Masks of Love and Chaos

(Joint post with the chaos neko, aka Luna)

27th May, 2023
Royal Palace, Osfjord, Norgsveldet

Olav took a sip of his Eyjarian coffee as he looked over some documents that were given to him. It was getting late but he only had a bit more work to do before he could finally go to bed. Wilhelmina had tried to drag him to bed earlier but a king can’t be caught lacking in his duties now. Luckily it was mostly just matters of cultural events he needed to be held aware of and with occasional NCIS reports coming his way. Though as he was about to finish his work he heard the office door start opening making him let out a small sigh.

“Sweetie, I am almost do-” He said looking up thinking he was going to find his wife at the doorway, but instead he saw his eldest son. Wearing a far lighter outfit than he usually does. “Oh, Johan! Was not expecting you, how was the trip to Sayyed?” He asked, giving his son a warm smile. He hasn’t always gotten along with his son, the boy having been a bit too… difficult at times. Though he remembers the time they spent reading about Lapérouse culture and history together fondly.

The prince smiled at his father, something which is quite unusual for him, almost as strange as his outfit. One would say, it looked down right royal but not quite Norgsveltian Royal. He takes a seat across from his father, his tail swaying back and forth. “Sayyed, was fine and all but I wanted to tell you about what my girlfriend got me plus my trip to the Federation.” He was eager to show off his new present.

“You got a girlfriend?” The king said looking at him surprised before a wide proud smile formed on his lips as he stood up from his chair. He heard about his son’s history of flirting around, so hearing the boy might finally start settling down more? Well he couldn’t help but be happy as he walked up next to his son placing his large hand on his shoulder. “Well now you gotta tell me about her! This is the first I heard about this! Did you find someone in Sayyed?”

“No no, she’s from the Federation of Lapérouse.” He says with a bright smile at him, not even recognizing he is using the rather, nationalistic and Pro-Queendom way of saying the country’s name. “She’s a right and proper princess too, very strict and traditional but in the Lapérousian way!” Strike two, using the wrong demonym. “And she got me this!” He reaches into his pocket, trying to fish something out.

Alarm bells were starting to ring off in Olav’s head but he waved them away. Sure his son’s terminology might not be, well, correct in the Federation but he rationed it as his son simply had a slight lapse in judgment. He was well knowledgeable about the Queendom but not as much about the Federation. So it can happen. There were also several Princesses in the Federation through the different Jarldoms, it is perfectly possible his son was not talking about that one. Right?

He finally finishes out the gift, it was a perfect white mask with golden edging along the edges and eye holes. It was only to fit over the eyes, neither a half mask or a full mask which is so common in the traditions of Lapérouse. Rather only covering one’s eyes tends to be a rather extreme show of bravado and strength. The carvings on the mask were a symbol of design, but the way it was arranged was rather complex. He holds it up to his father, “See! It looks so cool, just like the one in those history books we used to read together dad!” His tone was cheerful and excitable.

Olav’s hand fell from his shoulder to his side as his eyes widened at realization. He recognised the symbol, it was the design of the most important Royal house in the Federation. Not only that but a member of said house just gave his son a mask. He walked back to his desk, he drinked up what was left of his Eyjarian coffee and poured himself another cup. As he let out a heavy sigh, he looked into his son’s eyes. “Please, my son. Tell me that you did not get that from Marie-Noëlle.” He said acting completely calm while still having a smile on his face. If it was any of the other members of the house then this could be fixed.

He gave a stupid lovestruck smile, “Oh did you meet her?” He tilted his way in a joyful fashion. Holding on to the mask with both of his hands, as if it was the most important thing in the world.

“…It was actually her, wasn’t it?” The king asked as his smile dropped.

“Yeah!” He looked up at his father, not tracking why the king’s expression looked like it dropped. “She’s very nice once you get to know her.”

Olav just slammed his head against his desk, with some pens falling over and his coffee cup almost spilling. After a very muffled scream, he looked up towards his son. Before he could speak he heard his phone ring, which he just let out another tired sigh. Not answering it. “You have absolutely no idea what you agreed to by accepting that mask? Did you?” He said, giving his son a glare.

“Of course I did, I became her long term boyfriend.” He said, rolling his eyes, crossing his arms. Preparing for another fight with his dad.

“It… It means something far more than just that, boy.” Olav said, gritting his teeth as he stared down at Johan.

“Oh, you’re just mad because I’m not dating a Ulvrikian or an Akuanist.” He gives a stare back to his dad. “It’s not a big deal. It’s just dating each other.”

“No you fucking idiot.” Olav said angrily as he stood up and let out a deep sigh as he breathed in and out to calm down. “What you just agreed to, is what can be considered an engagement before the actual engagement.” He glared down at his son. “You been marked as hers and you’re gonna tell me how this all happened!”

“Don’t yell at me!” Prince Johan yelled back at his dad, standing up to him.

“What is going on here?” A feminine voice spoke up behind the Prince. Revealing to be a tired and sleepy Wilhelnina wearing a nightgown.

“Our son is a damn idiot.” Olav gritted his teeth as gestured to Johan.

“I didn’t do anything but accept a mask!” He shows his mom the mask he received. “It’s not a big deal!”

Wilhelmina raises an concerned eyebrow at Olav. “It was given to him by Marie-Noëlle.” The king said, taking a sip from his coffee cup to calm his nerves.

“You are an idiot then.” Wilhelmina said with a small sigh. “Try to keep your voices down, people are trying to sleep.” She started walking back to her bedroom shaking her head.

A faint voice from down the hall, “Mama!” Could be heard by the two before Prince Johan could close the door. He looked at Olav, “I don’t get the big deal, she’s just a princess.”

“You also know nothing about Marie as well then.” Olav let out a sigh as he picked up his phone showing his son who was calling him, showing Pierre’s name. He then showed his son the text messages from her, which was just a series of ‘passionate displays of describing his son’s inaptitude using creative and colorful language.’ “Now you’re gonna tell me what happened, step by step. Before I make you talk with Pierre.”

He gave a look of sheer terror at his father. “Hey now, let’s not be too rash about this.” His own phone starts ringing, he reaches into his pocket and pulls it out. “Oh, it’s Alexandra.” He gives a weak smile at Olav, “This is probably unrelated to all of this right?”

“Answer it.” Olav said in a calm and serious tone.

“Ha. hah.” He gives a nervous chuckle before answering the video call. On the other side of the screen was his big sister. Before Johan could even open his mouth, she spoke in a harsh tone to him. “You are a fucking idiot.”

“Well, hello to you too Alexandra.” He gives a sheepish shrug looking up at Olav for guidance. “Is that Dad in there? Bring me to him, I can’t get through to him because of Pierre.”

"Yes, I’m here.” Olav said with a deep sigh before he gestured to his son to turn the screen so his daughter could see him.

The idiot turned his phone so Olav could see the screen. “Dad, I just want you to let you know I had no idea they were dating. We only met once at a party and we just talked, I have no hand in this idiot’s adventure.” Alexandra spoke in a desperate tone.

“I know, I know.” Olav said, shaking his head in small amusement before speaking seriously. “Though I need you to call Pierre and explain to her that I am going to talk some sense to your brother. Try calming her down.”

“Um, about that.” A familiar extremely angry woman’s voice came from the background. “Gotta go! I’ll try my best dad!”

The king just let out a loud sigh as he ended the phone call before he sat down on his chair, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “Just… explain what happened, what caused all this.” He said looking up towards his son with a very tired look.

“Only if you first explain why it’s just a big deal I’m dating some princess, I didn’t think it would be this much trouble. Why is Pierre even caring about this?” He looks at his dad with a confused expression on his face.

“Fine, I’ll explain it briefly.” Olav said as he took up one of the NCIS reports that was under his desk opening it so he could show his idiotic son. “Marie-Noëlle Frida, Princess of Normand. Her house was the same dynasty that led the old Lapérousian Queendom. While her mother, the head of the Frida Dynasty tow the Federation line, Marie does not.” The king turns another page showing a picture of the Princess in a meeting with what Johan must assume is local politicians.

“So what she doesn’t tow the socialist line, I don’t tow your line.” The prince gives a scoff, crossing his arms and rolling his eyes.

“Are you going to listen to my explanation or do you want to talk with Pierre?” His father said, raising an eyebrow at him.

He gave a shudder, “You can keep going on.” Based on what he heard from the other end of Alexandra video call, Pierre sounded above average angry like someone just told her Vistaraland and Norgsveldet are forming a personal union kinda anger.

“She met with several politicians from the Party for the Restoration of the Queendom of Lapérouse. Specifically the reactionary members of said party, whose entire goal would completely change the face of the Federation as we know it.” Olav said with a sigh as he turned another page, showing the kemonomimi princess at a cultural event wearing her unique white mask, similar in design as Johan’s new mask. “Those masks have cultural significance for the aristocratic class in the Ulvrikian areas of the Federation. It represents your religion, rank and noble house.” He closed the report file, and put it back in one of his desk drawers. "And with the matriarchal nature of the Hjørdist branch of Ulvriktru, it is a way for women to signify of who they planning on marrying and marking that man as theirs.” He looked his son in the eye with a glare. “I seriously hope you understand now.”

He sits quietly for a few moments, “So, I should prepare a wedding suit then?” He looks up at his dad, trying to play this all off as a big joke.

“Just tell me how you got into this situation before I have to send you back to her.” Olav groaned as he rested his head on his hands.

“Have to send me back?” He looked a bit confused at that statement, save the constitution and the parliament no one can force his dad to do anything he doesn’t want to. The reality of the situation started to dawn on him. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, “Well, um it started at a party in the Federation on um, I think it was the 8th of May? Yeah, the 8th and well.”

“You got into this mess within less than three weeks?” His father interrupted as he raised an eyebrow at his son.

“In my defense, I was not quite thinking it would cause all of this-” His phone started to ring. He checked his phone again to see it was Alexandra. He gave a curious look at Olav before answering it. A furious flood of Frakanic words screamed out of the speaker, and not one of them being polite. In fact, one would suggest that the speaker is quite upset at him in particular, given how often his name came up. He quickly disconnected from the call and looked back at Olav. “I-I um…” His tone was a little shaky, “I don’t think my Frakanic is good enough to understand Madam Pierre, when she is speaking like it.” He gives a weak smile towards his dad.

“Be glad that you don’t.” Olav said simply taking a sip from his cup. “Now, please continue on.”

“Well, I think the party was for the charity event for the terrorist attack in Kaldrbuth.”

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8th May, 2023

Violette and Marie-Noëlle Frida were the hosts of this minor inclusive ball directly out of the ancient traditions of the Queendom’s rule book by Marie-Noëlle direction. It was lavious, but not like Valkyr bastardization of old traditions, the socialist ilk destruction and ruination of the old Norgsveltian traditions being transitioned into some sort of cottage core homely aesthetic with the illusion of their old traditions.

The ball is dropped into the old way, the correct way. Everyone in the masks, even the mades are covering their faces with the cloth sewed in the proper pattern by the proper family making the masks for the commoners for generations not some cheap mass produced dribble pawned off as the real thing. Family that is not is like the other draconique families that sold their name to the highest bidder like a fat pig to the slaughter. Marie-Noëlle always held a degree of respect for that, even if they are just making masks for the commoners in old proper ways.

Commoner masks proudly showing their religion rather than trying to hide it away in the name of secular nonsense the socialists push forward. Akuanists with their blue, and of course the most common. They are heathens, but they know how to carry themselves in the name of tradition. Shame most Ulvriktruars failed to carry themselves the way they do, with their idiotic ideals and false sense of ‘getting with the time.’

The dancing area, was specifically tiled to suppress the sound of dancing shoes and was a pitiful remake of their old dancing hall from a palace that was once theirs by birthright. The draps were pure white, with the family’s crest made into it with gold color thread. Frayed endings near the floor being a soft red, a color ruined by those accused socialists splattering it on everything.

This all inlight of the elephant in the room, the Federation flag in the far back of the room. A reminder that no matter how far the old dynasty is, how old their traditions are and how long they have once ruled the land. The socialists have taken it from them, stolen Marie-Noëlle birthright and mangled their customs like they ruin everything they touch. Nothing to them is scarred, the origin of it so far removed from their safe, clean and family friendly way so that everyone can take part in the customs such as the masks or the dances like this one. If it was up to her, she would rip that flag down and burn it. However she is bound by law to keep it up there, and seen from every corner of the room. Another one of those restrictions she is bound by. Another thorn to remind her of her family’s downfall from its great heights.

“Sister, your eyes will not set the flag on fire. Come on, let’s just have a nice time without you trying to provoke the socialists into another court against our house.” Violette had a gentle tone, wearing the family’s traditional uniform with some modifications made into it. Even incorporating a small pin of the same flag Marie-Noëlle was imagining burning to ashes. Her whole family is wearing those pins as they make their way across the ball, shaking hands and acting as good hosts for the ball. Only one without a pin is Marie-Noëlle after a small court battle with the government.

Marie-Noëlle shook her head, “As you say.” Turning her frozen gaze elsewhere, looking around the ball. Violette gave her a nudge, “There you go, give everyone that ol’ frozen look towards everyone equality.” She gave a smirk, “Say, what is this ball about? Another charity event or a historical society thing?”

It is times like these Marie-Noëlle questions how Violette can be her twin. They have different personality, outfit choice and in how they conduct themselves. She pushed Violette’s black hair back, fixing her mask from falling off. “Keep yourself proper, we’re in public. It is both fundraising for the terrorist attack in Kaldrbuth and it is hosted by the historical society.” She kept a frozen tone. “I question your bold decision of your modifications to your outfit.”

“Oh, you like it?” Violette gave a smile, knowing full well her outfit will drive her twin insane. A dark blue tie, white undershirt and a dark blue suit with golden edging for the pockets.

“It is severely lacking in various ways, which will reflect poorly on our family.” Her eyes look glazed over her outfit. She looked at a small logo on the collar, “You used a Valkyr tailor.” She held a degree of disdain.

Violette smirked, taking a drink of her coffee. “Ah, so you hate it?” She gave a playful nudge towards her. “Please, give me a written formal list of everything wrong with it written in cursive using a fountain pen with ink from a special linseed only harvested in a full moon light as is tradition.”

Her twin gave a frown, “You’re a royal not some harlot walking across a fashion show trying to sell overpriced clothing.”

“Ah, but we’re not royals. So perhaps I am one of those harlots selling overpriced clothing.” She gives a laugh, greatly annoying her sister.

“You’re wearing too much makeup.” Marie-Noëlle stared coldly at her sister.

“Perhaps if you wore as much makeup as I am, it could cover up how pale you are and people will stop assuming you’re a lonely ghost wandering the halls seeking your non-existent love.” Violette gestured towards Marie-Noëlle’s outfit, “Would it trouble you so to add in a bit of color other than white to your outfit? Perhaps a bit of orange or pink to it.”

“I have already tolerated you dying my hair pink. Which I would like to mention, you told me it was brown hair dye. Besides, this outfit is a perfect recreation of our great-grandmother’s outfit from when she was a queen.” Marie-Noëlle shook her head, “I look like one of those ridiculous fictional characters you keep pestering me about and completely undignified.”

“Ah, I suppose that’s why you are hiding in the corner. Can’t let anyone see the great Marie-Noëlle, the protector of traditions with pink hair. What would the papers say if they could even write about us without drawing someone’s ire.” The black suited princess rolled her eyes. “You could spend some time with my girlfriend and I at the pool, give you a tan so people will stop trying to hide their children away from you thinking you’re sick.”

Marie-Noëlle gave a strong look at her sister, “Just because I don’t say anything about your repulsive relationship with her doesn’t mean I will spend a moment to be around you two.”

“What if she became an Akuanist?” Violette teased her twin, “Can’t keep using that excuse then.”

“I would… Reconsider then.” Marie-Noëlle shook her head, “Why can’t you find a man to be with?”

“Why can’t you, my fearless Marie.” Violette kept giving a teasing tone as she annoyed her twin. She took another sip of her coffee before speaking, “Unless you think the closet is plenty roomy for you. I could always set you up on a da-”

"Absolutely not, I am not living in sin like you.” She stood her ground. “I’m not trusting you again with setting me up with people.”

“Oh come on, she was incredibly nice and actually fun to be around.” Violette rolled her eyes, “What if I promise to stop trying to set you up with women.”

“First, she was an Akuanist and not Ulvriktru. Second she was a woman, her Frakanic was poor. Third-” She was cut off by her sister.

"Third she is a dec-” She was in return, cut off by Marie-Noëlle.

“Do not be crude and I am still not one of those queers like you.”

“It’s 2023, at least say gay to give a illusion you keep up with the times.”

“I have a selection of other words to use if you would prefer me not call it the polite way.”

“No, your old fashion word choice selection is fine.” Violette gave a sigh, shaking her head at her sister. “Have you considered being a happier person?”

