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"Crysta, do you mind answering a question for me? It's been on my mind for awhile."
"Hmm? What is it?" Crysta Snowpigeon inquired.
The foreigner, Alice Liddell, only stared at her as she sat on her throne, her eyes wide and curious. Her eyes were very pretty, Crysta mused, shining like the crystal ice she so adored. She smiled at the thought and awaited for Alice to continue.
"Considering you are the queen, there must be a king, right?"
"Oh, yes there is! The only issue he's always so busy, and he can't see me." She sighed heavily at the thought. "It's a shame really… He's such a workaholic, and I fear it'd be the death of him."
"Hmph. How ironic. I doubt he could see you even if he wanted to." Crysta shot Sidney Black a harsh look. The rabbit seemed unfazed, studying his documents with impassive eyes.
"I see. If that's the case, it must be lonely. Isn't it?" Alice asked.
"It never really bothered me. I know he will be with me one of these days," she said, her voice soft, almost dreamy.
She found herself gazing out into space and felt a sense of nostalgia. It was strange. Talking about the king made her think of those days long ago…
Once upon a time, when she was born, she was told that her power was a gift. She could freeze anything with a single thought, a mere whim. She could preserve anything for eternity.
To make it so that something lived forever. To hold onto their individuality. To never be replaced.
In a world where identities were meaningless, lives lost in mere moments, such a power was once a thing of a person's darkest fantasies. It was the desire of the desperate, a frozen, beautiful end to their meaningless existences.
When Crysta Snowpigeon was crowned Queen of Diamonds, all those thoughts changed. No longer was it seen as gift. Soon, they all saw it as a curse bestowed upon an equally cruel, cold-hearted young girl.
"Just drop that off right there!" Crysta said cheerfully, a sight that would almost be endearing considering she chose to be in her child form at the time.
Her servants dutifully nodded their heads, carrying her latest frozen interest into her collection room. She trotted beside them to admire it all. Her collection was so beautiful, all glittering and shining, protected from the fickleness of time with a wonderful layer of ice.
"Don't you two think this is all splendid?"
"Hmph. I think it's just too damn cold in here…"
His hand quickly flew to cover his mouth. His coworker released a gasp and took a tentative step away from him. They turned anxiously to the child queen, seeing her only stare at them, her eyes bright and curious.
"Oh? What's that supposed to mean? Are you saying that you don't like it?"
"N… no! M… my queen, I did not mean it to come out that way! Please don't misunderstand!"
Her lips curved into a smile. "No, I think I understand just fine. Not many can appreciate this beauty. In fact, why not I show you another example?"
The servant gasped, watching as the other beside him suddenly tensed, a chill racing through his spine as the ice grew from the other's feet.
"Please spare him! He didn't do anything wrong!"
"Huh? Spare him from what? I'm just trying to show you how pretty it all is. The glitter of ice, the preservation of an entire being… it's almost poetic." Her smile remained as she allowed the ice to encapsulate the servant's torso. "Don't you think so?"
The servant only stood in his place, unable to do a thing as his comrade froze in front of him, his face slowly tinged with a light blue as it finally surrounded his screaming face.
"Whenever I freeze people, they always make such funny expressions! Those like his, of fear and panic, are always the ones that amused me most!" She laughed at the thought and turned towards him. "Hmm… I wonder what kind of expression you would make?"
The servant's face blanched, stared at the queen's serene face, and prepared himself for the chill…
Crysta felt her heart skip a tick and warm a little at the sound. She quickly turned towards the doorway, her smile broadening at the sight of the man standing there.
"The King of Diamonds…" the servant breathed out, his shaking voice reminiscent of relief. Crysta's eyes sparkled like bright diamonds.
The king stood firmly in his place, nonplussed by the cold room. In fact, his presence seemed to cause the temperature to drop even lower, sending a shiver down the servant's spine and a warmth up to Crysta's cheeks. His cold, steely gaze regarded each figure before settling on the queen.
"May I ask what you're doing?" His voice was deadpan, cold just like the ice in the room.
Crysta was unfazed and only smiled wider. "I was not doing anything bad if that's what you're implying. I was only trying to prove a point!"
