The carriage bumbled along that rough road, as being this far in the country meant the roads were in some disrepair, allowing the occasional shift from side to side. The Flame Prince's eyes had noted the Nexus-Point that joined the Elemental Plane of Fire to the human lands of this continent for the very first time. And the sensation of crossing through a Nexus-Point was indeed a first for Prince Rowan, which, alongside the Princess Eva and their escort, felt a slight shifting of their internal organs. Nothing more than mild discomfort that passed as they continued down the countryside.
Once they had started passing through the smaller villages and settlements, the roads were paved in tan brick, affording a smoother ride. Their carriage looked unimportant, but merely as a means to not draw attention, aside from the fact that the fire nation guards dressed as cloaked sellswords, tough looking individuals that would dissuade pitiful human thieves and highwaymen from attempting anything on them.
Rowan wore simple clothes for this trip, a white long sleeved tunic with gold embroidery and white pants. A beautifully detailed red belt was at his waist. He sat with his legs and arms crossed, his head lowered and his eyes closed. They were already married, according to his people. But Eva's Empire would not recognize this until they were wed in the human capital. It was all tedious business, but he supposed this allowed them to live in either capitol whenever they chose.
He let out a low sigh, wishing he could sleep, but the atmosphere was a little uncomfortable, both with the human realm's middling temperatures, and with his new wife sitting across from him. Rowan remembered how he left her last night, sweaty, drunk and whining incessantly. He almost felt embarrassed with the looks he received this morning when he was found in his own bedchambers. And of course, the maids were the first to gossip about the unconsummated marriage, already fearing ill tidings for Kasairona.
Princess Eva, dressed in her slim traveling gown and a fur stole around her shoulders, glanced over at the Prince seated across from her. So badly did she want to say something, but the fact that her head was throbbing uneasily reminded her that she had more than a lady and a healer combined should have imbibed the night before. She had awoken all sweaty and exhausted, her wedding dress and honeymoon attire underneath all in a thin sheen of sweat, to the point of almost becoming translucent fabric. Even a cool bath, a generous goblet of water, and a change of clothes didn't completely quell her hangover.
The temperate climate of her home, compared to the scorching heat of the Fire Realm, was almost chilling in the transition, but it made her feel right at home again. sighed quietly, eyes lost in the green pastures past the Nexus-Point and towards the closest village from that point. It all had elated her.
Until regards with the Prince once more plagued her thoughts, sending that uncomfortable feeling into the pit of her stomach.
"Y-Your Majesty, last night... w-was I... unbearable in any sort of way?" She spoke meekly, but a tone that did not sound like her lady-like tone.
He did not open his eyes for a moment, and when he did they seemed to glow in the carriage's dim light. "No. You were not unbearable. But you enjoyed chattering the entire time you were in your unacceptable stupor. Things about 'Princes' and thrown away clothes." He gave a small shrug.
She blushed in crimson, eyes looking down at what he talked about, about what she had 'blathered on' about last night. "Ah, I see... I-I apologize for bothering you with such yammering, Your Majesty..."
Her feet kicked innocently enough, small heeled ankle-boots and sheer black leggings beneath her gown. Before long her eyes looked to the Prince's once more, fingers gripping her own arms uneasily.
She couldn't avoid this topic any longer, especially if they were to be wed again in her own homeland and then forced to consummate their union at last.
If she would die here, at least it would be far away from any of her subjects, sparing them from the Prince's wrath.
"...If I may, Your Majesty, I-I-I must confess something to you."
The Prince's heart skipped a beat, and not in a good way. Ice seemed to run immediately through his veins.
"Oh?" He said quietly with a raised brow. "That perhaps you're not really the Princess? That they had thought to deceive me and my people by wedding me with someone else from the royal court? Or even a pitiable peasant?!"