“Yes but I decided to veto it in lew of being angry.”

“You know the Fylkir supports it right?”

Marie-Noëlle kept her mouth closed, not saying anything at all. Taking a sip of her own coffee before speaking. “I think I will go out and find a partner to dance with.” Not quite sure how to even approach the topic honestly.

“If you can’t find one, you can always come back to your woman loving, queer harlot of a twin.” Violette gave a little wave at her sister.

_ _

Prince Johan might not show it, but he was honestly very excited for being a part of this ball. The music, the atmosphere and all the different masks. It was something right from those old Lapérousian stories that his father told him about. He didn’t even complain when he was forced by his older sister to wear a suit that was not gothic in design. Instead he wore the royal uniform given to him which was black with purple highlights on it. He wore a dark blue half-face mask with golden symbols of an eagle spreading its wings. He had a bright smile on his face as he watched the high end of noble folk within the Federation dancing and mingling among themselves. His eyes were more focused on the women in the room.

“Please behave.” His older sister, Alexandra, said behind him. Her arms were crossed as she gave her younger brother a small glare. Less one from anger or coldness rather one who simply wanted to give a small warning. That warning being a clear ‘no’. She was wearing a tight dark purple dress with a royal sash over right shoulder. She was wearing the same type of mask as her younger brother, though hers covered her entire face in the shape of a eagle.

“Oh please, I alway behave.” Johan said, placing a hand on his hip.

“You know just as much as I, that I do not need to remind you of that time on the ball in Haakondal.” She said with a sigh as she walked. She gestured to her brother to follow her.

“In my defense, she flirted with me.” Her brother said a small smirk on his face.

“In which you should know better.” Though the mask hid her facial features, her cold tone reflected how she felt.

“We didn’t even do anything that would cause a scandal.” Johan rolled his eyes though one could barely see that. “We just kissed.”

“First.” Alexandra stopped and turned around to give her little brother an actual cold glare. “What you were doing was less kissing and more getting a bit too ‘cozy’. Second” She said, placing a finger on his chest as she poked it harshly. “If our mother did not catch you, that likely got far worse.”

“Or far better if you ask m-” The Prince started saying before getting another harsh poke against his chest.

“And third, you’re a prince. You should act like one.” She stopped poking his chest and crossed her arms. “So please, in the name of the gods. Behave.”

Johan sighed as he rubbed his chest. “Fine, I’ll be on my best behavior.”

“Good, you can still dance with people here but not anything more.” Alexandra said in a far lighter and nicer tone. “We are here to mourn and pay respect to the victims of the Ishindale bombing. The Frida Dynasty is doing something well meaning by organizing this charity event so the least we can do is be respectful.”

Johan was just nodding along but he could not help but be focused on the name of the dynasty, but before he could ask about it he saw in the corner of his eyes someone approaching the two.

Marie-Noëlle approached them, with her own mask. One far more rare in this day in age, one that only covered her eyes, it being pale white, with edge gold along the outline and careful designs of her family’s crest. Rapier at her side, sheathed in her scabbard. She spoke to them in Frakanic, “Bonjour, High Jarlnja Ymirdval, how fair was your travel here?” She only looked at Alexandra, not sparing a glance to the prince.

“Ah, your highness.” The High Jarlnja said as she bent her knees slightly to curtsy but her dress fitting went tightly on her to actually doing it with the skirt. “The trip was good, not exactly a long trip.”

Johan chuckled. “Yeah you didn’t have to travel a several hours long plane trip after all.” He said teasing his older sister a little bit by poking Alexandra’s shoulder.

What an absolute disgrace of an outfit, has she no sense of modesty?’ The princess thought to herself. Originally she was just going to ignore the man in the half-mask however the topic of flight was something she longed to-do herself. “Very well then.” She turns her head to face the prince, “Flight? Where did you travel from if I might inquire.”

“Haakondal, Hvaloaszna.” He said with a small smile as he looked towards the Princess, completely ignoring the warning looks from his older sister. “Though I am happy to have come here, both for doing what is right but also to experience an amazing ball with gorgeous people.” He gave Marie a respectful bow as he tried to act charming towards her.

“Ah, Les Îles de Brise how fare the isles?” She ignored his undignified and improper way of trying to court her. Wondering why this man is flirting with her, it is not a man’s role to be the one pursuing but the woman’s role.

The prince could not help feeling a slight sting at his confidence with no reaction from his gesture. A silent sigh left his lips as he straightened his back again trying to not make his older sister worried now that he finally noticed her glares. “It goes quite well, the people are always nice to interact with and the brewmaster of Haakondal and I get along quite well.” He said smiling warmly, the least he can be is being friendly and warm if he can’t be charming. “Though them being Akuanist you do have to get used to how many people were drinking.” He gave a small chuckle at his own joke.

While she didn’t laugh, she gave a nod to show she was slightly entertained by his joke. “Indeed, the majority of my family’s staff is Akuanist. Though I fear I might not get used to the Ayay-ing every time they are paid or get time off.” She looks back at Alexandra.

“Well I am certain you might at some point.” The High Jarlynja said, shaking her head in amusement. She subtly gestured to her younger brother to go away. “Johan, can you fetch us some drinks?”

The Prince just nodded his head. “Of course, anything else either of you want?”

“If you could bring me a slice of cake, that would be most appreciative.” Marie-Noëlle gave a gesture to one of the mask wearing staff members walking around with the tray.

“Would vanilla cake sound good for you, your highness?” Johan said, bowing his head while internally sighing to himself.

“Yes, that would be delightful.” She said in a non-delightful sounding tone. Keeping to her mostly cold voice.

The prince just nodded his head as he walked away from the two only letting out an audible sigh when he was far away from them. “Well, perhaps Alexandra is correct.” He said to himself nervously scratching the back of his head as he got a pair of champagne glasses for the two royal ladies and a small vanilla cake for Marie. He bowed his head as he gave the drinks to the two and the cake to Marie.

“Thank you, Johan.” Alexandra said, eyeing him carefully and took a sip from her glass.

She took a glass and a small plate with cake on it, from him. “Would you two mind if we sat? There is a table over there we can use.”

“I do not mind, whatever makes you most comfortable. Your highness.” The Prince spoke, bowing his head. His sister nodded her head in agreement as all three sat down at the table.

The princess placed the plate of a small slice of cake down onto the table. “Thank you, High Jarlnja how fare your work?” She takes a bite out of her cake, curving out a piece with a fork. Keeping to her rather silly way of speaking.

‘What year are we in? Did we go to the damn past?’ Prince Johan thought to himself as he took a bite from his own cake, nothing but to find the Princess’s way of speaking to be absolutely bizarre.

“Well I am far from having the most stressful job in the Federation, but it has been a bit stressful lately.” Alexandra said with a small chuckle as she took a sip from her coffee cup. “I do manage though, one should take one’s duties seriously after all.” She gave her brother a subtle knowing look, who just returned it with an eye roll.

“I am forced to agree with you, duties and tradition matter most importantly of all, second only to legacy.” She takes a sip of her glass, eyeing the prince up before returning her look over towards the princess. “I’m afraid I haven’t met your brother, forgive my rudeness for asking for an introduction to him.”

As the Prince was about to speak up and introduce himself his sister beat him to it. “This is my younger brother, Prince Johan of Norgsveldet and Grand Prince of Haakondal. Serving as the Crown Realm’s Royal Protector of the Valoasan province. He is fourth in line to the throne behind Matriarch Ingrid, myself and High Jarlnja Joan.” She gestured to her brother who smiled politely and gently bowed his head in respect.

“I certainly did not get the fanciest of titles compared to my older sisters.” He said with a small chuckle as he looked into Marie’s eyes.

She looked at this rather crass man being quite rude, not only speaking like some teenage hoodlum. Though it had a degree of some roguish charm to it. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Grand Prince Johan. I am princess Marie-Noëlle of house Frida, first in line to the jarldom of Normand.” She offers the back of her gloved hand towards him, giving an expecting look.

“The pleasure is all mine.” He said as he gently took her hand gave it a quick kiss as he looked up at her, giving her a charming smile as he spoke up again. “It is only natural that such a prestigious house would produce such a beautiful and clearly mighty woman like yourself.” He had ignored the glares from his sister to not break character.

‘Well, he has saving grace after all’ She thought, ever-so slightly blushing which she quickly tried to cover up by cleaning her lips with a handkerchief. “You flatter me, prince.” She retrieves her hand from his grasp.

“Flattery should be given to those who deserve it after all.” The prince said, placing his hand on his chest in a respectful gesture.

Alexandra could not help but roll her eyes at hearing those words. ‘You’d flatter any woman if you thought you could get them in bed’ She thought to herself as she took a sip from her coffee cup as she thought of ways to distract him and send him elsewhere.

With a single compliment, her face turned just tad more red in the cheeks. Taking another sip of her glass, she looked over to Alexandra. “Would you mind if I take your brother for a dance?”

“Wait what?” Alexandra asked, a bit surprised for a second as she looked towards Marie before giving a quick glance towards her brother. “Let me speak with him first then you two can go to the dance floor.”

“Allow me to pardon myself for a moment then.” She stands up, giving a respectful bow of her head towards Alexandra before stepping away from the table more towards the dance floor.

The prince’s eyes followed the princess as she walked away, a small smirk on his lips as he looked her up and down… Until he was forced to look away by his sister pulling his ear and forcing him to place his attention on her. “Fuck that hurts!” He whispered as he glared at her.

“Good it was meant to.” Alexandra whispered back as she let go of his ear, crossing her arms. “I hope you know what I am going to ask from you.”

“Yes, Yes. Avoid getting in trouble and don’t try getting into her pants.” He said with a sigh as he rubbed his ear.

“You better. You have no idea how much trouble I will get into if you did.” Alexandra sighed as she shook head and rubbed the bridge of her nose.

“Looking at the way she is speaking, I doubt she’d let anyone unless they propose to her.” He joked earning a small giggle from his sister.

“Alright go dance, you.” Alexandra gestured to him to start walking towards the dance floor. He smiled warmly at getting permission as he stood up and walked towards Marie. “Try to not get yourself in a duel!”

He chuckled thinking his older sister was just joking, afterall dueling had been banned for over a hundred years! He walked about to Marie and bowed his head.

Marie-Noëlle held her hand on her sword’s handle in case there was a need to duel Alexandra for his hand at the dance. The Federation mostly outlawed dueling, it only required specific swords to be used and registered as well as approval from a senior official from the Fighter Union. Of which, the princess had one of these swords and was recently inspected for the purpose of dueling. “Grand Prince Johan, I suppose you bring warm tidings of the status of our dance?” She asked in a curious tone.

“I was given permission, yes.” He said with a small chuckle as he offered his hand, smiling ever so damn charming. “Unless you have changed your mind, your highness?”

“Fickle mind is a weak one.” She accepts his hand, releasing her grip of her sword’s handle. “Let us move towards the dance floor Prince.”

“Lead the way, Princess.” He said with his typical charming smile being replaced with a genuine amused one.

The royals entered onto the dance floor of the ballroom, Alexandra staring them down with a careful glance until another royal of the Frida dynasty sat down with a smirk on her face.

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9th May, 2023

Estate of Frida was small one in comparison to their once grand palace they once owned or the dozens of manors they had. Not to say their current home is small or even medium sized. They still own an estate, a proper castle with an outdoor pool and a ‘reasonable’ sized landscape around it. All tucked away in a rural area of Normand, a couple hours drive from the capital of the petite-nation.

The sun glancing over Marie-Noëlle sleeping form on her bed, all tucked away in her blanket. The light was quickly cut off by Édouard, the youngest of the Frida dynasty of eleven years. The small kemonomimi climbed onto the end of the bed, then leaped onto the sleeping princess. Saying in an excitable tone, “Get up! Get up!” In a wonderfully annoying tone.

Marie-Noëlle woke up with a frustrated groan, “Why.” She rubbed her eyes and then reached up to grab her little brother by the arms. Pulling him down in a quick motion, forcing him into a hug.

“Mama says we can’t eat breakfast until everyone is at the table.” Édouard rubbed his head against Marie-Noëlle’s head, giving a small pur. “I’m hungry.”

“Alright, let me get up.” The princess got up from the bed, still carrying the little prince in her arms. Wearing her absolutely conservative sleepwear. Holding her brother in arms, cradling him as one would a newborn baby.

He tried to get out of her arms, wiggling all around. “Stop carrying me like a baby.” He gave a whining tone.

“I think not, this reminds me of when you were far less troublesome.” The princess spoke in a calm tone. Slowly rocking him back and forth as she did so.

“Please?” The young prince begged.

“Very well only if you promise to be good.” Marie-Noëlle teased.

“I promise, I promise. I don’t want anyone to see me like this!” He swore, fearing what would happen if Violette saw them like this.

“Too late!” Violette snapped a photo of them with her phone. “Marie-Noëlle, can you give him a kiss on the forehead too?”

“Why of course I can. Come closer Édouard.” She leans down while Édouard thrashes around trying to avoid his big sister’s kiss.

“No! Girls are gross.” He cried out, “I just want to be a pirate or maybe breakfast! I don’t want a kiss!”

All his fighting was for not, as Marie-Noëlle planted a kiss on his forehead and Violette snapped another picture of them. He finally escaped from her grasp, when she decided she was tired of carrying him. He ran to the dinning hall, while rubbing his forehead with his sleeve.

Marie-Noëlle and Violette burst out laughing together, another successful torture session against their siblings. “Ah Marie, it’s time like this I remember why you are my twin.” Violette said with a smile as the two walked to the dinning hall.

“Of course, one must place our younger siblings in their place less they get ideas.” Marie-Noëlle gave a smile of her own.

The pair moved to the dinning hall, sitting across from each other like they always do. Édouard burying his face into their father. Who was patting his back, scratching his ears. The man giving a soft tone of voice, “It’s okay, it’s okay. You are not going to get infected with umm what did you call it?”

Édouard looked up with tearful eyes, “Girl power.”

The father had to suppress his laughter, taking a moment to use his free hand to cover his mouth. Though his laughed still was heard through the hall.

“It’s a serious sickness! I don’t think I can go to piano lessons or go to school today.” He looked up with begging eyes.

“Oh don’t worry I have just the cure for… Girl Power.” He said with a smirk. Leaning down to give a kiss on his forehead and scratching his ears. “There you go, the girl power is gone now.”

“Will it ever come back? Do I still have to go to school?” He spoke with a tearful eyes.

“Yes, and we can cast our vile illness at you at range.” Marie-Noëlle teased him with a flick of her fingers. Violette gave a nod, joining her twin in flicking her fingers at him.

Édouard pushed his head onto the old Kemonomimi Jarl-Consort chest. “Papa, make them stop it.”

The dad rubbed his back, kissing Édouard’s forehead again. “Oh, they stop it alright.” He gave a glare to the twins.

“I thought you were too old to believe in curses.” Violette teased him, laughing all while.

“It’s not a curse, those things are fake. This is a sickness.” Édouard said with an adorable pout. Making Marie-Noëlle burst out in a giggle, cooing at how adorable he is.

“He’s just so adorable when he’s all pouty, it makes me just want to kiss him again.” Marie-Noëlle said with a smirk, looking towards her twin. Violette gave a smirk, “Oh perhaps the both of us can cover him with kisses, just give him double the… Girl Power.” She could barely keep from bursting out with laughter.

“You two can calm down now, or else I will get your mother.” The father looked backed at the twins. Who gave each other a knowing look.

“Quit your plotting this instant.” He spoke in a strong tone, looking at the two princesses. Édouard sitting on his lap, curled up to him.

“Oh, we’re just jesting with him.” Marie-Noëlle said, taking a sip of her morning tea. “Where is mother and the rest of the gremlins?”

The old kemonomimi thought for a moment, letting Édouard rest on his lap and relaxing against his chest. “She will be down soon, she had a phone call. René, Jérémie and Rébecca are out fishing. Eugénie, Peggy and Léonard are still away on their trip in Fjelldal, hosting an art and book auction for the historical society.” He sips his coffee, giving a comforting scratch to the little kemonomimi in his lap.

“So it is just us three then all day?” Marie-Noëlle said in a curious tone. The old man raised an eyebrow, she usually is this curious about her siblings.

“She’s going to have her boyfriend over.” Violette teased her sister, targeting her twin instead of their little brother.

“Oh?” The father gave a smirk, looking at his little reactionary daughter. “Does thy man won my daughter of yee heart so? Tis wounds my heart and soul to see my little flower blossom into a rose.” He gives laugh at her, taking a small stab at her daughter’s rather old-fashioned way of speaking. “Who has plucked my rose from me? What dragonic rogue has crept into the night while I slept and robbed my fair daughter’s heart?"

“I don’t speak like that.” Marie-Noëlle looked at her father with a strong look.

