Everyone was going about their daily lives despite the rumours. Children played with bamboo wheels, smacking them along with sticks and upsetting the fruits stalls while mothers shouted at the young ones to behave and elders either sat on their mats and smirked or tutted about the misbehaviour of the smaller ones.
News was starting to filter through the people of kingdom of Nekoma, that King Kageyama of the Karasunites was on the war path… but so far, nothing had happened.
Nekoma- your homeland, had always been a fortress. You felt safe there. No one had ever been able to successfully capture the kingdom. Your acting king, King Kuroo, was a gorgeous man and well loved by his people and you had all faith that he would stop anyone who tried to enter.
You wandered from one fruit stall to the next, occasionally glancing up at the guards atop the walls of your great kingdom to see if they seemed unsettled, but all was calm.
“Good morning, beautiful Y/N,” one of the women on the next stall greeted you.
You smiled at her from behind your veil, only your eyes crinkling at the corners to indicate you had returned her warm greeting.
“Can I get you anything?” she asked.
“Oh… thank you, but I am here browsing today,” you replied politely.
“Well, please stay and browse more, you being at my stall makes me look good,” she said with a chuckle.
It was well known that you were regarded as one of the most beautiful young women in the kingdom.
Your mother, from when you were a young boy, had always dressed you in girl’s clothing. She had told you it was safer for you to be thought of as a woman, and truth be told, you had been very ok with that. You loved the colours of the girl’s clothes. They were pretty and soft and you loved that people called you beautiful and feminine.
Why had she insisted you be called a girl? Well, she knew that as a male, as soon as you turned 18 you would be placed in the Nekoma army and sent wherever king Kuroo commanded. Most of her friend’s male children had never returned home after their first assignment outside the walls… and she saw first hand the pain it caused the parents so she determined that if she ever had a boy child, she would tell everyone you were a girl to save you from such a fate.
No one had ever questioned your gender, because you had always been dressed as a girl, and you acted like one. And as you grew, you wore the head covering that your people wore, and that covered any facial hair that you may have grown.
Your eyes were exquisite, your stand out feature, and for them you were considered extremely beautiful.
You gave the stall owner one more smile then moved on to the next stall, aware of the looks the boys were giving you.
You loved male attention and you gave the watching boys a little look as you passed.
“She looked at me, she totally looked at me,” one of the boys whispered excitedly to the other.
You heard him and looked over again, choosing to address the shyest of the group, who was always fiddling with some wooden craft.
“Good morning, Kenma,” you greeted the guy.
He looked up from behind his sun bleached curtain fringe, a bashful look on his face.
“Damn man, she wasn’t looking at you at all she was looking at Kenma,” the friend jeered to the guy who had thought you had looked at him.
You smirked and continued on home while the boys heckled Kenma for being the one to get a greeting from you.
Your house was close to the walls and you looked up again as you knocked on your front door then entered.
“Ma,” you called out as you stepped inside, “I’m home.”
“Y/N, darling,” she called from the kitchen, “how was your morning?”
“It was nice. I teased the boys,” you said with a smirk as you walked into the kitchen and took your head covering off.
You mother walked over and cupped your face lovingly in her hands.
“My beautiful Y/N,” she said lovingly as she looked over your face, “I am truly grateful for you.”
You smiled and placed your hands on hers, sharing a moment between you both.
“Y/N!” you father called sharply from the room at the back of the house, “come and work like you should be!”
You sighed, and your mother gave you a sympathetic look.
“One day he will see the merit of my efforts. If he had his way, you would be dead by now, your soul crying out from the desserts. God perish this thought,” she said with distain as she let go of your face, “in any case, my darling, go and see what your father wants.”
“Yes, ma,” you said, leaving the room to find him.
“Pass me the hammer,” your father grunted from where he was hunched over digging a hidden room in the wall of your house.
He hadn’t even looked at you. He said seeing you in woman’s clothing was disgraceful and he felt sick in your presence.
You silently passed him the hammer and he took it then continued to hack the hole deeper.
“Do you think we will need this room?” you asked him softly.
“Yes. King Kageyama has forged his way through the land of Aoba Josai and is crossing the dessert with his men as we speak. This needs to be ready as soon as possible. If only I had more man power to get it done in time,” he grunted, making another snide remark about your lack of conforming to traditional gender stereotypes.
You didn’t reply him. You were beyond fighting with him, he was a stubborn stupid man and you disliked him very much but you loved your mum and she wished for you to remain peaceful with your father so you held your tongue for her sake.
It was while he was hacking away at the dirt that the sound of a horn rang out in the distance and you lifted your head to listen.
Your father stopped momentarily and the horn sounded again.
“That’s the war horn, isn’t it?” you whispered to your father, barely able to breathe.
“Yes,” he stated calmly but with fear rippling in the undertone, “the Karasunites are here.”