"N-n-no! I-I'm not a noble or a peasant, oh no, Your Majesty..." She bit her bottom lip, her legs nuzzling together. "Y-you were given bare information about being in an arrangement with a child of the Imperial Throne, yes? Nothing specific?"
"Of course... Why?"
"Th-there... There never was a daughter Of the Imperial Throne, there was only... a-a-a son."
Rowan's face didn't change; he just kept staring down at the floor. Then slowly a hand raised to be placed at his temple, eyes closed and what seemed like a small sigh of relief escaped him.
He looked at her from the corner of his glowing eye, looking to the 'Princess' who had, with eyes closed, steeled herself for an instantaneous incineration for this confession. He even shook his head at this pitiful display; at the very least, he was impressed that Eva was prepared for death.
Rowan lowered his arms, sitting a little more upright. "Well, this works out better then planned, yes? I'm a prince, yes, but I am female."
Eva's stance seemed to soften a slight, eyes carefully looking up to the Flame Prince's strong form. "Pardon?"
He let out a heavy, exasperated, impatient sounding sigh, "You have seen how androgynous some of our people can appear with your own eyes, yes? Well, I am female. I chose to be a Prince though, not a Princess; I am not one to be confined in dresses and finery."
Eva glanced to Rowan again, eyes forcing themselves to meet Rowan's own. "Y-you certainly demonstrated this facet of yours, Your Majesty... B-But do your--"
"My citizens are aware of my gender, Princess." He said curtly. "But because I am a female Prince, I am not allowed on the battlefield; too rare a commodity, my father had said. Perhaps the only downfall to my choice. If I were male, it would have been a different story."
"Ah, y-y-yes, I can see this now." Eva sighed out of slight relief; one primal fear about their consummation would thankfully not happen to her vulnerable back door. "I suppose it was difficult for me to notice; you are very built indeed, and you exude such a strong, confident air about yourself, Your Majesty. If you were of my kingdom, you would be more than a welcome addition to the battlefield, regardless of gender." Eva nodded. "Not that I doubt your capabilities; I am certain you would topple me in fisticuffs, Your Majesty."
He gave a simple nod. It was true that she was capable with a sword, but her father wouldn't hear of her going into battle. Even as a Prince, she was still a woman, and thus had to produce an heir, and was indeed considered far more valuable off the field of battle.
"Seems though that when we arrive, I will have to fit myself with a more... FEMININE attitude." A sour look most definitely crossed Rowan's lips. "After which, I have decided that you will refer to me as Princess Rabekah."
"Oh?" The dressed 'Princess' glanced curiously at Rowan. "Is that your birth name?"
"Don't be ridiculous." She snapped at him. "Rowan is my true name, but--let us be honest, who had heard of a Princess with such a strong name as that? So it is with a, well, feminine name that I must ingratiate myself with for the time being."
Eva could feel the embitterment in Rowan's regards to a proper feminine identity. Just the notion of even using a different name seemed to make the Flame Prince betray his own values. "I-If it is not in your comfort zone to dress in feminine attire, you needn't force yourself to, Your Majesty." Eva blushed brightly. Although, looking at the Prince again, imagining her body dressed in very feminine attire, was a very tempting thought; Eva was still a growing young man, after all. "Y-your reputation would be more than enough, Pr-Princess Rabekah..."
"How kind of you to placate me, young 'Prince'." Rowan shook his head. "But no, they expect you to marry a woman, not a Prince. So I shall adopt my role as the Princess. This is not up for debate, wife."
The Flame Prince raised a hand to stop her from speaking more about it.
It was there that the journey seemed to take an awkward air between them, even as the ride became much smoother, and the 'sellswords' guarding the caravan were making quiet rumors to themselves regarding their enemies, the elusive Air elementals.
"I-I cannot change into my pr-princely attire until we arrive at Elsgarde Keep proper, but if I may offer to show you around the Empire while you are here, it would elate me." Eva insisted in her meek tone.
"Hmm." Rowan said with a grunt. "You COULD show me."
