Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Helo
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Helo Wonderlust King

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Time: Early Evening
Location: Caesonia Castle-Ballroom
Interactions: Lady Thea@Tae, Prince Felix@Mole, Verrick @Aerandir, Prince Auguste @Inertia, Shehzadi Nahir @Rodiak



Leo kept a warm smile, bowed dutifully, and greeted those who greeted him. His gaze was a bit colder as he looked at Verrick, a man who had once worked for Leo’s father up until the day the unhinged man pushed his father from a window. Why Princess Beatrice put up with such a deeply disturbed servant was beyond him but he respected Verrick’s position amongst the Varian royals enough to remain cordial. He did appreciate the bodyguard's kind words to Thea, smiling brighter when he saw Thea’s spirits lifted.

It was not Verrick who displeased Leo, but rather Prince Felix. He caught sight of the grip the young prince had on his sister’s hand, far too tight for his liking. He noted the way Felix nudged his sister into bowing as well. As if any child of a Duke lacked the knowledge and instinct to offer a proper greeting? This man was insulting Thea, pecking at her the same way his mother did, and he felt his ears grow red and hot as the idea simmered in him. He kept quiet for now, as Prince Auguste approached, bowing and offering a genuine smile.

Thea appeared to have had more than enough of Felix’s heavy-handed measures. He gave her a small nod of approval as she scolded the prince and walked away. The outburst in front of the Caesonian prince was a bit inappropriate but he understood his sister's frustration.

“Certainly not, your highness, there are few things more pleasurable than a Danrose event. Though, I hope our stay here this season offers the chance to witness another of your duels. Every year your artistry with the blade reaches closer to perfection.” Leo offered the compliment he thought would most please Auguste, as he often did around those who ranked above him, this time it also happened to be genuine. Having watched Auguste spar in contests was like viewing a work of art, only far more exciting to Leo.

Servants soon arrived holding the bowls of numbers to hand out the randomized dance partners for the evening. Leo grabbed his number after the two princes had reached for theirs. Just before Prince Felix departed Leo took the opportunity to lean in towards Felix and speak with him in a quiet voice.

“Your highness, you will use a gentler hand when dealing with my sister, and I hope we do not need to revisit this conversation in the future.” Leo then held up his own paper, indicating his number had been summoned, and headed off to the front of the ballroom.

Leo soon found himself yet again in front of Shehzadi Nahir and made no attempt to hide the look of delight. He offered the traditional Alidasht bow again before offering his hand.
“Shehzadi, if it pleases you, may I have the honor of a dance?”






Time: Early Evening
Location: Caesonia Palace-Ballroom
Interaction: Violet@Tpartywithzombi
Mentions:Wulfric @SilverPaw, Wystan @mantou, Anastasia @princess


Callum was used to being denied the random dance partner, accepting the number handed to him for a dance handpicked by his father with a defeated sigh. He’d have much preferred the chance to draw something unexpected but his father was not one to loosen his control over his sons.

Except, it would seem for his favorite son, as Prince Wulfric stood before Auguste’s watchdog Wystan. A full night of rebellion Wulfy? I suppose it’ll be nice to not be the only one getting an earful later. He thought. He wondered how Wulfric had managed to free himself from his father’s handpicked dances and entertained the idea of asking about it. Then he spotted Anastasia, giggling, and knew she was the cause of the tiny bit of unexpected chaos. He offered her a rare genuine smile, approving wholeheartedly of her tiny sprinkling of chaos in the midst of his father’s order.

He barely glanced at the piece of paper, he already knew who he was dancing with based on his father’s speech; Lady Violet Damien, whose father was already lurking about pestering the Vilkenas. He finished a glass of wine just as his number was called, and walked slowly up to the front, intentionally slow just to further irritate Edin. When he finally found his way to Lady Violet he offered a bow and soft smile. His quarrel lay solely with his father and the count, but not with the count’s daughter. He forced himself to relax some, temporarily forget his annoyance at the situation, and ensure his own misgivings did not sour Violet’s night.

“Lady Violet, fancy a dance?” He asked offering his hand.

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Infinite Cosmos
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Infinite Cosmos XIV

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Mentions: @JJ Doe Ríoghnach
Interactions: @Tae Lady Mina

Just who in the seven hells is this woman? It was as if the Sun God put her on this Earth to rouse every single one of Munir's desires. He must have her. He simply must.

