Denki laid in the studio, his feet up on the mirrored wall and the back of his head on the cold wooden floor, staring at the tall ceiling above him.
“Shouldn’t you be getting ready to meet the princess?” Mina asked, walking over and staring at him from above. Her pink hair fell down the side of her face just enough and her little horns casting a strange shadow on the blonde’s face.
“Nope. Mom said I don't have to get all dressed up,” he explained, pushing off the wall and sitting up.
Mina scoffed as he did so, going to the mirror.
“Dude! You’re gonna put streaks on the mirror when you do that!” She scolded, but Denki didn't take her all that seriously, giving her a smile as he stood up fully.
He was supposed to be meeting yet another princess today. It would not be his first princess greeting, and probably would not be the last. But this time was far different.
Rather than him getting all formally dressed up and driving with his escort to the princess’s kingdom, she would be the one arriving at his. And he was told he did not have to dress up if he didn't want to, which of course he would have taken the offer, but he didn’t want to come off as too lazy.
So while instead, he would have preferred to stay in his sweatpants and pajama shirt, he was currently in a black button-up over a white shirt and some dark pants. Not at all fancy, but dressed up enough to seem presentable.
“When’s she getting here anyway?” Denki asked Mina, not able to shake the feeling he normally got before he meant a new princess. Both eager, and slightly anxious.
She responded with a shrug before continuing verbally.
“No clue. I’m not the one who’s supposed to be meeting her,” she told him, flashing a smile to which Denki shook his head.
As if on cue, the door to the studio opened, and both of the children turned to face the Queen, Denki’s mother.
Akiara Kaminari resembled him and more ways than not. Her own hair was like his, a bright yellow-blonde that reached her shoulders with the same unique black streak on the side. Though with her hair pulled up into some braided style atop her head, the streak didn't hold it’s lighting bolt resemblance.
“What are you two doing here?!” She questioned, instantly going to Denki to ‘fix his hair properly.’
Denki pushed away from his mother’s hands, shaking his head to allow his hair to bounce back into place before responding.
“We were waiting.”
“Waiting on what? An invitation? We are the ones who invited her and she’ll be here any minute!”
The Queen looked from Denki to look back at Mina.
“Your father is already in the throne room. Could you please tell him we’ll be just a moment?”
Mina gave her stepmother a nod and thumbs up, heading out the studio with the water bottle in her hand.
With the studio empty, except for the two Kaminaris, she was free to keep all her attention on her son.
“This is very important, Denki. You should know this by now,” she said, starting in that lecture-like voice he had heard a lot.
“I don't see why this time is so important. I mean, you told me I didn't have to get all dressed up. Why’s that?”
Akiara did not answer his question at all.
“It is important. Very important. She came all this way to meet you. And you know that we have an alliance with Kingdom Vibrania.” She stood up straighter and flattened out the fabric of his shirt on his shoulders. “If all goes well, we can further solidify our aligned ties. It will be great for both kingdoms.”
She cupped her hand to Denki’s cheek, looking at him with a smile.
“You do understand, don’t you?”
He did understand. And if he was being totally honest, he didn't mind meeting the princesses. He didn't even mind that he was meant to marry. It was just all the formalities that went along with it.
While Denki would have much preferred to marry someone of his own choice, the majority of the princesses he had met were actually enjoyable, and he had grown to like them. But they would be the ones to turn him down. Either he was not ‘prince-like’ or it just wouldn't be the smartest choice for the kingdom.
Understandable. It hurt his pride, but he understood. That didn't mean he didn't try though. He knew how important it was for his family-no, his kingdom as a whole to stay thriving.
“Yes, mom. I understand,” Denki finally responded.
Akiara’s smile grew and she placed a kiss on his forehead.
“Thank you, my sweet prince,” she said softly before clapping her hands together. “Now let's get to the throne room before she arrives!”
She turned around, leaving the studio and fully expecting her son to follow behind her, which he did without anything else to say. His fingers tapped on the side of his legs as he walked behind her.