"And whenever you try to prove your points, it makes it harder to find proper replacements. Stop carelessly executing the servants. Even though you take on the form of a child now, you actually are not one. You should be conducting yourself like the mature young woman you really are."
The Diamond Queen playfully pouted at his reprimand. The king's expression did not change, turning his attention to the other servant. The servant tensed, feeling a shiver race down his spine once again.
"As for you, cease antagonizing the queen and inciting her irritation. You and I both do not need to see what she does to those who annoy her."
The servant nodded his head and turned his gaze to the floor. Despite the king's commanding and oftentimes intimidating appearance, he was far more welcome company than the queen. In fact when a servant is found alone with her, the king's presence was a temporary salvation. He was the only thing keeping her frozen whims in check, the only possible defense from suffering a frozen death. His cold, serious attitude balanced the her cheerful, whimsical moods as well as decreased the amount of executions in the castle.
"Oh, won't his majesty stay and play with me?" she exclaimed suddenly.
The king winced at the suggestion, but retained his composure. "I'm sorry, but I have a lot of work to do."
"Aw, but you always say that! Won't you just play this once?" she whined, her eyes pleading.
"No, as a role holder of this country I have certain responsibilities to uphold and work that needs to be done. Considering you always slack off, I am left with only more work to do." He turned around and began walking forward. "I suggest you handle this situation properly now."
Then, as abruptly as the king came, he was already gone. All Crysta could do was stare after him, her eyes still sparkling, a noticeable blossom of red touching her cheeks.
It was secret known among the servant circles that Crysta Snowpigeon was in love with the king. When the man was around her, she felt like she can just forget everything, feeling a certain warmth in her heart. He was the only person to treat her decently, to stand by her side and defend her when so many attacked and insulted her.
Not that she really needed defending in the first place. She smiled at the thought.
"What?" The servant stared in frightened confusion as ice started to rise over his legs. "But… the king! He said...!"
"He advised me to handle this situation properly. I believe this to be the proper course of action." She transformed back into her adult persona, smiling when she surrounded him completely in ice. She raised her gun and fired two shots, causing the blocks to shatter into glittering shards.
"Ah, so pretty." With a content smile on her face, she allowed the rifle to return to its original form and made her way out of the collection room.
For once her composure splintered. Her pale brows twitched, her expression hardening into ice. "Explain to me once again what you found?"
"W… we found these roses in your garden," one of them spoke fearfully, holding a small bouquet in her hands.
"Really?" Crysta's voice remained calm and held no inflection. "So you are telling me that you actually found red roses in my garden?"
"My queen, we swear it was an accident!"
"And you tried even painting some white? Do you take me for a fool?"
The servants began to shake with fear. "Of course we don't! Your majesty, we mean no disrespect for we know that you dislike them very much, but…"
But the servant was unable to finish her sentence. She was already encased in a thick layer of ice.
A single fire shot. The ice shattered.
"Now then. I know you will fix this problem as best you can. You all know how much I dislike the color red." The rifle sat innocently on her lap, her finger tapping absently on the trigger.
The servants jumped in fright and fled the room, accidentally dropping some of the roses in the process. Crysta released an annoyed huff and willed the rifle back to its normal state. Her eyes narrowed, glaring at the abominable red thing sullying her immaculate floors.
It was an understatement to say that she disliked the color red. She hated it. It was such a dirty, messy color. It did not help that the color reminded her of the equally deplorable red Queen of Hearts. Just the thought of her made even Crysta's cold blood boil. To her, Vivaldi was so irritating and hotheaded, causing a headache whenever she opened her loud mouth. Her style was garish and her style of execution was tasteless. She just made everything so filthy with that hideous red color.
"Am I not kinder?" Crysta mused aloud, her voice soft, whimsical even.
While Vivaldi executed her lot like it was some macabre spectacle, Crysta considered her own methods much more benevolent – quicker and practically painless. While the Heart Queen sullied her victims with red, Crysta made them immaculate in ice. She preserved them in a moment of frozen eternity. She gave her victims what they had always wanted, indulging them in their deepest desires before she completely shattered them. Even when the ice broke, it always gave way in such a pretty manner, releasing a shower of sparkling diamonds.
