[FoH] #57 - Jewelry (Cyril)

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He appreciated the attention, truly he did, but he simply was not comfortable being pampered.

For the past hour, servant after servant had been tending to his every wish and whim - he supposed that would be ironic if the entire situation did not make him so utterly anxious - as they presented him with elegant dishes he had only cooked for kings, expensive gifts only nobles could dream of affording, and exotic clothes of foreign fashions he had never seen. "P-please, I appreciate the effort, but you don't need to go for all this trouble just for me." The Rito - the Prince, as he was to be called from this day forward - could feel the heat rushing to his cheeks as the servants did not pay him mind for even a moment, only continuing their overwhelming doting. The boy could only sigh, clicking his heels together as they hung freely over the side of the bed. He hadn't even sat on a bed that was raised off of the ground until this very moment. He had become accustomed to a blanket over a haypile, sheets wrapped round his fragile figure, or even the calming peace that came with sleeping in his mother's arms when they could afford no place to stay the night. He hadn't had to do that in so long, that the memory of the soothing songs she sang to lull him to sleep brought him such a nostalgic feeling in the midst of the day's chaos.

That feeling evaporated as quickly as it came, as he was snapped back to reality by the ruffling of his hair by a strong but gentle hand. Gazing up, his eyes met those of the Chieftain's, or rather, his newly-declared father's, strange as it was to say. His eyes were always so kind, filled with a love he had yet to find in this world. "Having trouble becoming accustomed to this new lifestyle?" The blank stare and fumbling apology that came after confirmed his suspicions, causing him to let out a slow chuckle. "I supposed as much. You never were the type to accept praise or presents, were you?" Not knowing entirely how to respond, Cyril merely lowered his gaze and shook his head after a moment's pause. "As I thought." The chieftain examined his son-in-law's face for a moment longer before venturing to a corner of the room. "Well," he spoke as he unlocked a chest that had gone unnoticed by the fledgeling prince, "we'll simply have to change that, now won't we?"

The man rummaged around the contents of the chest, occasionally giving his heir a calming smile before returning to his search, as Cyril began to nervously twiddle his fingers. Tapping the tips of his index fingers together was a nervous habit he had been unable to shake since childhood, and it came out in full force when situations such as this arose. At least the onslaught of servants seemed to have subsided for the time being. "You really don't have to do that, Chieftain! Whatever it is you're looking for surely can't be worth finding for my sake."

The chieftain, however, seemed to pay the boy no mind, humming a tuneless melody until he found exactly what it was he needed. "Ah, here it is." As he approached the boy before him once more, the chieftain outstretched his hands, clenching the object between the tips of his fingers. The boy's eyes widened at the sight. From his fingertips dangled a necklace of unfathomable value, crafted with ore found only in the deepest, darkest of the Goron Mines and adorned with jewels that made the gold adjacent to them seem dull and unremarkable in comparison. It was the single most breathtaking object Cyril had ever seen. He couldn't possibly mean to give this to him?

"What I was looking for," the man continued, noticing the other's sudden speechlessness, "was that shining smile of yours that I've sadly seen only when you are giving to others and never when others have given to you." As he spoke, he moved behind the boy, fastening the necklace so that it fell into place without the other having to lift a finger. "What I was hoping for was for you, my son, to see yourself as I see you - as a prince."

No words would form on his lips. He was not entirely sure he could even process a single thought. Lacking the ability to muster a sentence, he chose to dumbly fondle the gemstones and gold that now lay against his torso, in awe of its elegance. "My Lord, please, I-I can't accept this!" His father's face remained the same, though his tone contained a tinge of disappointment. "Do you not like it? I thought it quite suited you, little prince." That phrase still did not sit well with the younger Rito. "N-no, it's not that. It's that this can't possibly belong to someone like. This should go to Saaki or Jinn, or even Remedi! They are all far more deserving of this than me. It's beautiful, of course, and something like this must be kept as an heirloom and --"

"-- that is why it is yours, my heir." It was then that the corners of the chieftain's lips rose ever so slightly, and pride swelled within him. Cyril, on the other hand, seemed completely caught off-guard. Now thoroughly flustered, he fumbled with the accessory before he was able to remove it completely, holding it tight within his grasp upon his lap. "...I cannot keep this. It is...too much for me."

"I understand." He could not bear to meet his father's gaze. He could feel the other's disheartened gaze upon him as he tucked his heed into his chin, returning his gaze to the floor below him. The thought of disappointing the chieftain, the only man he had ever had the privilege of calling father, caused him to shake. He couldn't bear to hurt him, but all the same, he simply could not forgive himself for stealing something so precious from their family. Even if it was a gift, it did not sit right with him. In the pit of his stomach, he felt guilty each and every time he looked at it.

The sound of a snap brought him back out from his innermost thoughts. As he snapped his head back up, he found the chief plucking two of the jewels straight off of the necklace itself. "M'lord, what are you doing!?" Cyril cried out, before slapping his hands over his mouth, ashamed at his outburst against his master. Again, he was paid no mind, as the man simply slipped the bead-like jewels through a handful of his son's hair until the gemstones sat neatly and securely upon his crown. "Then please, my son, allow me to present these to you instead. Do they please you?" His father's eyes were almost pleading as he knelt down on the ground, where a king did not belong, and looked up into his son's eyes. The sight was so unseemly for a leader, but somehow so fitting for a father. In that, Cyril relented, if only to please the man who would not be moved. "Thank you, Father. I'll treasure them for as long as I live."

The man took the boy's hands in his and squeezed them fiercely, not so much as to inflict pain but firm enough so as to express the pride radiating from within him. "And I shall treasure you just the same, my son."
This came out much better than expected. A majority of these entries will be limited to short drabbles, like snapshots of the character's life, but this was slightly longer than the usual for this sole reason - I am in love with how these two interact with one another. Unlike Jerial, I have a chance to write father-son interactions, even if they're not biologically related. Perhaps that's the beauty of it. They're teaching one another what being a family is all about.

In the interest of reader comprehension, the aforementioned people - Saaki, Jinn and Remedi - are three of the Chieftain's biological children. If you've read Cyril's application, you'll already know the grief that said siblings (barring Remedi) gave him. And that's only the eldest children, and the legitimate ones at that. And, if you hadn't already realized, the beads/jewels mentioned are the ones currently worn in his hair.

Theme #57 (Jewelry) in the 100 Themes Challenge.
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