Chapter 86:

CH 85: Warm donuts in the morning

I was Born the Unloved Twin

I understand why people dislike winter, especially in ancient times. You're locked up, cooped up, freezing and starving. It's a cruel world out there and winter is just sad.

Unless you're one of the rich and privileged that is, aka me.

Hallelujah praise the fact that I'm born rich! Don't need to work to earn my keep. Got a fancy house with thick walls and some fancy heating stones built down below that make no sense but hey magic. Every day I wake up in a soft warm bed, every day my tummy is always filled, Every person mostly listen to me. Mostly, give or take. Can't expect perfection.

What an extravagant life this is. I don't have to go to work as I did in the modern times nor do I have to suffer in the harsh wintertime as the common people do. The struggles and troubles of the world don't apply to me in this existence.

I am like a blessed little princess, a spoiled little cat, a princess in great pain with a muscle cramp.

Ow ow ow OW! Cramp!

"Why are you slacking on the floor princess?! It's wet and cold down there? Up and at em!" shouts the fitness instructor from hell from afar.

Just kidding, it's just Ms. Tamera and ow ow OW! The cramp is back ow ow ow.

Oh my poor tummy, it's my leg that hurts but in this position now it's my tummy. Double wammy. The searing pain of overused baby muscles in off set by the literal icy ground below.

Hello yes, it is I, the eldest miss of the great noble house Ventrella. Even actual royalty from many countries cannot compare to me in wealth and status. I am above most people in this world in so many factors, despite only being 3 years old. I am an elite!

And here I am, outside at an unholy hour, doing drill practice like a common army recruit. My pants of exertion and pain show up as fog in the air. The bits of mud that is caked in my hair and on my cheeks feels frozen. It's not snowing but it's that cold.

I never should have set up a better road system and semi-public Ventrella shuttle. Now I have one less excuse to miss out on morning training with Tamera. Oh why oh why did I agree to this ridiculous exercise schedule?

Buff baby, strong baby, gonna be a bad ass little girl.

I repeat the mantra like it's a pop song as I drag my weighted down body through the obstacle course for the 19th time. After massaging the cramp away and taking a yet another rest break, I am back at it. If anything grampa really approves of the 'training' plan, in fact he likes it too much. Wanted to be as involved as possible. I was there the day uncle Geoff and his men had to pull him away from tampering with my Tamera approved baby obstacle course. Somehow I don't think he was making it any easier.

I swear Lilyanne doesn't get this sort of bullying.

"Waaahhh so cute! What an adorable play course!"

"How nostalgic."

"Awww look at her little legs go. Awwwww so squishy."

"Hahaha how nice it is to be young and energetic this early."

Occasionally a soldier or whoever passing by in the camp will stop and coo at me from the distance. This world is really lacking entertainment because I sure feel like a show dog. How about you all shrink down to my size and do this huh? Go back to your own business, whatever it is at this morning hour.

I want to scream at them but I can't even afford to oxygen to squeak. Huff huff puff puff. Just one more round to go! 20th lap!

"Is the brat even breathing doing that?"

"Hi Tamera. Ah, that looks fun. Hi Rosalia! "

"Eeeeey grumpy brat and stabby brat! Whatcha, bring today?"

From the end of the obstacle circle, I can make out a slouching Yuna and a waving Amar. More importantly, they're carrying some very familiar kitchen baskets and I can smell fried dough.


I am dying, my limbs are burning but I will speed up for food and only food!

Aaaaaand done! Finally!


"Oi, princess get off the ground. Hahaha, this one sure likes rolling around in the dirt." laughs Tamera with her mouth half full.

"I think she's dead?" munches Amar, poking my head with a doughnut stick.

"Meh, more food for the rest of us," shrugs Yuna.

How rude, torturing me like that. I don't even have the strength to bite. Just let me get a breath. A lot of breaths.

Like a trained coach and crew around a mid-match boxer, they lift me up into a limp sitting position and proceed to splash freezing water at my face. With a little more wrangling they actually get some of that water into my mouth.

