Long ago, in a far away world, there lived a lonely queen. For many years she had longed for a child and after nights of praying her wishes were finally answered. But happiness comes with a price and the queen lost her life so her child might be born.
"Come on, Len! Quit slacking!"
A small girl of fourteen or so stood defiantly in a yellow dress atop a grassy hill just outside the palace walls. Her blonde hair was cut short and cutely tied back with a white ribbon. She had her hands on her hips and a pout on her lips.
"Hurry up! Can't you move any faster?"
"Well, this stuff is kinda heavy…" A boy of the same age was struggling to climb the hill. On his back he carried an overstuffed pack. He wore the simple uniform of the servants of the castle in the same yellow as the girl. His own blonde hair was tied back with a black ribbon in a little ponytail at the base of his head.
The girl tossed her head. "Stop complaining. Daddy's out to war right now, so that means I'm in charge!"
Len finally got to the top and promptly dropped the pack on the grass. He began to undo the ties on the top. "His Majesty may be away, but you are not queen yet…" he muttered under his breath.
The girl whipped her head around. "Did you say something?" she hissed.
Len continued to unpack. "No, Princess Rin. I have said nothing recently."
Rin continued to glare at him. "I don't believe you, but whatever. Put the blanket down there."
He shook out the picnic blanket and set it under the large oak that grew from the side of the hill. From this point one could see all of the royal capital. Rin settled herself down on the blanket and gazed down at the city.
"Look at all of them down there. Those filthy peasants don't even deserve to live in this city! They're just making everything dirty with their common ways." She turned back to Len. "Len, move it! It's almost tea time and I don't want to miss it!"
"Yes, your highness." He set the last pieces of the tea set on the blanket and opened the thermos up. He was just beginning to pour the princess her tea when another servant appeared atop the hill. His face was red.
"Your Highness! I have important news!" he said, holding up a sealed scroll. Rin ignored him and picked up her tea cup.
"It can't be as important as my tea time. Go bother the prime minister or something."
"But Highness, it's about your father!"
Rin daintily took a sip of her tea. Instantly she spit it out. "Len! This is ice cold!" She threw the cup at him. "I told you I wanted hot tea! And what are you still doing here?!" she snapped at the other servant.
The servant took a step back. "Your father, the king, has returned, Highness. He suffered a substantial wound and wishes to see you before he dies."
Rin crossed her arms. "Hmph, is that all? I figured he'd die here soon anyway. Very well, I shall go to him. Len! Make sure everything is picked up and you'd better be at my chambers on time!"
Len bowed his head. "Yes, Highness."
Outside her father's chambers, Rin flipped her hair back and put on her most innocent face before having the two guards standing on either side open the doors. There was a plethora of people gathered around her father's bedside. They parted ways as the princess made her entrance.
"Father, I am here. What is it you wanted to see me for?"
The king weakly raised his hand. "Ah, my darling little daughter. Come closer…yes. I am not long for this world. Once I am gone, you will be queen. Can you promise me something, darling?"
Rin nodded and took her father's hand. "Of course! Anything for you, dear Father."
The king's voice was faint as he spoke next. "Promise me that you'll rule this land with a fair hand. My darling Rin…Rin…"
The king gave a stark breath and fell still on his bed. The people gathered bowed their heads in respect at the king's passing. Rin pressed her face into the sheets, pretending to cry. But she was far from sad. With her father gone, there was nothing stopping her from getting what she wanted.
The funeral for the king was met with much grieving, as the people had loved him quite dearly. They lined the streets, dressed in their finest as the king's funeral carriage passed by. Some were even throwing flowers. Rin sat inside the carriage, her gaze fixed straight ahead and expressionless. Len was seated next to the carriage driver, his head low. His eyes drifted across the people of the city. He saw each face as a threat to his princess. His heart became hardened that day as he made a vow.
"Even if the entire world becomes your enemy, I'll become your evil for you."
Rin's coronation was held a week after the funeral, to respect the mourning time for the dead. The ceremony was extremely elaborate, costing more money that was in the coffers. When Rin was told of the problem, she merely sniffed and said:
"Just raise the taxes. Collect twice as much as before. That should fix things."
The treasurer was appalled by her degree, but since he valued his life more than the well being of the people, he carried it out. The taxes were raised and money once again filled the castle's coffers.
One day, Rin sat in her bedroom stretched out on her bed. Her room was littered with the things she had squandered money on; toys from other countries, expensive furniture and vases upon vases of the rarest flowers in the world. Len was tending to one of the vases when Rin sat up and beckoned him.
"Len! Come brush my hair! The maid who was assigned to do it hasn't come yet. I should have her hanged for ignoring me!"
Len set the watering can on the small in-table and went over to Rin. He picked up her hair brush and started smoothing out her short hair. Rin hummed to herself while Len combed. She seemed in a rather chipper mood.
"Guess what?" she asked Len. "I met a boy last night."
Len's expression didn't change. "Is that so, Princess?"
Rin smiled a genuine smile. "Yep. He's the prince of the neighboring country, the one Daddy was at war with. He came as a peace ambassador."
"How nice," Len said flatly.
Rin's face brightened even more. "And I get to see him again tonight! Whee, I'm so excited! OW! Don't brush so hard, you'll put out my hair!"
The hand that held the brush dropped to Len's side. "I am sorry, Princess. Forgive me."
Rin waved her hand. "It's no matter. I'm in a good mood today anyway. Now, it's almost tea time. Go get it ready!"
Len left the room, his face devoid of emotion as it had been since the funeral of the king. There was something the princess's old nursemaid had told him before the king had died. She had begged of him not to tell the princess, since she would use it to her own advantage. Len had promised, but it was hard keeping it locked inside. He would not tell his princess, not only for her sake, but his as well. No one was to know except him.