“Yes, you do.” Édouard spoke up in a bratty voice, peering at her. Marie-Noëlle gave a frighting look towards the boy and he hid in his father’s jacket again.

“You kind of do.” Violette gave a smug look, “It’s like you read a dictionary from the 18th century and then never updated to the modern era. Honestly I’m half surprised you’re not into those weird strawberry candies grandma used to give us.”

“They taste artificial and crude, unbecoming of a proper sweet.” The princess had a strong tone about her.

“Before we start to keep on talking about candy, Marie-Noëlle please tell the table about your boyfriend? Is he normal?” It was a fair enough question asked by the father, Marie-Noëlle tends to be rather… Strange in her dating practices. Which scares quite a few suitors away from her.

A butler entered the dining hall, wearing the green apron, black slacks and white undershirt. Marie-Noëlle gave a nod, giving permission to the butler to speak. “Prince Ymirdval of Norgsveldet is waiting in the parlor with her majesty.” The butler spoke with a soft tone.

“You may leave.” Marie-Noëlle stood up, as the butler left. “Forgive me for leaving before breakfast could be served.”

Violette gave a smile, “Why not bring him over for breakfast, I’m sure he hasn’t eaten yet.” The father joined in, “Yes, let us meet the prince who swoon your heart so~” He teased his daughter. The young of the family simply just rested his head on his father’s chest, pulling his father’s coat over him.

“I will consider it.” Marie-Noëlle lightly blushed, still wearing sleepwear. She looked down at it, nervously fickle with her dress.

“Don’t keep mom waiting oh dear sister of mine~” Violette said, flickering her finger at her twin. Smiling at her sister, being all so flustered in her nightgown. Marie-Noëlle probably wouldn’t get in trouble wearing her sleep dress by mom, probably.

Marie-Noëlle quickly stepped out of the dining hall and out of the sight of the trio.

The father turned his head over towards his daughter. “Which prince is it?”

The parlor room was reasonably able, with a series of armchairs directed towards a fireplace. A window with a strained glass, making the shape of a family crest to be casted down as the sun rose over the hill. Velvet carpeting made up the majority of the floor, except around the fireplace which had a brick tiling which made a half circle around the pit. There was an old grandfather clock, or a grandmother clock given the circumstances. Slowly filling the room with a disturbing ticking sound. The walls had built in bookshelves, filled with both ancient and new literature.

The Jarlnja of Normand, Matriarch of the Frida dynasty, sat in an armchair across from the prince. Sipping on a very hot tea, simply being quiet waiting for her daughter to arrive. After the pleasantries were exchanged of course.

Marie-Noëlle didn’t quite run into the room, more like aggressively speed walking to the room. Still wearing her nightgown and house shoes. Pushing aside the pure scandal of her appearance, more focusing on what embarrassing things her mother could say to him about her.

Johan stood up with a grin on his face as he lifted up the bouquet of flowers that was in his hands. Being dressed in black jeans and a dark red buttoned shirt. “Thought I’d give you a visit before I go to Sayyed.” He said a small teasing look in his eyes as he spoke. “Your mother has been holding me with good company.”

Marie-Noëlle looked embarrassed at her mother, bowing her head towards her. “My apologies for m-”

The mother gave a teasing glance at her flustered daughter and cut her off. “Oh, it’s fine dearly. I just told him about when you were young.” She gives a side eye as she sips her tea, watching her daughter dive deeper into embarrassment. “Before you ask, no you both have to have breakfast with the family, I had the butler bring an extra chair next to you.”

The princess silently accepted her fate, then looking at Johan. “Oh, are those for me?” Marie-Noëlle never got far enough in a relationship to get flowers from anyone save her twin who could get her bouquet and box of chocolates on Freya day.

“Yes, and I picked mostly white roses since they reminded me the most of you.” He said, giving a charming smile as he gave the flowers to her.

“Really? You were that cheesy?” Olav raised an eyebrow at his son.

“It worked didn’t it!” Johan crossed his arms, annoyed at his father.

Marie-Noëlle warmly accepted the flowers, taking a deep smell of them and giving a warm smile. Something the Jarlnja took notice of with a soft smile of her own. “Thank you very much, Prince Johan. I will treasure these with all my heart and mind.”

“Besides, she was that cheesy too.” Johan returned his arms to his side.

“Keep telling the story boy.” Olav just sighed, ordering another Eyjarian coffee.

“Here I thought we were past the usage of our titles.” Johan said with a small chuckle. “Going to show me around or you have other plans?”

“We have been invited for breakfast with the family. I hope you enjoy crêpes with a side of sausage and toast.” The princess had a little bit of a cheerful tone about her. Her mother stood up, clapping her hands. “Well, no sense in keeping Édouard waiting.”

They made their way into the dining hall, Marie-Noëlle sticking rather close by to the good prince. Everyone taking their seats, with Édouard still sitting in his father’s lap. Marie pulled the chair out for Johan to take a seat in.

“Thanks, Marie.” He said, smiling sweetly up at her as he looked around at the table. Not fully expecting to see her family so soon.

Marie sat down next to him, ignoring the nudging of her twin. “You are welcome, would you like some coffee or orange juice?” The princess reached over to the pitcher filled with the juice. Preparing to fill up her own glass.

“I would like some!” Édouard clapped his hands together looking beggingly at Marie. Looking completely adorable for a complete little brat. Then his head turned to Johan, tilting his head. “I haven’t seen you before? Are you a friend of dad?”

“Coffee would be great.” Johan said respectfully before turning his attention towards Édouard and couldn’t help but giggle as the boy reminded him of his youngest sister. “Now aren’t you absolutely adorable, what’s your name? I’m Prince Johan.”

“I am Édouard and I am not adorable, I am handsome.” He said looking completely adorable with his pout. Even Marie gave a giggle, pouring herself a glass before passing to her twin to pour the kid a drink. Then the princess reached over and grabbed the coffee pot to pour for prince Johan.

“Manners Édouard.” The father said, giving his son a pat on the head. Then lifting him up and placing him on the chair next to him. “But daaad.” Édouard whined. “Butts are for sitting young man.” The old man cracked a smile at his joke.


“Well the father seems like a good man.” Olav said to himself as he chuckled.

“Of course you would say that, he also grills and goes sailing.” Prince Johan rolls eyes.

“A very good man then.” His father replied with a smirk.


Johan had to keep himself from rolling his eyes being certain he heard that joke dozens of times from his own father. He added a bit of milk into his coffee cup as he spoke up again. “Well one can be both adorable and handsome, you don’t have to be only one.”

The boy stared into his orange juice, really going through a moment right now wrapping his head around the concept. The father patted his back, in confirmation. “He’s right, you know you are an adorable handsome boy.” Giving a smile.

“How do you know both of those two things?” He tilted his head at his father. “Well, I made you of course.” The dad said with a joking tone.

“Ewww! I’m trying to eat!” The whole table save the mother, father and Johan gave a disgusted look.

The Norgsveltian Prince just chuckled at that as he took a sip of his coffee cup. “Hope you had good rest yesterday, Marie.” He said with his signature charming smile as he looked up at the taller kemonomimi.

“I did indeed.” Marie-Noëlle said with a polite smile in return. Violette leaned over to her twin’s ear, whispering “Tell him he looks even better without his mask on.” Marie-Noëlle gave a soft cough, “You look even better without your mask on.”

“No flirting at the table, I wanted to eat without throwing it up please.” Édouard looked disgusted, really wanting his food.

The father gave a chuckle, going right for the meat part of the meal. The mother only sighed, sipping her coffee, hoping the boy wouldn’t ruin possibly the only person that wasn’t scared away by her eldest daughter.

Johan let out a small laugh hearing that and leaned over to whisper into Marie’s ear. “I’d say you look better without it as well, but you’re beautiful no matter what you wear.” He grinned after having whispered that and went to dig into his meal. Eating mainly the crêpes.

She gave a soft blush, her twin going back to whisper into her ear. “Now kiss him.” Marie-Noëlle almost went through with it until she came to reasonable senses. Shaking her head, then going to eat her food.

“Does Norgsveldet have crêpes?” The youngest and most trouble-finding child spoke up again. “I heard they had really big wolves there. Do they make good steaks? My dad is an amazing cook.”

“Let him eat Édouard.” The father ruffled his son’s hair.

The Norgsveltian Prince smiled warmly hearing the questions and took a few bites of his crêpes before answering them. “We do have crêpes though it is not as big of a thing as here. Our speciality however is burgers and steaks, my father for one is absolutely amazing at grilling burgers.” He took a sip from his coffee cup.

“Your father seems like a good man, with great taste. What kind of grill does he use? Wood or propane?” The father raised his head from downing all the meat on his plate.

“Daaaaaaaad, you’re ruining Marie’s only chance at getting a boyfriend that she does not scare away.” Violette said in a joking tone of voice, who promptly received an elbow from her much stronger sister.

“No rough housing at the table.” The Jarlnja simply said with a soft smile looking at the two.

The Norgsveltian Prince couldn’t but having to muffle out his laughter at seeing the interaction as he shook his head in amusement. “Well, I guess it depends if my father is planning on showing off or not.” He said with a small smirk on his lips.

“He’s a good and smart man, we like that in a king.” The father gave a laugh. Marie-Noëlle held her tongue, trying not to look too upset at that statement. Simply going for a slice of her food.

“Once we are finished with breakfast, would you like to go swimming at the pool?” Marie-Noëlle turned her head towards Prince Johan.

“Oh my, Marie is going to be in a swimsuit? Right after meeting a man? How scandalous!" Violette gave a dramatic tone of voice.

Johan was good at hiding but internally he was very happy at the idea to go swimming with Marie, even if it was not the most innocent of reasons. “I’d like that, though I haven’t exactly brought my swimming trunks.” He said scratching the back of his head.

“Oh, you can just use one of mine, you can even use one of my Valkyr shirts.” The father took another sip of his drink, refilling the coffee cup for himself and his wife.

Édouard spoke up, already the aura of him being rude was showing before he even spoke. “Why do you like her? She is my sister and I barely like her as is.”

“Boy.” The father looked at Édouard with a strong glance showing he needs to correct his behavior right now. “Sorry.” The boy mumbled.

‘I’m going to end up looking like my father if I wear a Valkyr shirt as well.’ He thought to himself, shivering at the thought.


“Oi.” Olav said, crossing his arms, giving his son a slight glare.

“Are you sure you didn’t have a twin?” Johan shrugged his arms.


“I’d be fine with just swimming trunks.” The Norgsveltian Prince said, giving a respectful smile towards the father before turning his attention towards the child. He scratched the back of his head nervously as he tried to find the right words. “Well… Several reasons but one of them is just that, I find her way of speaking to be very cute.”

Édouard wanted to speak but a glare from his father quickly quieted him down.

Marie-Noëlle was blushing into another world. Briefly hiding away her face with a handkerchief disguising that she was simply cleaning her mouth like the last night she did so. She was finished with her plate, and quietly excused herself to further hide from her blushing and embarrassment.

Johan looked towards her direction confused and a little bit worried as he looked towards the rest of the family. “Did I offend her in some way? I apologize if I did.” He said with a genuine worry in his voice.

Mother just looked at the father with a smirk. “No boy, you didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, your probability was the only one who did it right.”

Violette just burst out laughing however, giving Johan a pat on the back. “By the gods, I never in my life saw her blush so hard she had to leave a room like that. Can you do it again? I want to record it.”


Marie-Noëlle stepped out into the backyard, walking towards the pool with a deep level of embarrassment, scratching her arm. She was wearing a moderately conservative swimsuit, something that looked like it came out of the Personal-Union era. Black and white striped pattern, though the princess left out the headdress for it. She walked alongside with Édouard, who wrote the appropriate outfit, well at least appropriate for Marie’s high standards.

The boy had his school uniform on with a matching hairdress for it. Long swimsuit dress going down to his knees, a cap to cover up his hair and simple color scheme to match his school’s mascot. “Why can’t I wear what dad usually wears?” The little kid complains, holding his sister’s hand.

“He is an adult and can wear what he wishes.” Marie tugged her little brother along to the poolside, dipping her feet into the water and sat on the edge.

“Okay but I’m eleven, do I still have to wear this stupid swimsuit dress?”

“Yes, we shant be having you dressed up as some fraternity libertine man looking completely unbefitting-” Marie was cut off by her little brother giving a eyeroll and speaking.

“Unbefitting of our house and prestige yah yah.” The boy sighed, “Is that why you are dressed up like a doll?”

“What doll would dress up like this?” Marie raises an eyebrow, questioning what the boy has been doing when no one is around to watch after him.

“The kind of dolls you hid in your closet in that one box on the top shelf.” Édouard had an annoying tone about him.

“Why you little brat, have you been going through my things?” Marie placed her hands on his shoulders.

“I-I um, only when you’re not there. That’s better than looking through your stuff when you’re asleep right?” Édouard had a degree of panic in his voice, looking scared at his sister.

“No.” In a quick motion Marie lifts up Édouard with her hands and tosses him into the water. Making a large splash.

“Not fair!” Édouard cried as he breached the surface. “You can’t just throw me into the water whenever you want!”

“I can, and chance are, will again in the foreseeable future.” Marie-Noëlle had a smirk on her lips, taking a moment to relax while she waited for Johan to arrive.

“Bit cruel are you not?” The Norgsveltian said behind her, crossing his arms as he had a small smirk on his lips. Marie had not noticed him when being too busy with the young boy. He was wearing blue swimming trunks and chose to be shirtless instead of putting on one of those Valkyr shirts that Marie’s father had offered. Having some muscles to show off though he was on the more slimmer side then broadside.

She raised and turned her head to look at the rather debauchee prince. “Bit of cruelty never hurt anyone.” She gave a smirk in return, “No shirt?” She asked the prince, it was a bit unusual of course.

The kid in the pool cried out, “Why does he get to not wear a shirt but I have to wear this stupid dress!”

“Boy be silent.” Marie turned her gaze towards the Édouard.

“Well, I guess I should be careful so that you don’t turn that cruelty towards me~” Johan said in a flirtatious tone before diving into the pool. Swimming was the only sport his father was ever able to convince him to partake in. Going back to the surface of the water he looked up towards Marie. “I wouldn’t want to drench any of your father’s shirt, and we’re going swimming anyways.” He had a teasing smile as he gestured to the Princess to join him, being completely unaware that the fake scar he had on his cheek had been completely washed away when he dived.

She raised an eyebrow at him, sliding off of the pool’s edge and into the water. Swimming towards him, very close towards him in fact. Very closely looking into his eyes, he lied to her, lied about having a scar. He didn’t verbally say so, however one shouldn’t have to ask if a person’s scar is real. She had a scary look about her, a frightening look indeed. “You lied.” She spoke in a cold tone.

“Um, what?” He said in a small nervous tone swimming a little bit away from her as her attitude scared him a little bit. “I-If you’re talking about the shirt thing then I will admit it’s just because I don’t like Valkyr shirts!”

“Your scar Johan.” She swimmed closer to him.

“Oh, well um.” He stuttered out as he swam faster away from her, swimming in a way to ensure he always kept an eye on her.

She moves closer, and quicker than one would expect of her. Keeping to her frightening tone and look. “You lied, explain.” Her eyes filled with a quiet rage.

“This is why you never keep a boyfriend long!” Édouard rolled his eyes, then resting his back on the water. Having seen this kind thing happen far too often.

“I AM SORRY!” Johan yelled out as he swam as fast as he could away from the princess reaching the other end of the pool rather quickly.

“She will chase you if you run.” Édouard said lazily, “Call her pretty, that usually works unless she already has the sword out.”

Marie-Noëlle was absolutely chasing Johan, after all it isn’t instinct to chase after what is trying to escape you.

Seeing the princess swimming towards him at increasingly high speed the prince decides to dive below her swimming under her to get away from whatever she was planning on doing. In which he swam towards the other end of the pool, again.

Like a heat seeking missile she followed him, never once taking a moment to think to herself if she was overreacting.

“Tell her she has nice form or something already! You two keep splashing water on me.” The boy tried to help the prince out in some way or another.

Leaning against the wall of the pool as he looked towards the angry looking princess the Norgsveltian prince only said what he could think of at that exact moment. “Your swimming suit is very cute and your blushes are adorable!” He placed his hands in front of him almost afraid he was going to get slapped.

She stopped on the dime, calming down much to the Prince’s safety. No one really complains about her swimming suit, they always make fun of it telling her she looks like a grandma taking her grandkids out to the pool. She was still upset at him lying to her but she was much more calm, and had a soft blush on her face. “Your swimming attire is good as well, even without your shirt.” She had a far more polite tone about her, “I’m still upset at your deception.”

“Look I just thought it made me look cool, didn’t think it was such a big deal.” He said scratching the back of his head as he looked away embarrassed. “Thought that someone like you might have preferred someone who… well looked tough.”