Rowan didnt know what to think as of yet, spending a millenia inside his own kingdom, whether it be on this earthly plane or the true elemental plane that housed the Eternal Flame. The ground was covered in grasses and wheats, tall trees dotted the landscape and up ahead along the horizon the city of Elsgarde could be seen. A giant castle protected behind a massive wall, only the upper most spires could be seen from this distance.
Eva let his feet sway sheepishly, eyes looking out the window as they began to travel through the castle town, seeing the many houses and citizens he held so dear to his heart so closely, living their lives like nothing was plaguing them.
Eyes glanced up towards Elsgarde Keep proper as the carriage continued on their way. But then his oceanic blue eyes met the Flame Prince's, the air between the two continuing to be awkward.
"So... Your Majesty..." Eva said meekly.
"Yes?" he replied dryly; they'd already confessed to one another, what else could he want to speak of? He continued to hold Eva's gaze, his eyes smoldering lightly and literally. A faint light and smokiness escaped the corners of his eyes.
He gulped uneasily, already intimidated by the fact that the Flame Prince's eyes were literally smoking a sort of hateful heat at him. "...I-It's Evan. My true name is Evan. E-Evan Resplen Elsgarde."
His eyes glanced away from him again, still feeling that encompassing hate on him.
"Evan? How... similar to Eva. So does anyone else from the human kingdom know of--" He saw how Evan looked away, his body rigid and looking out the window once again, serving only to annoy him further. "Do you fear me, Prince?" He looked from Evan's feet up to his face, seeing his obvious unease.
He gulped from the burning question. "F-Forgive me, Prince Rowan..." He looked to him again, feeling that heated glare coming off at him. "Every moment you look at me as such, I feel as if I had offended you in some way." He glanced to the ever-approaching keep in the distance, before looking to the female prince again. "It is terrible, yes. I apolo--"
He tapped his fingers restlessly against the seat, "Stop!" he scolded, "It irritates me more to see you cower as prey. You're a Prince; act as one!" As they were both Princes, they were quite equal in every way. But that aside, it pissed Rowan off. "Perhaps you should have been a woman after all."
He had to steady himself, steady his breathing. The words the Flame chided him with practically incinerated his words deep. But he was right.
"...Then do not give me a reason to feel like prey to you, Prince Rowan." He didn't clench his eyes shut this time. If he would be fried here, it would be as a proper member of the Imperial Family.
"Regardless, only the Imperial court and servants are aware of my... persona, so to speak, Your Majesty." He went back to answer his earlier question.
A small smirk appeared on Rowan's lips as Evan didn't flinch away this time. "Oh? Then perhaps you need a thicker hide. I've only been myself, but if that is too much for you to handle..."
Rowan chuckled darkly as she noted the color on Evan's face draining a slight, not liking the undertone of his voice. There was a far deeper secret Rowan would likely never speak to Evan:
In days past, when the humans first arrived at the lands that would one day become Elsgarde, the elementals viewed them as a new food source, and each had a macabre preference.
Air would devour the breath from their lungs.
Water would drain the blood from their veins.
Earth would remove and grind down their bones.
Fire would siphon the heat from their bodies.
Truly Evan would have had more to worry about, if it wasn't such a guarded secret that they had made sure would disappear over the centuries.
Once again, the trip took a dark and awkward air between them. As if he--no, he'd stop thinking that way of Rowan. She was the Flame Prince, his 'husband'... but still a woman. Regardless, it would be a miracle if she would even consider showing an ounce of kindness towards him, or garner a peek of her in a gown.
Rowan actually gave a bit of a laugh seeing Evan like this, his small fangs showing as he did so. "Apologies, but you look like you'd pass out from fright." He leaned forward, closing the gap between them, his eyes glowing brighter. "You have made me a fangless predator, Evan. But do not think I have lost my claws."
