Swishing along the polished wooden floor, a dark onyx robe with heavy gold embroidery trailed behind the tall figure as he quickly, yet elegantly, walked down the hallway. The light from the many red lanterns hanging from the ceiling casted a soft glow on his unearthly handsome face as he swiftly turned the corner. Many attendants that were in the hallways bowed as their oldest crown prince passed them, not daring to look into his eyes, from respect...and slight fear. Ever since he was young, Prince Hiro's perfectly sculpted features have never been graced with a smile. Perhaps it was because of his responsibility as the next King that he grew up with a cold, calculating, and intimadating personality.
But yet they all cared for the Prince, not only because he was the next heir to the throne, but also because they understood the large pressure he had on his shoulders. After all, he was to rule an entire country in a few years.
Yes, Japan was a democratic country. Yes, they did have a president. But the Royal monarchy still had a role in running the country. Since they were more experienced in politics and greatly trusted by the people, politicians functioned under the watchful eyes of the Royal family. New laws and other major changes had to be approved by the Emperor before anyone else made a move. That was the main reason why Japan was a peaceful, flourishing, first world, powerful country.
Prince Hiro reached the towering doors of the Royal conference room, decorated with jeweled flowers and a dragon. The attendants stationed on either side, bowed to him, then pushed the heavy doors open and in a loud voice, announced his arrival to the rest of his family already gathered in the room. "His young majesty, the Crown Prince Hiro Hikaru Himura, has entered!". His family sat around the glass conference table, a large map of Japan spread out and encased in the table. The walls were covered with books, images, and scrolls about Japans history. His father, a fine looking bearded man with a big smile, sat at his spot at the head of the table, his mother, a graceful woman with a mischievous glint in her eyes, to his right and his younger brother, a young man with gentle yet handsome features, to his left. They all looked at him as he sat across from his father. "Now that you are both here, I'd like to start", the Emperor said, standing; his deep red robe engraved with a large gold dragon and the empirical medallion necklace swinging across his chest. "My sons, you have finally reached the age when you are considered adults- men." he said, walking along and briefly touching both their shoulders. Prince Hiro glanced at his younger brother, Prince Imai, who was also looking at him with confusion. Both of them had no idea what this was about. In fact, they were each quite surprised when their personal advisors told them that morning that their father had arranged a mandatory family meeting.
"So your mother and I have decided that it was about time to get you two married",
the Emperor said, looking expectedly at his sons. The princes looked up at him, their faces blank. 'What...', they both thought, not registering what their father had just said. The Empress got up from her seat and stood next to her husband, smiling at her sons.
"Don't worry, we've already chosen the brides",
she said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. '...WHAT...' Both the princes thought, shifting their blank faces to the Empress. The woman tried to hold in her laugh as she looked at their blank faces. It wasn't everyday her genius sons were so lost. Now don't get her wrong, she was happy her sons were both very smart and mature, but sometimes, she craved for them to just be...normal. "You both knew this was going to happened one day my sons. As princes of this country, it is tradition that we produce a heir for the next generation." The Emperor said, looking especially at Prince Hiro. "And..." the Emperor began, interrupting Prince Imai just as he was about to protest, "It is the duty of all Royals to get married". Both the princes looked at each other, not wanting to believe what was happening. It was tradition and they knew this was unavoidable but still...they didn't want to get married! Prince Imai didn't wish to marry someone he didn't love while Prince Hiro just didn't want to marry at all.
"Majesty Okaa sama*, who have you chosen for us?" Prince Imai asked.
"For you dear Prince Imai, I have chosen someone we are familiar with. You remember Lady Yuki don't you?" she said. Prince Imai's eyes widen, he did remember her. They had only met a few times when they were younger when her family had visited the palace...but Prince Imai had never felt any connection towards her. From the few times he had seen her, the only thing he knew about her was that she loved jewelry and bossing people around. The first thing she would always do was order the attendants to do various things. 'But it was when she was young, so she's probably changed...' he thought. But still, he didn't want to get married with her!
"And for you dear Prince Hiro, we've chosen a very special girl for you..." the Empress began, a glint in her eyes that slightly worried the usually unfazed Prince Hiro. He looked at his mother, wondering about what 'special' meant. Knowing her, it could mean many things- and none were good. His mother continued, "She's actually the daughter of your fathers friend. I have met her a few times when she was just a small child, and she was absolutely adorable!" she exclaimed, her eyes sparkling. Prince Hiro raised his eyebrows, surprised that his mother complimented someone, that didn't happen often.
But still, he didn't care.
He didn't even care if she was a Miss Universe that won several Nobel prizes. He didn't want to get married. Prince Hiro had never been interested in girls or romance or anything like that. He found it bothersome when girls from noble families practically threw themselves onto him, flaunting their skin layered in makeup and trying to flatter him with petty complements. When his mother had insisted that he at least try to get along with them, he was even more annoyed. All they would talk about was the new things they bought, how terrible someone else looked, how good he looked, and how perfect they would look together. That's when he decided he didn't need any of that in his life. He didn't care if there was rumors of him being gay or born with no sexual hormones, he didn't want to marry anyone...ever.
As his younger brother continued protesting, Prince Hiro knew his parents were not going to change their minds about this. Sighing, he got up from his seat and was about to walk out of the room. "One more thing darling!", the Empress called out,
"These young women are already deemed engaged to you so they are your fiancés...however, your father and I have decided to give you both the choice of whether you want to officially marry them or not. For that, you all have exactly two years to decide. At the end of these two years, we will ask you both and that includes your fiancés, whether to proceed with this relationship or not. Now, you may leave".
' Well, that made things a bit more easier' he thought, the attendants bowing to him as he walked out. All Prince Hiro had to do now was put up with it for two years, then finally he could say
*Okaa Sama: how people in Japan address their mothers