She gave a smile, caressing his chin. “It is a big deal to lie about your appearance, however I can overlook it. You don’t have to be tough for me, let me handle that for you.” She gives him a kiss on the cheek, “Besides, I was planning on asking who gave you that scar so I can return the favor.” She gives a small laugh along with that, as if she was telling a joke. “I can bestow a real scar if you would like one.”

“She isn’t joking about either.” The other prince in the pool said lazily, finding a pool ball to push around with.

“I think I’m good, but I guess if I ever change my mind I will ask you.” Johan said in a small chuckle as he just let himself finally relax in the pool.

“Well, if you run into trouble please inform me and I will take care of them.” She gave a polite smile to him, already feeling protective over him.

“She means run to her when you stub your toe.” Her brother translates for his sister.

The Norgsveltian prince just chuckled lightly at that and shook his head. “I guess you can destroy any furniture who dares to hurt me then.” He teased Marie giving her a cheeky smile.

“She is also good with monsters under the bed!” The littlest Frida cheers, relaxing in his pool chair.

Marie just rolled her eyes, at her brother’s comment. “I suppose a nightstand is a worthy opponent for my blade if it brings you harm.” She says in a joking tone.

“Don’t think I have asked, but how good of a fencer are you?” Johan looked up cursious towards his new girlfriend.

She gave a grin with dangerous eyes, “I am the finest swordswoman you ever met, and while I should be more humble about it, I have yet to lose a ranked match or an official duel.” She was quite proudful in her ability, easily seen by her swaying tail. “If you like, I can arrange a sparring match today.” She said in a hopeful tone, wanting to show off a bit to her boyfriend.

“W-Well as long as it’s not against me!” He said in a half joking and half nervous tone as he let out a small awkward chuckle. “The closest I have touched any weapon is a very thick book!”

She tilts her head at that, “Not once? Are you not the prince of Norgsveldet?”

“Well, I was with my dad out hunting once but I only used binoculars.” The Prince scratched the back of his head nervously feeling quite emasculated being ‘called out’ like this.

She gave a warm smile at that, he’s just perfect for her. A prince needing protection, her protection. She swims close to him, planting a kiss on his cheek. “You are just a kind soul, there is nothing wrong with it.”

Johan blushes deeply at that and looks away embarrassed. “I can be mean too of course!” He said crossing his arms, giving a small pout.

“Yes, but being kind is your nature is it not?” She stays close to him, loving his adorable expressions. Reaching with a hand to scratch his cute fluffy ear. “It’s okay Johan, I can be mean for you.”

“You two need to get a room! Stop ruinning the pool!” Édouard cried out, making fake gag sounds.

The Prince let out a small giggle hearing that, shaking his head. “Alright, how about we find somewhere else to be so we don’t make your little brother start throwing up?” He raised an eyebrow towards Marie, smirking a little bit.

She gave a smile, “Well, we could retreat to the garden while we wait. I can call my instructor to see if she is willing to give a prompt sparring match for you to enjoy.” She gave a soft tone.

“That would be lovely.” He gave her a kiss on the cheek before looking towards Édouard, smirking before splashing a little bit of water towards the boy. A teasing grin as he yelled out. “There you go, getting the pool for yourself!”

“Ugh finally, you two are sick and you’re going to get girl power.” The other prince in the pool says with a sigh of relief. Mumbling something to himself. “Wait, I’m not allowed to be in the pool by myself.” He looked towards his sister.

“Fear not, Violette will be out here soon enough.” Marie-Noëlle responded to her little pest of a brother. She swam towards the edge of the pool, pulling herself up in a swift motion and then reaching into the water to help her boyfriend up out of the pool. “Come now, we mustn’t delay unless you wish to deal with a child sickened by us.”

“She chased you around because you had a fake scar?” Olav asked not fully believing his son but giving him a serious look nonetheless.

Johan gave a nervous chuckle, “In her mind it was stolen honor.” He scratched his arm.

The king just let out a deep sigh. “No matter the reason you shouldn’t have stayed after that.” His stern look staring right at the prince’s eyes.

“Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance? I remember you saying that before.” He looked back at his dad. Sinking into his chair.

“She deserves a restraining order, not a second chance.” Olav rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Continue on with your story.”

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Marie-Noëlle put on her lightweight helmet. Her equipment being light, barely any protection really. It wasn’t an official outfit for duels, but rather a personally designed one for the unofficial duels. The kind of duels that are settled behind closed doors for disputes without the eye of the union or the Federal government. Matters of honor and pride. They don’t stop at bleeding, only when the other yields or perishes. In which case the deaths or injuries are referred to as accidents in the kitchen with several eye witnesses stating it so. Of course police officers don’t believe it but it is better such matters don’t appear in newspapers. Nobles of the Federation are a quiet bunch, and it fits everyone’s agenda if they keep it that way.

Duels of the Federation today, well they split into several categories with fencing being the most common one, at least the official one is. The unofficial popular one, is the old art of dueling that was used back in the era of the Queendom. It has been described as ‘honorless and structureless’, which for the most part is true. The only thing that matters in the duel is winning, victory above all.

The dueling area itself was a decently sized room with benches in the far back and a large mat centered around the room. The dueling area was attached to their humble sized gym, the dueling area being the largest out of all these rooms, with a window view of the forest outside. It was a far cry from what her family once owned, or the grand fencing arenas around the country. Not the Marie-Noëlle was allowed to compete in the official country-wide circuit due to her gentle birth. Only ever to be allowed to fight in Normand regional tournaments.

The princess gave a few thrusts with her rapier. It was perfectly balanced, and fit in regulations of the Union. Then returned it into her scabbard on her belt. Waiting for the Prince and her tutor to arrive. Instead her twin arrives, wearing a much more proper outfit, with more padding on it. She held her helmet to her waist, holding it.

“Violette, what are you doing here? Édouard should not be alone in the pool, he’s far too young.” Marie-Noëlle had a concerned tone, the young brother of hers was only eleven.

“Father is outside with him. I told your tutor she can stay at home and I will practice with you.” She gave a smug tone, “After all, she shouldn’t have to be a victim of your showboating.”

“So be it, I won’t will not hold back.” Marie-Noëlle replied with a smirk.

Violette gave a small sigh, “I do wish to speak to you about your behavior towards Johan. I heard from Édouard about what you did in the pool. Yo-”

Marie-Noëlle cut her off, “I lost my temper, I admit but h-”

“Marie, you scared the life out of him over makeup. What would happen if Édouard wasn’t there? The fact that the prince is still here is either a miracle or he doesn’t want to be rude to the rest of us.” Violette gave a serious tone, in a circle walking around her sister on the mat.

Marie-Noëlle started to walk as well around the mat. The two walked along the edge of the circle of the mat. “That’s not fair, he lied. He deceived me, claiming a false honor of conflict.”

Violette gave a sigh, “By the Allmother, it is makeup. Having a fake scar is not a sin, claiming false honor is not a crime anymore. It’s not the 1700s, it’s a new era and we grew up during it. You can’t excuse yourself by saying this is the right way of things when you were not even around for it.”

Marie-Noëlle lashed out directly a furious slash at her sister with aggression. Violette desperately blocks it and moves back quickly, leaping back from her sister. Getting a distance away. Marie-Noëlle gave a scowl through her mask. “The old way was right! Look at the world now, we have Ursines drinking next to Kemonomimi. Do you know what a drunk, angry Ursine could do to a person? They can tear people limb from limb. Do you know what it takes to bring one of them down? It’s insane to let such sapients wander around. We need to protect not just our people, but the elves and the humans.”

“This isn’t about Ursines or differences in Species. This is about you overreacting about someone wearing makeup!” Violette barely dodged another one of Marie’s swipes. “Did you even apologize for your overreaction or does your honor not allow you to do that much.”

Marie-Noëlle’s angry side stepped on her sister, sweeping her leg. “Yield.” She gave a cold tone, pointing her sword down at her twin, aiming directly for her stomach.

Violette dropped her sword, holding up her hands while laying on her back. “I yield but we are not done. We need to talk about your behavior, not your politics.” Marie-Noëlle helped her sister up. They walk to a nearby bench, to catch their breath and take off their helmets. Violette gave a sigh, "Seriously you find someone who likes your way of speaking, instead of thinking of you as a weirdo. He thinks it’s cute.” She relaxes against the wall, “You should apologize before you lose him. Alright?”

Marie-Noëlle stays silent, picking up a pair of water bottles from the cooler next to her. Handing one to her sister. “Well… You may have a point. I am still upset at him for his deception.”

Her twin gave a sigh, “That is at least better than where you were before.” Taking a sip of the water. “Don’t speak about politics until the fourth date.” She gave a joking tone and held a smirk.

“Make it third and I will be forced to agree.” Her twin gave a smile back, giving a nudge to her sister.

Violette small chuckle, “Where is he anyway?”

“He went to the bathroom, though he should be due back at any moment.” Marie-Noëlle stood up from the bench, reaching to lift up her twin’s hand and she accepted it. Placing the bottle of water back onto the bench. “I will apologize to him after I make an example of you.” She gave a smirk, placing on her helmet.

“Pity, I hoped you wouldn’t humiliate me too much.” The princess gave a smirk back, placing on the helmet and returning to the center of the mat.

Unbeknownst to the two Princesses their guest has been listening into their conversation behind a corner. After a few moments gathering his thoughts about those… speciest remarks from Marie before walking into the room with a wide smile.

Marie looks towards the prince, holding up a hand to have her sister lower her blade and removes her helmet. “Prince Johan, I would like to beg your forgiveness for my actions at the pool.” She had a genuine tone about her and did honestly mean it. “I fear my temper got the better of me, and I acted out of sorts. I deeply and sincerely apologize for my unbenefiting behavior, I have been a poor host.” She places her sword into its scabbard.

“It is quite alright.” He said in a warm gentle tone placing a hand on her cheek rubbing it. “I did get good exercise from it, did I not?” He gave a teasing grin before giving her a peck on cheek. “You can make it up to me by taking me to dinner though~”

She looked surprised, even Violette gave a strange look to the prince. Most people after being chased by Marie tend to never want anything to do with her after not asking her to go to dinner. She was lost for words for a few moments. “I-I believe that can be arranged, though I fear you may have to deal with my father’s grilling. I pray you enjoy burgers.”

“Oh, I was hoping we’d have a private dinner just the two of us… like a restaurant or something.” The Prince scratched the back of his head nervously.

Marie gave a small sigh, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “My family are barred from eating at restaurants and public venues save a select few.” She kept her temper in check, not wanting to go on a rant about socialists again. “We can only eat at home, in private residences and at private venues that have been pre-approved in advance.”

“That… is very unfortunate.” Johan just scratched back of his head looking away now feeling embarrassed about bringing up having dinner.

“Boy, she literally made comments about segregation. Why did you not just leave the manor after hearing that?” Olav asked being completely dumbfounded by what he heard.

“I can fix her.” Johan say with complete confidence.

“No. No, you can’t.”

“Well, we shouldn’t give up on family.”

“…Did you get her pregnant?!” The king asked, shocked as he stood up from his seat.

“What? No! I was talking about the mask and marrying her.” Johan defended himself and raised his hands.

Olav let out a sigh of relief as he sat back down again. “Thank the Allfather, I was afraid you somehow made this situation worse for yourself.” He said in a chuckle taking a sip from his coffee cup.

He mumbled under his breath, “Have to wait until the ceremony.”

“What ceremony?” His father asked, raising an eyebrow towards him.

He gave a shiver, “I think it is best you and her mother discuss that. I would rather not discuss it.”


11th of May 2023

The Princess relaxed on the couch with a bowl of popcorn on her lap. Waiting on the date to come back with the rest of the snacks. Drinks having already been prepared by her sister and placed on the table. They were staying in a guest house on the grounds, away from Marie’s family and enforced by a few scary words from her twin to keep Marie’s siblings at bay. She bounced her leg up and down, having to lift the bowl up to prevent it from spilling.

“You know with how traditional you are, I thought you’d have snacks from a few centuries ago.” Johan said with a teasing grin on his lips as he walked up behind Marie giving his girlfriend a kiss on the forehead.

She returned the kiss on his cheek, patting the seat next to her. “I’m traditional, not old, what am I an elf?” She gave a smile back at him, tilting her head up towards him.

The Prince chuckled lightly at that as he jumped over the couch and sat next to this beautiful princess. “Well with how you speak you could surprise me.” He teased as he poked Marie’s side.

She rolled her eyes, resting her head on the adorable prince. “I can scarcely believe it has only been a few days.”

“You remind me of my theater classes in high school.” Johan shook his head in amusement as he cuddled up to the larger kemonomimi. “Unfortunately I have to leave tomorrow to prepare for my trip to Sayyed.” He let out a small sigh thinking about it.

“Sayyed? Where in the Allmother name is that?” She gave a concerned look at him. Putting aside the question about his career as an actor in school.

The Prince gave her a confused and surprised look before a small teasing smile came on his lips. “Not most well versed on geography, huh?” He teased before taking out his phone and finding a picture of Urth, zooming in on West Gondwana. “The Serene Emirate of Sayyed, it is a semi-constitutional monarchy in Western Gondwana. Their monarch is holding their first year anniversary on the throne.”

“I don’t know every backwater nation on the Urth.” She says with a scoff, eyeing Gondwana. “It is in Gondwana, that’s cannot be safe.” She shakes her head, looking at the prince with a protective glance, and pulling him towards her with an arm around his shoulder. “Holding an anniversary after one year on the throne? Did she win some sort of war or perform a great deed? You know how often conflict happens in that continent.”

He rolled his eyes at her comments. “It’s fine sweetie, no war is going to happen.” He said, giving her a peck on the cheek, smiling warmly at her. “As far I know about Sayyed’s Emira and her family is that they love some media attention.” He chuckled as he found a post that the Emira made on Pigeon. “She apparently loves to use social media as well.”

“There will be a war there in less than a month over some tribal nonsense.” She said defensively, squeezing the prince close to her. “Media attention? Are they like the house of Bjørn then?” She raised an eyebrow, “The jarl is quite too liberal with their outfits for my taste. However that is not enough to dislik-” Her eyes glance down at Johan’s phone. Staring in a confused shock state. “Is this their tribal leader? You’re not just pulling up some sort of sinful woman as a sort of practical joke?”

“You are being really judgemental for someone who never met the lass.” Johan said, rolling his eyes once more, grabbing a bit of the chocolate snacks. “But yes, this is their Emira which I will be meeting when I come to Sayyed for the anniversary.”

“I don’t need to meet her, I can see all of her here.” She looked in disgust at the photo, “Did her parents not give her enough attention? Where is her common sense of decency? How in the Allmother name did anyone with moral fiber would let her go out dressed like that?” She squeezed Johan closer to her. “She dressed as if she’s a demimondaine of the night, not a leader of a country.”

The Prince looked at his phone then back at his girlfriend. “I think you’re overreacting, she isn’t showing much skin at all in this photo at least.” He said bit confused at his girlfriend’s attitude but more so extremely confused at what in the nine realms does demimondaine mean.

“What do you mean not showing too much skin? This is completely perverse, I fear for her people’s morality if she ever could think of taking pride in a rakish photo and then posting it for all to see.” She shook her head, “What happened to the world’s sense of virtue and decorum.”

Her boyfriend looked a bit dumbfounded upon hearing that. “Didn’t think that her showing a bit of shoulder would spell the end of Sayyed as a nation.” He said with a quiet sigh and a small chuckle from his girlfriend’s dramatic attitude. “You’d be shocked to hear that her family has a reality TV show then.”

“From the mind to the body, all must work as a whole or the rest will be sick.” She shook her head in pure disgust. “Johan, let our last day together not be something that causes strife in my heart. I fear for your body going to land already, please don’t worry my mind while we still have these moments.”

“…she really had hundreds of different ways to call a woman promiscuous, huh?” Olav said in a surprised tone as he shook his head.

“Men as well…” He gave a tired shrug, “Honestly, I thought it was progressive at first. You know equality and stuff, but she actually just…” He gives a hand motion, “Very conservative.”

“I mean I guess you should be happy she never met Hera then.” Olav took a sip of his coffee as he gestured to the Prince to continue on.

“I’m going to be fine.” Johan gave his girlfriend a peck on the lips as he looked up at her with a gentle warm smile. “It’s only a small trip, small conversation with the Emira and then I’ll be back before you know it. It is simply my nation paying respect to an important nation in West Gondwana.”

“It’s in Gondwana, how important can it be? They are just like a bigger Borea but with less Akuanists and warmer weather.” She rolls her eyes again, “Small conversation? With her?” She narrows her eyes at Johan but with a great deal of concern. “I do not trust such a minx around you. Are you able to get out of it.” She places the popcorn down at the table in front of her. “In such a dangerous land as well. Would you even be safe there?”

