It was a tiny elf with tiny point ears and tiny little hands and oh god how can anyone be so cute and so precious!!!
All things considered, this was the best possible outcome. Karyn was worried it’d be, like, another boring character. Or the stupid secretary-lady that followed her around all morning. That character sucked.
But tiny elf was good. Tiny elf was justice. Tiny elf was also talking like her life depended on it; words coming out at such speed that one wondered whether she was even breathing. Karyn couldn't really understand whatever tiny elf was apologizing for, but it's not like the NPCs ever had anything interesting going on anyway.
“I-it's for my education! As royalty, I mean. I didn't mean to bother you, please don't ground me, I promise I'll behave..."
Karyn looked at Jon. Jon looked at Karyn. Someone had to speak up, less the Story would force them into some more asinine roll-playing.
'It’s all you,' Jon would probably say, ‘I’m awkward with kids.'
In response, Karyn would probably answer 'fine, I’ll do it ' all nonchalantly, pretending that was exactly not what she wanted.
She sauntered to tiny elf. She wanted be nice, say this adult discussion was for, well, adults. Maybe tell her to go play elsewhere?
"Ivy. Just what is the meaning of this?"
...Wow, that was terrible. Try reeling it in a little.
“Ignoring my orders for privacy? How dare you, child. I am ashamed.”
Tiny elf was mortified. Karyn was mortified. Jon was mortified. The whole thing was turning into a bit of an ordeal. But no worries! Karyn could try… hugging the girl? Maybe Seraphina was just one of those strict parents who was bad expressing their emotions vocally... Er no, hugs use both arms. And don't involve holding out hands like that… Good God, was Seraphina gonna slap tiny elf? No! Seraphina, bad! Bad! Jon, help!
Jon was quick to offer his support. "Let us not rush to conclusions, mother. Ivy had mentioned... Wanting to learn from this discussion? Is that not behavior befitting royalty?”
Karyn felt her delicate elf-woman-hand relax; good. This was good! Now try apologizing to the little girl. “Very well. Ivy, your passion is admirable, though misplaced. I shall have your teacher increase your history lessons to accommodate this new apparent curiosity. You are dismissed.”
“Y-yes mother. Thank you mother, that is very generous of you,” tiny elf said, evidently not enjoying the outcome at all. She bowed and somberly walked away, doing a rather unimpressive job at holding back her sniffling.
Karyn looked to one of the many, over-the-top decorations in the room—a mirror. She saw not her teenage self, but a beautiful woman who’s face belied a clinical detachment to the dreamlike world around her. Sure, this was a crappy setting with crappy writing and crappy characters, but it could have actually been fun if she would just be allowed to enjoy it all. She was almost jealous of Jon. Yeah, Allaria was nearly as terrible as Seraphina, but a princess was at least expected to enjoy herself.
Karyn wanted to punch something, to break all this furniture, to simply just emote any goddam thought of her own. But no. Her Majesty was too mature, too important for such things as trivial as being a real person. At least she had Jon to keep to add some lightheartedness to this whole ordeal.
Free time was over. Any pseudo-agency Karyn had was yanked away; she wanted to look to Jon, maybe crack one more joke or berate him for his comical boob obsession on more time. Instead, Seraphina turned to the entrance, finding her secretary watching back in that same, annoying look of awe and respect she always sported.
“Our first guest, the Sky King of Aeyr, has arrived.”
“Very well, lead me to him.” And the queen moved to the door, not so much even stopping to look at her daughter, legs gliding with a certain royal elegance that Karyn was very much starting to resent.