Banjo smiled and thought, this little lady did not know anything about the world. So out of pity he kept his banjo in his bag and the money in his pocket, and sat next to the Princess. And this was his story:
“Thousand miles from this Kingdom of Summer, there’s a land of the four kingdoms and four seasons. Sometimes the sun shines like everyday in this kingdom, sometimes it’s just too cold for the crops to grow, sometimes the sprinkle of frozen rain drops comes from heaven, and my favourite time is when they melt and went away, the birds would start to sing again and the dying trees would revive. It’s like the whole land comes alive again.
When it happens, everybody would be happy. They would have a party and everybody would sing. People from the Four Kingdoms would gathered and have a festive celebration because the cold day has gone.
From the Kingdom of Music, they would send their best musician; the Kingdom of Poetry would send their actors and present a play; Kingdom of Art would decorate the stage and the city hall, and the Kingdom of Culinary would provide us with the best food and wine in the whole land. Now that I think about it, I feel very hungry…
Anyway, I came from the Kingdom of Music, but my cousins lived in the Kingdom of Culinary. The Kings are brothers so basically we don’t mention the different kingdoms because we talk in more or less the same language.
The song I sang to you came from one of the best musicians in the four kingdom. They were a group of musician, one singer, one banjo player like I am, and one playing percussion. They were really good. The banjo player would write a song about bread and cheese and would hit the whole land of Four Kingdom in no time. I am serious…
You looked so pale, are you okay, Princess?”
The 14 years old Princess Cinnamon could not say anything. She was angry. She was angry not because of this man in front of him was ruining her language by pronouncing everything in the wrong way, but because she was jealous. She wanted to be born in that land. She wanted to listen to this music again, and read a lot of book of poetry, and she wanted to eat good food and wine… whatever wine is (she was underage and not allowed to drink alcohol). So in the age of 14 she decided, one day, she would go to this land of the four kingdom and be a street musician too.
Yes, Princess Cinnamon certainly had a determination to be a street musician in the Land of Four Kingdom. However, she sucked at it. No matter how badly she bled her fingers playing banjo, she was never as good as Banjo. She tried harp of course, wishing she would be able to produce a heavenly sound, and she failed terribly. An elephant sounds better than her flute playing. And when all instruments failed she tried singing, only to find everybody was too polite to say that she’s just completely talentless.
Her interest to books, however, got deeper and deeper, and with the help of Banjo who smuggled the foreign storybooks for her for the price of gold coins, she learned the language pretty quickly.
When she turned 18, Banjo decided to go back to his land. The money he got from Princess Cinnamon could pay off his life, and he basically did not want to be a trader. His passion in music can’t be bought with coins, he said (because he had enough by then). The princess, of course felt betrayed, nobody from this kingdom understood her passion to literature and music.
“Why don’t you just come to my homeland? The people are nice,” Banjo said one day before his departure; with his native language.
“I can’t just leave my kingdom. I’m a princess…” Princess Cinnamon said with a desperate look in her face.
“You are the princess who sneaked out every week just to meet a street musician like me to learn language and buy smuggled books…” Banjo’s laughter burst impolitely.
“Shut up,” Princess Cinnamon could not help smiling.
“You even told me to shut up in my language,” Banjo just could not stop his laughter; his stomach hurt a little and he cried a little because of it.
But, Princess Cinnamon has already got the message. When Banjo went home, he left his old banjo to Princess Cinnamon as a memento.
“If you started to lose your faith, or spirit, or passion; this would be your reminder that thousands miles from this Kingdom of Summer, there are Four Kingdoms waiting for you…”
The problem with Princess Cinnamon is that she did not know how to do anything. As a princess she had not been taught how to cook, to clean, and to work to earn money. She was never expected to work. All she needed to do was being there, and the King and Queen will give her the monthly stipend which was more than enough for her to buy smuggled books at the market, and beauty stuffs.
One of her hesitation was: who would cook for her? Who would made her bed and wash her clothes? Who would give her gold coins? Who would sweep and mop the floor, and change the curtains? Coco was the one who usually did that for her.