I need a better crew.

"Bwahaha you look a gaping fish in the market." Yuna snickers and I make note to deduct his food pay.

Does the kid only laugh around food and mocking others? Well that's fair, I of all people can't judge that. Amar distracts my bubbling rage by waving a doughnut hole in front of my face.

"Rosa, keep your mouth open. "

"Fine but I want the honey doughnuts. Only."

"Aww, I was gonna throw you the fish ones."

"I know because that's what you did last time!"

"What's a 'doughnut'?" asks Tamera, willingly eating the stinky flavored one in Amar's little hand.

"Rosalia likes calling the globis doughnuts. It still makes sense I think. Nuts of dough? And the fritters are doughnut sticks? Which is a lot longer to say?"

"Ahhhhhh more Rosalia words."

Tamera finally forgoes all her weights to settle down with the morning picnic. Her choice of carbs is spread with some chunky olive paste and gasp, more fish sauce.

Oh ew, I have nothing against fish paste but it just does not go with doughnuts. It's a cultural difference, the image of doughnuts is all wrong in my head.

Don't think about it too hard, we have a lot of coastlines and ocean. Tiny salty fish and shrimp are easy and cheap to make into a preserve. Some people just like salt.

I blame grampa. He can't cook but somehow he popularized the doughnut? Thus he set the standards! Or at least fried dough. What a typical guy, but I can't blame him. Fried bread and pastries are delicious in a sinfully oily crisp way.

They come in two main flavors around here, honey and god damn fish sauce. Sweet and savory. They're much denser than a modern doughnut, due to the local grains and wheat. Lots of barley, spelt and farrow type grains are used in the troops, it's just cheaper to feed all these people than pure wheat. To make them fluffier and richer, people add easily made ricotta cheese into the dough mix. I guess that makes then cheesecake doughnuts technically. Little balls of doughnut holes or long handheld sticks that resemble my old favorite youtiao.

I miss Chinese youtiaos. I miss hot soy milk. I miss a lot of things...maybe people...maybe.

But I mostly miss food! Yep! Food is number one in my heart. Closely followed by money! Oh hohoho~

Yay for honey cheese doughnuts! They're not coated in sugar or anything since that would be far too extravagant, but they're a lot healthier that way and you can eat much more. The bites of poppy seeds also add an interesting flavor.

I wanna try making my own doughnuts but this kind of local hometown food isn't bad either. The original goods liked them too, at least the honey-flavored ones.

It's so yummy how the ricotta seems to melt the light honey dough in my mouth. They're still nice and warm. Must be fresh from the kitchens.

For protein, I get thrown some boiled quail or whatever tiny eggs, ack hot!

Amar thankfully plays food basketball on easy mode with me this morning. I managed to catch most everything, even when Yuna and Tamera joined in. If it was Lukas, the boys would be flinging food across the room to each other.

I think I started a weird sort of game.

What is it with these people in the troops and tossing games? Is it the lack of entertainment? Should we get some basketball hoops and a court? Ayy but then I would have the explain the rules and I'm sure it's going to turn violent and bloody with these sorts of people.

Ah that's a thought for another today. Let's just enjoy sweet fresh 'globi' doughnuts. Now open up grumpy cat I want a turn to throw now. Energy restored, I am revived by the powers of food.

It should be time soon for mother to wake for breakfast. I need to catch the next wagon home if I'm to fool her supervision. It's not that I've been specifically told I'm not allowed to commute back and forth. She just doesn't like it, especially when I go on my own.

I am only three after all.

It's fine when grampa or a baby sitter is with me. Can't argue there. Not the maids though. I'll never take the maids, they're busy fussing over Lilyanne or breaking for tea and gossip to bother with me anyways. We made this nice little unspoken truce where I just...go, they don't bother me, and no one, especially Ms. Gerta needs to know.