“It is extremely big on oil and gas production which made them one of the wealthiest nations per capita in the region.” The Prince took a piece of chocolate before continuing on. “I will be safe, Sayyed is a wealthy, stable and developed nation even if a conflict was somehow to arrive. They have a strong modern military for their size with the backing of Mirhaime. I’d be evacuated in no time.” He could not help but roll his eyes for the billionth time before giving a serious look into her eyes. “I will be safe, I promise.” He gave her a kiss on the cheek before continuing on, this time with a teasing smile. “Plus you really think I’d pick her when you are far more beautiful?” He leaned in to whisper. “You also fill out your outfit more~”

“You gotta be joking with the last one.” Olav had a complete deadpan face as he looked at his son.

“It was that or listen to her go on about treating Sayyed as a backwater country.” Johan gave a shrug, “and it did work.”

She gave a sigh, “Almost every country on the Urth is big on oil and gas, or they have much closer and better neighbors than some Gondwanans.” She shakes her head, instead of going on to detail everything wrong with going to some heathen country with an extremely questionable leader. She gives him a kiss on the cheek, “Your way of words swoon my heart.” She calms down, “Though I will still pray to the Allmother for your safety while over there. I cannot protect you when you are so far away from me.” She rubs her hand against his back. “Please keep yourself safe and don’t go outside at night.”

“I’ll be safe.” The Prince squeezes her side as he rubs his head against her neck gently purring while doing so. “I am going to have my twin sister there with me so trust me I will have someone to rely on while there.”

She pulled him close, giving him a tight hug. “Ah, Joan has a good head on her shoulders despite her…” She doesn’t finish her sentence and instead places a kiss on his cheek. Still rubbing his back, and taking in his purs. Matching it with her own purs. “Please keep safe and stay around her.”

“I will.” He said giving a kiss back.

1 Like

22nd of May 2023

Johan was smiling warmly as he was driven to the Frida estate, his thoughts being solely on Marie. Even though it had been less than two weeks since they last spoke he was still excited to talk with her again. So much so that his fingers couldn’t stop tapping his knee in anticipation as he looked outside the window of the limousine waiting for the exact moment it stopped. He wanted to be more extravagantly dressed to impress her, but he rather wanted to avoid dealing with the Federal Tax Service. Instead he wore the same suit he had worn during the ball he had met Marie. An black Royal Uniform with blue and purple highlights with a dark blue sash. The moment he saw the limousine stop at the entrance of the Frida estate he immediately exited it. Leaving the driver confused and nervous as the door opened right in front of him.

“Everything alright your highne-” The driver started speaking but quieted down the immediate moment that he saw Johan hanging him over an bender worth 1k and just walked off the moment he accepted it. ‘Bit rude but I won’t complain’ The driver thought to himself as he put the money into his pocket and went into the limousine again.

The young prince walked up to the gate that was guarded by two tall (for kemonomimi) angry looking Kemonomimi women in suits bowing towards them as he approached. “I am here to meet Crown Princess Marie-Noëlle of House Frida, heiress to the Jarldom of Normand.” He said in the professional and respectful manner that he has been raised to dp since he was young.

They give him a firm stare, the guard to the right opening her mouth to question him before an ever-so energetic small kemonomimi ran towards the gate. “Johan!” Édouard held onto the bars, giving him a wave. The guards looked at each other, before looking back at Édouard. “He’s Marie’s boyfriend.” He says holding out the final word. They open the gate, to let the prince in.

Small smirk formed on Johan’s face hearing the little kemonomimi prince say that. Giving another bow to the two guard ladies before walking into the estate placing a hand on Édouard’s head ruffling up his hair a little bit. “Thank you little man!” He teased as he looked down at him.

“I’m not little! I’m just young.” He gives a pout, his hair being ruined. Giving a small mutter, “Violette is going to force me to brush my hair again.” He guides him into the manor itself, giving a wave to the groundskeeper trimming the bushes. “Um, I think Marie is…” He stops for a few moments, then looking back up at Johan. “I don’t know where she is.”

The Norgsveltian prince just chuckled at that as he kneeled down to be at the same height as Édouard. “Well you have any idea where Violette is then? We could ask her?”

“Oh she is in the gym!” He grabs his hand and starts to attempt to drag him along to the gym building. “She’s uh, lifting weights I think? It was that or running on the treadmill. I don’t know, I’m not allowed in there.”

“Well I won’t tell your parents that you decided to do the oh so awful sin of entering a gym.” Johan joked as he rubbed the small prince’s hair as he followed the little guy.

“Oh it’s not my parents, it’s Marie and Violette that are the worst about it.” He gave a small pout, “They treat me like a baby.” He says with a huff as the cross the ground heading towards the gym.

“Why don’t they like you going to the gym?” Johan asked, giving the boy a curious look.

“They say I could get hurt or see something I’m not supposed to.” He says in an annoyed tone, “I’m eleven I have seen them in athletic wear before and I watched Marie beat up someone before.”

“Ah, has Marie spoken to you about the sinful thing about seeing uncovered shoulders?” Johan jokes, shaking his head at the idea. “Well I for one think you’re old enough to be at the gym.” He chuckles for a small moment before falling silent. “As long as you don’t do anything stupid that is.”

“I never do anything stupid… Marie didn’t tell you about the dolls right?” He looked up at the tall man. “Because I swear, they were like that when I found them. Cross my heart, hope for you to die.”

‘Well that is a unique spin on that saying’ Johan thought to himself before giving the small prince a mischievous smirk. “Oh? I don’t think she did… But now you should explain it in detail.” He said in a teasing tone.

“No thank you.” He holds open the door to the gym, letting prince Johan walk through. Then escorting him to the weightlifting and treadmill room. Nervously looking at Johan and then back at the door. “Maybe she’s busy…”

“Well, how about you tell me about those dolls then?” The Norgsveltian Prince said in a teasing tone as he lifted up the small prince, the Norgsveltian placing his hands under the boy’s shoulders and thrusting him upwards off of the ground. “We can go around the mansion to find someone who knows where your older sisters are while you tell me what you did to those dolls.”

The prince looked in a panic at the Norgsveltian. Rapidly knocking at the door and shouting “Violette! Marie!”

The door opened to a concerned looking Marie holding a heavy dumbbell as a weapon. Her eyes looked at the prince and then at Prince Johan. She gave a soft laugh, “Oh it’s you. Can you put down my little brother before he starts crying?”

Johan let out a warm chuckle as he gently put down the little prince. Ruffing up his hair once more as he did so. “Just felt like teasing him, that’s all.” The Norgsveltian said with a warm smile as he looked at Marie, not hiding that his eyes were looking her up and down. “I am quite lucky to have such… athletic girlfriend.” He teased.

The boy awkwardly looked at prince Johan and at his big sister. “So, um. Can I go now?”

Marie rolled her eyes, placing the dumbbell down over on the rack waving them to come inside. “Come on you two, we’re just finishing up here. Édouard don’t touch anything.” Édouard’s eyes widen at being able to enter into the room, he was going to touch everything he possibly could before he got into too much trouble.

Marie and Violette were both dressed in a similar fashion with the only difference being color. Shorts that don’t leave much to that imagination, and sports bras. It was perhaps the most skin Marie would ever actually show in all honesty. Violette placed down her own makeshift weapon in the form of a weight bar. She gave a smirk towards Johan, “Oh me oh my Marie, aren’t you ashamed of wearing that in front of a man~”

“Still your tongue Violette.” Marie said in an annoyed tone of voice.

“Well I am certainly not complaining.” Prince Johan said with a small chuckle as he walked up next to Marie giving her a kiss on the cheek, his eyes going more downwards then upwards.

“Did you have to go into detail about it?” Olav asked, raising an eyebrow at Johan.

“I just wanted to explain the story in detail. You know describe I uh… love her.” Johan shifted awkwardly in his chair. “Sorry.”

“Just continue on.” Olav took a sip from his cup again.

“I hope I wasn’t disturbing your two’s workout session?” Johan scratching the back of his head feeling a little bit guilty of just walking in on them.

Édouard started walking towards the dumbbell walk, looking at all the various weights and sizes. Then started making poses of ‘feats of strength’ in the mirror.

Marie shaked her head and kissed his cheek, “No, as I said we are finishing up. Once we are finished, do you care for a trip into the garden? After a change of clothes of course.”

Violette kept her teasing smirk, “Oh we’re finishing up alright.”

Édouard spoke up while making faces in the mirror, “What does that mean? Like why did you say it like that.”

“I’ll tell you when you are older, Édouard.” Violette said in a joking tone, looking at Marie and Johan together.

The Norgsveltian Prince rolled his eyes and gave Marie a kiss on the cheek. “If you need help with getting out those clothes just ask~” He whispered into Marie’s ear as he gave her a kiss on the neck. He bowed his head respectfully towards Violette before he walked out of the gym with a smirk on his face.

She blushed, but also had a confused look on her face. Not sure if she wanted to slap him or kiss him. Though it was leaning on slapping him. “Umm… Violette do you mi-”

“Go on and be with your boyfriend.” She gave a dangerous smirk, which annoyed Marie greatly to look at. “Édouard lets leave.”

“Aww, can I not stay?”

“No. Come on now.”

[Some time later]

Marie stepped out into the garden, wearing a traditional looking suit. Her hair is still wet from the shower. She sat down across from Prince Johan, resting her elbows on the stone table. “I missed you deeply Johan.” She held a soft tone, but still kept speaking in formalities.

Édouard came rushing to the table, a doll in hand. “So this her favorit-” He looked over at Marie and then back at Johan. Tossing the doll onto the table and running behind the Norgsveltian royal.

Johan chuckled as he saw the little Prince hide behind him. “Édouard you should give me and your sister some alone time. You can show me her dolls later.” He said, patting the prince’s head for a little bit before turning his attention towards Marie. “I missed you too, and as I said I’d return in one piece.” He gave her a teasing smile.

Édouard looked at Marie and reached his hand across the table to grab the doll slowly before running off to mess with her room some more. Marie sighed at her brother.

“Thankful you, I pray for your safe return each day.” She said with a stressed look, reaching to hold his hand, rubbing her thumb across his hand. “How was it?”

“Sayyed it was quite alright, and I was treated well.” He gave her a genuine warm smile as he placed a hand on hers rubbing it. “Way too warm though, and I was expected to wear suits so not exactly any days that I could chosen to wear shorts instead.”

She gave a relieved look at him, “I’m glad those kinds of people knew how to treat you well. I’m glad you went with an escort at least, who knows what kind of sinful women and men are there. At least your sister could protect you.”

Johan could not help but roll his eyes. “I really think you’re over exaggerating the ‘sinfulness’ of the Sayqidi people, sweet heart.”

“My sister and I decided to watch that dreadful show their ‘royal’ family has.” She looks at him with a serious look.

“Was it any good?” He said with a teasing smirk.

She squeezed his hand in response with a concerned look. “It was one of the most unroyal, sinful and degenerate things ever to be played in this estate.”

"Too much skin?” Johan asked less teasing and more curiosity. “I do think it is likely not the best decision by Sayyed to put their Royal Family on a reality TV show.” He gave a kiss on her cheek to calm down the Princess. “But perhaps they felt it make their people relate and connect to them more.”

“By what? Showing them being so disunited? Showing how much they completely lack common decency? Maybe to flaunt how much better their life is with all their wealth? Showing every argument, every sinful outfit they put on? They are supposed to set an example for their people but if they are what they are supposed to aspire to then they are setting the bar low enough that any harlot with their parent’s bank card could reach it.” She said in a mostly angry tone, absolutely upset by the sheer depravity and lack of any nobility they willing displayed. “For the love of the Allmother, my family would have performed such actions on other families as a way to insult them when we were in power.”

“…Very, very colorful way of saying it.” Johan said letting out a nervous chuckle. “Calm down, you make me fear that you’d duel their Emira if you had the chance.” He gave his girlfriend another kiss on the cheek. “From what my sister told me, their Emira seems to have some good manners and decency with her.” The Prince gave his charming smile as he lied through his teeth by claiming it was his sister and not him who had the conversation.

She shakes her head, squeezing his hand. “If you say so, I had enough of such sin coming from the unimportant countries.” She said with a sigh.

— —

“By the gods.” Olav said, looking at his son in surprise.

“Thank the gods I lied.” He gave a sigh of relief. “I love her but by the Allmother she has a temper, at least when we’re alone.”

“I can’t help but imagine how she’d react to the actual comments Hera made to you.” Olav shook his head in disbelief.

“Marie spoke a lot about that Sayyed TV show as well. She didn’t stop complaining about how much Zahra lost her earring in the pool and how much of a little whiner they are about. How a true woman with a back bone and a warrior spirit would move on without crying like a…” Johan stopped himself, “Well you can take a guess what she said about.”

“You sure love calling nations you haven’t been informed about for being unimportant don’t you?” The Prince said, raising an eyebrow at his girlfriend.

“If they were importanted, then I would have known about them in my study or have been informed about them in the first place.” She calmly spoke, “Let us not speak of such nations, we have better things to spend our time with than Gondwanans.”

“Look all I’m saying that you were so certain they’d be at war but no war was in sight when I was over there.” The Prince said trying to be at least a little bit fair to Sayyed since his girlfriend was fully convinced it was a nation designed by Loki.

“It hasn’t been a month since I said that.” She was firm in her belief, “Besides, tell me about your flight here instead. I long wanted to travel in one.”

“Well you owe me if they are not at war by the start of June.” He said with a laugh. “The flight isn’t exactly as exciting as the trip itself. I spent the entire time thinking about you.”

She blushed, covering her mouth with a handkerchief. “Your words strike a chord with my heart, my apologies for my expression.”

“Hopefully my comment earlier at the gym did as well~” He teased as he gave her a peck on the lips, placing a hand on her chin as he rubbed it.

She almost slapped him for kissing her lips without permission. “Shush…” She said in a blushed tone looking away and towards a bush of flowers. “You most certainly have a way around your words with that roguish charm.”

“Hopefully I have done well in seducing the Princess then~” He whispered in a teasing tone into her ear before leaning back into his seat smiling innocently.

“I should slap you for such… words.” She returns to looking at him. “Such things are not meant for those who are only dating…” She trailed off.

He placed his hands in front of him defensively giving a small apologetic smile. “Sorry, sorry.” He let out a quiet chuckle. “You are honestly beautiful, and I mean that. So part of me couldn’t help but be flirtatious, though if it is making you uncomfortable I’ll stop.”

“You’re not making me uncomfortable, it’s just not proper for those who are dating but not properly masked to be together.” She sighs, “I truly feel your words in my heart, but I wish for things to be done properly.”

Johan nodded at that. “If you want it to be done in a proper way then I’ll accept that.” He said with a smile rubbing Marie’s hands gently. “I want to make you happy and follow your traditions and your lead.”

She gave a bright smile at that, “That perhaps is the kindest thing any one of those who attempted to be my suitor said to me. I was… Concerned about giving you this too soon or if you weren’t the right one but.” She takes out a small box, handing it over to him by sliding it across the table. “If you wish, of course, I will not fault you with thinking I am moving too soon.”

The young Prince accepted what he had assumed was just a mere gift in which he opened the lid of the box. Revealing a perfect white mask with golden edging along the edges and eye holes. One meant to just cover his eyes. A warm genuine smile plastered on his face as he looked at Marie. “Of course I’d accept it, I just wish I could give you something in return!”

Marie was ecstatic, having a massive smile she stood up and walked over him. Planting a kiss on his lips lasting for a few moments. She wrapped her arms around him giving him a squeezing hug. “I am so glad you accepted!” She said in a cheerful tone, completely unlike her.

“I certainly could get used to that.” He said in almost daze from the kiss as he wasn’t fully expecting her to initiate it. Placing an arm around her waist hugging her tightly.

“You better, put it on for me.” She let go of him, stepping back to see him in a joyful look.

“Hopefully you treat me well when I do~” He teased but was smiling genuinely warmly. He had no idea why she was acting like this but her joyful tone was contagious. He slowly put the mask on him, having it cover his eyes. “Does it look good on me?”

She couldn’t help but clap at it, giving a bounce up and down as she did so. “So perfect! So good! We must tell my family, I-I didn’t tell them I was planning on this.” She says just a tad bit shamefully. She took out her own mask, which looked like his, placed it on her face and offered her hand to him.

Johan smiled warmly at that, placing his hand on top of Marie’s, giving it a gentle kiss before holding it. “Hope it makes my comments earlier more acceptable~” He said in a teasing tone. “I love you.”

She lowers her hands down to his waist, planting a kiss onto his lips. “Oh it makes more than just acceptable my love~” She holds onto his hand taking him to go see her mother.

_ _

“Really? Nothing felt off to you? No, warning bells were hitting you in the head? Nothing?” Olav said, looking at his son in disbelief.

“I-I um… Was distracted by her personality change…” He said scratching the back of his head.

