Wonwoo, for the nth time, let out a sigh and adjusted his glasses as he watches the scene unfold.
Everything in the space of the library that they occupied was a mess. Scattered papers and books, fallen bookshelves that he had no idea how they had knocked down, feathers flying around from destroyed cushions they had thrown, and a disheveled Lee Seokmin in the middle of it all, Wonwoo wonders how Boo Seungkwan and Kwon Soonyoung can cause such damage.
"Give me the darn book Soonyoung!"
"Over my dead body!
"That can be arranged then!"
Seokmin, who's literally in the middle of the mess, runs a hand down his face and looks at Wonwoo, silently pleading for help.
Wonwoo allows nothing but an amused look cross his eyes, mouthing a quick sorry that he knows was nothing but teasing.
"I swear Soonyoung! Give it here!"
"If you badly want it then I dare to come here and pry it off my fingers!"
Just as Seungkwan was about to lunge at the 10:10 male, the doors to the library opened and in strolled Wonwoo's appointed personal assistant, Hong Jisoo.
Seokmin, at the cat eyed male's entrance, perks up with wide glittering eyes. Wonwoo does not fail to notice the sudden attentiveness but said nothing.
Seungkwan and Soonyoung had thankfully stopped their fight at the sound of steps approaching. They whip their heads towards Wonwoo's direction, where Jisoo stood beside him.
"You're majesties. I apologize for the intrusion but your mothers," He gestures towards the trio. "are requesting your immediate presences."
They stood, frozen for a while, before Soonyoung leaps up, tossing the book aside and immediately bolting out of the room. Seungkwan follows in the same pace, leaving Seokmin the last to leave as he trails after them in a slow manner.
He bids Wonwoo a temporary farewell with a grin and a pat on the shoulder. He passes by Jisoo and gives him a softer smile, who responds with red tinted cheeks, and finally heads out.
The atmosphere had now became dull, the lively chaotic air around disappearing as the cause of it went. Wonwoo lets out another sigh and approaches the couch, slumping in unexplained exhaustion, not minding how completely trashed it it.
Jisoo, who's gaze was fixated on the door even after Seokmin left, breaks out of his space and turns to Wonwoo.
"Your Highness. The Queen also wishes to have your company today."
"May I ask what for? If it's for tea, then please kindly tell her I shall not be gracing her with my presence if that is all."
"Do not worry your highness, the Queen had made sure I am to be aware you no longer take invites for tea." Jisoo gives out a cheeky smile.
"It's about the Council this time your highness. They've been asking for your attendance to discuss something important that I believe may involve something about you."
Wonwoo glares at the floor. One other thing that had burden him was the Council. He never understood what they stand for. They're all hypocrites moved by power doing nothing for the kingdom and yet pretend they're helping.
He wishes to know who even had those people in the Council to be apart of it. Seriously, who thought of putting such brainless fools to handle Kingdom affairs?
Wonwoo thinks, weighing the pros and cons of not attending. He managed to convince himself that it was no use of he would ever decide to go, he knows how the Council function and what they want to discuss with him would no doubt be something useless.
But Jisoo's gaze is expectant, a sign that if he would skip, he would have an earful later on, and he had not enough energy to be up for that.
He stands up, straightening his button up and with a wave of a hand, asks Jisoo to fetch his coat hanging on the chair by a door.
"Something important you say?"
"Yes your highness. Are you attending?"
He nods and Jisoo's expression twists into a pleased one.
"Great, then please follow me."
He leads Wonwoo to the conference room two hallways down the wing he resides in without another word. As they passed by the maids, there was the same unpleasant feeling overcome him.
Those damn whispers.
No matter where he was, they were always there. He cannot flee for they follow and even if he pushed it all away into the back of his head, they would not be buried for long.
It was always there.
That had always riled him up. He passed by a group of maids that rotate around his age, lips thinning as he desperately tries not to tune in to their conversation but does anyway.
"With a face like that, he'd be fit for King, eh?"
A round of agreements follow and Wonwoo feels sick. Of course, it's all about the face.
No one bothered with Wonwoo, all they know is the Jeon Wonwoo, Ethia's crowned prince.
His mouth fills up with a bitter taste and he intertwines his fingers in hopes to reassure himself.