What a good deal. Less work sneaking around for me and less receiving my pranks on them. We all win like this. It's messy work to keep finding and storing creepy critters and other material in my bag you know?

"I gotta go now, Yuna can you be my babysitter back today?"

"Meh...what's for breakfast at your place?"

"I don't know what they're making besides some new soup but there are lots of leftover torte de riso sweets."

"Good enough for me. Accepted. I'll take your escort job."

"Yuna you just ate. Quite a lot."

"Your point is?"

Very fair argument grumpy cat, approved. 1st breakfast and second breakfast are two different things. He's also a growing boy, the same age but much healthier and more active than my Abigail. He needs all the calories.

"Amar are you coming today too?" I make to ask with some strain.

I really do fear for my kitchen's cinnamon and sugar stocks if my staff keep being stubborn. Please so no and avoid my kitchens till they calm down Amar. I know it's not your fault, it's them, they're crazy about food, but please. Please no more pudding.

Luckily for me, the boy is on the same page and shakes his head today.

"I have a lot of make up training to do today if I want to go on the next mission."

"There's another mission group that will take you? It's not back to the scouting site right?!"

Again he shakes his fluffy little head at my second question. That's good, let's not have another cracking concussion incident.

My angel of a sister doesn't heal for cheap you know? Nor do I think she knows how to yet, at least not without me. I've already reported my knowledge of Lilyanne's attributes to Grampa and Gable. What they make out of that early information is up to them. I'm just the messenger.

"I don't mind going back there again but this is a different place and it's for a hunt. It sounds fun. Yuna's going too." explains Amar.

"Hell yeah, I wanna get out of this place and somewhere actually warm!"

"I hear the fruits are yummy too."

"Meh, I like the devil dog meat better. We go for the hunt, the fur, and horns are what makes the gold."

A hunt? Somewhere warm? To the south then?

It will turn to spring eventually but if they get the chance to travel somewhere nicer for the rest of winter I can see the appeal. I certainly wouldn't mind running away somewhere else at this time. Ah yes, springtime with my daaaaaarling stupid fiance. Joy. Such fun.

I wonder if I can duel him again? It would be fun to beat him around while I still can. All fair and good if it's a duel.

But back to the hunt details. There's more than enough time to deal with the stupid prince, unfortunately. Let's not let my lovely little lazy life revolve around or be so impacted by him. How horrible, perish the thought.

I wave goodbye to Tamer as I drag along Amar to squeeze details from while Yuna and I speed walk to the wagon stop right outside the main troop gates.

"I haven't been assigned to another mission for a really long time. I know I'm younger than a lot of others but it feels weird. I like being away. It's not bad or anything and there's a lot of fun times when we go places like the farms where your papa is making all those big wheels or with Lukas and Cap'. But..."

"You get booooored, and damn restless. It doesn't feel right to just sit back and let the rust gather. Well the hunt is coming" finishes Yuna with a slight growl.

That's odd seeing so much passion from grumpy cat, he's usually a disinterested teen. But something about this hunting talk really gets him riled up. It's how he livens up, the peeks of a sharp grin. I stole Yuna out of all the random kids because I like his face, but I can't deny he has a delinquent student aura around him.

"I guess so? Am I bored? I don't know. "

"Shit Amar, I don't know either. But winter? Something about winter damn it. I can never get used to it, staying cooped up waiting for the cold to end? Makes no sense to me."

"Right? Because even in winter you can hunt! There's a lot to still do, but here everyone just seems to shut down. Is it the cold? In the mountains ranges east of here it snows near all year but people still work and herd the animals."

"Exactly, this is prime fox and fennel hunting season! They're so damn easy to see in the snow. They don't make as good game as the horns and oryxes in a hunt but even a low grade fox pelt can go for damn good money. The other side of the mountain is shit, but there are parts of it I miss."

"The other side?" I interrupt.