“You certainly weren’t using your right head.” Olav rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Did not the term of being ‘masked’ seem off to you?”

He scratched his arm, “I just um… No, not really. I-I thought um.” He gave sigh, “No it didn’t, I was not thinking correctly.”

Olav let out a heavy sigh as he finished his coffee. “At least it can’t get any worse.” He said while pouring himself another cup.

The door opened again, with Princess Joan being one walking in. “Hey dad, did you get through with this idiot?” She gestures to her brother, as she sat down next to him.

“We are finally finished, how about it?” He said, raising an eyebrow at his daughter.

She gave him a smile, “I figure we better start with me after you get your anger out on him.” She carefully places the mask onto the table, showing a deep respect for it. “It is from Violette, and we took at least a year before getting masked.” She gave a smug look at Prince Johan.

The king just slammed his head towards his desk letting out an irritated sigh. “Why…” He said in an tired exasperated tone.

“We flipped a coin on it.” Johan said with a tired look.

Joan’s phone rang, to which she answered the video call. “Hey Alex-”

“You’re also a fucking idiot.” Alexandra said with a tired voice.

15th July, 2023
Château de Lys d’Or; District-de-la-République-Capitale; The Federation

Olav wanted to be happy, he wanted to be at his brightest today for his wife. He wished he had energy and emotion to have a bright smile and give the biggest cheer to his wife for her 50th birthday. But instead he felt tired, he felt he was in an hopeless situation as he let out a heavy sigh.

“Did you really have to invite them over?” Olav said, crossing his arms as he raised an eyebrow. Leaning against a wall as he looked at Wilhelmina getting ready.

Wilhelmina gave a look over her shoulder to give her husband a glance as she had a small smile on her lips. “I have no idea what you’re talking about darling.” She said in an innocent tone as she put on some black eyeliner.

“Sweetie don’t play coy.” The king said as he rubbed the bridge of his nose. He loved his wife but he was certain he could die from stress because of this. “Why did you invite Princess Marie-Nöelle?”

“Is it so bad I want to meet the girl who stole our son’s heart?” The queen just gave her husband a teasing smile as she turned towards him acting all so innocent.

“When it brings the wrath of Pierre then yes.” Olav said a bit frustrated as he let out a sigh. “Doesn’t help you invited most of the Frida family as well.”

“Not most, just the four of them.” She corrects him with a smile. “Can you zip up my dress?” She gave a kind but teasing tone.

He rolled his eyes but walked up behind her and zipped up the back of her dress. Looking into the mirror to look her in the eyes. “Sometimes I do really wonder if giving me trouble is what gives you life.” He gave her a peck on the cheek as he placed his strong arms on top of her shoulders.

“Well, no but it does make life worth living.” She gives a soft laugh, kissing his cheek back. “I like to think on the brightside, at least they’re not from MBE or Packilvania. That’s a plus is it not?”

The king gave his wife a small pinch on her side as punishment even if he let out a quiet chuckle from the joke. “If my ears start bleeding from Pierre’s yelling I will ensure you get punished for it.” He said in a half joking tone as he gave her a peck on the forehead as he stepped away from her.

“Are you trying to encourage me to cause problems?” She gives a teasing smirk at him, tilting her head to the side.

Olav threw a small pillow at her as he walked towards the door. “Just get ready, we are a minute behind schedule.” He said, rolling his eyes and shaking his head in amusement. “We don’t exactly have an excuse for being late.”

Wilhelmina rolled her eyes after being all so violently assaulted with a pillow. “Fine fine, but I better get a good birthday gift from you later~”

“Anything for my dear wife.” He gave her a kiss on the back of her neck as he opened the door for her. The two being dressed in the most expensive outfits that Jørgen could get for this day.

Olav wore a suit made of lab-created silk, completely cruelty free. With gold and silver cufflinks and buttons hand-crafted by the finest Valkyr artisans to detail each one with the family’s emblem. His coat was fitting to his form but designed in such a way it inherently makes him look strong and opposing, hiding his beer gut through the layers of fabric. His tie was again, made out of the same silk but detailed with stitchings of artwork in the old Ulvrikian rune stones. The stitchings are quite literally made out of gold and silver thread that had its color changed to red and blue. His vest despite it not truly ever going to be seen was designed in a way to be breathable alongside his undershirt. With designs of the Ulviktru myth of slaying dragons stitched into it. His undershirt had buttons made from a particular metal that the Jarl refused to answer due to copyright reasons but rest assured it looked valuable enough for the monarch. Olav’s shoes were simple black Bastion oxfords made with cruelty free leather and recycled rubber, being both fashionable and a statement on the environment. A strange joke given the suit was worth more than two mansions in the center of Osfjord.

Wilhelmina’s dress was no less lavish, a long black dress that hugged the body which did briefly make Olav raise an eyebrow for unrelated reasons. Around her neck was a long, dark blue scarf, with crushed gems included into it. To go along with the dress, a jacket was included with deep pockets after a stray comment she made to Jørgen ages ago. The jacket was styled as a chef’s jacket similar to one you would see in a high-end restaurant or an overly expensive bakery but with the color being one of sharper color of smokey gray. The buttons were rose gold, with designs of old Akuan charms that promote a long life and protection. Shoes were flats disguised as heels, a clever design the Jarl spent a small fortune on creating for his various fashion companies. To go along with it all, a clutch purse that could be hidden away in her inner jacket’s pocket or more realistically Olav’s jacket pocket.

“The FTS earned a fortune from that fine.” Olav said letting out a small chuckle as he looked at the outfits he was wearing. “Glad Jørgen was the one who handled that.” He wrapped his arm around Wilhelmina’s waist as the two walked down the stairs towards the party that was being held in her honor.

“It was a nice birthday gift from him, though I do dread how much he has to pay for us and his own outfit.” She chuckles along with him. Following his lead.

“You do look absolutely beautiful.” He said in a warm tone as he looked at her, a genuine happy smile on her face. “Though I doubt any outfit can hide your amazing looks.” He gave her a kiss on the neck.

She rested her head on his shoulder, “You look so amazingly handsome in your suit, if I didn’t see your gut in person. I wouldn’t believe it.” She teases, getting one last joke in before they have to act like proper royals.

Prince Johan tightened his light blue tie as he let out a sigh. He was wearing a white suit designed to be similar to that of his girlfriend. He couldn’t help but be a little nervous. He knows Marie didn’t like being away from him but he was told to be here to help prepare. Having spent a few days away from her he was a bit anxious to see how possessive she will be. Though his nervous thoughts were broken by the sound of his sister, Joan speaking behind him.

“Nervous?” She said with a smile, “Just don’t speak to any women who are not related to you.” She gives him a nudge in the arm, “Also don’t be away from her at the party.” In a much more serious tone of voice.

“Me? Nervous? Never.” He said turning around giving a confident smile as he tried to absolutely bullshit himself into thinking he was more confident then he actually was. “I shall turn off my inherent radiant charms for my love.” He joked as he reached down on the make up table to pick up his beautifully made white mask.

She already had her mask on, she gave him a playful shove. “It makes you feel better, I heard from Violette that Marie is just as anxious as you are.” She gives a calm and soothing tone. “Just don’t get us in trouble again.” She quickly jokes, giving a chuckle.

“I have a hard time believing that.” Johan said as he let out a sigh. But he still despite not believing it, her words at least put him more at ease. Knowing that she was there to support him. “Can’t exactly get us in more trouble then I already have.” He gave his sister a warm smile as he gave her a quick hug. “Thanks, It means a lot. I still doubt Marie ever is nervous.”

Marie-Noëlle was panicking walking back and forth while her sister Violette was relaxed on a chair nearby. “What if I say the wrong thing and the Fylkir doesn’t let us go through with marriage? What if Mom doesn’t approve of the family?” She nervously questions herself, pacing the carpet floor.

“Just don’t talk about politics and you’re fine.” Violette rolls her eyes, texting Joan. “Also you really think Mom of all people are not going to approve of you marrying into the Fylkir’s family? She was worse than you when I started dating Joan.”

“Well, Mom is just wrong on that.” Marie-Noëlle didn’t really notice her words as it came out of her mouth. Violette raised an eyebrow at her twin of all people calling her mother wrong on anything ‘queer’ as her twin puts it.

“I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” She asked in shock of it all.

“Repeat what?” Marie-Noëlle stopped pacing and looked at her with a confused look.

“You said mom was wrong about my relationship with Joan.” Violette stood up, perhaps her sister wasn’t a complete political backwards monster as she normally is.

“Well it’s queer and sinful but as long it is away from the children and it’s only a union not marriage it is fine.” Marie-Noëlle started walking back and forth again.

“That is a huge step for you, I’m honest to Almother, shocked at your acceptance.” Violette raised her hand to check her sister’s forehead. “You’re not running a fever, is everything alright?”

Marie-Noëlle signed, forcing her sister’s hand off of her forehead. “I will admit, I am concerned of mind about the dance.”

“Well yeah, I can see that but you have never been this accepting before. Quick tell me your opinion about elves.” Violette said half-joking, half being completely serious about her sister.

“Violette this is serious, I’ve never been like this before.”

“Would a cigarette help?”

“I do not take part in dragon smoke, you know that.” Marie-Noëlle gave a dirty look at her sister. Who only laughed in response.

“Just checking, now come on. We gotta meet with are promisees.” Violette helps her sister walk out of the room. Marie correcting Violette’s hair while they walked out.

Édouard, the youngest of the Frida house, was already in the ballroom. Sneaking out during their parents’ coffee drinking ceremony. He had a simple mission, to eat those raspberry Macarons he was so cruelly denied by his family. However there was a problem, a troublesome quarry that he simply could not overcome.

The macarons were placed on a tiered shelf, on top of a table. He could reach the table but his dreams of tasty goodness were out of his reach. He could only stare as the dessert mocked him from its place high above him and his height. Yet he would not be denied his right to the sweet taste of the cookies, he came up with a plan, a scheme if you will. To drag a chair to grab the whole of the macaron plate and hide it away from the eyes of the many.

“Hva driver du med? (What are you doing?)” A voice said behind him in Norgsveltian. A small browned haired kemonomimi girl dressed in a Norgsveltian bunad tilted her head seeing this weird kemonomimi boy. Especially since she was here to look for some chocolate cookies that her big sister Alexandra had hid from her.

He was still dragging the chair over to the table. His outfit would have seem strange to the Norgsveltian, wearing a heavy set waistcoat and silly white breeches. He had no idea what this strange girl was asking him but he gave a simple response. “Je veux des macarons. (I want macarons)” He pointed at the cookie goodness high up above them.

Ny’Kandenor raised an eyebrow at him not understanding what she said but smiled excitedly at seeing the cookies that were on the top shelf. They didn’t look like chocolate cookies but they were in her favorite color! “Kjeks! (Cookies!)” She said excitedly clapping her hands together before walking over to the chair. Gesturing to him to lift it with her as she hushed him. “Vær stille. (Be quiet.)”

He gave a nod, lifting the chair up to lift it with her. Together making quick work to move the chair over to the table. “Je vais monter, tu peux faire le guet? (I will climb up, can you be on the lookout?)" He made a motion of staring around the room with his hands being made to look like binoculars looking around the room. Then started to climb onto the chair.

She nodded her head at that as she looked around the room keeping her eyes mainly concentrated on the door to ensure that the immediate moment someone walked in she’d warn him. She heard Alexandra’s muffled voice from the other end of the door. “Skynd deg! (Hurry up!)” She said in a quiet voice as she gestured to him to hurry up.

He lifted up the plate, started to climb down looking around when he saw the High Jarlnja enter the room. He panicked, having to use both his hands to hold the plate. “Cachez! (Hide!)” He looked at the table, seeing the long table cloth that reached the ground. Giving a head nod towards it, “Pouvez-vous l’extraire? On peut se cacher dessous. (Can you pull it up? We can hide under it.)”

Ny’Kandenor just nodded her head and lifted it up quickly for the weird boy to hide under, following right after him as he crawled under the table. Gesturing him to be quiet as they heard the footsteps of someone walking past the table. “Hvor har hu blitt av? (Where has she gone?)” Alexandra said in annoyance before walking away. The small Princess only let out a sigh of relief when she heard the door close.

The prince gave a smile, placing the plate between them. “Il s’en est fallu de peu, elle en aurait parlé à mes sœurs. (That was close, she would have told my sisters about this.)” He offered one of the macarons to her. “C’est un macaron. Ils sont très sucrés. (This is a macaron. They are very sweet.)” He said with a smile, still keeping quiet.

“Eg har ingen anelse ka du sier men yay kjeks! (I have no idea what you saying but yay cookies!)” She said in an quiet but still excited tone as she took one of the macarons and bite down on it.

“Je n’ai aucune idée de ce que vous dites, mais j’adore les macarons. (I have no idea what you are saying but I love macarons.)” He picked up one from the plate and started eating it excitedly. Getting crumbs onto his overly fancy and stuffy peacoat.

“De er veldig gode! (They are very good!)” The princess excitedly ate up her cookie not being careful at all as she completely forgot her table manners. Getting a few crumbs on her expensive blue bunad. She was about to reach for another one until she saw a glimpse of two black heels that the tablecloth did not reach the ground. “Oh nei… (Oh no…)”

“Din lille bråkmaker. (You little troublemaker.)” The voice said as the tablecloth was lifted up revealing a rather annoyed Alexandra. Who was wearing a tight fitting black and white dress with top being black and bottom being white. The High Jarlynja reaching out to grab her little sister to pull her out from underneath the table.

“Courir! (Run!)” The prince grabbed the strange girl’s hand and pulled her along to crawl out the other side. Together running away to the door, the boy’s pockets had several stuff macarons into his pockets. He looked back at the High Jarlynja chasing them, suffering because she was in heels and they most certainly were not. That was until he straight into a man’s legs. “Désolé! (Sorry!)” He started to try to go around the man, not bothering to look at who it was until his ear was grabbed by him. “Ow!” He looked up at his father, Thaddée giving him a very disapproving look.

“Garçon. (Boy.)” His father gave a strong tone, and gave a look apologetic to the High Jarlynja. Who picked him up and lifted him in the air.

Ny’Kandernor was about to run the other way but was cut off by Alexandra who gave her a stern look. “Eg- Vel- Um- Det var hans ide! (I-Well-Um It was his idea!)” She said pointing towards the prince before being lifted up by her older sister who left out a tired sigh. The princess just crossed her arms pouting as Alexandra carried her away. Alexandra gave a quick apology to Thaddée in Frakanic before she left the room giving few irritated comments towards her little sister in Norgsveltian.

The prince pouted at his father, stumbling over his words, “C’était son idée, je le promets! (It was her idea, I promise!)” The father returns Alexandra apologies with his own but in Norgsveltian. Then turned to the boy and gave him a stern lesson in table manners and how to conduct himself as Thaddée carried him out of the room.

Wilhelmina let out a deep tired sigh as she leaned on a wall for a quick moment. Not for a second was she allowed much breathing room with constant interactions with one person after another and another then another. Constantly praising her their own different ways. In which had to keep her smile, give her polite bows, act in the way all royals do. None of it was tiring in of itself, no she has done this several times. But it was just so much. More than ever before, as if people who are talking to her expect her to die any moment. That it be their one and only moment to talk to her. She doesn’t even know why she is even tired? Like almost all Akuanists she was genuinely a social being, she loved interacting with people, meeting new faces, hearing new stories. Yet… She felt exhausted, like her energy being drained. Maybe she was truly getting old? She hated saying that though. Fifty years is far from being old! Right? Like sure kemonomimi have generally lower life spans than humans but th-

“Sweetie? Hello?”

The Queen’s eyes opened in surprise, being snapped out of her thoughts to just see the concerned face of her big hairy husband. With two cocktail glasses in both of his hands. She couldn’t help but breathe out in relief as a small smile formed on her lips. Without warning she wrapped her arms around his waist, hugging him tightly with all that she could.

“I hardly think a cocktail glass makes me deserving of a hug.” The king joked as he felt his wife purr on him. Earning him a small head butt against his chest for the comment.

“Just give me this moment.” She said into his chest, her tail swaying happily as she hugged him. Loving his warmth. Purring even louder when he felt one of his hands on her head scratching her white nekomimi ears.

“Love you.” She hears his voice say. One filled with warmth, love and care.

“Love you too.”

She hugged him for a good few minutes before he took a step back smiling brightly at him as she took one of the cocktail glasses from the king taking a big sip from it. “Took you long enough to get us drinks.” She said in a sassy tone placing a hand on her hip.

“It was like two minutes at most.” Olav said, rolling his eyes as he took a sip from his own glass. “You need a moment?”

“No.” She let out a sigh, shaking her head as she placed a hand on his. “Doing much better now.” She stood up on her tiptoes to give a gentle kiss on his cheek. Scratching his beard as she pulled away. “Will you ever get rid of the beard?”