He gulped hard again. "To see any emotion besides your neutral... distaste... it will take much time to adjust to, Princess Rabekah."
Rowan would've let off a simple chastising had not the carriage finally come to a stop, as it arrived outside the massive gates of Elsgarde Keep. Many servants approached the escorted carriage, and began to take the effects off it. And with it, the doors opened for the both of them.
"Prince Evan Resplen Elsgarde, it is good to see that you are well." Amidst the servants, a stately mature-looking woman dressed in a flowing maid's dress approached, helping the dolled Prince out of the carriage. "My word... you look pale, Your Majesty, is something the matter?"
He shook his head and smiled faintly. "Nothing to worry about." Evan said softly, feet daintily touching the familiar turf.
"Presenting: Prince Rowan of Kasairona."
Another Herald barked, and as Rowan exited, showing his full height to them, easily taller then Evan by a full head, he felt all eyes on him. An uneasiness rippled through the crowd of servants. To have one of the most hated and feared of Elementals to be welcomed at their court. He looked around them, his face neutral as he stepped down and waited to be attended to.
The human Prince noted how the servants were initially antsy around her; justified, Evan mused as he cleared his throat, as they were servants, not soldiers.
"Please, everyone... The Flame Prince is our guest." Evan said simply, curtly. "Please bring the Prince's effects to the Royal's Wing at once."
"There is a spare room in the Royal's Wing, Your Majesty." The mature attendant bowed to him.
"Very good, Iliya. Then please escort the Flame Prince to her chambers." Evan glanced down at himself. "Admittedly, although I have become accustomed to dressing as a lady fair, I do desire to dress in my preferred raiment again, before we meet with Their Majesties."
"Of course. Emperor Einz and Empress Fiora are more than eager to see you once again, Your Majesty." Iliya then looked to the Flame Prince. "If you'll follow me, we will settle you into your chambers before your meeting with the Imperial Majesties."
Rowan could tell already that he wasn't liked by the maid; she seemed to have a very motherly air about her, poised at Evan, and would likely not bite her tongue if it came to a potential argument with him.
But the Flame just gave his standard smile and made a motion for the maid to show him the way.
Evan, when he glanced back at Rowan being escorted, he couldn't help but feel a lingering twinge of jealousy within his heart.
"How cruel of her; she never once smiled at me..."
"So, if you wouldn't mind a question from a mere servant, Your Majesty." Iliya spoke while she glanced back to the servants taking the Prince's belongings to the prepared chambers. "How has Prince Evan fared in your Kingdom?"
He gave a slight, hmph, not in a hostile way but merely a noise. "He would have been better off from the start to say that he was indeed male and not masquerading as a woman. Given that select people in my court are aware of my sex, they found it odd that I'd agree to such a thing as to marry a woman."
"Their Majesties did not have the knowledge of your true gender when the peace agreement came to pass." Iliya said, as they continued through the stately halls. "So they had err'd on the side of caution." The attendant shrugged her shoulders. "Then I would presume that if you both were indeed men, there would perhaps be talks of nobles to fill the role of siring heirs to the throne--"
"BUT," Rowan interrupted the attendant's thoughts, not wanting to hear where that train of thought would lead. "aside from the occasional annoyance for not asking when needing things, all was well." A slight shrug of the shoulders, eyes looking around at the smooth stone walls and thick tapestries that decorated the hall.
"Hm, not wanting to trouble anyone for his own well-being... that does sound like the Prince indeed." She nodded. She stopped her tracks in front of a chamber. "These shall be your chambers, Prince Rowan."
She opened the door to the spacious room. It was in shades of purple and silver. A four poster canopy bed with sheer black curtains greeted the Prince as well, along with a boudoir and a vanity.
Red eyes gazed around the room, hating the tones. "I'd like to speak with a decorator... the colors in here..." It was obvious as he stood there in his white , red and gold attire. This room was not any reflection of himself. "Your Prince needs to learn to speak up for himself. How ever shall he be a ruler if he cannot?"
