a child. Is this the queen they wanted to see? Anya was mad at herself. She turned towards Jamys.

"I do this to try and let everyone have a better life," she rested her hands in his, "for us to have a better life, but I am queen first right now and maybe someday we'll be first but not now."

Jamys nodded before they heard footsteps. Anya turned around wiping her tears, leading the way to her bedroom.

"You know you don't have to follow everything they say," Jamys said but Anya continued.

The rest of the walk was silent, the footsteps echoed as they reached her quarters. Anya opened the door pausing for a moment in the doorway. And even though Jamys was hurt, he smiled at her, the beauty he thought she held. Anya didn't see this, but he stayed until she shut the door. What would April think?
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
April didn't understand everything.

she didn't understand why the queen seemed so hellbent on her knowing that she didn't like being the queen. it was making April feel odd. this had to be a trap. it had to be. there was no way a queen would seem so weird and wrong in her own position naturally. it had to be a trap, used to catch spies in the act. to get them to reveal little nuggets of information that could be used to take down the whole operation.

well, she wouldn't fall for it.

she stood straight and tall, offering a low curtsy when the queen thanked her. "of course. whatever pleases her highness, the beloved queen." she bowed as the queen left, before continuing to clean the room.

---

when the queen came back, April was in her room. it was small, and empty spare her bed, a dresser, and a small window to high for her to be able to look at. but it was amazing, because it was the first time she'd ever had a room all to herself. it connected through one door to the hallway and through another door to the queen's room. but at the end of the day, those doors could close and she'd have a room with four walls. she spent most of her free time in that room, sparse as though it may be. as the queen entered the room, the door connecting the two rooms was open. after all, April knew she would need to help get the queen undressed.

"good evening, your majesty!" she chirped, appearing from around the doorframe to her room. "how was dinner?" she immidiately moved to remove first the earrings and then whatever else the queen requested of her. "did you enjoy the food? oh! tell me what was being served?" anybody in the castle who had ever met April knew she had a penchant for food. she loved hearing all about it.
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
Anya was on guard about what had happened in the hallway. Except for this time it would stay to herself, there was too much going on for Jamys. Something was off with Issac, he wasn't just here to pledge his allegiance. She could feel it in the pit of her stomach.

"Good evening April, Have you enjoyed your time here," Anya smiled, perhaps it was better if she avoided the dinner altogether. Then she realized she would sound off. It was always difficult for her to confront anything, nonetheless another terrible dinner.

Anya stepped out of her flats, which were uncomfortable. She remembered the first time putting these shoes on her feet. They had left many blisters and bruises, of course, she knew there was much more pain outside of the castle. But was she not allowed to feel pain once in a while? The room was quite stuffy, after so much time spent away from outside, Anya began to memorize the patterns on the walls. It was quite ridiculous and boring. Anya had truly hoped that April had enjoyed her time in the room. Hopefully the queen wouldn't sound cold. She was about to maybe find out, or overstep.

"The dinner went well," Anya smiled.

She patted her dress, smoothing any dents in the dress. Anya placed her crown on her night table, which was close by. Then she continued.

"At first," her smile turned into a frown, "King Issac was rather handsome and short if you exclude his quite offsetting personality." Anya looked at the floor, "I have made another alliance."

The sentence should have left her mouth proudly. Instead, it was the quite opposite, unsatisfied and on guard.

"He said some crude remarks about my family, but then asked to see Devaria's history... politely." Anya's hands folded, "I'm not sure what it is, but there's something strange about this man, something not right."

Anya's hands fidgeted trying to explain more.

"Not in the way where you ask to know a person more," Her hands collapsed, "in a way where you'd rather not talk to them any further, or how a person might feel... fearful."

Anya remembered the stare Issac had exchanged.

"His eyes peered into mine, with purpose, like how hunters look at animals."
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
"I did, Ma'am. very much so. dinner was quite good tonight. there was a square of chocolate." Deserts were rare things, but the cook knew exactly how much April loved chocolate. whenever she made cakes with fresh chocolate she always broke off a small chunk to go with April's meal, and April loved her for it. she'd been told by Annie that it was because the cook herself had given up a child to the streets due to not being able to afford it during the last queen's rule. April always broke her squares of chocolate in half, now. and gave half to annie. because she didn't want to be the one who got sweets.

a part of her wondered who her parents were. were they as kind as the cook was?

regardless of all that, she took the flats and stored them in the queen's closet. and she listened to how the dinner went. at first, she smiled, glad it went well. but then Anya went on. "If there;s something wrong... you need to find out what, right? without making him not like Devaria?" she shrugged. "I'm sorry, my queen. I don't know much of anything about the world of politics. perhaps i could ask Annie to schedule a meeting with your advisor? he might be able to help you far more than i could." in fact, she was quite certain he would be 10 times more helpful in any capacity.

"look at the bright side, my queen. regardless of how he looked at you, you made an ally. ally is like... a word for friend, right? so it's a good thing?" she didn't know, but she hoped so. "now lets get your hair down, and this dress off. your nightclothes are all set out, my lady."
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
Anya was very glad to hear Annie’s news. Anya smiled.

“I think it’s known far and wide how good the cooks chocolate is, I’m not quite sure though, maybe we should keep it a secret to keep it to ourselves.” Anya laughed lightly.

