WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A BIRD THAT HAS BEEN CAGED THEIR WHOLE LIFE IS TEMPORARILY FREED FROM ITS RESTRAINTS?
It seizes the opportunity without hesitation of course, quickly spreads its wings and doesn't look back before hurtling into the infinite skies above.
In the case of the Royal Princes, they were too overwhelmed with their sudden freedom to even decide what to do with it.
Sunghoon and Jaeyun, quite similar to Jihye, had always been told what to do, how to do it, and when to do everything. From birth, it was as if they never had the opportunity to think for themselves when it came to any matter of their lives. Constantly reminded of what should be expected of them, a perfect image to their subjects that should never be tainted in the public eye. They were more of a stringed marionette than actual free-willed humans.
But as for Heeseung, he hadn't even realized how restricted his entire life had been until now. Days schedule to the very last hour, monitored by guards 24/7, and decisions made for him by others.
Of course, he would have never complained over the fact if he had realized sooner. There was a reason behind it all, he justifies. It's simply a protection that came at the cost of some of his freedom, a sensible price Heesung was willing to pay if it meant he lived a long life.
Nonetheless, now that Jihye has given him a small taste of what it's like to act on his own accord without the need of living up to the expectations of Royalty— he wanted more.
The rush, although nauseating at first, of defying rules at the risk of being caught, pumped through his veins in a way that made him feel indomitable. It made him feel if he wasn't so hopeless.
"He looks like he's having fun." Jungwon points out with a hint of taunt, referring to the intimidating Dragon that continued to play around in the water as if it wasn't such a large creature. Heeseung had to agree. Niki looked nowhere near menacing as he did when he first transformed, harmless even if it weren't the sharp talons and spiked tail.
"It's going to be a long descent to where Niki is." Jihye mentions from beside Sunoo, grabbing everyone's attention. She lifts up her hands, preparing herself to cast another spell in their aid. "I can open up another portal to get us down there to make it easier on us."
"We can just climb down. You shouldn't overwork your body by casting multiple spells under an hour." Jaeyun replies, a considerate look on his face as he skimmed hers. Although his gaze was nowhere near profound, Jihye still felt a warmth bubbling in her stomach at his consideration. "Besides, hiking wouldn't do us any harm."
Jongseong groans in disagreement. "That's easy for you to say. My boots weren't made for such laborious activities."
Jihye's eyes flickered to his footwear with a suppressed snicker and surely enough he was wearing a gorgeous pair of brown boots that were usually used for banquets.
"Jihye specifically told you beforehand to wear clothes and shoes that are adequate for tonight." Sunghoon imparts with a deep exhale of disappointment. "You wanted to wear those boots, now you're going to have to put up with it."
"I didn't even know I put these ones on until we got here." Jongseong denotes in his defense though he had no one to blame but himself for both agreeing to come and wearing inadequate footwear by accident.
Jihye turns her body towards the frowning Magian. "Jongseong, if you don't want to hike down to the lake I can easily open up a—"
"No, I'm fine." He rejects, bending down to tighten the laces at the back of his boots for the hike. Sure they had one heart-to-heart in that castle's turret, still had only been a small conversation. But he didn't feel comfortable enough to accept such an offer. "I can handle it. This is nothing."
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❝ DESTINY ALWAYS FINDS A WAY. ❞ ━━━━━━━━━━━ Seeking to strengthen the East Kingdom, the Princess of the East is to be betrothed to one of the three Princes of Arcadia after the course of five months in which she will get to choose a suitor. However...