Thankfully, the trip doesn't last long and he was now face to face with the large pearly white doors that lead to the conference room
"Would you like me to accompany you in your highness?
Wonwoo doesn't think he had the voice to say "please do", so without eye contact, he nods and grips the doorknob.
He pushes it open, and with false confidence he gained from being Jeon Wonwoo, he strides in and immediately takes a seat, disregarding the surprised look on the Queen and the council members' faces and the oozing curiousity his brother that sat beside him reeked from.
A few moments were spent in silence, with mostly everyone just trying to digest the fact that he had attended before the minister of god knows what (Wonwoo forgot and frankly he didn't give a fuck), speaking words that had officially started the meeting.
"Now that everyone's here, may I please have permission to start?"
The Queen nods.
"Well, as you all know, the Kingdoms of from the West had reached out, asking for an alliance. In their recent gain of power, they had feared some kingdoms that oppose them, like the South, would act up against them leading g them to reach out."
"Of course, the Court and their majesties had agreed to take up such an opportunity. That had been a month ago and we since then we had been thinking of ways to strengthen the bond."
Ah, Kingdom bonds. Wonwoo scrunches up his nose. The concept of that to him is always and forever will be fake.
But he was wondering, where did he fit in all this?
"Since Prince Wonwoo's crowning coronation will be in a few weeks, we had decided to invite the Kingdoms of to come and celebrate with us to show that we are indeed an ally."
Wonwoo narrows his eyes. There he was.
"Of course, that is if your majesties would allow it?"
The guy sends a look towards him and the Queen, with the latter proclaiming she agrees if only he does. All is left was his decision and he can feel the importance of his choice by the weight of the Council's stares.
He remains frozen for a minute before allowing himself to nod with gritted teeth. Everyone breaks out into smiles except for Jisoo, who looked over at Wonwoo to gouge his expression.
His face remained blank but disappointment swirls inside him, and it flares higher when he hears the comments the Council members had made.
"It'd make sense to invite them on the Prince's coronation. After all, who wouldn't want to witness to crowning of the handsome Jeon Wonwoo."
A lady says, letting out a high pitched giggle.
Wonwoo feels another wave of nausea and without bothering to wait for a proper dismissing, he abruptly leaves. Jisoo follows after he checks if anyone had seen his hasty escape and thankfully no one did.
Before Jisoo can even speak a word, Wonwoo turns to him, with cold eyes and a forced smile.
"Jisoo. Take a break, yeah? I will call for you when I'm in need of your assistance again."
"But your highness—"'
"Go on ahead Jisoo. I shall be fine."
He says with a hardened tone making Jisoo push down his stubbornness. Unable to do anything but follow, he bows down and bids Wonwoo a goodbye.
Wonwoo watches him go, only moving once Jisoo rounds the corner. He makes his way to his room, and shuts the door with force.
Now in the confines of his room, he allows himself to break. He lets out a huge breath and faint tears drop.
Whatever that was in the conference room was the last straw and he had it. He was done with this, with being Jeon Wonwoo.
He's tired of having to be just a pretty face. There of course were times where he had himself convinced that he indeed proved he was just a pretty face, and for that came his shame.
But that also brought him the determination he has now. He is not just candy to gawk at, he is Wonwoo, someone who deserves the throne not because he was handsome or pretty but because he fucking deserves it as him.
Wonwoo rummages around, creates a lengthy makeshift rope with his bedsheets, towels, blankets and even clothes, changes into another pair of clothes that doesn't contain golden trimmings and any other eye catching details.
He grabs a satchel and stuffs every belonging he deems is important and necessary to him before slinging it on.
He makes sure he is set before slinging his makeshift rope over his bedroom window and climbs down. (Thankfully his room was nowhere near a height that was impossible to escape from.)
Once he reaches the ground, Wonwoo inhales deeply. He was here, outside, escaping.
He successfully makes his way out the back gate by jumping in a carriage that held trading goods.
No one seemed to notice him and once the carriage was far enough, he jumps off with the decision to travel on foot, on his own.
He takes one last look at the castle, even took the time to memorize every detail because even if it was his prison, it served him as his home and he will certainly miss that.
Wonwoo lets his eyes wander before he turns around, his dark brown robes following after him as he left with the wind, silent.
He will prove it to them. Wonwoo keeps his promises.