Life was truly wonderful. Living in a lavish castle where the walls adorned with priceless jewels and beautiful paintings, Mary lived as a queen should — and she was a queen, so obviously, she deserved utter perfection in every facet of her life. Her closest friends were her advisors, not that Mary required advisors, but they were important people to her. Giving them the best jobs in the kingdom only seemed right, for it was her kingdom and she would run it as she saw fit. Whenever Mary wished for something to change within her castle walls, it did. It never mattered how absurd the thought was, or how insane her whim might’ve been, the castle would gradually morph to fit her perception of perfection effortlessly. Mary barely noticed this though; it was doubtful she ever did notice actually. She was so wrapped up in the power and enjoyment of wielding it with an iron fist that everything else failed to hold her attention. Mary had forged treaties with all of the surrounding kingdoms; she’d ensured safety for everyone in her own little bubble — well, and she supposed for the citizens too. The citizens were an ungrateful bunch. She’d saved them from fighting in countless, useless wars that her father would’ve sent them into. She was saving people. She was a god-damn hero, but it never mattered to any of them. Mary had been forced to shut down multiple rebellions, always with force, but the last had been led by a young man who’d declared his name was Jace. Jace was the most ungrateful citizen Mary had ever met. He’d been the only one of his stupid, little rebellion to escape coming face to face with her alive. She remembered vividly, as he was held back by her unfaltering guards, telling him if he ever came back she’d see him dead. Mary was helping people; Jace just didn’t have a clue of how much she was doing. He spoke of famine and death, but she was constantly giving food to people. Everyone within her castle walls was safe, well-fed and protected; what did Jace know of her heroic accomplishments? Mary had saved this god-damn kingdom, and she was the god-damn hero here, not some pretty-faced asshole who thought he could take her throne.
Life was absolutely shit. Jace lived in the streets, and he had for years. Once that bitch of a queen had taken the crown, the kingdom had started to dull and lose its liveliness. It seemed like the castle was ever-changing though; on certain days it was larger and more grandiose, and on others, it had shrunk but was covered in intricate detailing. Jace didn’t understand it. It wasn’t possible. It seemed like the kingdom bent to fit the ever-changing whims of someone — perhaps the aforementioned bitch of a queen. She was a lot of unfavorable things to Jace not that any of that really mattered right this second. The only thing that mattered, if Jace was honest with himself, was the fact that life was pointless. The kingdom’s former ruler had been a gracious and kind king; Mary’s father was quite the opposite of his daughter. As the castle would grow and change, the crops of the farmers started mysteriously refusing to grow. A food shortage had swept the kingdom while the so-called queen stayed cooped up in her castle, oblivious to the starving citizens who littered her streets. She would often give these absurd speeches to the kingdom (from the safety of her castle, of course) about how she’d ‘saved’ everyone here. That she was our one true savior and hero, so we should be grateful for what we’ve been given.
Jace didn’t know what she had saved them from. She always talked about how she’d prevented so many deaths by managing to snag treaties with every other kingdom that bordered them, but what of the farmers and shopkeepers who were skin and bones because she refused to step in and do something about it? Sure, preventing war was one thing, but the fact she continually proclaimed how heroic she was, when she was letting her citizens starve to death while she was absolutely fine? It was utter bullshit. Jace had tried, desperately, to take her crown and help his people, but it never seemed to matter. All he’d been left with after that endeavor was a rather bad limp and the soft-spoken threat that if he ever stepped foot near the castle again, it would be his last breath he’d do it with.
Jace knew Mary wasn’t a hero, but that didn’t matter. No one could be convinced to side with him anymore; it was like her influence had bled from the castle and the citizens’ view on reality had shifted. They worshiped her with their dying breaths, never knowing she was the cause of their undoing and untimely deaths. To the people, Mary was their perfect queen and hero, but she was nothing short of pure evil to Jace. A devil with a crooked crown, but Jace could see through her. And Jace would be sure that everyone else would see the truth, even if it killed him.