"Hmm... on the matter of his subjects, he is absolutely vocal." Iliya stated, watching the servants set Rowan's things away carefully. Another gesture from the mature attendant would indicate that the colors were not to the Prince's tastes, and to begin re-arranging it to be more complementary. "Whenever soldiers, servants, or citizens are injured, he has always been so direct and strict with treating them, not even concerning his own person when mending them. He even takes trips to the Castle Town to ensure there are no unhealthy citizens."
"But I suppose, given his experience, speaking with delegates is his weakest point... especially if he's off-put by them." She said firmly, overseeing the servants who were working as a unit to change the tone of the chamber to a more Fire-appropriate environment. "I wonder why..." She mused with an almost sarcastic twinge.
Rowan gave a slight frown and narrowed his eyes to her. "So you're saying he'd let himself become injured, rather then care about himself? Interesting. But I will not have my spouse die of such selfishness." He pursed his lips. But he stopped speaking, no need to say to much to her, she had no say in the matter, it's something he would do later this evening if he had the time.
"...Selflessness." Iliya shrugged her shoulders, as if correcting the flame. "He's been selfless to a fault, ever since he was little and taken to the healer's role."
Within the hour the room had been transformed, sparkling gold and red cloths hung above the bed and tapestries in similar colors hung on the walls, the sheer black curtains remained around the bed as well. The silver sconces on the wall had even been changed out for blackened ones. It finally looked like one that he may have had in his own palace.
She crossed her arms and smirked at the completed transformation. "Heh, I may not be in the army any more, but I think that was a well co-ordinated rearrangement. How does it fare, Your Majesty?"
Striding to the nearest tapestry and running his long delicate fingers over it, he gave a soft hum of appreciation. Surely they were very fine to the humans, but to him, it could be better if an elemental had woven it. "It is good." he replied, "Almost feels like home. But, the air flow seems... stuffy." He felt a tightness to his chest, like his Core lacked proper oxygen to keep burning as brightly. For now he opened a window, allowing a cool breeze to pass over him, taking in a deep breath of air, smelling the lack of anything remotely sulfuric.
"Oh, yes, you ARE a Fire elemental, after all." Iliya noted the Flame Prince from behind. "There are not a lot of windows in the Royal's Wing, nor is there a definite breeze passing through, even on a more blustery day. The barracks, on the other hand, is well ventilated, but it's hardly a place for royalty or nobles." A dark smirk crossed her features. "Especially those who are not qualified for battle--"
He turned firmly on his heels to her, his mask of emotionless apathy on his face. "Leave." He snipped, excusing all the servants, including her. Most of his items had already been put away neatly in the wardrobe but a couple trunks sat with their lids open, clothes partially hanging out. Rowan kept his eyes on her, daring her to say anything else.
Iliya chuckled simply, the last one to leave, before bowing in a proper curtsy. "As your wish, Your Majesty." When she left and closed the door behind her, she loosed a smirk to herself as she left the Royal's Wing. "I'm glad I'm not in my prime any more... I would've loved to snuff out that entitled little candle."
Rowan wanted to incinerate that woman. She was already infuriating with that attitude of hers, and the way she mentioned 'not being qualified for battle', it made him clench his fist firmly. How did a servant-woman like her know about HIS station in Kasairona?? About HIS entitlement and detriment all in--
But not long thereafter came a soft knock to his chamber doors. He shook his head and breathed out bitterly. "Proceed."
In came a younger maid, bowing lowly and being careful to not look him in the eye.
"Their Imperial Majesties wish to see you now, Sire." She kept her head down and backed out of his way.
A nod of his head, going to his vanity and selecting a black ribbon which he used to tie his hair, a high ponytail, the short strands of hair sticking like some kind of crown. Only after did he leave his chambers, being led towards the throne room by another faceless-to-him servant.