Outside of the door were a few guards, mostly as an unneeded precautionary measure. He would have tried to ignore them, but amongst them was a more familiar face that brought a wide grin to Denki’s face.
Kirishima, with his red hair and shark-tooth grin, walked next to him as he left the studio and down the hall to the throne room.
“Eighth time's the charm right, bro? This could be the one,” he said, making Denki let out a small chuckle at his words.
“Yeah, could be.”
He glanced ahead to his mother, seeing as she didn't mind the two of them talking before continuing.
“You could be looking at the future King of Shocklum sooner than you expected.”
It was Kirishima’s turn to laugh.
“Sooner than I expected?” He repeated. “I expected you to be the King two princesses ago!”
It was Kirishima’s turn to let out a laugh as Denki shoved his arm.
“Ouch, dude! It’s not my fault they don't submit to my charm.”
Kirishima rolled his eyes playfully.
“Sorry, sorry! But you’re right. They passed up on a great opportunity.”
The blonde placed a hand to his heart and gave a dramatic fake sniff.
“You really mean that?” He asked, his voice wavering like he was going to cry.
Kirishima, still sporting that grin, nodded.
“I really do, yeah.”
The touching moment lasted only a moment longer as they reached the stairs. Not paying attention, Denki nearly tripped on the first stair down. And he would have tumbled all the way down and smacked against the polished white floors if not for the railing and his friend grabbing him by the elbow before he was out of reach.
His mother must have heard the stumble and turned back to him.
“Careful, darling,” was all she said before she turned back and made it down the stairs.
“We can't have you going and bruising up that charming appearance,” the redhead said as Denki got balanced and continued down the stairs.
“You’re totally right. Thanks, Kiri.”
He shook his head, letting go once he was balanced.
“No need to thank me, bro! That’s kind of my job, to keep you safe. Both from enemies, and in this case, stairs.”
Denki gave a chuckle as they too made it to the bottom.
Kirishima was the son of their Head Royal Guard, so of course, he aspired to be like his father. He had high hopes and spirits that Denki wouldn’t know what to do without. The two basically grew up together in the palace.
With his father out on some assignment, Kirishima was the stand-in Head Royal Guard. By training right under his father, he had impressive skills for someone as young as 19 and was trusted with the responsibility.
The doors to the throne room were closed at the end of the East Hall, and as they approached the room, they were opened by two guards ahead of them. Akiara, as well as Denki, gave a nod as they entered, the doors shut back behind them. It seemed the Queen was right. The King, Denki’s stepfather, sat on his rightful throne.
Kazuki Ashido looked similar to Mina, but not fully. His skin was not pink, but rather a tanned shade of olive. His hair was pink though, and cut short, matching the equally as pink scruffy beard that covered the bottom half of his face. He too had the horns Mina had on her head, but his horns were much larger and much more prominent. He was the definition of intimidating looking but is a real cinnamon roll after you really talk to him.
As if to prove that statement, the King’s smile grew as his stepson and wife entered the room. It was a warm and welcoming smile.
Mina sat in her own throne, right to her father’s, giving a small wave as they all entered. She always felt so special when she was on her throne. While she wasn’t much for the proper princess actions, she did enjoy this aspect.
There were others in the room to greet the princess. More guards and servants, though they hated using that to describe the help.
“Good luck. Don't mess this one up,” Kirishima joked as he gave Denki a pat on the shoulder before making his way to where he was supposed to be, which was standing right to the side of Mina’s throne.
The two had started to talk, trying to be secretive about it as they weren't really supposed to be. But Denki knew both of them too well to know that they talked all the time during important events due to their positioning.
Akiara made her way to her throne, which was left to Kazuki’s. Their thrones were obviously larger and grander, set in the back middle of the large room. The final throne, which was currently empty, was Denki’s. It was left of his mother’s, mirroring Mina’s.
Denki had followed after his mother, as to not be left standing there, but the doors opened again before he could make it halfway to the throne.
