A crown. A simple ornament of overly priced metals bonded together with even more obnoxiously valued rocks.
That was the inner monologue of a young royal as he gave a spiteful glance at his sparkling, gem laced headpiece. It was the metaphorical weight, he decided, that made such a small headgear into the symbol of power and authority.
While the crown’s value itself could keep a lesser nation afloat economically, it was never its worth that made it significant. It was what it represented; a leader, a protecter, a sage, a royal.
He closed his eyes, wanting nothing more for the moonstone circlet to vanish into the depths of the ocean. He has lived his entire life groomed, coached, and trained for the day that he would finally rule his people. He grew up enthralled at the idea of being a prince. What more could a little boy want? He never wanted for anything. Everyone he knew practically threw themselves at his feet. It grew old very, very quickly.
By the age of ten, he was ready to give up the throne, never wanting to step foot in the palace. It was a lonely, hollow building that seemingly made its entire existence to ruin everything and everyone he cared for.
He was drilled from the day he could understand, his station came with a price. The sickeningly sweet desserts he loved to sneak past his caretakers and the shiny brand new weapons he received from the guards, it all was a charming illusion.
And since his tenth birthday, this same day has filled him with constant dread. He has seen the toll and sacrifice needed to be a ruler first hand. That crown has diminished his family line to a measly three. His two parents and himself. All the others had perished away. Each time breaking his resolve a little bit at a time.
Deep down, he had a strong forbearing sense that his small triangle was fated to be broken. He could only hope that his instincts, for once, were wrong.
“Your Highness?” A soft feminine voice rang out from the other side of his chamber door.
He cocked his head a little at the sound her voice. Something was bothering her. He sensed waves of anxiety and what could only be fear, flood his mind. “Yes Lily? Is everything alright?”
He could practically hear her tense sigh from outside the hallway. The palace staff still felt uneasy hearing themselves being address so casually, although they were long tired from trying to stop him.
“You have been summoned to the war room. I was told to tell you, it’s a code black nine.” Her gentle voice wavered a little, her uncertainty growing now as those fateful words were spoken.
Had he not already been sitting, he would have kneeled over as those three little words rammed into his mind.
He felt his blood turn colder than he thought possible, like ice slushing in his veins, and yet his heart banged like a war drum in his chest.
He snapped his attention to the door. “Tell them I am on my way....and Lily?”
“Stop by the armory on the way back. Pick out a decent weapon for yourself.” He hastily grabbed his own weapon, an imperial silver laced bident, from its leaning place on the wall.
The aura of fear spiked. “Y-yes Sire. Thank you.” He heard her quick footsteps retreat into the stony corridor.
He finishing lacing the rest of his garb and armour and was ready to head out when a twinkle of moonlight brought his attention back to his loathing crown.
“Fuck it.” He shoved it in his bag and without looking back, left his bedroom, unknowingly that this was the last time he would be witnessing it in one piece.