He peered in to see his wife, Evan. He seemed to be in well spirits, as the Crown Prince of the Elsgarde Empire was now out of a fancy dress. His healer-like raiment, suit-like in appearance, with matching blue and white and silver accents that depicted royalty, seemed to fit him more appropriately, Rowan mused. He even tied his effeminate hair into a simple lengthy ponytail, draping it right between his shoulders. And he appeared to be in conversation with the Emperor and Empress, looking regal and refined.
Evan's eyes turned to the entrance hall, seeing the Flame Prince standing there. "Mother... Father..." Evan nodded simply, looking to Rowan, beckoning him forward with a simple gesture. "Her--H-His Majesty, Prince Rowan of Kasairona."
Emperor Einz nodded firmly, standing from his throne with his strong presence and bearded visage. "We of Elsgarde welcome you to our abode, oh Flame Prince."
The portly and more elegant Empress, however, held a more curious glance towards the, according to her mind, 'crossdressed princess', informed of this note from her son. "Indeed. You grace us with your... unique presence."
He gave a small bend of the waist to the king his left hand covering his right side of his chest. Then his gaze rose to the queen, the mask of disinterest back on. "A pleasure." he said lowly, his voice as androgynous as his appearance. After the introductions he went to stand with his 'wife'.
"They do not like me..." he said quietly so only Evan could hear.
"I-I know my mother, for certain... sh-she's old-fashioned. My father, though--" He could feel their eyes on him, and so he cleared his throat and spoke up. "I-I understand that, b-between all of us, there may be some tension yet." He sought to mediate between them. "But is this not the reason why we have come to this? So that we may yet foster some means to end the bloodshed between us?"
"Indeed, my son." The Emperor nodded in agreement, looking towards Rowan. "Evan had told us that despite a minor upset or so with the heat, he had enjoyed himself in the Kingdom of the Fire Realm. How courteous of the good King and his son."
The Flame Prince nodded once. "Yes, " he dropped much formality here, as he was older then even the Emperor, and several emperors and kings prior. In elemental society, age mattered more then title, but he retained a respectful air for him. "I had to lend a certain artifact to help keep Eva--an--Evan, from dehydrating or dying from heat stroke, but all was well. I'm afraid I was terribly busy, not able to spend much time with him."
Evan had stilled his tongue; he knew firsthand that that wasn't true, that she had completely forbade him to get anywhere near her. But he didn't wish to correct what was potentially a still viable threat.
"Oh, I see." The Empress kept her gaze on both her son's anxious silence, and her son's future spouse, not exactly liking the shifted gaze her son did. "Well, seeing as you're in our lands, you may take this time to... unwind, and relax your weary self. It MUST be taxing to work so diligently--"
Evan noted the attitude. "Mother--"
"Now, let's not jump to conclusions, Fiora." The Emperor cut a look to his wife to be still for that moment. "This is indeed a tenuous moment between our Empire and the Kingdom of Flames. Which is why this proposal is viable--"
"It is just a lady's intuition, dear husband." She looked to Rowan. "Would you not agree, young Prince?"
Rowan stood a little straighter, looking her in the eye, 'Despite what is or is not between my thighs, I was raised as a male. Also, though I am not human, I fear I may lack this 'intuition' you speak of." His face was completely serious as he said that. "Do not forget, Eva is already my spouse. Thus, Kasiarona momentarily has more claim to him than your people."
Fiora cast another lackadaisical but judgmental look on Rowan. "Then perhaps the good 'Prince' of Flames would be more apt to treat their spouse as they are meant to--"
"STOP." Evan spoke out loud, firmly, having stood in front of Rowan, looking to his mother with a disappointed look, his cheeks a faint heated red. "Just... Stop. The both of you."
The Emperor couldn't help but smirk at the sight of his wife so stunned by being told to rein herself in. Indeed, the air was thick with discomfort on both sides.