There were a lot of kind people in the kingdom. If only Anya could spend more time with them.

“Thank you,” Anya thanked April for putting away her flats, “I’d rather not be looked at like a piece of meat, but you’re right, it’s good for this kingdom, we need some strong friends.” Anya frowned at friends. “There will be no need for the meeting, I’m sure everything will be just as intended.”

She started to undress, remembering what Annie had asked about dinner. Her face stayed neutral.

“Now enough about politics, dinner was delightful, there was salads, meats, cheese, but the most exciting part was the cake, and I don’t mean the look. Although it looked incredible, the taste was exquisite and so rich, sorry I’m babbling.” then she found herself staring out the window again.

From across the room she could see everything.

“Perhaps one day it will be a better place where everyone can sit at one table,” her voice trailed off “but for now we will enjoy the little joys in the kingdom.” Anya joked.
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
she laughed with the queen. "if we share it, then it would only be fair to share her talents. that's true" and while she hated the idea of losing such a kindly cook... one who fed her, even, beyond the normal amounts for someone of her status. as much as she hated the idea of losing that... she was okay with anything for the people. she'd have to give up this whole job one day when she betrayed the queen. and if the new world was a better one, that would have to be worth it.

"of course, my lady." whatever she wanted- or, didn't want, in the case of this meeting- was hers. she was, after all, the nation's queen. and queens got what queens wanted. "cheese? how many types?" sometimes, she saw plates with more than a hundred types of cheese. or so it seemed to April's eyes. she was the type of girl to never be full. why, she'd just finished dinner and now she was curious about the cheese and the cakes and anything else she could learn. everybody knew the queen got the best meals in the nation. and she always seemed content to describe them to April, who would need to be content with that. "My queen... you might babble. but i wish to hear." she did, she really did.

"little joys." she agreed, looking around the room. "bird song, a nice warm bed... clean ears!" that was her favorite bit of being in the castle. or... no. "having a family. almost." while Annie and the other maids weren't family... they almost were. and that was nice enough for the small orphan.
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
Anya was quite glad she could talk about something other than politics for a moment. It was a nice break that truly left Anya with joy. Anya laughed. "Perhaps we shall never let the cook leave, the cook's food is truly wonderful."

For once Anya didn't want to control the conversation, she didn't want to talk about her problems. She wanted to listen and discuss, instead of sitting and another person nodding. Anya slipped into her nightgown and sat on her bed. "I'm glad someone wants to hear all my talking," the queen giggled. "There were all kinds of cheeses, marble, cheddar, feta, even cheeses I've never heard of." the queen grew excited "but my favourite part was the pie and the bread."

Anya smiled at what April had said, it left Anya almost guilty. Anya wouldn't let that guilt overtake Aprils personality that Anya had already seen. "A lovely family you have in this castle."

Anya frowned for a second but quickly gathered herself. Perhaps she didn't have a family, but a lot of the castle staff became family. It was better to appreciate that then to dwell on something that didn't exist. "April, do you have any stories?"
 

rainywrites

Rainy writes but dislikes fights
she laughed. "not anytime soon, at the very least." she agreed on that with the queen. she wanted at least a few more meals with the cook. and it was clear the rebellion was still laying the groundwork of it's plots anyway, the plots she had no hand in, only informed. her only hope was it would be later rather than sooner that she had to leave her new plush life.

April picked up the now-discarded dress, smiling at Anya. she loved hearing about all the different types of food the queen got to eat. she couldn't imagine all those types of cheese. after all, she didn't know half of those cheeses. hearing their names sounded magic and forign and exciting. she couldn't help but grin. Anya spoke of family and April nodded, smiling truly. "i never thought i'd get people who look after me. but look at Annie!" she smiled, fixing her own hair again to show the point. after all, Annie always fixed april's hair.

"stories?" she grinned, turning to look at Anya. "when you don't have enough to eat, you fill yourself with stories and song. of course I know stories, my queen. which sort would you like to hear?"
 

olidabothe

BLACKJACK!
Anya enjoyed this conversation. It was weirdly so much more real for Anya than any in her life. Anya sat comfortably, smiling at the joyous dialogue. When April had stated Annie's name it struck her. Perhaps Anya didn't give Annie and herself, the chance to get to know each other. Anya had been a little bit cruel recently, maybe the common folk were right in away. She nodded in April as April had taken Anya's discarded dress away. Anya was thankful for this life, maybe she didn't show it as often, but Anya didn't have anything to complain about. That was the privilege she knew she had. If Anya were to connect with the people, she realized she had to give. Not just take. Anya collected herself and continued the conversation. Anya's hair was still in the wonderful style Annie had created.

"Perhaps, I haven't let myself get to know Annie more." Anya paused for a second frowning, "Or anyone for that matter," she smiled. "This is will be a new starting point for me." Anya watched as April fixed her own hair. "Indeed, Annie has a very beautiful touch."

Maybe this conversation would be normal to others but during all the troubles in the castle. Anya enjoyed sitting and listening, she had already learned that maybe there could be more to her leadership instead of show. A more mundane side to her showed Anya enjoyed this.

"Oh!" Anya exclaimed, "I'd love to hear stories about the common folk, as a child I've always been told lies about how our kingdom was formed. I never learned who actually helped, tell me any story you'd like." Anya continued. "Would you like to brush my hair as well? Only if you would like of course."
 

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