"Oh, I See… Welcome Fourth Prince Clovis. I apologize I did not see you there in this dim light. Forgive my insolence." she spoke clearly and kindly bowing at the waist but her eyes held none of the warmth she had greeted Kyera with.
"No need. It is actually nice to not be the first one greeted sometimes. Reminds me we are all human for a short moment." Clovis replied with a dashing smile. Kyera chuckled as she glanced around able to count the number of humans here on one hand. Perhaps one finger.
"Mavi, Please don't sound the alarm we just want to have a simple dinner. No frills?" Kyera asked, turning a bewitching eye and begging tone onto her friend. Clovis seemed confused by her words.
"Alright, as you wish. As long as his Highness doesn't take offense. We are incredibly informal here." Mavi warned setting her hand on her hip, the other on the monkey's back.
"Yes of course. I understand." Clovis agreed realizing this was the only way he could respond and see more of this place. Kyera smiled and Mavi chuckled.
"Can you just bring a taster of everything and the Fair Dew to drink?" Kyera ordered for them both. She knew he wouldn't understand most the dishes on the menu anyway and Mavi nodded.
"Walk safely, my Lady." Mavi wished before sauntering away. Kyera smiled at Prince Clovis who seemed genuinely baffled after the meeting.
"Princess Kyera?" he asked curiously and Kyera paused for a moment. There were many ways to answer this but, most of them were lies. For some reason, she didn't wish to lie to him.
"In the forest, there is a secondary hierarchy and if you live there long enough you end up becoming part of it. We have Princes and Princesses but not a single king or queen." Kyera explained with a smile, opting for the simple truth. "You see the forest requires its own law, and though it obeys the Law of the Emperor there are some restrictions that your law does not have but are needed for the safety of the forest dwellers. The people who keep this law and oversee it are known as the Forest council. A council member is a prince or princess of their territory."Kyera tried to explain, watching his face closely to see how he would respond. Several moments of complex thought seemed to play across his face. She picked out confusion and unease pretty quickly but he seemed to be stuck on something.
"If there are laws are there also punishments?" He asked honestly unsure how he felt about this news. Kyera nodded knowing where his discomfort lie.
"Yes but at worst it's just ostracizing from the familial unit. The forest folk wont recognize or protect you should you fowl up in the forest." Kyera explained with a smile. "anything more server must be a result of breaking Imperial law." he seemed to relax at this. It made sense and was no different than the rules of noble houses.
"I see. It is quite interesting. I never knew such a dynamic existed in the forest. I was always taught that forest folk were simple." he replied honestly a bit baffled, just enough to say that aloud. Kyera watched as his cheeks flushed, who he had said that to dawning on him. "not that simple is bad…" he tried to salvage and Kyera pat his hand kindly.
"Prince Clovis, everyone believes us simple folk because we live simply. Our food, shelter, and lives are decided by the land. So it all looks so very simple. What you don't see though, is what gives us our pride." Kyera explained with a secretive smile.
"That moment a child catches its first meal, or a mother defends her family from a jackal with the help of a neighbors spear. There are so many complex little moments like when a small village comes together to build a damn before the river overflows you see the truth in it all. Its communities and families that live in harmony more surely than any law could decide. As time goes on rules are formed to protect it… just as any society worth protecting soon writes its own written rules." Kyera explained the essence of her home and what the forest ment. There was so much more to it. So many intricate details that he would never understand. Not as long as the wall of secrecy held them apart.
"I wish I could see your world." Clovis found himself saying this aloud once again this evening. She smiled at him, a indecipherable sadness in her eyes.
"Perhaps one day, but for now, let us eat." Kyera replied sitting back as the platter was set before them both.
So what do you think? Is there a spark of romance here?
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