Coco, Coconut, was taken to the castle when she was so young. She was born in the coast, where a lot of coconut tree grew. Her parents were so poor so they could not afford her a life, so she went to the King and Queen and beg for a job. She was too young at that moment, so the King and Queen assigned her to be the Princess Cinnamon’s company (she was still the Crown Princess, because the Crown Prince hasn’t been born yet).
If anyone asked her, she would be confused how to explain her status in the palace. She practically lived like a princess, wear nicer clothes than the other servant, went to study with the princess, and she did not have to sleep in the dungeon with the other “ordinary” servants. She could even tell other servants what to do, of course with Princess Cinnamon permission (it’s easily abused though, since Princess Cinnamon never really cared).
But, she’s the one who’s responsible of what Princess Cinnamon ate, of course she can be a little bit sly and suggested a meal that she actually wanted sometimes; she’s the one who made her bed; put away her clothes after the “ordinary” servants wash and dry them; sweep and mop the floor; and of course covering Princess Cinnamon up every time she was being mischievous. For that one, she never did that wholeheartedly. However, if the King and Queen found out, she might be demoted from her current prestigious position, or worse: kicked out from the palace.
She wished she was the personal servant of Princess Lavender or Violet. They were so much more manageable than this barbaric princess who sneaked out every week to meet an outcast. She shivered. Even she did not want to talk to the outcasts.
With all she got, she considered herself lucky. Of course not as in being born a princess, but this is as close as she could be to the royal life, but she started to think that her luck was running out. These past few weeks the princess asked her to teach her how to make her own bed, and to clean the floor. She did not know what Princess Cinnamon’s plan, and did not dare to guess. She just knew, something was wrong. Very wrong.
But Coco could not help feeling sorry to Princess Cinnamon. She sucked at everything. She could not even make her own bed properly. She’s getting better, but it took the whole afternoon for her just to make sure the sheet is tight enough so it would not wrinkle when someone sleep on it. Coco admires her persistence though; the way she asked for more practice hour and how she messed up her bed over and over again for that purpose.
Coco could not help feeling sorry for the princess’ life. That one day a prince from other kingdom would come to marry her, and she would not have the right to choose for herself. At least Coco could sneak out to Bull’s room. The boy had been working in the kitchen for two years and always gave Coco extra desserts for her. Princess did not have that privilege, or that much freedom to do those things.
Bull would one day marry her, but she liked Bull, so she would not mind. But what if an ugly stupid pervert minded Crown Prince from one kingdom asked her to be his wife? And what if the King and Queen agreed? She could not imagine how this barbaric princess’ life would be.
That was too cruel wasn’t it?
No wonder the princess wanted to runaway.
Oh, she did not know that it was the princess’ plan. She just guessed. But after the princess stopped sneaking out to meet that outcast, and stopped buying the book Coco could not read (Coco read books too, just not in foreign language), she started to act weird and put all her gold coins in the pot under her bed. Oh yes she knew where the princess hid her money, she just did not touch it.
But, what if the Princess really eloped? Coco’s first reaction would be worrying about her ‘job’. But, she knew she would be sad, more than anything else. If she lost her position as the princess’ personal servant, she can just marry Bull, and get probably demoted to the ‘ordinary’ servant. Or maybe the senior ‘ordinary’ servant; she had knowledge and experience more than any other servants in this palace. She would not suffer much. But the idea of losing the princess tortured her.
Not only the princess had been so nice to her, but they practically grew up together. The status gap was presence only when she called her “Princess” or when the other royal members were around. When there were just the two of them, they’re more like sisters.
If the princess eloped, Coco hoped she would take her too. She would not mind losing Bull, in the new place she would find some handsome more classy gentleman. And, how the princess could live without her? She could not even make her own bed! She’s useless!
So one day in the meadow, when the sun was not too bright; when the princess had this idea (actually it was Coco’s, because she was too tired to teach Princess Cinnamon how to fold her clothes) to go outside and read books there; Coco decided to end her own misery and ask the Princess about her plan.
“Princess, are you sure running away from this kingdom is a good idea?”