Simply opting for turning around, rather than continuing to walk to his throne before doing so, his eyes landed on who had to be the most beautiful person he’d ever seen in his life, with smooth, fair skin and purple hair. He had to blink a few times to make sure he wasn't just seeing things.
“I now present to you, princess Kyoka Jirou of Kingdom Vibrania,” the purple-haired man spoke before stepping aside to allow the princess to step passed him.
It took Denki a moment to snap it out his awe and pull his eyes off the male to actually look at the princess. And she was certainly not what he had expected.
Unlike all the other princesses he had met, Jirou didn't look as if she were a princess. If she hadn't been just announced, he would have thought she was just a normal girl.
She had short and choppy purple hair, darker than the handsome figure next to her. Dressed not in royal-like attire, but rather a t-shirt with a band album cover (he assumed, as he was unfamiliar with the band), matched with a simple black skirt and combat boots.
Just as interesting as her voice of appearance were her elongated earlobes, and aux cord at the end of them.
‘Her quirk,’ Denki had thought to himself.
When he realized the whole point of her being here, and that she was not some normal girl and rather a princess, he tucked his arm in front of his chest and gave a bow.
“Welcome to the Shocklum Kingdom, Ms. Jirou,” he greeted, standing back up properly to face her yet again, even though his eyes wanted to trail past her at who he could only assume was her escort, or possibly her brother. “I hope everyone treated you well upon your arrival.”
Denki might not be the brightest of prince’s, but he did know how to speak the part.
Kyoka, on the other hand, actually laughed at his theatrical formalities.
“You don't need to do all of that with me. Just call me Kyoka,” she told him and might have said more, but the voice of the King interjected.
“It is quite the pleasure to meet you, Ms. Jirou,” he spoke up, standing up from his throne to walk over to her. “Thank you for accepting our invitation.”
Jirou waved her hand towards him and shook her head.
“A pleasure to meet you as well, King Ashido. And while I would say something in regards to your gratitude, it’s my parents you should be thanking.” Kyoka seemed to have just as good of a grasp of formal talk. “Because they are the ones who made me come here,” she muttered under her breath.
Denki heard her mutters, being just close enough, and couldn't help himself but smile at the attitude. Even though that meant she wasn't interested in meeting him.
While the King made his way to properly greet her with a handshake, Denki dared to look over at the male. While most times, he was good at reading people, he held a blank and almost mysterious stare as he watched over the princess.
Though he must have felt himself being watched, looking over at Denki. His purple eyes met the electric yellows of the prince’s, making him blush ever so slightly from embarrassment before turning back to Kyoka.
He spared another quick glance over at him, seeing that his attention was already pulled back from the prince as soon as he looked away.
That was fine. Denki didn't stare long, looked at his stepfather. He must have asked him something because he was looking at him like he was waiting for a response.
“Uh, what?” He asked. Very prince-like.
Kazuki sighed and repeated what he for his distracted stepson.
“I said, and this is Prince Denki, who is delighted to have you here.”
Denki looked at him for a moment before realizing that was what he had told Kyoka and that he was meant to back that up.
“Oh! Yes, very delighted. Positively ex-static.”
At that attempt at a joke, he shot the girl finger guns which sparked when he snapped his fingers.
While the King seemed almost disappointed at his actions, Kyoka looked as if she were trying her hardest not to burst out laughing at both his cluelessness beforehand and now the awful pun.
Mina, who hadn't really tried to hold it in, could be heard laughing from her throne. Not because it was a funny joke though. She was just laughing at her brother’s actions. That had drawn the attention of not only Denki and Kyoka but also Mina’s father and even the mysteriously handsome figure.
Not noticing all the eyes on her, Kirishima gave her a small nudge. She noticed after that, clearing her throat and stopping instantly. That was what made Kyoka let out her chuckle. Shorter and quieter than Mina’s, but a chuckle nonetheless.
To stop the chuckle session, Akiara stood up and finally made her way over to the princess.
“Pardon them. It really is a joy to have you here. But I won't bother you any longer with all these greetings.”
