~"You are my lady
..I am your servant
Len smiled wistfully, gazing out the palace windows. The skies were aglow with fire, red streaks akin to blood marring the cloudy black and painting the night with a fiendish glee. Through the glass he could hear the rioting crowds, their cries ringing across the palace grounds and echoing in the city, calling all those forth who despised the dainty princess of fourteen. They decreed her evil, a viper in the hellish garden of despair. Despite their words, he only knew as his sister. His lady.
Fate had not been kind to him and his darling sibling. Torn apart at a young age, she was pampered and taught the ways of the throne, while he was trained to be here mere lapdog. A servant, there to adhere to the tiny princess's every wile. Never permitted to reveal his blood relation, which the princess had forgotten, Len had dutifully splayed himself before his laughing and lovely twin, a hand to his chest and knee on the floor. ~"What is your wish, dear Princess?"~
He never complained, not once. Each and every day he appeared before his cute sibling, extending a tray bearing her favorite sweet. If she needed, he held her arm as she paraded through the city streets, taking money from the peasants and using it as her whims demanded. Jewelry, clothes. They were all hers to take, his to acquire. That was his pleasure. It put a smile on her face, just as the paper bottle wish he had made years before had pleaded. All he wanted was for her to smile, his adorable sister.
The princess loved having a servant who shared her countenance bowing before her, and he was more than willing to do so. He catered to her. His lady's every demand was his to grant, as was his duty, no matter the price he had to pay. Even love was to be spared no pity. When his lady had commanded him to murder the Princess of Green, who had so naively stolen the Prince of Blue's affections, he had done as told. Len clenched his fingers on the cool glass, lowering his head and feeling the tears soak his lashes. Bowing, lips murmuring without consent "As you wish,", he had found his love, the Princess of Green, and sunk a knife into her chest. Even as her pearl green eyes fell closed, he'd felt his heart clench and scream in agony. His love was dead, all at the princess's command. But if it made her smile, he was happy.
Then why did his tears refuse to stop
A crash suddenly called from outside, and Len let his golden eyes flicker closed. They had arrived, the Warrior in Red, and Prince of Blue. Both longed to capture his princess and execute her for her sins. Driving the kingdom into ruin with her selfishness, and cruelly forcing her beloved servant to kill the princess who had stolen her love, and his affections; these were the crimes that the citizens demanded she repent for, with her own head.
He turned away, letting the heavy drape fall closed. A chill ran through his bones, one that refused to be smothered in the tiny drawing room. So many furniture's littered the space around him, blocking his path as he walked to the door and pulled it open by its crystal knob. Boots clacked against the marble floor, polished black reflecting his image and distorting it. He imagined himself in silken yellow, a decorative fan held before his face and lips curled into a delicate smile. No, that was wrong. He thought only of his twin, the Princess of Yellow. She had to be terrified, all alone in her room, the threat of death heavy above her head. Len grit his teeth, and his steps quickened.
Turning the corner, he burst through the gilded doors blocking his lady's suite and saw her sitting beside a polished window, velvety red curtains pulled back to reveal the gloomy world outside. She never turned to acknowledge him, but he knew that she realized his presence there in the room. "My lady, they've arrived at the palace gate," he murmured, and her shoulders trembled.
"Such a disgraceful crowd. They dare do this to their Queen?" She clenched her skirts, and Len saw the tears rolling down her face. "
have they entered the grounds?"
"Not yet. But they come closer. Their leader, the Warrior of Red. She is a fierce knight, and she intends to lead them to victory." There was no mention of the Prince of Blue, who had spurned his princess in favor of courting the Princess of Green. Len frowned, and with a hesitant hand he hesitantly touched the princess on her shoulder. She refused to look at him, her tears still fresh, but a dainty hand clad in lace came up and cupped his own, golden nails digging into his flesh. "My lady
"Why haven't you left," she whispered, her voice raspy. Len blinked in surprise.
"Why do you ask such a thing?" Wrapping fingers around hers, he knelt on the floor and brought them to his lips. "I would never leave you. You are my princess, my Queen. I am yours to command, here only to meet your demands and keep you happy."