"What can I say, I was born to explore wonders, and some might even say to conquer them..." He said, regarding the wonders they had been speaking about recently. To Mina's quip about whether she would enjoy the wine or whatever else Munir has to offer, Munir responded "I suppose we would just have to find out, won't we?" ending it with a smirk of his own.

A servant approached the pair and Munir scowled slightly. Just as the fun was about to begin. If this servant had interrupted Munir's hunt back in Alidasht, Munir's personal bodyguards would have escorted them away from the shahzade and relieved them of their head. "A dance you say. It would seem the Sun God has decided to keep me away from you, at least for the time being. The question now is, who would be in your mind as you made your way to the dance floor? Me? Or whoever you're paired with? But, as you said, we must away, in order to strengthen political ties and to give in to the directions of our parents."

Munir glanced at his own pairing, not recognizing the name. He found that quite interesting as he thought he was brought up to speed as to which noble houses would be present, including their retainers. It would seem this one is with the Danrose. Normally, Munir would be outraged to have to be matched with a maidservant but he has determined to make it through this dance as fast and as drama-free as possible. For a much more thrilling night awaits...

"Oh yes. I will come find you after. Though, I feel it would be best if you come to me..." ”...master.” was the last word Mina whispered to him, from a close distance. That small tease sent a shockwave down Munir's spine, and through his groin. By the Gods, this woman. "Seeing as I'm already your master..." He finished his words a little more breathy than before and with his grin that seems like it hasn't left his face during the entire conversation with Mina. "You take care now, Lady Mina Blackwood." Munir offered her a proper Alidasht bow...

Only to see her walk away, hips swaying...

"Now, who in the seven hells is this...whatever the fuck this name is and however the fuck you pronouce it. Its.. Its just a jumble of letters that don't belong together. I swear when I find out who paired me with this maid... I'll have their fingers skewered and roasted for my lovelies as a snack..." Munir cursed under his breath as he set out to find his dance partner.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Heartfillia
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Heartfillia

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Crystal & Matthias

& Charlotte




Crystal tensed up when a man suddenly started speaking to her, despite his attempt to not scare her. Her cheeks glaringly red on her white skin as she looked up at him. He introduced himself, but she did not recognize the last name. Of course she didn’t know the names of every noble in the kingdom so this is not a surprise.

She looked over to where he glanced to see two older lady’s that seemed quite annoyed. He continued, and her eyebrows raised….He needed HER help? Apparently he needed an excuse to get away from them. She sighed softly as she wrung her own hands together.

”I-I… she stared. Her eyes fluttered to him and everywhere else as she tried to work up the courage to speak more. That is until she saw her father AND mother looking at her. Just the jumpstart she needed. Her face somehow obtained yet another shade of red.

”I am C-Crystal Damien… She curtsied to him. Looking up into his eyes full of desperation. ”I suppose I can help you escape. I do understand that predicament quite well.” She said with a very soft giggle that died halfway through… realizing it was only an inside joke. As long as she can avoid her parents' anger she would certainly go anywhere but stand there any longer.

His attempts at being gentle fell short as Lady Damien introduced herself with a shaky voice. He could tell that she was not a big fan of social gatherings, much like himself. Perhaps he should have been more gentle with his introduction and not dumped his current problem on her- or maybe she was a very skittish person. Thankfully she had seen the source of his own desperation as she agreed to help him. He smiled again, nodding slightly as he offered his arm to her.

"I am forever grateful for your help, Lady Damien." Mathias looked down at her, a welcoming smile ever-present on his lips. "And I deeply apologize to you for startling you once again, my lady. That wasn't my intention." He bowed his head again along with his apology.

She smiled a little when he thanked her for helping him, but when he apologized she waved her hands in front of her tightly as she realized she made him feel guilty somehow. ”Please, you don't have to apologize…I just…” She said starting to get nervous again. She turned as an indicator she was ready to follow him and talk at the same time. ”This…this is my time here so I am not use to…” She used one hand to generally wave towards everything. ”All this…” She looked up to him and smiled sheepishly. He must think she would be strange to never come to one of these before.

