Two

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I woke up the following morning thinking that there would be absolute mayhem on the streets, with people running around like chickens with their heads cut off. But I was wrong. Other than the footsteps of the various Heartizens walking up and down them, the streets were silent. It made me wonder if the chaos happened after I went home last night-I tended to miss a lot of action since I was expected to be home on time for supper every night.

As I stepped out onto the streets rather late that morning (late for me anyway), the first thing I noticed was that everyone I saw was dressed in maroon (including me-I figured there was no need to draw more attention to myself), as most Heartizens did after someone they knew had died. Men were dressed in dark maroon suits or blazers, while women were wearing maroon dresses and maroon hats of some sort (most of the hats I saw were dark maroon sunhats) to shield their eyes ... probably to hide their tears. The only "pop" of color I saw were some bright red and pink ribbon pins that were in the shape of a heart (red for the guys, pink for the girls) that just about everyone seemed to be wearing on the left side of their chest. I had no idea where they got them. I debated asking someone, but ultimately decided against it-I didn't feel like dealing with crabby Heartizens first thing in the morning.

The same news reporter I heard yesterday came back onto the street monitors. She confirmed that the King's death was in fact a suicide, news that was unsurprisingly met with a nearly unified gasp from Heartizens. In my mind, it was almost inevitable that all hell was gonna break lose right about now. But it didn't. Not long after the reporter's announcement, the Hearts Royal Family appeared on the street monitors. The Queen looked gorgeous as ever in her beautiful, long, maroon dress and birdcage that covered most of her face, her dusty rose hair up in a bun. The Jack looked very proper and professional in his tailored maroon suit with a matching maroon tie laying on top of his black button-down shirt, his long black hair slicked back per usual. The soon-to-be King, who was standing between them on the screen, looked as cute as a button in his suit that looked to be a miniature version of the one the Jack was wearing, his chocolate brown hair slicked back as well. The future Queen, Princess Chattum, was also standing between the Queen and the Jack, and to the right of her brother on the screen. She looked adorable with her Chiffon tiered maroon dress, and a maroon rose in her curly golden locks with pink tips. Her rosy cheeks and sweet dimples suggested that she would be stunningly beautiful when she got older, just like the Queen ... but anyone with eyes could tell that she, along with her freckled, curly-haired one-day husband, were not the biological children of the Queen and late King of Hearts.

The Queen was first to speak, grabbing the attention of everyone on the street as soon as she began. "Thank you all for your kind words," she said looking straight into the monitor, a stoic expression on her face. "We are so humbled by all the love and support you have shown both us and this entire suit during the last sixteen or so hours. My husband, your king, would be so proud to know that he had such loyal, caring people standing behind him, if he did not know already." I could tell that she was doing her best to keep it together. "We ask you to forgive us if we are not quite ourselves during this difficult grieving process. That being said, we in no way expect this to be the demise of our suit in the ongoing war; we will prevail victorious."

"The King was the best father I could have ever asked for," Prince Kortian said. "I think I speak for everyone when I say that he will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and loyal subjects."

"We love you, Daddy," Princess Chattum added as if her decision to contribute to this announcement was on a whim.

Then the Jack spoke. "While this entire suit will be grieving the loss of our beloved king, we need to remember that they are the ones who caused our great leader to kill himself, they are the ones that cause our suit to live in fear, they are the ones who cause our parents, our siblings, our children, our relatives to die in the line of duty every single day." Though he was being vague in his use of the word "they," I knew exactly whom he was referring to: the Black Allies. "It's time to put a stop to their games once and for all! Let's win this fight for the King!" I thought people would cheer after that empowering speech ... but everyone just stared at the screen blankly, that is, if they weren't wiping away tears. How pathetic.

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