“Never.” The king said with a smirk earning a sigh from her.

“Such a handsome face, yet you hide it.” She mockingly shook her head feigning sadness. “I guess I should be happy, I’d have to share you with others if you did.” She said with a small teasing smirk on her face before dragging Olav by the hand as she walked further into the party. Away from the small corner they were at. The king just rolled his eyes at that as he let himself get dragged. Small laughter leaving his lips.

“Jeanne, you’re messing with your tie again.” Aurélia gave her wife a kiss on the cheek. “It’s going to be okay, is the medicine working? You’re not in more pain are you?”

The human let go of her tie, kissing her wife back. “Little bit but I can take it, just a bit worried. What if-”

“No, what if, the doctor said everything is going well and according to plan.” Aurélia soothes Jeanne with a rubbing on the back. “Would you like to sit down? I don’t think anyone would judge you if you did.”

“No no, I will be fine.” Jeanne put on a brave face, despite being in considerable amounts of pain. “Just sore, and bit in pain.” She hugged her wife close to her, kissing her forehead. Aurélia gave a small smug look, “So not tonight then?”

“Please no.” Jeanne gave a laugh, letting go of Aurélia. The kemonomimi joined in on the laugh, “Come on, let’s go get a drink. It takes the edge off.” She held out her hand for Jeanne to hold on to. Which she warmly accepted, walking together hand in hand towards the drinks table before bumping into the royal couple.

“It would not kill you to tell me what happened.” Olav said, taking a sip from his glass as he saw her giving him a smile after having talked with another guest. He did not expect to see Victoria Engebretsen and Ingeborg Hove, having a ‘polite’ talk with each other. Luckily Jørgen and Ingrid were ready to handle it.

“Nothing wrong with a mystery now~” Wilhelnina teased as she finished her drink, far quicker than her husband who still had half a glass left.

“Sweetie-” He started saying before seeing the Pierres in the distance, something his wife noticed as well.

“Oh lets talk with them!” The queen said in an excited tone as she dragged him towards the pair.

“Wait, Wait, Wait.” Olav started saying wanting to avoid an angry Pierre which he knows going to have some colorful words about his children. But Wilhelmina just continued pulling him with her arms around his arms as she did so. A bright friendly smile on her face.

“Hope you two are enjoying the party.” She said to the two women as she held Olav’s arm tightly out of love and to ensure he couldn’t just walk away.

Jeanne let out a small gasp of pain as Aurélia spun her around a little too quickly to face them. The Federal Prime Minister gave a long stare at Olav, directly into his eyes. Giving that look of sheer disapproval when it came to certain aspects of his twins. However before Jeanne could speak, her wife gave a head bow. “We are! How about yourself? Getting tired of people talking around your age yet?” She said with a smirk, getting nudged in the arm by her wife.

“It is quite overwhelming I must say but I am having a good time.” Wilhelmina said letting out a sigh and bowed her head towards the two. “People are nice about it but I’ve gotten some folks coming up to me saying how amazing I look for my age.”

“Well you do sweetheart.” Olav said, giving a kiss on Wilhelmina’s cheek as she hugged his arm.

“Hey, you meant to help me by lying about my age.” The queen said, giving a playful shove towards Olav.

The Pierres briefly look over at the sign behind the royal couple with the big lettering of ‘Happy 50 birthday’ before looking back at them. Aurélia gave a chuckle, “Well I can only hope to look more like you do at your age than look more like my mother.”

“You will always look beautiful, Aurélia, I signed the documents ordering it.” Jeanne joked with her wife, which was almost certainly a first for Olav and his wife to ever hear from her. “That does remind me, I have some paperwork for you, your majesty.” She reaches into her jacket pocket, fishing out a large bundle of papers. It appeared to be almost a small book worth of legal documents.

Jeanne handed directly over to Wilhelmina. “These are your retirement papers, information about your pension, record of how much you paid into taxes, what those tax benders was used for, and so forth. As well, including suggested pension villages. The government understands the unique job you have in civil service on behalf of the royal family, as such we will not be fining your employer. Your husband or yourself for working past retirement age. Thank you for your service to the Federation.” She gives the spill in one go, “Also there is some other information on there, including your resume, education and certification. Plus some other minor things.”

Aurélia gave her wife a nudge to the stomach, “Sorry for her, she adores her paperwork.” Giving a small sigh, she reached into her wife’s jacket pocket. “We wanted to give you retirement papers, and your civil service watch.” She hands a silver pocket watch over, with the emblem of the royal family on it. Inside of the case, was a picture of the royal family on the inside-top part and face was a simplistic design. Jeanne took that punch far more dramatically, giving a soft groan.

Aurélia realizing her mistake, “Oh, sorry!” She takes care of her wife, rubbing her back. “Um, sorry.” She looks up to the two royals, “She got out of surgery, it was… bit painful.”

Olav couldn’t help but having to hold back a chuckle after seeing how surprised Wilhelmina looked when seeing book size worth of paperwork. Which she accepted almost hesitantly. “I can feel myself aging even faster by just looking at it.” She joked, though a sense of awkwardness was in her tone. She gave a glance towards her husband who was quick to catch up on it as he finished his glass before picking up the paperwork for her. The queen nodded her head respectfully towards Aurélia as she accepted the pocket watch. Small warm smile on her lips as looked at the picture inside it. “They have grown so fast…” She mumbled to herself before closing it and putting it in her purse.

“I’ll go put it in our room.” The king said, giving Wilhelmina a kiss on the forehead as he walked towards the staircase with the paperwork under his right arm. One of the butlers walk up to offer to take it but it was clear that Olav was having none of it and gestured to the butler to continue service to the other guests.

Wilhelmina just shook her head seeing the interaction. “Always the same with him.” Her voice was warm and endearing despite words. “Did the surgery go well?” The queen asked the pair, giving a concerned look towards Jeanne.

Jeanne gave a thumbs up towards the queen, gritting her teeth. Aurélia, feeling completely awful about it, patted her wife. “Sorry, again sweetie…” Jeanne straightened her back, “It went well, I’m just… very sore. Forgive but would you mind if we found a place to sit down at?”

“None at all. Tell me if you need anything and I’ll get you help immediately.” Wilhelmina said, gesturing to sit at an empty table near the doors that led to the gardens.

The trio made their way to the table and sat down. Jeanne gave a breath of relief, “Spirits.” She muttered under her breath as she sat down and finally had a small break. “Forgive my religio-” She stopped herself, realizing she doesn’t apologize for the small slips up for her speech.

Aurélia spoke up for them, still rubbing their wife’s back. “I know that a small book worth of documents might seem a bit strange for you, but it is a sign of respect in the Federation. It contains the usual legal and pension stuff but Jeanne had the government also include various photos from times you have been to the Federation as well your family when they are here.”

“Well I think my parents would have had a heart attack if they got paperwork as a birthday present when they were my age.” The queen said with a small chuckle. Certainly finding it strange but that was part of the course with the Federation. “I’ll take a good look at it. It will be nice looking back at previous trips, hopefully those trips seen with the same warmth here as I see them at least.”

Jeanne recovering from her wife’s clear and visible abuse, “It was quite taken very well, there is a reason why you always rated high the opinion polls of the royal family. More than Olav and almost as much as Gustaf the Red.” She tried to give a kind tone, “I dare say you’re going to over take the Red Prince soon enough.”

Wilhelmina could not help but physically brighten at that smiling warmly. “Well, I am glad that I am. I was quite afraid in my early years If I’d even be able to handle Royal life.” Small chuckle left her lips as she thought about something, raising an eyebrow Jeanne. “Do I need to sign any papers involving my ‘retirement’?”

Jeanne shook her head, “No you signed them already last month, this was just the personal delivery.” Aurélia gave a small laugh, “We, as in the Federation, don’t like to make pensioners do more work than they absolutely have to.” She gives a teasing smirk, “If it makes you feel better, when my mom got those papers she tried to fist fight a retirement board-member. Drove straight to their office and demanded one of them come outside and fight her for calling her ‘retired.’”

“Well I do not want to propagate stereotypes but I can’t help but imagine her being a Hjørdist.” Wilhelmina said, shaking her head in amusement as she made the joke thinking of it as nothing more than a silly humorous comment. “My little ‘retirement’ will be a bit more peaceful, I will want to take care of my health. Though I will still be part of the tour, don’t worry about that.”

“Oh she is Hjørdist alright.” Aurélia spoke with a chuckle, Jeanne joining in as well. “She visiting a close family friend in Nyveldet, Uncle Ragnar.” Aurélia seemed a bit more relaxed now. “Gave me a heart attack when she told me she left, I was so worried that Jeanne called Nyveldet president’s office to make sure she got to him safely.” She gave a slightly worried chuckle. Jeanne was not one to use her office lightly for personal issues, but it is her wife’s mother after all.

The queen raised an eyebrow at that. “Ragnar? As in Ragnar Torsteinson?” She said with clear surprisement and confusion in her tone. Not expecting a rather controversial politician like him to have connection with Pierres of all people.

“Yeah, he’s my godfather. My mama, Riva and him served in the marines together.” Aurélia gave a warm smile, “He’s a bit rough around the edges but he means well, when you know him personally.” She gave a soft laugh, “Never thought he would be a politician honestly, but I guess he grew up a bit.” Jeanne nodded, “He is a good person if you completely ignore him being capitalist and his politics. He actually took me and Aurélia on our proper date, when my parent’s pickup broke down.”

Wilhelmina just nodded respectfully, ordering a cocktail from one of the butlers with a smile on her face as she tried to… ignore the capitalist comment. “The world seems like it getting smaller and smaller.” She let out a small laughter as she thought about the coincidences of that to even happen.

“Indeed it has.” Jeanne smiled politely, asking for water glass from the butler as well. Aurélia took out a photo from her wallet, “He was actually at our wedding.” She slides the photo over to the queen, tapping on the photo to show where Ragnar and his wife were. “Does make his recent comments a bit strange honestly, he was at our wedding.”

“Well, he did state his support for Akuan Marriages.” She joked as she shook her head not expecting any of, well, this. She looked at the photo seeing Ragnar smiling brightly while his wife, well, less so. She pushed the picture back towards the pair. “Well with the Supreme Court reversing the ban, you might see him apologize for said comments.”

“I hope so, never imagine him saying those kinds of things.” Aurélia put the picture back into her wallet. Jeanne gave a soft laugh, “I remember when we were back in university in our home state. He was just visiting us given we just moved in together, we had this really hateful neighbor. Completely homophobic, Ragnar saw him yell some not-so-nice things to us and Spirits be kind. I thought we were going to have to call emergency services to save that prick. Seriously, I don’t think he would have held back if it wasn’t for me and Aurélia telling him to calm down.”

Wilhelmina could not help but be very surprised, like two different Ragnars are being talked about. Not wanting to comment about the violence which she wasn’t that comfortable about, she instead put her focus on the butler coming back to her with her cocktail drink. “Do you two want anything?” She asked kindly, looking at the two.

“I asked for water already.” Jeanne gave a nod, looking over at her wife. The young kemonomimi at the table said, “I have a Béver craft please.” Giving a smile towards the butler. The butler hand the water to Jeanne, and wrote down the beer for young kemonomimi. Jeanne spoke up with a dry tone, “He did talk to his brother Erik, to give my older brother Kjartan a job over in Osfjord.” She spoke with a disdain when she brought up Erik. Not to mention her brother being a damn capitalist.

The queen just nodded her head to that as she took a small sip from her drink. “Well your godfather seems to care quite a bit about you two then.” She said with a kind smile looking at Aurélia before shifting her attention towards the prime minister. “I hope I’m not prying too much by asking what the surgery was for? It’s understandable if you don’t want to tell, just haven’t heard anything about it on the news so I’m a bit surprised.”

Jeanne fickles with her tie, straightening it up. “Well… It’s umm…” Not quite sure if she should get that personal with the Queen of Federation. Her wife gave a soft pat on her back, speaking up for her. “We’re working on having a child, part of the process we decided was for reciprocal IVF. Part of that process is to, umm. Collect the eggs.” Aurélia felt like she said too much, even by Akuanist standards. “Sorry if that was too much in detail.” She confessed fearing the worst. Jeanne kept silent, not sure what to really say and not looking like her public image at all. She still looked angry, such is the fate of Duval syndrome but still felt quite small.

“Oh I’m so happy for the two of you!” Wilhelmina said loudly with the brightest smile clapping her hands together as she heard the news. “Motherhood is such a wonderful thing to experience, so if you two have any questions you are wondering about it I’m willing to deliver it!” She was not at all faced by the detail of what was said, instead was just very visibly happy for the two of them.

Aurélia gave a sigh of relief that she didn’t go overboard with details but it’s just been bottling up inside of her for so long! She raises her clap, speaking loudly and clearly “Ayay!” Jeanne, raised from birth as an Akuanist could not resist the allure of the call, giving a clap of her own giving a “Ayay!” Herself.

“Ayay!” Wilhelmina said in unison as she clapped her hands together again. She couldn’t help but always be brightened up at the news of motherhood. She just wished one of daughters would give her grandkids one of these days…

“This reminds me of when the kids were younger…” Olav said behind Wilhelmina with an almost tired look remembering all those ‘ayays’ from the line of children in the palace. Or when the kids surrounded his desk yelling ayay when he was doing paperwork. “Can I ask what is the occasion that got such a joyful reaction?”

Aurélia turned to his royal majesty, beaming with that sort of energy only an Akuanist discovering a sale on vodka could bring. “I was just informing your wife about the reason for my wife’s surgery.” Jeanne scratched her wife’s head, “My apologies for Aurélia she is a bit overjoyed about it finally happening to us.”

“My offer will always be there. I have a lot of experience.” Wilhelmina said in a prideful tone as she took a sip from her glass. Sure there is pain with pregnancy but happiness it brought her always made her want more, if it wasn’t for her husband getting tired she’d likely double the amount.

Aurélia gave a proud tone of voice, “We plan on taking your own number.” Jeanne was quick to respond, “No we do not, this experience was horrid.”

Olav was never told the reason behind the surgery but with the way they spoke made it rather easy to connect the dots. The king sat down next to Wilhelmina and placed his arm around her shoulder, holding her close and praying to gods the queen did not take it as a challenge. She couldn’t even have more kids. “Well If you ever need more free time then I understand and I think the people would too.” Olav said in a supportive but professional tone as he looked at Jeanne.

She gave a warm nod, “Thank you for your kind words, and if my wife didn’t threaten me to take it slow for a while I would take you up on that.” She joked, much to her wife’s annoyance. “I’m not planning on getting into any more wars with South Hills or nations honestly. If that comforts you as well.”

“Must say state visits to South Hills have been awkward ever since.” The king joked shaking his head, though there was partial truth in the statement. He ordered a cocktail from the butler who came back with the beer that Aurélia had ordered. Though same time the queen ordered another cocktail as she finished up her glass. Olav gave her a curious glance.

“It’s my birthday, hush.” She rolled her eyes taking a sip from her glass.

Aurélia struggled to open her beer’s lid, just offering to Jeanne who pulled the top off her hands. Handing it back to her. Jeanne gave a look at Olav, “Speaking of awkwardness, let us talk about Prince Johan.”

Olav let out a deep sigh before taking a major sip from his glass. “There is a lot to discuss…” He said in a tired tone. He might order another glass himself with this topic…

Princess Joan could not help but let out a sigh watching her brother keep pulling on his tie or constantly ensuring his white mask was positioned correctly. She could clearly see him acting overly nervous. Not that she didn’t understand why. She was lucky with the twin she fell in love with, at least in comparison. She readjusted her dark blue mask which contrasted heavily to the white hair see inherited from her mother. “Please act normally, I told them to meet us here.” She said in an extrapolated tone. She, like her brother, has decided to wear the colors which complimented their partner’s outfit. With her wearing black almost gothic designed dress but with slight dark blue highlights on her skirt.

“I always act normal.” Johan said clearing his throat trying to act like he wasn’t having a slight mental panic earlier. He almost looked blinding in the suit he was wearing. With light skin, white hair and a very white suit to match. With the suit’s only contrasting colors being a light blue tight and golden buttons keeping it together. With a mask he got from Marie also being white with golden lines on it. Joan felt like she needed sunglasses looking at him.

“First, no you don’t and second you really need some more color on you.” She said in a joking tone. “If vampires are real they just need to look at you to burn, no need for a sun.”

“Oh ha ha.” The prince said, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms. “I for one think Marie would like this look on me.”

“She better you stole from her wardrobe.” She gave her twin brother a teasing grin.

“You are the worst.” He let out a sigh shaking his head.

“Look I am just surprised someone got you out of that emo phase, okay?” Joan kept smirking despite the fierce glare she got from her brother. “Oh they’re coming over here! Stand up straight.” She gave her brother a nudge with her elbow to get him to stand straight, which he already was but it was fun annoying him.