She was like an awkward little cute duckling, and it almost made Mathias want to protect the little duckling and bring her under his wing. When she gave the signal that she was ready, Mathias gave her a slight bow again and began to lead them towards one of the many food tables, leaving behind the two older ladies that had been glaring holes into the back of his head.

"You have no need to worry; I am in a similar situation, Lady Damien." Mathias confessed, looking around them for a second. Ever since Karla's passing, Mathias had devoted himself to his work and son that he had no time for any sort of soirees of any type. This had been the first time in almost fours years that he was back on the nobility scene- and he was still quite nervous. "It feels like a fairy tale, does it not? We have our own grand ballrooms back in Varian, but this is so different." He looked up again, almost mesmerized by the grand chandelier that decorated the ceiling of the ballroom.

She smiled politely, saying in her head ”Oh did your parents also lock you up in their castle all your life?” But she appreciated the effort. But she did look up at him excitedly, her eyes wide like a child almost when he did mention how it was like a fairy tale and that he was from Varian. ”It does! I’ve always heard how grand the King makes these events. I’ve always wanted to see it since I was a child!” She stopped walking suddenly and couldn’t contain herself. ”I- I never met anyone from the kingdom of Varian, I’ve always wanted to see it.” Her mind suddenly went to one of the main reasons she wanted to go. Princess Beatrice and her famous Bodyguard.

Her face grew red once again. ”I know this must sound strange…but do you know the Princess and her Bodyguard very well? Is it true that he threw a duke out a window? That he speaks to the royal family candidly or That he lives in the forest despite having a room in the castle?”

She caught herself and pulled her hands into her chest and looked down embarrassed, ”Forgive me I get too excited at times.”
Mathias was caught off guard by Lady Damien's sudden enthusiasm when he mentioned he was from Varian. It was refreshing to see such curiosity about his home that he couldn't help but smile again, this time more honest and relaxed. It looked like she was also somewhat informed about Princess Beatrice and Verrick, something that surprised the knight.

"There is nothing to apologize, my lady. Queen and King Camille do throw some of the grandest balls in all of Varian," He paused to look away from her to the wall around him. "and if I must say, a lot grander than the Caesonian ball." Varian was more liberal, from what he had seen and heard so far, and he knew sometimes that balls could get out of control. "I do know them, both of our families work together in the palace. We are both quite close, in fact." Verrick had become one of his closest friends over the past few years. They often trained together and Sir Oliver would invite Verrick and his father over for dinners from time to time. Lukas loved Verrick as well, always playing with his bow and trying to mimic how he shot.

"I could introduce you to Princess Beatrice and Verrick if you would like, Lady Damien." Mathias offered, "And if you are ever in Varian, I would be delighted to host your stay." They were close to the food tables now, he could spot Lady Vikena there too.

She smiled warmly when he didn't mind her questioning, feeling a bit more comfortable now. She listened to him and imagined something even grander than this place. It was hard to, but somehow her mind did it. Her smile opened even more when she heard they happened to work together. And that they were quite close!

She could hardly contain her excitement and smile, putting her hands to mouth as if the act could contain it even a bit. Without thinking she reached and grabbed his hand “Are you serious?!” I would love to meet them! Thank you!” She hesitated and looked down at feeling the warmth of his hand through her silk gloves. Pulling back red as a tomato. She tried to push past it by forcing her to continue the conversation.

”I am very honored you would do such a thing for me, as well as offer your home for me to stay…” her smile weakened slightly, if she was ever healthy enough to make such a long journey….or if her parents didn’t literally lock her up in her tower after this stunt.

”I would really love to see it someday. I never really been out farther than my fathers lands. Only to the capitol really ....once or twice in my life.” She said as she absently reached up with her hand and played with her pendent again with her thumb and forefinger.
She switched topics again, realizing how rude she was getting all excited to meet another man.

”S-s-s- you mentioned you worked together with Verrick’s family at the castle, Are you an Advisor?” She assumed as she heard Duke O’Hare was the queen's advisor in her research that if Sir Verrick and Sir Mathias were close due to their parents it would make sense if he followed in his father’s footsteps.