The princess stared out the window, her painted lips quivering. "I'm going to die
they cry for my head. I can hear them
" a sob burst forth, and she finally looked at him. Len was distraught; her cute face was contorted into a frightened grimace, wide gold eyes brimming with tears that continued to fall like tiny diamonds down her face. Oh, if only it was so easy to acquire such wealth, she would never have needed to steal from her people. But of course, that was only one of the many problems the Kingdom of Yellow faced. It was a place of evil, malicious to the core. The princess who ruled it was no different, in the people's eyes.
Len knew better.
"My lady, give me a command," he murmured, still holding her hand. "We still have time to flee the palace. The other servants have all fled through the secret passage in the kitchen. If it is your wish, I will take you there. We can escape, together, and--"
"They cry for blood. If I run, they will find me." She tore her hand away and he stumbled, falling to both knees. "Go. Leave me."
Len stared at her, panic flitting through his chest. "You ask for the impossible. It is my duty to keep you safe. I will not leave." Scooting closer to her chair, he laid a hand on the rich upholstery and tried to avoid looking out the window; he knew what he would see. They had very likely stormed the gate by now, breaking it apart in their thirst for vengeance. The Princess of Yellow they wanted. His darling twin, the only reason he lived. He refused to let them touch her. Despite ordering him to murder his love, the Princess of Green, Len adored his lady more. The pearl eyed girl had never stood a chance.
And now the citizens threatened to take her away, the venomous, tiny princess. His existence was hers. She held the shackles that had always been there, roping him to her side as a master would a pet, though it was so much more than that. She was his lady, he her servant. He would die for her, as long as she continued to smile in that way he so loved.
"You won't die," he rose to his feet, and she curled up in her chair. "I swear to you, Princess, I will keep you safe."
They were twins, separated at birth and placed on different paths. But those roads crossed, and Len understood that no matter what their selfish parents had intended, this was the way things had to be. This was their destiny, his and his princess's. One neck for the gallows, the other free to roam the world and smile. In the end, the peasants only wanted a death to smother their thirst for revenge, and that death was to be a curse upon the Princess of Yellow. Len gazed at his lady in her chair, hearing the cries of rage far off in the distance.
They wanted her death?
He would give it to them.
"Princess, come with me," he spoke quickly, and before she could respond he was clutching her arm and pulling her from her chair. Her skirts swished around her, teary eyes widening as he drug her to the closet decorating half her room.
"Wha--what're you doing?"
Len pushed open one of the doors, glancing at her. "They want the Princess of Yellow's head." He plucked a topaz colored gown from its hanger, the silk soft against his bare fingers. One of the princess's favorites, the deep yellow fabric was a beautiful concoction, all roses and lace over dainty fabric. It would do. "Princess, I won't let you die." Turning to her, he smiled painfully. She stared at him, then at the dress, her expression confused. "You will escape." He untied his cravat, a lace that matched her dress, and then came his coat. Her eyes widened with fearful knowledge as he unbuttoned his shirt and folded it.
"Take them," he pushed the bundle of neatly folded clothing at her, still smiling. "You can still escape."
The princess paled, remarkable considering her naturally fair complexion. "I won't
you can't do this for me. I
it's not fair
"I want to see you smile." Len made her take the clothes, and with a tender look he brushed his hand down her cheek, pulling her to his chest. "Please, Princess
escape. Go far away. Forget all about this horror." He caressed his lady's hair, feeling her sob into his bare chest. His twin was so emotional at times, but he adored her, and for that reason he refused to see her die. She would take his clothes and escape. They were twins. "No one will know the difference anyway," he muttered, gently pushing her back. His lady was eying the clothes, then him, with obvious horror, but a glimmer of relief was stirring in her beautiful eyes. She didn't want to die. "We are twins. I will take your place, Princess."
Her fingers tightened their hold on the yellow fabric in her arms, and the fourteen year old backed away from him. Len frowned, a tint of worry coating his nerves as the cries that had sounded so far off grew louder. Closer. "L--Len." His lady attempted to speak, but he shook his head, holding back his tears.
"It'll be alright."
His words offered little comfort, he could tell. But there was naught he could do, save for protecting the life of the tiny little princess that ruled the Kingdom of Yellow. "Please, hurry and change." He nodded to the clothes she held, while unlacing his boots and depositing them neatly on the floor. She watched, seemingly entranced, as he plucked up the dress and slipped it over his head. He still wore his breeches, but that was all right. It wasn't as if he intended upon removing them in front of his sibling anyway. "Princess," he calmly adjusted his sleeves, lace pooling around his knuckles. Lucky for him, the dress needed no assistance with ties or buttons.