She spoke facing Kyoka though once she was done, she turned around and waved over someone. It was Sero, Denki’s personal escort for when he was in Kyoka’s situation. Turning back to the princess, she gestured to the black-haired male now next to her.
“This is Sero. He will be showing you, as well as your escort, Shinsou, to your rooms.”
Shinsou. Bingo. Denki could now match a beautiful name to a beautiful face. Though it was then he came up with an idea.
“I can show them!” Denki interrupted what his mother was about to say. “I mean, you do want us to get to know each other. Let me show them to their rooms.”
The Queen gave a slightly confused look but talking about how they should get to know each other won her over as she nodded.
“Alright. That sounds like a wonderful plan,” she said. “Now as I was saying before my son decided to interject, there will be a dinner at 7 which will allow all of you an hour to prepare yourselves. The King and I shall be in our respective quarters getting ready as well. If you require anything for then, we have staff who will be happy to help.”
Kyoka gave her nod, and with that, Akiara left the throne room. King Ashido gave the princess one final bow before following his wife to their room to prepare for dinner.
With the King and Queen out of the room, everyone seemed to be just slightly more relaxed. Sero, who was standing next to the prince and princess, allowed his shoulders to slouch more.
“Now I’ve got kitchen duty,” he complained to Denki, who just gave his friend a mocking smile in return.
“Sorry, man. Kitchen duty isn’t so bad,” he tried to claim, but Sero was giving him that look that he thought otherwise.
“Not so bad? You try working in the kitchen with Bakugou screaming at everyone!”
He reached in his pocket and pulled out two keys, each on a separate key ring, holding them out to the prince.
“Guest rooms two and three,” Sero grumbled, dropping them in the prince’s outstretched hand before sulking out of the throne room.
Denki watched him leave before turning to the princess and her escort, clapping his hands with the keys still in them.
“Let’s get going!”
He had completely dropped his princely demeanor and was now showing his actual personality. If he was going to get to know Kyoka, and hopefully Shinsou, then they would have to get to know the real him and not the fake personality he puts up for his parents.
Kyoka gave a nod and seemed to drop hers too. When she walked after Denki, she gestured for Shinsou to follow with her.
Mina, who had been watching the whole interaction, stayed back with Kirishima to talk before they both left for their respective rooms to get ready for dinner.
Kaminari led them out of the East Hall and through the dining room to the hall where the guest bedrooms were located.
“All the guest bedrooms are next to each other on the ground floor, so you won't be too far from each other,” Denki explained, not wanting the silence as they walked. “All our bedrooms are upstairs. Just in case you get bored.”
He shot a wink, though not at either of them in particular. It should have been strictly directed at the princess, but it wasn't.
While Shinsou seemed to completely ignore the blonde’s attempt, Jirou rolled her eyes.
“I’m sure I’d be more bored with you than I would be without.”
Shinsou actually chuckled at Kyoka’s response, which made Denki more okay with the remark than he would have been.
“We’ll see,” Denki responded anyways, walking down the North Hall and to the second bedroom in the hall. Looking at the keys, he saw which one was carved with a ‘2’ and unlocked the door, revealing the large guest room.
He turned around and held out the key, Kyoka gesturing for Shinsou to take it. In which he did. Sadly not any lightly brushing of their hands together, to Denki’s disappointment.
“Thanks,” Shinsou said to Denki, looking at Kyoka. “Knock if you need me. I’ll see you at dinner.”
Kyoka nodded and before he could say any ‘you’re welcome’, the door slammed right in his face.
Just blinking in response to the door slamming, he took a moment before looking back at Kyoka.
“Don't mind him,” she tried to reassure him. “He’s not friendly upon first meeting people. But I’m sure he’ll warm up eventually.”
Denki sighed, yet nodded at her words. He had been hoping to try and talk to him, but it seemed now wasn't the time. He unlocked the door next to the one he had just unlocked, doing the same thing, and holding out the key to her.
Kyoka took the key from him and walked in the room, though rather than slamming the door in his face as her escort had done, she held it open and gestured to him inside.
