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[tab] [size13 [carme The Imperial family had been traveling throughout the kingdom in celebration of her upcoming coronation, and though the visitations were organized under the guise of [i familiarizing herself with her soon-to-be subjects], Anzu was aware that it also served as an opportunity for her parents to indulge. It allowed them one last chance to be admired by the people before she took up the mantle, which was something her brother had been vocal about the days prior, citing their leniency and vanity as excessive, needless. She doesn't disagree, but neither does she find it in her to criticize her own parents so harshly — something her outspoken brother had commented on.
[tab] The town they were currently visiting was a small one, quite a distance from the capital, a luxurious suite reserved especially for their family at a local inn acting as their lodging space. Sat on the tatami, a servant lightly powders her face as another combs through her hair, the low vanity table in front of her had a round mirror that showed her reflection - there was a minimal amount of makeup on, as per her request, only just enough that her brows were darkened slightly and her lips reddened with rouge. Pinned on one side of her hair was a flowing, floral hairpiece. Through the shoji, Minoru's impatient voice could be heard clearly, pestering her for the nth time that evening [#aa50b4 "We're all waiting for you, you know. Even mother was ready before you. That's saying something."]
[tab] She ignores his pestering for the moment, asking the servant to retrieve a piece of jewelry for her. It returned to her wrapped up in layers of silk cloth, where it concealed a round, heavy pendant that shone ruby red — [i The Philosopher's Stone]. Supposedly, a miracle amongst western alchemists that was meant to represent the pinnacle of their work. Her family had received it as a gift from a foreign diplomat . According to legend, the stone could go as far as to grant one immortality, but one would think that such a treasure, even if such legends were unproven, wouldn't fall in the hands of a mere diplomat only to be given away, since the significance of it's supposed origin was lost amongst the common folk of their kingdom. She doubted that this was the [i true] Philosopher's Stone, but it was still a precious gem nonetheless. However, it did pique an interest that would lead her to scour multiple texts and tomes on the subject of alchemy.
[tab] Anzu lifts the thick, golden chain to adorn her neck with it, the pendant heavy on her chest.
[tab] [#aa50b4 "Onee-san! Hurry up!"]
[tab] Dismissing the servants the Princess then gets up with a sigh, unceremoniously sliding the door open with unnecessary force in her irritation, [#f05193 "[i Yes], I'm ready, you don't have to pester me like that."] A roll of the eyes served as his only response, and the pair of siblings begrudgingly navigated the corridors of the inn together. The walk was tense, and Anzu could sense her brother's impatience radiating off of him in waves. He wasn't in the mood for celebration. She shared some of his reluctance and somberness, though that was on account of the looming nervousness for the day of her coronation. Each of these events were a reminder of that and with each passing day she grows more uncertain. [#f05193 [i But... uncertainty is not the mark of a good leader. Will I be a good leader?]]
[tab] The King and Queen were already waiting at the entrance with their retainers. Once there, her mother casts a quick inspection over her daughter, [#aa50b4 "Oh, dear. You ought to put more powder on, my little apricot."]
[tab] Anzu purses her lips at the sight of her mother's pale complexion, the result of incredibly thick powder layered onto her face. It seemed excessive, somewhat restricting. [#f05193 "But it's not necessary, right?"] The question comes out meeker than she'd like — it was't even meant to be phrased as a question. Minoru eyes her judgmentally at her lack of confidence, which she pointedly ignores.
[tab] Mother sighs, whether at her weak disposition or answer, she's uncertain. The Queen doesn't say anything further so the Princess doesn't get to find out, the royal family exiting the inn in a procession, retainers and guards flanking them at all sides. Townspeople were lined up against the streets to greet them as they passed — her parents seemed to be basking in the attention, her brother stoic as usual and Anzu herself tries to return the enthusiasm with a polite smile and a friendly wave at the very least. She was typically much more livelier even despite herself, but her mind was occupied with thoughts of the future and a kingdom she felt she wasn't quite ready to lead yet. She could hardly speak her mind in front of her family, let alone be entrusted with the choices that would ultimately shape a nation.
[tab] [#f05193 [i Pull it together Anzu. After this, there's still that feast to attend...]]
[font consolas Leaves and grass crunched beneath his sandals as he walked down a path in the woods. Since the sun was setting, he decided to reside in a nearby town just for the night then to continue his journey the next morning. He was traveling for maybe two or three days, on search for a lovely piece of jewelry his Boss called for- The Philosopher Stone. Aiko did all of the dirty work but was paid a good lump sum of money that helped him get by day by day. With no family or friends, Aiko had a hard life- basically was left for dead at a young age. One of the neighboring kingdoms, the Queen in fact, took him in since she felt sorry for the boy. As he grew older, the family taught him to be a well trained assassin and bounty hunter. Even though the family was rich, their greed was just never satisfied.]
[font consolas The town was filled with friendly faces, small fresh food places, and also family own businesses it seemed. An unfamiliar face indeed, Aiko would get strange looks from some but he meant no harm. A smirk crossed his lips as the townspeople watched him. He meant no harm to these people and also didn’t want to get anything started with his one night stay.]
[font consolas Aiko entered a ramen shop before getting too deep into town.]
[font consolas [i “Your top ramen please.”]]
[font consolas he stated while he took a seat at the counter. The cook quietly nodded his head then went on preparing the food.]
[font consolas The cook sat his bowl on the counter.]
[font consolas [i “Thanks for the meal.]]
[font consolas Aiko took the chopsticks that was placed beside the bowl, broke them apart, then began eating. Two men came up beside him, taking their seats. They also ordered the ramen and began holding conversations. The two went on about talking about some sort of event, party or family gathering that would be going on that day in the town. They spoke on the Queen, King, and their daughter. Coincidentally, the description of the Princess sounded oddly familiar. Apparently, this gathering was to be hosted in the honor of the soon to be new Queen.]
[font consolas Aiko finished his bowl. He placed the money onside of it before heading out and being on his way. He kept the description on his mind was he wandered around town.]
[font consolas [i “Maybe it’s too early...”]]
[font consolas He thought to himself. Lost in thought, he accidentally bumped into someone, getting water on his robe. The lady and he made exchanges. She offered to help him get dried off in her shop nearby. He made no big deal but smiled. This could be something to pass time.]
[font consolas The two introduced themselves as he waited for his robe to dry. She was unfamiliar with his style of fashion so he went on into explaining some things about himself, just not his job. She was a very lovely lady, he watched her closely but only kept a small smile on. Without asking, the woman went on to talking about the event being held in town in a few hours. She explained to him that normally they would hold a feast not too long before entering town. He kept his ears open for any small detail that could possibly escape her lips. ]
[font consolas Finally, his robe was dried. She even pressed it for him. He graciously offered the woman money for her services and went on his way. He noticed people began gathering not too far from where he was but it seemed as though the royal family did not make it there yet. Aiko causally strolled to where everyone was at and waited. ]