"I simply wished you did it less."
She recognized the voice instantly. She turned her head, pleasantly surprised to see Diamond King stride into the throne room. His expression was stoic as always. He did not glance over her way, his eyes fixated on the broken ice fragments, gently nudging one with his shoes.
"What happened that led you to deal with the situation in such a manner? Did you honestly execute on the grounds of accidentally grown roses?"
"They were absolutely hideous. They were red roses, reminiscent of the ones that horrid Heart Queen keeps in her garden," she said, nose crinkling in disgust.
"I do agree the Heart royals are not ideal company, especially that spineless nonentity they call their king. However, I do not think that red roses automatically result to death." He raised his head and continued forward. "Well, either way since that issue seems to be resolved, I shall fetch someone to clean up this mess before returning to work."
"Perhaps, you could stay instead." He winced and took a single step forward. She tried to remain calm, trying not to be bothered by the fact he still kept his back to her. "I'm actually planning on having dinner soon. Maybe if you would like you…"
"No, I have work that needs to be done. Good day."
After his brusque speech, he sped out of the throne room, leaving the Diamond Queen alone. As he always did. Crysta turned her head to scowl at the roses. Not only did he resent the Heart Queen herself, she also resented the fact she felt jealous of her.
The Heart King truly was as nonexistent as her king stated. That king always faded into the shadows, his presence almost invisible in comparison with the Diamond King's naturally imposing presence.
Despite his invisible, wallflower tendencies, at least Vivaldi knew he was there. He was a shadow that still offered support and advice when Vivaldi needed it - though it is debatable whether she actually listened or not. It was still a nice comfort, though most likely an unconscious one, to know that he was always there for her when she needed it.
Crysta wished she could say the same thing. She rarely saw the Diamond King. He always said he had work when she did see him, escaping off and locking himself in his office. It was almost like… he was avoiding her.
"Why won't the king just stay and play with me for a little while?" She frowned at the thought.
"Perhaps his majesty is afraid of you."
Crysta jolted upright at the Black Rabbit's sudden appearance. "W… what are you doing here?"
"I was on my way to finish some paperwork when I heard a ruckus. I dropped in only to see the state of things… but then realized it was another one of your awful moods." Sidney remained impassive, studying the littered floors with mild curiosity. "I actually came in a little earlier, but it seems you were preoccupied with other things."
She flushed a little at the implication, but swiftly recollected her poise. "Well, I'd like you to take back what you said before. You are wrong about the king."
"Whatever delusions fancy you. None of my business." Despite her glare, Sidney only huffed and adjusted his monocle. "I'll be taking my leave now. Looking at your attire alone is giving me a headache…"
Without so much as even a nod goodbye, he swiftly made his way out of the room and left Crysta alone with her thoughts once again.
Her clock heart seemed to ache. Her breath was erratic. Her mind was in a tumult.
"No… no, that silly rabbit is such a liar… I mean, the Diamond King really could not be afraid of me like everyone else is…"
He always was kind and actually tried to defend her. Was it all out of fear or worse? Could he…?
She refused to finish the thought. She wrapped her arms over her shaking arms, trying to fight this cold wave of doubt that threatened to overtake her.
The king flinched at the sound and came to an abrupt halt. His foot hovered moments above the ground, as if contemplating whether or not he should take another step, before planting firmly down onto the floor. He slowly turned around to face her, his gaze fixated on a single piece of paper.
"Is there something you need?"
"In a way, yes. I only wish to talk to you… but I haven't had a chance considering you have been so busy. I have not seen you in so many cycles."
"Well, that's because I was busy with work and…"
"That's the issue right there." The king stiffened. Crysta stepped closer. "You are always busy, too busy even to have dinner with me. It's starting to make me feel like you are avoiding me."
The king remained silent, his attention seemingly more interested in the paper. He rarely looked in her eyes whenever they spoke. He was always looking at something else. It was a small detail she had not noticed before… until now.