"Time is running out," he interjected calmly, though in his chest squirmed a thing of panic. "You have to escape" Moving towards her, Len brushed back a strand of her hair before plucking the ribbon from his own, spilling dark gold down his neck. Now they appeared identical, save for
"I promised to protect you," he touched the decorated rose in her hair, brushing the studded diamonds with his fingertips. She gasped, and he un-clipped it from her feathery locks, only to pin it in place in his own. Turning her around, Len gathered his lady's hair in a loose ponytail and tied the ribbon around it skillfully. From behind him and down the hall he could hear footsteps echoing off the marble, and he frowned at the doorway. She followed his gaze, crying more.
" she grappled for her
his dress, but he gripped her wrists and led her to the closet, pressing his clothes to her again.
"Please hide in here. As soon as they are gone, change your clothes and escape." He ignored her shaking head and pushed her into the layers of clothes curtaining the closet, pausing. His princess was fearful, pale, and he was rather surprised at the layer of concern shining bright in her matched irises. She cared for him. She didn't want him to take her place, knowing what would happen. Len smiled, a true one, and kissed his twin's cheek. "You have been proclaimed evil by the townspeople," he said, thinking back to his bottled wish from so long ago. If he did this, would she ever smile again? "If you are evil, princess, then so am I. I will protect you, and become the evil they search for."
She sobbed his name again, reaching for him. He winced, tears of his own flooding his vision. Pushing her hand down, he gave it a reassuring squeeze and shut the closet doors, throwing her into darkness. The princess screamed, and he blocked out the cries. It was worth it, in the end.
The crowds grew closer, he could hear them. Len fixed his skirts, a cold look of aloofness overtaking his features. Stepping out of the room, he shut the double doors, muffling all sounds of his princess to complete silence. Hungry cries came from below; they had entered the palace, and their footsteps on the marble drummed out his doom. Len accepted this with an inward smile, returning to the parlor room. The dish of brioche that he had earlier set out for his lady remained untouched, as did the cup of tea. She had never had a chance to enjoy her favorite snack today, he thought sadly. Such delicate, happy smiles were always focused upon him when he had come to her in the past, carrying a platter with the rich sweet.
"Today's snack is brioche
Len lifted the spoon, tapping off a section of the sweet.
His princess was so innocent. But others had found her guilty, and for the crimes of the kingdom she would be judged. Surely though, if she was evil, then so was he. They shared the same blood. Her evil was his, her crimes his to bear the weight of. The citizens wanted to taste blood, and it would be viscous, yellow. What did it matter if the owner was not the Princess of Yellow, but the servant who shared her face?
He raised the spoon. Refusing to flinch when the lady mercenary and Prince of Blue stormed into the room, or when a blade was pressed taut to his throat, Len calmly set the spoon down upon its plate and frowned at the intruders. The Prince of Blue glared at him, believing him to be the princess that had stolen his love, but the woman
only stared in disbelief. Len ignored her, focusing down the knife at his neck to the prince. It was unthinkable, anyone laying a weapon upon the Princess of Yellow. Her servant
well, he belonged to the princess, so it was still looked down on, but he was expendable. But royalty? How dare the prince raise his sword to a lady of breeding, even if it was only a servant in a borrowed gown.
Len settled his shoulders, assuming the correct posture his darling sister always maintained, save for when alone in his presence. He smiled a bit, imagining the expression of cold aloofness the princess always wore when ordering around the rest of her staff. Everyone thought her cruel, but he knew the real girl behind the mask. And he would miss her terribly, his twin, the only friend in his life. She deserved to live though, and not the tainted existence that their kingdom demanded. She was so sweet, so naive. A life of peace and happiness should be what she dwelled in, never one of sorrow and tears. He was her servant, she his lady. He would see to it that his princess was happy, no matter the costs.
Destiny had divided pitiful twins, tearing them apart only to throw them both upon paths of heartbreak and murder. If he could prevent even a second of pain for his princess, the tiny girl of age fourteen, he would do so in a heartbeat. And that was why he stood tall, glaring at the two rebellious leaders who had invaded his twin's kingdom. Kaito, the Prince of Blue, didn't waver his sword, and Len took a soft breath.
~"If it's to protect you, I'll become evil for you
his beloved twin
..he prayed that in another life, they could play together again.
"You're such a...disrespectful man!"