“I want to talk to you for a moment.”
“Oh, uh, okay then. Didn’t think you’d be inviting me in your room so soon, beautiful,” he joked as he took a step in. Kyoka just sighed in response and went on with what she wanted to talk about, shutting the door for a little more privacy.
“Look,” she started and Denki already basically knew where this was going. “You seem really nice. But I’m really only here because my parents asked me. And when they ask me to do something, it's less of a request and more of a command.”
Denki understood the feeling, sitting on one of the chairs in the room. Kyoka had already sat down in the one across from him.
“I get it,” he told her. “We’re an alley kingdom. It would be good for both of us if we were to end up together.”
“Exactly! So just a heads up, you can try. But there’s like a 90% chance that I won't be attracted to you.”
She was direct, he’d give her that. But still, he couldn't help but question.
“Why? I mean, I get it. You don't know me. But how can you be so confident that I won't be able to impress you enough? Cause I bet I totally could.” He didn't seem hurt at all by her words, as he would of course still try.
Kyoka gave him a smile and sat back in the seat, more comfortably.
“I swing mostly for the princess route.”
Denki, needless to say, was slightly confused.
“Princess rou-oh..OH! Oh my god. Okay, I get you.”
“Yeah,” Kyoka said as she nodded. She felt it was best for him to know, even though keeping it hidden might be interesting. She didn't want to pull him into a false sense of attraction. “There’s a small chance. But I doubt it.”
“My sister’s available,” Denki joked, and that actually made Jirou laugh.
“Wow,” she said, shaking her head. “I mean, I’ve seen some overprotective brothers, but not once have I meant someone so open to just handing off his sister.”
“Mina’s a big girl, she can handle herself,” he said in response to that with a smile.
It was true. If anything, she was the overprotective one. They care about each other, but they also know eventually, they would have to marry off. He was the one who had to be married off. Meanwhile, she got a choice in the matter. And he knew Mina would take things into consideration.
“I’ll keep that in mind though,” Kyoka spoke up, and he couldn't tell if that was just to humor his suggestion or something she would actually do.
There was a pause of silence before Denki finally broke it.
“I feel you though. I’m the same way. Well, kinda. I swing both ways.”
Seeing as Kyoka shared that possibly personal detail about her, Denki felt it was only fair for him to do the same.
“Then how come your parents don't try to set you up with princes?” She asked, a little curious before she grew anxious. “Oh, no. They aren’t against that lifestyle, are they?”
Before Kyoka could get even the slightest bit more worried, Denki immediately shook his head.
“No! No, god, no. My parents are very supportive!” He quickly clarified. “It’s just that when they find suitable kingdoms to possibly join forces with, they don't exactly have a gay prince for me to woo, so I meet the princess instead.”
That made a lot more sense. Kyoka could totally understand that. While her parents were not aware of her own affection towards women, she still hadn't met a potential princess that might help her reveal to her parents that she’d prefer to marry a princess. So for now, for her kingdom, she would be fine listening to their ‘requests’ to meet princes.
“I get it.” That was all she really wanted to talk to him about, so now she had to get ready. “Anyways, that’s all I wanted to talk about. I look forward to getting to know you more, Denki. But not now. Sooo,” she pointed to the door. “Get out.”
Denki looked at her, glancing at the door before back at her.
Jirou rolled her eyes and kept her finger pointed at the door.
“Get out. I have to get ready and you can't be in here.”
Denki’s eyes widened a bit as he stood up and headed to the door.
“Right, yeah. Duh. Sorry!” He said, stumbling out the door. “See you at dinner!”
He gave her a small wave and smile before he closed the door for her, heading to his own room to prepare himself. He had been hoping to bring Shinsou into the conversation to see what his deal was, but Jirou didn't seem interested in talking now any further. That was cool. Though now his thoughts of the other, Shinsou, were stronger. If Jirou wasn't interested, or is confident she wouldn't be, then he could focus most of his flirtatious attempts on him. Sure, his mother wanted him to get to know the princess. But he was much more interested in someone else.