This has been very insightful about the world around me. It's not like anyone talked to the original Rosalia about hunts or anything that didn't pertain to noble politics. That most I can recall is some hybrid fox beast scarf and hat that the previous me spent a ton of gold on. It was very soft, but more than that I want to hear about what's gotten my parttime barkeep all heated up.

"Meh, long story."

"Oh Rosalia, you don't know? Hmm you can go around I guess but, across the sea there's a lot of lands. Cross those islands and more land and there's a wild country that's just mountains. It's easier to use to sea and sailboats through a straight. It's really hard to travel through there. A lot harder than the mountains to the north, it can't even be compared? Like this big wall? So some people, like Yuna are from the other side of the mountains."

"Oh I see."

Hmmm my history lessons included ports but not a lot of info to that part of the world. Wasn't it supposed to be rather barren lands and groups of vulnerable nomads here and there? Interesting.

"Pffft brats. Amar don't go blabbing about other people when you're one of them. You all make it sound so easy. Great big wall. Great big shit hole walls." grumbles Yuna.

Oh baby teenagers, so cute yet so troublesome. Oh the teen angst. Oh well, that's part of the charm.

"I think it's okay to miss things. Even if it wasn't all great. You can move on and still miss things, parts and pieces. Because they're still good things and they make up who you are through the bad."

I speak honestly, relating a little too easily to the young teen.

However, it hits me a moment later, as these two boys give me the bug eyed stares that I remember I am in fact not a wise old tired adult talking as a mentor but a mere toddler. How am I not burnt at the stake as a witch yet?

"It's true, I miss a lot of things. And sometimes I feel bad because I think I'm not supposed to now that I'm here or I shouldn't because then that will just make it worse. But I still miss things, even if the memories get blurry. I smell something or the sunlight gets bright and hazy in the right way and I just get really sad for no reason."

"Hey can you midgets....not sound so grown, it's damn creepy. Damn when did brats make this much sense?"

To hide his shame and any hints of having feelings, Yuna curls into his coat cape thing like a turtle. Awwww no come back out, no shame Yuna. Oh my, aren't teenagers just are so sensitive and cute? Ah youth.

Ah don't curl in further, I'm not laughing at you I'm cooing. There's a difference. Okay maybe I'm giggling, it's just adorable.

"You're not that much older?" Amar tilts his head in mild confusion.

"I'm a whole decade older!"

"Than Rosa yeah? But everyone calls you a brat too?"

To be honest Amar kind of always looks like this. Like there's just a lot of things he doesn't understand and he just rolls with it. Which is also very fair.

I'm still figuring this kid's faces out, which ones are sincere and which are his innocent 'I didn't do it' follow-ups to pranks. Next to Lukas this little one is a lot harder to really read. Which is most likely why my cousin can't win him over or use him.

Oh yeah, Philippe.

"Have you guys heard about what happened to Philippe?! As in Philippe Bicchieri?"

"Pffft, brat I'm pretty damn sure everyone stationed here in winter and half the neighboring towns know that little Bicchieri fell down the shit hole and couldn't get out." snorts Yuna.

"I want to know how he fell in?" answers back Amar rather plainly.

Again there's that confused look. As if he's really playing out the scenes of how one goes from bathroom to the bottom of an outhouse hole.

"Okay so get this, I heard from my father that he blamed me. Or well not me one of us when we were making soup."

"Pffffft ahaha that little shithead blamed a lot of names! Was shouting out every little grudge he could think of! I wouldn't blame anyone for pushing him in."

"But no one did though? No one else came through or out that area? There was no one to push him? It's really funny how he fell all by himself."

"Meh, I still say he got what was waiting for him. Oi Rosalia, I'm not getting deducted for shit-talking your cousin right?"

"I don't like him so it's fine. Please continue the poopy shit talk."

"Oh shit don't you say that or people will think I taught you that and nag. Shit shit shit, Amar you too."

It's kind of too late for that? I mean I'm not a real child so it's fine but Yuna has been juvenile delinquent swearing since I've known him.

"What word? Shit? That's the word you say most." repeats Amar.