Few moments away from the Norgsveltian twins, the Frida twins are acting as they always have.

“How about in writing?” Violette teased her sister, trying to avoid her perfectly natural urge to elbow her twin in the stomach.

“Was my word not good enough?” Marie-Noëlle gave an annoyed look at her sister. “I said it was okay with you too.”

“Yes but I want something framed and hung in my office.” The raven-haired woman teased, “Can you at least say it in front of my girlfriend?”

Marie-Noëlle gave a dirty look to her twin, “Can you not call her that?”



“Is partner okay then for your sensitive spirit?” Violette straight her tie as they draw near to them.

“I’m not the one with the weak spirit. You’re dating a woman, and yes it is fine.” Marie-Noëlle checked her sister’s mask one last time as they two reached the Norgsveltians. Marie was getting ready to speak until Violette spoke up first.

“Hello my homosexual and loving partner, it is so great to see you again.” Violette gave a warm smile towards Joan. Reaching out for the princess’ hand.

Joan giggled at that as she gave her hand to her girlfriend smiling warmly at her as well. “It is great to see you as well, my very homosexual and beautiful partner.” She joked knowing why the raven haired princess was going this. The interaction caused the prince to shake his head in amusement.

“Why must you ruin everything I offer you?” Marie-Noëlle sneered at Violette, she was still happy for her but did wish she would just keep it in the closet. They’re in public for Allmother’s sake, there are children around here. “Édouard is somewhere around here, what if he heard you?”

“Oh no, our little brother saw their sister being gay, how completely dreadful.” Violette gave a sarcastic tone. “Besides, I heard from dad that he’s currently in trouble after stealing some macarons with Princess Ny’Kandenor.”

“He doesn’t even speak Norgsveltian. How did they manage to get in trouble with that?” Marie was more impressed that their little brother could not only get in trouble before the event started but did so with a princess who he didn’t share a language with.

“Well neither do we but we still get in all sorts of trouble.” Violette joked.

The prince was about to question how likely Ny’Kandernor to be getting in trouble, but seeing his older sister Alexandra in the distance pulling their little sister by the ear settled his thoughts on the matter. Instead he let out a sigh and shook his head at the topic. He gently took hold of Marie’s hand giving the heiress a charming smile. “I hope you did not worry too much while I was away?” He spoke in a sweet tone as he gave her hand a kiss. Joan could not help but roll her eyes a little bit on the interaction.

“Oh how your words soothe my quivering heart.” She allowed him to kiss her hand, after finally being masked. “I must say, this is a rather strange place we’re in.” She gave him a warm smile, something Violette picked up and even got her to smile warmly. She leans over to give him a kiss on the cheek, and leaning over to give him a hug. While it looked like a hug but she was actually fixing his mask and didn’t want everyone to see that his mask wasn’t properly tied on which was one it kept moving around.

Violette looked at them and then back at Joan, “Oh my gay, lesbian and homosexual partner of the same gender. How I shaked at night missing you at my side.” She gave a joking tone, giving a flirtatious wink as she kissed Joan deeply. Partly to upset Marie even more and mostly because she did actually miss her girlfriend.

The Norgsveltian Princess was surprised for a moment as the raven haired girlfriend kissed her but was quick to welcome it as she placed her arms around her girlfriend’s shoulders. Kissing back passionately as she closed her eyes to enjoy it.

Johan gave out an awkward chuckle as he glanced at the two before looking at Marie. “How about we let them have their private moment so we can have our own?” He said keeping his charming but bit more awkward smile.

Marie looked at them with a small angry look, then looked back at Johan and not to be outdone by her queer sister. She kissed Johan aggressively, wrapping her arms around him. The prince’s eyes widened as she kissed him, being in much shock out how aggressive his otherwise very traditional girlfriend was. Even when she pulled away he still kept the surprised look on his face.

As Marie and Johan pulled away from them, Violette gave a small look over her shoulder towards the two leaving. “Knew that would piss her off, now lets see what kind of fun trouble we can get up to~” She gave a teasing tone of voice.

Joan was still breathing in and out the kiss having taken her by surprise, with her cheeks being a light shade of red. “You know you should be more careful, there are other people around.” She said, slightly embarrassed. “As such we should be a little bit careful.”

She gave a defeated sigh, “I suppose you’re right, but I guess that just means we should find a bedroom for us then~” Giving her a wink, “We can keep it short, then be right out and into the party.”

The white haired princess rolled eyes but giggled nonetheless. “Just make it quick, you look too good in that suit and I refuse to ruin it.” She teased giving Violette a kiss on the cheek as she pulled her by the hand up the stairs to her bedroom.

“Quick? Well it will be first then.” Violette gave a devilish grin, looking anywhere but Joan’s head.

“Hush.” Joan blushed deeply at the comment as she quickly closed the door behind her when they entered her bedroom.

Johan was still blushing deeply as Marie pulled him away to a more secluded area of the party, putting his fingers on his lips being still a bit in shock from the kiss. “T-That was something else.” He said, letting out an awkward laugh.

She pulled him close to her, secluded away in a garden and sitting on a bench. Wrapping her arm around him in a protective manner. “I might have been a tad aggressive, for that I must apologize.”

He looked down at her shaking his head, a warm smile was on his lips. “Don’t worry about it. I liked it.” He said giving her a kiss on the forehead as he placed his arms around her waist, hugging her back. “You look absolutely beautiful, and any man would be lucky to have you kiss them.”

Her face was flushed with red, looking away. Then back at him, “You look handsome in that suit, be careful when you are eating.” She rubs his back, giving a kiss to his cheek. “You make my heart swell with joy with you at my side Johan, truly a newly discovered wonder for myself.”

“Darling I learned table manners since I was like three. I am quite certain I can avoid getting stain marks.” Johan could not help but roll his eyes at the earlier comment. Yet he smiled warmly at her. “Hopefully I did not make you too lonely when I was away.”

“My apologies, I just want to… Protect you I believe is the best word I can describe for my feelings.” She gives him another kiss on the cheek, then takes his head to rest on her shoulder. “I fear I might have been a tad bit melancholic without you but I understand duties must come first.”

He let out a small chuckle as he started to purr against her. “Might be good to just cuddle for a little moment, just you and I.” He said in a warm tone. “You can be here protecting me from any potential dangers.” He teased her by giving the princess a small poke against her cheek.

She took in his pur, feeling comfort in it. Unexpectedly she started to purr back on him. “I will keep you safe, my little prince.” While she kept an arm around him, she kept her other hand on her rapier’s hilt.

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Jeanne tried to open up with a joke, “At least it is not as bad as Matriarch Ingrid.” She takes a sip of her water, looking at the Norgsveltian monarch. Aurélia Pierre gave a soft chuckle at her wife’s joke.

The king let out a tired sigh, shaking his head. “I guess one does have to look at the benefits.” He said still in a tired tone

“I mean our marriage was based on breaking some norms even if it caused instability.” Wilhelmina said, rubbing the king’s back.

“Sweetie, our son is dating a reactionary.” Olav said, looking at his wife with loving but tired eyes.

“Don’t leave out your daughter dating conservative.” Jeanne added in, “Not a Norgsveltian styled one to be clear.” Almost forgetting that Olav himself was rather conservative. “A so-called progressive one, but still rather right-winged about it.”

Aurélia gave a small smile, “Could be worse, they both could be dating a reactionary.” She attempted to lighten the mood up a bit.

“And people change after all, before we know it our children might make them into liberals.” Wilhelmina said in a joking tone joining her fellow kemonomimi in trying to lighten up the mood.

“Very doubtful.” Olav said, taking a sip from his cocktail. He gave Jeanne a serious look before continuing. “How damaging is this for the Federation?”

“It is almost certain now the Hjørdist head is going to hand the role of High-Gothir to Frida dynasty after she passes now. Though the worst aspect is, the right-wing elements, Frida-monarchist movements and so-forth will be treating this a sign to go into action. Not violent, at least at first but they will start some politicking at the petite-national level.” Jeanne shook her head, “Given it would be a bad look for both of us having your children be placed under Frida restrictions. However, I would like to request that your children’s travel be limited to only within the Crown Realm, same as the new restrictions for the Frida twins.”

Wilhelmina could not help but fidget a little bit in her seat on that. “That seems a bit hars-”

“Understood and agreed, I will be lowering their royal responsibilities as well. I will not interfere in their relationships but the tension their relationships will cause will have consequences.” Olav said in a clear voice interrupting his wife. He had after all had plans to limit Ingrid’s involvement in royal affairs after scandals involving her harsh treatment of political opponents in Nystatiszna. He has to start reigning in his children one way or another.

Jeanne nodded, “Another issue, due to their new found closeness to them. The Federation requires them to be issued new phones, one that can be safely observed, monitored and tracked. In addition to several other new security requirements placed on them.”

Her wife Aurélia spoke up, “That seems a bit… ex-” She stopped herself from speaking after Jeanne gave a strong look at her wife.

“So you planning on spying on my children?” The Queen spoke up in a more annoyed tone as she crossed her arms. Causing her husband to let out a sigh.

“Will it be possible for those things to be led by the NCIS instead?” Olav asked, raising an eyebrow at Jeanne. “The information will still be given to the LFIS but I think it helps limit the suspicion that the information given through said monitoring won’t be abused.”

“No. LFIS has the necessary experience dealing with the Frida dynasty and their methods of communication. Having NCIS monitor them instead, opens up to the possibility of having accusations of Norgsveltian meddling in internal Federation issues, and that would only give more credit to certain members of society.” Jeanne simply ignored the queen, she liked her but this was a serious situation. “Not to mention Princess Marie has had run-ins with the LFIS before for breaking the terms and, if I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. Do you believe you have the heart to spy on your own children?”

“We already have NCIS do that.” Wilhelmina said, taking a sip of her own cocktail, not liking where the Federal Prime Minister was taking this. “Just ask Jørgen.”

The other kemonomimi at the table, Aurélia, gave a small chuckle. “Jeanne gets those reports, and complains about how much unnecessary detail is in it.”

“I have told the agents to keep to the important matters.” Olav said with a sigh before getting back on topic at hand. “I will then need you to give the same reports to me about this matter, you will need my approval.”

The queen gave her husband a bit of a shocked look agreeing on another agency to spy on their dear children. They already agreed on placing restrictions isn’t this going too far?

“Consider it so then.” Jeanne made a note of it. “I’m assuming they are going to be living in the Federation after the wedding? LFIS has picked out several houses fitting for their status while being close for observation.”

Aurélia tried to soften the blow for the Queen, “I saw the manors they picked out, they’re quite nice. They would be neighbors but at least they get a lakeside view.”

The Queen just let out a sigh, giving at least a soft smile towards Aurélia who she sees is at least attempting to make it better for her.

“With what I know of Marie, Johan will have little choice but to stay in the Federation for most of his time. His duty as Grand Prince of Haakondal is practically over.” Olav said, shaking his head, he knew that Johan wasn’t the only one guilty of dating a member of the Frida Dynasty. But he did pick the worst one so at the moment he will get most of the restrictions and trouble. “Princess Joan though in limited capacity will continue in her duties as High Jarlynja of Eyjaria, so expect her to move around bit more even if she will be staying more often in the Federation. Luckily the geographical distance between Eyjaria and Federation is close enough without that having major issues. There is Norgsveltian concerns about my daughter’s relationship with Princess Violette but that is a matter that will be talked between me and Mr. Kirkeland.”

“I would question keeping her role as High Jarlynja at all, but I will trust your judgment in this.” Jeanne didn’t want either one of them to keep any roles that might tie them to other countries. Frida dynasty and their ilk are like an infectious plague, sinking into everywhere they touch with their damn sob story and crocodile tears.

“It will be only until I find a suitable replacement. She garnered quite a popularity in Eyjaria so I want that role to be replaced with someone that is deserving.” Olav took a sip from his cocktail, he knew that Jeanne didn’t like either relationship. But while he could find a suitable replacement for Haakondal without too much struggle, Eyjaria is far harder being an important Crown Realm nation and ally, it has to be picked with much more care.

Jeanne gave an accepting nod, taking another sip of her water. “The Arch-Gothir is getting quite old, she’s 61. She refused treatments, which normally wouldn’t be bad and her picked successor wouldn’t have been perfect but would have been better given the current situation. According to reports I received, she will undoubtedly pick either Violette or Marie as her successor in her stead.” Jeanne sipped her water finishing the glass, “I think it would be wise to expect some religious issues raised in your faith. Not to mention within the Federation proper.”

“If she picks Violette, at least it won’t be as dramatically bad.” Aurélia gives a soft tone, trying to at least look on the brightside in this rather dreadfully pessimistic conversation.

“Then I will deal with it as time comes, while It is not my place to meddle I do have more faith in Violette then Marie.” He said placing his hand up to make clear he wasn’t fully done yet as such to ensure Jeanne couldn’t interrupt him. “I’m sure it will be disrupting no matter what, but knowing my children. Joan will have far easier time calming any type of rhetoric from Violette then Johan will have in calming the likely much more aggressive rhetoric from Marie.”

“I will make the necessary… discussion with the Arch-Gothir.” Jeanne gave a strong look towards Olav. It is not the first time the Federation interfered with an Arch-Gothir succession, and chances are, it will not be the last one either.

A small cough came from the queen who kept a small smile on her lips. “If… that is settled, might it be good to talk about the tour? My husband did mention it as a way to help dealing with these issues.” She tried sounding hopeful, wanting to avoid talking about this rather pessimistic topic.

“Please.” Aurélia said in a cheerful, but sad sounding voice. “One of the first stops is actually going to be in the theocratic republic of Shalune, they’re not any of the major religions within the Federation and quite small. However they make really nice moon pies, but they are um. Nocturnal as a culture over there so, be prepared for that.” She gives a warm smile towards Wilhelmina.

“Oh that would be lovely! I’ve never heard about them before, so that sounds exciting.” The queen smiled warmly at that looking towards Aurélia with an excited look. “Nocturnal? Shall we expect to wear clothing from that one fashion trend. What was it called… Goth! Goth fashion, I remember it so well, was a big thing when I was young during the counterculture protests.”

“Oh! Me and Jeanne dressed up as goths for a full year, during uhh when was it?” Aurélia looked excited at her wife, who looked to be in a cringing pain. “We did it during the last two years of university, because…” Jeanne was cut off by her wife, “Because you were really into the one goth band! Ayay!” Aurélia clapped her hands, “Midnight Mother! That’s the one.” Aurélia gave a small cheer, giving another ayay.

“Ayay!” Wilhelmina said, clapping her hands together while smiling brightly. “Me and my friends dressed up as Goths as well! We weren’t too involved in the counterculture movement but we enjoyed the fashion!” Her attitude from earlier had completely shifted with this topic turning towards Olav excitedly. “Oh we should totally dress up like that when we visit Shalune! We could even do it on Helsday!”

“No. Absolutely not.” He said, crossing his arms.

“Why not, I’m sure people in Shalune would like it!” Wilhelmina said, still smiling even though she tilted her head at Olav.

He gave a serious look towards Jeanne. “Please tell me that they expect us to wear traditional and cultural clothing.” His voice being more serious, really not wanting his wife to not follow up on her idea.

“Well… Your majesty…” Jeanne didn’t have the heart to say it, meanwhile her Akuanist wife was bubbling with excitement.

“Oh, you don’t know what they wear, do you~” She gave a smirking tease. “Let’s just say the goth movement got some inspiration in their clothing from the Federation.” The kemonomimi gave a smirk towards the Queen.

“Ayay~” Wilhelmina said with her own smirk as she looked up at her husband.

“I’m getting another cocktail.” Olav said, shaking his head as he stood up, letting out a deep sigh. “You three can talk about… what outfit we should prepare to wear.”

“Gladly, and get one for me as well!” Wilhelmina said, finishing her own cocktail before looking back at Aurélia already taking out her phone to show off the goth clothing she used to wear.

Aurélia took out her own phone to show off some of the goth clothing she and Jeanne wore. Going straight to her favorite photo folder, handing it to Wilhelmina and taking the Queen’s phone in response to look through. Jeanne only looked tired, looking up at Olav in a desperate glance, begging for pity. One of the first photos of the favorites photos was a certain Hel’s Day costume that Johanna Sverdrup and her Jeanne wore.

“Ohh~ That’s certainly interesting outfits you two chose to wear~” Wilhelmina teased looking at Jeanne with the king to far away to help her.

Jeanne gave a confused look, leaning over to see what Wilhelmina was looking at only to stare back at Aurélia blushing. “You said you deleted that photo.”

“Well, I deleted a photo from that night.” Aurélia gave a smile, embarrassed for Jeanne, “Uh, can you keep swiping and don’t look at any of the Hel’s Day costumes, your majesty.”