T H E L I B R A R Y ;
Nicco had retreated to her room much quicker than most, responding to the masses of reporters with the tact sort of elegance expected of D'Onofrios before disappearing to her room (which she had found after two or three tries without the help of a guard, thank god). But sitting idly had never been an option for Nicco, so after ten minutes, she had changed into something less flashy (but still extremely bold, as was Nicco's style), kicked off her ridiculously painful high-heels (for fuck's sake, she was 5'10, it's not like she needed them) and shaken out her curls before slipping out once more.She had wandered down various halls and then a back set of stairs which was probably only used by servants and found herself opening the grand doors to a room filled from top to bottom with books. Nicco was no intellectual, but the sight of the marble shelves overflowing with book upon book, story upon story, somehow completely overwhelmed her, as she stared, nonplussed, for five seconds before promptly running across the large hallway, spinning the globe at the center before abruptly stopping it with her finger, her hand landing smack in the center of Japan. Now there was a place she would like to visit. What would it feel like, to not be tied down to responsibilities and legacies and titles, to have complete freedom to wander like a vagabond and to appear and disappear whenever you wanted? Nicco couldn't imagine it, nor did she want to. If you wanted to forget about the world, the world would have to forget about you, and Nicco didn't want to be forgotten. Nicco didn't want that any more than she wanted to marry the prince. But if forcing yourself to fall in love with a stranger was what it took to earn a crown, she would do it within a heartbeat. For once, she was on her own. For once, she could make her own choices.And she had chosen the crown, for better or for worse.(view spoiler)[the dress (hide spoiler)]
The globe was mesmerizing, almost as if it were a jewel itself, with its well worn grooves and the plethora of fingerprints which had all rested on this globe at one point or another. How many people had touched it? How many great people had touched this globe? Was Nicco going to be one of them? Would another selected girl (probably not with blue hair, although one could fantasize) come decades, maybe centuries later and think of Nicco when she thought of the greats? Perhaps. And perhaps not. The uncertainty was as thrilling as the potential, in Nicco's mind, for it left room for change. I can try, she told herself. And that's what matters. But she was lying, because it wasn't what mattered. If you tried and failed, it was still a failure, no matter how hard you tried.As Nicco glanced up, eyes shining with an odd mixture of excitement and fear (the higher the stakes, the harder the fall, so Papa had once said) she saw a girl approaching her, watching the presence draw closer before wondering how long the footsteps had been clacking against the marble before Nicco had noticed the sound. And now she saw that it wasn't merely a girl, but the princess, in all her grace and beauty. Princess Calla addressed Nicco as if her identity were a question, as if there was room for wrong, but the shrewdness in her eyes suggested that the Princess knew exactly who Niccola was, and not just because of the hair.And still, the name that fell from Princess Calla's lips was not Nicco's own. At the utterance of Niccola, Nicco's brow furrowed and her mouth pursed, withering in obvious distate. "Nicco, if your majesty so pleases." She replied without hesitation, the title flowing from her lips not in submission or awe but simply as acknowledgement. Princess she may be, but in the end, the princess was just another person and Nicco didn't believe in idolizing people, no matter how pretty the face may be.
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