"Someone's supposed to die in the palace tonight."
Desdemona sighed her dark prediction in a quiet, husky voice to the artistic bust of Zuto Nui beside her bed; she was crystalline and proud, carved by a particularly merited artisan, and the ornament's angles caught the sunlight that gleamed into her room and spun it prettily into spiderwebs of light that stretched from the focal point on her bureau and across the princess' sleeping quarters.
She sighed softly again, and flicked one of her crystal spheres across the bureau. Such was the life of Desdemona, of House Umbraline; it was a beautiful day, with clouds that swirled like daydreams in a crystal sky, and she surveyed it only through the littlest of keyholes. It had long since ceased to annoy her, as it used to, but nonetheless the sparse feeling of fresh air trying to push through had never quite failed to needle her in some way. She had never once complained, however; her mother, the Rora, knew best when it came to this matter, and she would not pretend that in the Rora's place she would not have done the same to her own daughter. That earned her a brief moment of reproach - You are her child! Why would you force your own to live like this! - and then the wind blew through her keyhole again and lifted her conflicts away. The crystal sphere wiggled on the edge of the bureau and fell, but when Desde bent down to pick it up she did not check for damages. It had never scratched before; it would not start now.
In truth, she thought, my little keyhole isn't quite so little. Her window was large and took up a significant portion of one wall in her sleeping quarters, which, in turn, were not exactly sparse themselves. She could fit about three of herself through the window if she wanted to, but to attempt escape would imply captivity, and there was no honor in naming your family kidnappers. Instead she deigned to just open the window, as she did on every perfect morning at the Palace, and stick her head out the window and smile and breathe, and for one sweet heartbeat she would pretend to be alive.
The heartbeat ended, as all heartbeats are wont to do, and Desdemona drowned the world.
Today, with no more effort than it would take to smell a cake baking, or see a wild animal charging you, Desdemona closed her eyes and listened to the thoughts of one particularly disgruntled courtier as she contemplated thoughts most foul, thoughts of murder and vengeance for some petty crime, thoughts that should not be. Thoughts that she would fix, for her family's honor and for the name of justice.
"Someone's supposed to die tonight," she sighed again to her daydreams. "I hope it's not Hanako."
:Mother. We have one..:
A beat of silence, and the Rora sighed inside her head; Desdemona allowed herself a small, sweet smile for a second before adopting a more neutral game face once again. Above her, the crowds broiled curiously and ducked down low. A passing shadow swept the view from her quarters over the Imperial Palace.
:Thank you, my daughter. You do me proud.:
Whether she meant it or not, it was praise from the Rora, and it made Desdemona smile in turn. For a secret bit of fun, she focused again on the hostile presence she had sensed and waited for the presence to grow confused, then annoyed, and then finally alarmed; she ducked out after the arrest had been made and turned to focus on the view again. Below her, Sado gleamed like a diamond, planted like a seed into the world by the Great Spirit so a civilization could grow around it. She heard a faint shout from below her and knew she had done good work; she had done her mother proud.
Above her, the clouds danced happily, too.