"It's probably is 'shit'. Shit is Yuna's favorite word."

"Right, shit is Yuna's. Even though I think Gable is worse with says a lot of other things."

"But if we say shit people will think it's Yuna's shit."

"Oh, commander did say he'll punish anyone who teaches you or your sister bad words. If everyone thinks it's Yuna then..."

" damn shitty brats." Grumpy cat is back and growling just as ever!

Walking to and waiting for the wagon goes much faster by chatting and teasing Yuna. These are very silly and mundane moments, the kind that never gets into cool tv shows or novels that I liked reading. Ah but I guess this is just my life now. That's fine, let's avoid too much drama, that will come naturally whether I want it to or not.

"But it's Philippe that's the 'shitty' one. I think I fell off the desk laughing when father told me."

"Hehehe had it coming."

"But there was no poop? The outhouse was just cleaned so it's not as funny or smelly as everyone thinks." goes Amar, ruining the flow.

Huh? Well, that's disappointing! No bathroom jokes. That's just Philippe falling down an dirty old well booooo. I want the gross humor! Well at least everyone certainly thinks the funny version.

"Fucking hell just cleaned?!" shouts Yuna, his beaking voice shocking me out of my train of thought.

"Yeah, I had chores that day and that area was on the schedule earlier. Must have hurt."

"Wait, what's the big deal? Isn't it better for him if it was just clean and poop free? I guess the fall is deeper?"

"Shit, you really are a princess!" Yuna throws his hands into his lovely hair in laughter, mussing it up. He may be laughing back at me from earlier.

I feel like I'm missing a good chunk of the world's common sense here. At my questioning glances, Amar again has to take the time to think how to explain to me like I'm some damn younger child.

"Rosa, do you know how bathrooms work? When you poop it has to go somewhere and-"

"I get that part Amar! I'm not that dumb. Now get to the how outhouses are cleaned and why does it hurt part!"

"Umm so in outhouses, there's nowhere for it to go when it fills up. Some people just bury a filled up outhouse and move to a new one but mostly we just clean it with dungeon bug juice."

"Bug juice?"

"Yep, it's really dangerous to touch with your skin. But it doesn't burn through glass or pots coated with this lizard's saliva or some other things? There's a lot of these dungeon bugs so it's pretty cheap. Low-level jobs and sometimes our chores are to go kill a bunch, gather the gut juice, and save them? You only need a few drops every few days but I think it still smells bad so when I'm on duty I just pour more down."

"It burns right through? It's acid then. Acid bugs!" I conclude.

Oh my, what a new discovery! And common people can just buy this stuff for cheap? How dangerous. No wonder they don't care much for plumbing at the farms. Does my nerd of a father know? How oddly fascinating.

"I guess so? Right Yuna?"

"Hell yeah, burns through skin and plain clothes easy. Even if it's already spread out on the ground. Shit Amar, was it cleaned right that day?! Damn, I knew I said the brat had it coming but....I bet he's sitting pink and ugly at some pricey healers."

"It's really that bad?"

"If he wasn't wearing armor or protective gear. But a rich brat like that is bound to have some protection gem on him." Yuna seems to calm down, reasoning it out.

"It's okay Rosalia. He's probably fine. Philippe showed off a lot of his really nice jewels and magic gems before. That much 'acid' bug juice shouldn't hurt him much even if he fell in naked. "

Well that's good I guess. Still more serious than I had thought. I knew father was hiding details from me.

"Hehe now that's a thought, brat going down the shit hole butt naked." snickers the teen. This is my babysitter of the day everyone.

"Funny but ewww Yuna, why would he? "

"Because your bean soup ran all under his clothes? It was really funny how mad and red he got. He was really rushing to wash up."

"Ahhh yeah it was....hey wait you weren't there when I threw soup at Philippe?!"

"Oh you threw it at him? After I had to go? Hehe, that's funny."

The boy snickers along with Yuna's snorting laugh and the mood is light and humorous. Yet something is going off in my head.