A bit surprised, Mathias tried not to make much of the lady's sudden outburst of energy as she grabbed his hand. He understood she was excited and did not wish to squash that fire in her. "No need to worry, my offer will stand until you are able to visit Varian." He assured her. "No, my fa- Sir Oliver is captain of the Royal Guard but we all work closely together to ensure everything runs smoothly. I'm just a knight serving the Royal Guard." Although he was aiming for a high position, and the role of advisor looked tempting he doubted it would leave much free time in the end. He couldn't do that to Lukas.

Quietly, one of the many servants walked up to them with a bowl. He motioned them to take one of the many pieces of paper from it. Mathias compiled while Lady Damien did so just after him. Sir Oliver had given him a brief summary of the many traditions in Caseonian balls, and this was one of many. He thanked the man, giving him a slight nod before looking over to Lady Damien. "I suppose we don't have the same number, Lady Damien." He unfolded the paper to reveal his number, letting Crystal take a quick look at it.

"I suppose this is where I depart," Mathias turned to face her. "Thank you, again, for saving me from my little predicament. If- " He hesitated for a second before he spoke again. "Lady Damien, would you do me the honor of dancing with me after the first dance? "

While Crystal looked at his piece of paper, she was a little sad they were not paired for a dance. But he continued, thanking her for helping, but then suddenly asked her for a dance. She smiled up at him and placed her hands together in her lap. ” I would love to thank you Sir Larson, I already cannot wait.” She gave him a curtsy as he left, feeling a slight flutter in her heart. Someone just asked HER to dance with them. She really wished she could tell Charlotte.

Crystal then watched Mathias go up to the front and followed suit just a little after. Coming to a stop in her spot among the Ladies of the court. She looked again to see either him or Charlotte, and was surprised to see him standing in front from her best friend.”Charlotte!” She said with a bright smile. Suddenly running over to her and not giving her a moment to reply she nearly knocked the poor girl over when she didn’t slow down to give her a hug. She then pulled back ”Surprise!” She said with a very happy giggle.

Just as Charlotte had been stepping up to meet her partner, a force basically charged into her. She stumbled in surprise but then wrapped her arms back around her best friend once she caught her footing. The timing was a little off and she knew it would most likely be frowned upon for Crystal to interrupt a royal event, but it mattered not to her. Though she was not sure if that was due to the fact she had underestimated just how much of a lightweight she was. She had overdone the wine just a little. She greeted the enthusiastic girl with a genuine smile, ”Hi! I’m so happy to see you Crystal!”
”Me too! It's been so long! I really missed you!” She wanted to say more but she then noticed a glare from one of the ladies next to them. Looking around to see even more people staring at them she turned bright red with embarrassment. “ I-I’m sorry.” She said before pulling Charlotte into an embrace again. ”I have so much to tell you.”

Charlotte glanced around as well. They were holding up the event. ”Me too… After this dancing is finished, let’s meet up and chat. I’d love to hear it all.” She told her softly then glanced in the direction of Matthias. She squeezed her Crystal’s hands and smiled encouragingly, ”Go make someone swoon tonight, okay?” Letting go, she moved over to face Matthias again, giving him a curtsy in greeting.

Mathias blinked mid bow as air blew against his face from the speed Lady Damien had rushed to embrace Lady Vikena. He watched them as the corners of his lips tugged upwards as they greeted each other. Somehow Mathias found Lady Damien's impulsive nature quite charming- whimsical even. When the goodbyes were done, he gave Lady Damien a slight bow as she left before turning to his dance partner, Lady Vikena.

"I'm Sir Mathias Larsen; it is an honor to share the first dance with you, my lady." Once more, Mathias bowed- more profound this time as to make up for the first interrupted bow.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by princess
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princess

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Time:Evening
Location:Caesonia Ballroom in Danrose's Castle
Mention:@SilverpawWulfric @mantou Wystan @Helo Callum
Attire:Pink gown




Anastasia could not help but laugh hysterically. The guests in her close proximity stared as she leaned on her knees in a fit of giggles. What were the odds? How on earth did Wystan end up with Wulfric of all people? She would never let them live it down! She could even see Callum smiling at her. Anastasia was glad he thought it was funny too. She returned the smile along with a wave.

Unfortunately, the humor did not last long as she caught sight of her father fuming. He looked as if his head was going to explode. She could see him actually readying himself to stand up from his throne, which he rarely did. He never liked to get too close to the guests since there were commoners amongst them. He was not sending a servant. He was going to personally approach them.