"You know, I had an interesting discussion with that Black Rabbit. He said you only are nice to me because you are afraid of me, much like everyone else." The king remained perfectly quiet and still. "Just… please tell me that the rabbit is just being cruel and silly, that he's wrong… that everything you did for me was not simply because you are afraid of me."
"This is just ridiculous. Sidney Black is ridiculous. Now I have to get going…"
"This isn't ridiculous. This is actually important to me!" She reached forward to gently clasp his sleeve.
The moment she touched him, he flinched back and let the paper slide out of his hands. In that moment their eyes finally met. With just one look, she already knew the answer.
"You… really are afraid of me."
The king did not offer a response and tore his gaze away.
"So were all those acts of kindness, moments of defending me… were they all lies? A clever act to preserve yourself rather than out of compassion?"
The king turned his gaze to stare at his shoes. "…I am a simple role holder who is only trying to do his duties. Nothing more."
She exhaled sharply, not expecting such a blunt, cold reply. She studied his expression, seeming cold, impassive, and serious. The cruelty of it all caused an ache in her clock heart.
"My apologies… but if I must be honest..."
The king did not finish his sentence, allowing it to trail off his tongue. Crysta could only stare, a chill racing down her spine. He observed her for a long moment, taking in her blank stare, the impassivity of her features. It made him hesitate for a moment, unsure if he should take it as a good or bad thing.
"Now I must get going now. Good day."
"What? Why are you always in such a hurry leave? Why don't you just stay and relax for a little while?"
Before the king could turn around, he felt a numbing chill rising in his legs. "W… What are you doing?!"
"What do you mean? I'm just trying to keep you beside me. That's all," she replied innocently, her expression cool, composed, frightening. "You are always leaving me so this is the only way."
"You're insane! I've always thought you were!" He saw no use in struggling any further. There was no way out of this situation. He glared fiercely, his eyes shining with a different, angry light. "There may have been something pitiable about you, but you don't even deserve that much. These powers have robbed you of any sense and froze your heart. You're incapable of feeling for anyone, but yourself!"
Crysta remained calm, matching the king's stolid expression as the ice continued to rise.
"You think this is going to change anything? That this will satisfy you? You're wrong. You are and always will be a crazy, heartless ice queen!"
He could not speak another word and fell silent. The ice finally enveloped him, encasing him in a shell of crystal ice. Crysta stood there in silence.
"So that's how you really feel… I do mean less than nothing to you…"
She took a step forward to observe it more closely. Even in ice, he seemed beautiful, perhaps even more so. He stood tall, defiant even, his expression harder than the ice he was encased in. His eyes seemed to burn, piercing through the ice and striking her heart. At the thought, she consciously clasped her chest.
"Ah, well now that he's with me forever, he must learn to love me, right?" The thought intoxicated her, surging through her mind as quickly as the cold spread through her veins. "Yes. You will see… you now have eternity to learn to love and care for me…"
The thought should have made her happy. It baffled her when she felt something cold and wet run down her cheeks, a chilling ache assault her clock heart.
"Well, I think I should get going." Crysta gently roused herself from her musings and registered the foreigner. Alice shuffled in her place and finally decided to turn and leave. "You probably have a lot of work to do, and I think I took enough of your time."
Crysta smiled. "Not at all. It's always nice speaking with you."
She had a sudden notion that he would have liked Alice. She was certain of it. He had never met a foreigner either, and she felt like these two would have gotten along very well. She was interesting. He would have enjoyed her company as much as she did.
'Would you like to meet her, my king?'
"Wait, Alice?" The foreigner stopped in her place and turned around, staring at her with curious eyes. "You still must be curious about the king… would you like to see him yourself?"
A/N Notes: I just wanted to state I never played Diamond no Kuni no Alice, and all representations of the characters are based on my own interpretation of tidbits I've read here and there. I simply wanted to explore a little of Crysta's personality and her past with her frozen king (which Alice did "meet" in the game I think) for kicks.
Apologies to those who played the game if the characters are OoC or if what happened to the Diamond King was better explained in said game, etc.
Anyways, first DnKnA fic in this section maybe? Woohoo?
Thanks for reading~