I try to replay the last few moments of this casual conversation but there are no clues. No loose ends, nothing to grab on to, but that only makes the suspicion in me grow.

"You had to go do chores...Hey Amar, how much acid juice did you say you would use?"

"Hmm? About 1/3 of a small jar? But it's winter right now so it's okay to use more since things get stuck."

"...That would burn a lot more than a few drops."

"I guess so? The more the worse?"

"You don't like him very much either right?"

"No one does" barks Yuna, but it's not his answer I'm fishing for right now.

"Hmm? I guess not? It's not like he gives me any reason to? He's even weirder around Lukas too? Sorry, Rosa I know he's your family. " Amar answers easily as he always speaks.

His smile is very cute. Very innocent and cute, like a child's class photo in Kindergarten. It only makes the paranoia sirens blare in my head along with the vague answers that never really answer anything.

Ah scary.

There's no proof to even be suspicious of him and that makes it even scarier. Compared to Lukas this one is a whole lot harder to figure out. Are they really the same age? Speaking of which, I still have a matter of a certain kitti doll to get revenge on. Real revenge.

"When's your birthday Amar?"


"Everyone knows mine just passed, and Lukas was at the very start of winter. What about you? When do you turn 6?"

"Hey-" for some odd reason Yuna has stepped in, quite literally.

His foot wedges a space and he takes my hand to pull me a few steps away. The previous joking demeanor is gone, even his grumpy attitude has cooled into something harder. Something angry. Even I can tell I must have stepped on a certain land mine.

A dust cloud grows in the distance, the wagon is approaching.

"I-" the boy starts.

"Don't answer that. Not if you don't want to." Yuna snaps.

With that Yuna picks me up entirely, ready to hop on and board the wagon as soon as it stops properly. He may be holding me but it's the other boy that he's protecting. His gruff tone of voice is more than enough to stop me from acting out like I usually do, if not for the tenseness of his young muscles.

"It's okay. It's not that I don't want to? I just don't know?" comes Amar's usual voice, now far below me.

Even while feeling the warning in Yuna's hold, curiosity gets the better of me. Who wouldn't?

"You don't know? As in you don't remember or-"

"...I don't know?"

"Leave it." growls Yuna, and it's stern, it's final.

He boards the wagon with me in tow and that's that.

"I'm sorry."

I don't know exactly where I misstepped but I did. I really did. Because when I turn back to say sorry, Amar is already gone instead of waving us off. Paranoid me is gone now, it's just waves of uncertain guilt.

"You can't say shit like that." sighs Yuna, collapsing to the back where it's most comfortable, setting me down to his side.

He leans back and runs his hands through his still pretty blond hair. It looks almost as nice as Gable's in the morning winter sunlight. It's familiar. This sadness being balanced behind a harsh front, like on a tightrope.

"I'm sorry." I say again, this time to Yuna.

I hurt him too didn't I?

"You say sorry but you don't get what for huh."

Because I asked for his birthday. It's a normal question to me but my standards don't apply here. I could easily answer that but that's not what Yuna needs right now. That's not the real problem at hand.

"I'm sorry, I'll be more careful about saying things like that." I apologize.

Some people think saying sorry is hard. I think it's harder waiting for that time in between. That time you know you hurt someone and the after. They don't have to forgive you. But even if they do, you still hurt them.

I like grumpy cat, for some nonsense reasons I don't like admitting. He reminds me of someone I once was.

"I get it. You're a kid. And you're a princess. It can't be helped if you don't know."

"Will you tell me? So I know better what not to do anymore?"

This isn't the time to argue that I'm not a princess. Because I must seem like a very dumb and ignorant child right now. Technically I am. There's a lot I don't know about this world, even if I've lived in it for years before.

Yuna doesn't stop running his hand through his hair, it's a nervous tick I think. The teen squints at the sun as if it personally offended him before letting out a dramatic sigh. It feels like a release of tension. It doesn't feel like he's mad at me anymore.

