Izuku had been standing staring at the entrance to the castle for the past half hour. It was truly a magnificent sight. White stone made up the walls and columns and it was all decorated with gold and rubies and sapphires. The gold was all carved intricately in swirly, almost flamelike patterns. The rubies were set directly in the white stone in waves and peaks. The sapphires decorated the columns in spirals. The door was made of heavy mahogany and was three times as tall as Izuku himself.
A head popped into his vision from behind a column. He turned to look at it but whoever it was disappeared behind the column again. That made Izuku even more nervous and he felt himself tense up.
Izuku took a breath in and exhaled slowly, eyes closed "Okay I can do this. I can do this."
He raised a foot and was about to step onto the first step.
"You there! Halt!"
Izuku yelped and flinched so hard that he nearly lost his balance. He started to topple to the ground but a hand grabbed the back of his collar and hoisted him up to his feet. Izuku scrambled for balance before turning to the person, trembling.
The young man was dressed in a full suit of armour, helmet under one arm and a beautiful sword at his belt. His hair was short with an undercut and was a deep blue colour. His eyes were a similar blue and he had a pair of glasses on his face. His mouth was set in a line as he regarded Izuku up and down.
"Who are you and what is your business here?" The knight demanded.
Izuku was trembling "My name is Izuku Midoriya and I'm here because I-"
A new voice interrupted him "Iida, stop scaring new visitors. You'll give yourself a bad name."
Izuku turned and saw a cute girl bouncing up to them. Her hair was bobbed with bangs and two sections at the front framing her face. Her eyes were a warm brown colour and sparkles with humour. Her cheeks were slightly chubby and a pinky tone. She wore a cute black dress with a white apron at the front and a bow in her hair, a standard maid dress. Izuku noticed that Iida's cheeks had flushed a tiny bit and he was hurriedly adjusting his glasses.
She bounced to a stop right next to the knight and grinned at Izuku "Hi! I'm Ochako Uraraka, one of the maids at this castle. Who are you?"
Izuku said "I'm Izuku Midoriya. I just got a new job here."
Uraraka's grin widened "Really? Awesome! Which job?"
"I think the prince's personal attendant." Izuku said.
Uraraka and Iida both froze. They exchanged a worried look before turning back to Izuku and looking at him with more sympathy than Izuku would have liked.
"What? What's wrong?" He asked, concern rising.
"Nothing's wrong!" Uraraka brightened, performing an instant 180 "Let's go get you settled!"
Iida also shook himself and said "A warning, Midoriya, the prince is cold. Most personal attendants last a month at most."
Izuku went "Eep."
"But not to worry. I'm sure you'll do fine!" Iida clapped Midoriya on the back so hard that he stumbled forward a few steps "I'll let you get to it. Introduce him to everyone on the way, alright?"
Uraraka nodded and bounced up to press a kiss to Iida's cheek "Sure thing! Now get back to your patrols. Later!" She grabbed Izuku's wrist and bounced up the stairs. Izuku noticed uncomfortably that she had a knife at her belt.
Izuku stumbled along behind her and managed to say "What was that?"
"What was what?" Uraraka asked.
"You kissed him." Izuku pointed out "Are you two dating?"
Uraraka blushed "I wouldn't call it dating. Our family's have known each other for a long time and we've been betrothed since I was twelve and he was fourteen. It's been eight years now."
"So it's like an arranged marriage?" Izuku's brow creased.
"No no, nothing like that. I mean, yes it's arranged, but that isn't a bad thing. I've been in love with Iida since I was ten." Uraraka blushed "I'm happy that I'll get to spend my life with him."
"I'm glad." Izuku smiled and finally got his footing, walking next to her "I'm happy for you two."
Uraraka beamed "You are? I'm so glad. Now come on. You need to meet everyone and get settled!" She dashed down a hallway, pulling Izuku along with her.
In this land, betrothals were common, especially for wealthier families. It was custom for the families to consult the child that was to be betrothed about with whom they would like to spend the rest of their lives. Parents didn't always go with the child's first choice but Uraraka and Iida's parents seemed to take their child's advice. Izuku looked back and saw Iida smiling fondly at Uraraka right before the door closed. Izuku smiled at the interaction. Maybe being a newbie wouldn’t be so hard.
Uraraka was quite literally bouncing as she dragged him down hallway after hallway, pointing out different works of art and statues. Some areas that she skipped past were covered in burn scars and deep gashes were carved into the stone. After he asked the question, Uraraka explained in a quiet voice that those were decorative remnants of the fall of Enji, the legendary battle where King Enji had been taken down and the Todoroki rein had come to a close.
“Enji was a horrible man. I don’t miss him at all.” Uraraka proclaimed “However, I do miss the old queen. She died eleven years ago. She was lovely.”
Izuku nodded “That she was.”
They both paused at a blemished spot to pay their respects to the queen, for no one knew where her true grave was, before continuing on their way to wherever Uraraka was leading.