"I will not have this sort of tension ruin what we are trying to preserve! Not here. Not ever." He looked to Rowan. "N-Now, I believe I owed you a proper tour of the Keep, yes? Especially as we've, well, already took notice of the throne room."
"HMPH..." Rowan had cast a molten gaze at Evan's mother, while extending a much kinder smile to the Emperor. "As my wife desires." He took Evan's arm and allowed him to walk her out of the throne room.
Immediately after, the Flame Prince relinquished his grasp on Evan, keeping his hands to himself, looking to the Prince of Elsgarde. Cold embers pierced into the human youngling's face, silently measuring his worth. "Well worded, Prince. Had you not diffused that boorish mother of yours, I would've incinerated her for even MENTIONING the notion of forcing me in gowns and the--"
Evan cleared his throat, a faint blush on his cheeks. "Well, I did not wish for any tension to befall you during your visit here in Elsgarde. Though," He glanced over to the Flame Prince. "I-It would not be an unwelcome sight to behold."
"OH?" Fiery orbs pierced him once again. "So you would join your mother's side, you coddled fool? To see me paraded about like a trophy in frills and lace for your people to--"
"N-no! That's not the case at all, Your Majesty!" Evan looked up into the taller Prince's striking crimson eyes, his cheeks still aflushed. "Even if you kept yourself entirely in your native attire and dressed as the Prince you are, I wouldn't speak out against it, seeing as y-you are more comfortable like this. But..."
His gaze continued to invade him. "Do not hold your tongue, boy. Speak your peace."
He jumped a slight when Rowan bade him to continue. "I-It would mend our personal gap if you did wear a gown, or a dress, or anything remotely feminine." He rubbed his arm anxiously. "Not for the politics, or for the approval of my parents or the Empire, but... for me. Please."
Rowan's brows furrowed immediately, his personal heat beginning to radiate from his very being, looking down at the Crown Prince of Elsgarde. He clenched his fists, as if preparing to strike him for even demanding something like this from him.
And yet, the Flame Prince mused internally, there could be some perk to having a spouse now. And not just having access to the coffers of two royal families, or the authoritative power he had. A spouse that was comfortable around him would be very easy to manipulate, instead of one who feared him.
"Very well." Sighing for the moment, the Flame Prince looked to him with that neutral feature of his. "Tomorrow, you will escort me into your settlements to acquire some gowns. If I am to be paraded about as what you deem a Princess, then I demand only perfection."
Evan's eyes lit up excitedly. "O-Of course! We shall do so then, Princess Rabekah--"
"Evan, I will say this only ONCE. When I am not in my gowns, you will refer to me as Prince Rowan, as you always had back in Kasairona. Understand?" Evan could completely see it in the eyes; Rowan was on a completely different wavelength, almost seeming like she was truly a man, from her looks to her attitude. "Now, you wished to show me around? Then show me around, Prince Evan."
"Yes... As Her Majesty wishes."
His vocal disappointment was kept to himself, though he could still feel that dark glare continuing to penetrate him from behind, ready to cook him alive for even associating Rowan with the word 'her'.
Elsgarde Keep was vast and stately, and amidst the sights of the dining room, the parlors, and the ballroom, there were also the barracks, the training grounds, the armory and the infirmary. Everything that kept a stately palace together, both in lavish style and fortuitous defense.
"I-I always thought of Elsgarde as 'silk hiding steel'. We have our beauty, but we are just as vigilant in our peoples' rights to live. Seeing as we've been here for so long."
Rowan took all of these sights in stride, his arms crossing together as he walked behind the Prince. The sights of grandeur practically mirrored the castle of Kasairona, with the exception of the personal fiery touch that made it a proper home for the Flames. And the military quarters were impressive as well; he could see how the humans trained themselves, and how they were able to maintain their presence in these lands for as long as they have.
It almost bothered him. But, as always, this was merely business, as usual.