He lets go of one hand and leaves it limp between us.

"You can't can't ask questions like that. Not to kids at the troops. Not to a lot of people, not if they don't tell you first. Where are you from, who were your parents, ...what's your birthday. It rubs wrong. Too many shitty stories to go around, a lot of people don't wanna talk about it."

"I get it. I was insensitive."

"You're a damn tiny kid, it can't be helped. "

His other hand, deep tan, keeps twisting and playing with his hair rather painfully. Like he would rather pull it out. It's a pretty bad habit? I'm not just saying that as a beauty employer.

"Amar said he didn't know. He can't answer me because he actually doesn't know his own birthday."

"A lot of us don't. Look just to be safe you shouldn't ask anyone that but especially not kids like that. The kind that stays around the troops with no fancy home to go to for the winter. It's worse when you're young."

"I need to apologize to him...but you're not that much older either Yuna."

I take his free hand in mine or at least try to. There's a rather large size difference to our palms. I can't help but to marvel at the difference in skin shade. If Georgie calls me the fluff of a honey bun then Yuna is all the honey toasted on top. Skin so dark it's gold and glows, his lighter blond hair creating a halo frame to his face.

A very good model, I selected well. But there's more to this boy, to everyone, that just outer appearances.

"You play with your hair when you feel bad."

It's not healthy to pull and tug like that. His deep-set eyes side glances at me from the side and his free hand squeezes back. He doesn't stop but it's an acknowledgment.

"I don't know either." he finally speaks, so softly I thought it may have just been my imagination until he goes on.

"My birthday. I don't remember it at all. I'm only guessing that I'm about 13. I could be younger, I could be older. Who the fuck knows. "

I could be smart and say 'your parents', but that wouldn't be very smart at all. This isn't my space to speak nor do I want to.

"You like my face right? Called it pretty and all the shit." Yuna mumbles, feeling a lot older than any 13 year old has any right to.

I don't sense a good story coming from this.

"I don't remember my birthday, but I remember my shitty parents and where I was born. Right in the middle of those mountains, where there are a hell lot more goats than people. But the view up there... prettiest sun and sky you'll see anywhere. If you ride high enough in the summer you can see the peeks of green on one side. On the other, the sand deserts, now that's a sea of gold."

"It sounds pretty, it sounds beautiful."

"I was sold."

Oh well, that was a drop.

"Pfffftt ahahaha your face, it's like a damn fish ahahaha haa. See this is why you don't go asking some questions princess doughnut. People around here have some shit answers! Haaa, if they can remember that is. If they take you too young, without anyone to remind you, you forget things like birthdays and stuff."

The teen lifts my hand, my arm and it looks so tender and small grasped in his much darker hold.

"Brat like Amar and me, with no birthdays to remember and no people to go back to, we're the lucky ones. We got out from whatever sideshow took us so damn far away. We're strong enough and somehow got someplace safe. Most kids out there can't even dream this up, let alone live it."

Yuna is truly very beautiful like that, soft sun and sad smiles. It's just now that I understand how beauty is such a terribly sad thing.

"I'm sorry."

"Nothing for you to be sorry about princess. We were born this way. Nothing you can do about it."

I am a princess. Not in name but to people like Yuna I might as well be.

A born princess that never has to worry about money a day in my life. I eat honey cakes in the winter and fruit crepes in the summer. A princess with a birthday and odd but loving parents and even a crazy doting grandparent. A princess that lives in the metaphorical castle and knows nothing.

That's how they all see me huh?

How hateful. It sounds far worse than a mere villainous. If I was in Yuna's place I can't say I wouldn't see it too. Does Amar? How so very hateful, I hate this princess. I hate this sort of ignorantly cruel sort of girl.

It really can't be helped.

This villainous princess is riding back home now.

This winter will be an uneventful one in any story and yet, to me, it still looks beautiful in its soft moments. Very cold and sad, a little sweet and still oddly beautiful.