Despite Nicholas being Alaric’s oldest child, and due to the death of the younger princess Kara his only living heir, Nicholas wasn’t raised with a silver spoon. Before Alaric adopted him, he was a poor orphan trying to scrape by, malnourished and exhausted, but ever willful, kind, and brave; this is part of what Alaric felt himself endeared by in the boy.
Having faced hardships early in his life, seeing the nastier side of society and the world as a whole has toughened him up somewhat. He knows not to take anything for granted; even the little safety he thought he had was taken away again with the fall of Adonai after all, proving that nothing is truly secured. But having seen the dark side hasn’t made him bitter; in fact, it made him more caring and kind for others and their circumstances. This is also why, unlike his father, he doesn’t hate all rogues, even understanding a necessity for doing some more questionable things for a good cause, which is why he isn’t above working with them.
Though one wouldn’t consider it, seeing his history, Nicholas still has a childlike wonder and curiosity and is a “little” naïve and too trusting of some. He argues he doesn’t just see the good in everyone, but he trusts his instincts most of the time.
Like his father, he still has quite the adventurous spirit, something Gaius and Charles both hope he grows out off once he’s done with this rebellious phase of his. Perhaps Nicholas doesn’t put himself on such a pedestal because he still doesn’t comprehend the weight of the throne, or maybe it is because he does and it frightens him. Or perhaps it could be a much more biological reason.
Nicholas may not agree with his father on a great many things, but time will tell who is right, if any of them are. The conflicts with his father however also stem from the fact that Nicholas feels a bit lost and alone after Adonai's fall. He tries to keep up a front, too responsible to just let his feelings go without someone to pick up the pieces. His actions might be a cry for attention, besides just opposing his father, or maybe he just needs space and distance sometimes.
One thing is for sure: while he might try to act or pretend to be mature, Nicholas still has some maturing to do.
As an orphaned young Eevee trying to stay alive without proper food and shelter, young Nicholas could never have expected to meet Adonai’s future king, much less expected to be adopted by him. Yet that happened. After they returned to the capital and Alaric was crowned king, he still was busy processing what happened: suddenly, you’re the crown prince and heir to the throne, how do you let that sink in? Especially when not everyone is happy you are, and others just see you as a charity case or a brief mishap in the king’s judgment that they couldn’t voice in fear of disrespecting the lord but had no problem letting him know one way or another.
Most rejoiced when the king’s actual heir was born, a young Oddish named Kara. But the birth had killed the queen, and the girl, born too soon, was frail and ill. So when Alaric was questioned about who would become the crownheir and he confirmed, as if confused by the question, that nothing had changed and Nicholas was still the crown prince, most thought it was because of Kara’s health. Despite the fact that this adopted prince of his barely spoke a word to anyone, including the king, ever since they returned.
By all logic, this should have made Nico bitter and dislike the little princess - and yet he didn’t. He liked his younger sister; he was just a brother to her, nothing else, and that felt right. Besides, he thought she would have been deserving of the throne; after all, she was Alaric’s actual child, he was just something Alaric picked up out of pity - that’s what everyone would have him believe anyway. It was with the coming of the new queen, Genesis, that Nicholas finally started to change for the better. If he wasn’t a dark type, he would have sworn she used some psychic mind magic on him, for she got him to open up. She seemed to understand him like nobody did before and even got him a private tutor, who, while a tad eccentric and a bit annoying, wasn’t like his previous tutors who all wished this mistake would just erase himself from Adonai’s history.
With the death of Genesis, as well as Kara during the fall of Adonai, Nicholas felt very alone. Fortunately, Charles had made it out too, and for once knew the right things to say. He helped him remember what his mother said as her final words to him. He promised her he would lead the people and, as he was closer to her than anyone else, he would do anything to accomplish that, even if that meant going against his father’s wishes. So, after arriving in Aether, or really even on the trip there, Nicholas tried to make true on these words.
Even if that means ditching the guard detail Alaric has on him all times or a frantic Charles, to figure things out by himself.