She bit her lip and then rushed forward through the crowd, practically stumbling in front of her father. "Hey papa!"

King Edin gasped as if he had seen a ghost. He shook his head, peering down at her, "Oh.. Oh yes, Anastasia. Hello dear... I'll be back in a minute." He rose up and took a step forward. Anastasia immediately threw her arms around King Edin, "Oh father! This ball is so amazing! It's a dream! It's- It's everything I've ever wanted!" He raised his arms in the air, awkwardly staring down at her. He patted her head with a grimace and began to try to dislodge her arms from his torso.

"What is ... the meaning of this?"He whisper-hissed, his brows furrowing.

"You need to leave Wulfric alone."Anastasia whispered back. "I paired them together on purpose...I thought it would be funny! She smiled up at him innocently as she lied to his face. He did not look amused. She then added, "Everyone knows it's just a mistake. Wulfric is the most beloved Prince in all of Eromora soooo no one is going to think anything about it."

King Edin did not look so convinced. He pulled her off him a bit roughly and began to move forward. Anastasia scrambled back in front of him, "If you embarrass him, I'll-I'll cry! Loudly!" That made him pause. With a defeated sigh, he moved to his throne and told her, "Behave. Do not do this ever again."

"Oh never. Not ever! I won't even consider it!"

Anastasia twirled on her heels before King Edin could reprimand her further and danced into the crowd with glee. Yes! Who's the best sister ever? Me! She paused as she caught sight of Wystan and Wulfric. It was hard to drag her eyes away for a moment. Her heart skipped a beat and she smiled to herself. She felt in such a good mood tonight for reasoning she could not describe. It was as if she had taken a drug. The music was the cherry on top. She so loved this song. Anastasia shut her eyes, enjoying the euphoric feeling.

She wanted to dance.

Who said she needed a partner?

Without a care in the world, she started to gracefully move onto the dance floor, performing decent ballet as she pranced around on her own around everyone else. It was as if they were not even there and this was her concert.

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Rodiak
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Rodiak 𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕠𝕗 𝕠𝕣𝕕𝕖𝕣

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______________________________________
I N T E R A C T I O S N :
@Tae , @Helo

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M E N T I O N S :
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Nahir shook her head, nudging her dear friend back just as she had. "There were indeed many eyes upon us, but I doubt we have won many hearts." She swirled the wine around for a bit as she looked up and around the ballroom with Saiya, following her gaze. She couldn't quite pin down who she was looking at, but nonetheless, Nahir was rooting for her. She wished for her dear friend to find someone that would make Siaya happy, make her dreams come true and -

Nahir smiled at the mention of Munir, rolling her eyes before looking towards the spot she had last seen him. "One or two- but I've yet to view the rest of what this season has to offer." Nahir had never been much of a fan of keeping one lover at a time- and she made it no secret either. Of course, not many would know this outside the Sultan's Palace. Here, in Caesonia, Nahir was just a Shehzadi serving her Kingdom with a rather big addiction to shopping.

Nahir turned to look at the bowl before taking one of the folded pieces. "Looks like we are staring." She turned to look at her friend again, reaching over to adjust some of the ornaments on her shoulder. "Remember to enjoy tonight, Saiya." Just in queue, Nahir's number was called by the man in front of the dance floor. "Have fun."

Nahir gave Saiya another smile before turning and walking to the dance floor. As she approached the center of the room, she spotted the Heir of Stravy heading to her destination. Much like him, she did little to hide the pleased smile that graced her lips. With both hands, Nahir gathered bits of her dress and curtsied when they finally met in the middle.

"It would please me greatly, Lord Smithwood." Nahir rose, letting go of the sides of her dress as she took his hand and allowed him to lead her forward.

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by 13org
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13org Stay fresh!

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Time: Early Evening
Location: Caesonia Castle Ball Room
Interactions: Wulfric @SilverPaw
Mentions: Lorenzo @FunnyGuy, King Edin.




The dinner with Wulfric went on without any issues, in part thanks to Mayet's choice of seats but it was also largely thanks to Nala as well. After all, not many were foolish enough to approach the tigress while she was eating. Many people around still found curious to see the huge tigress eating from a plate but none of them seemed to want to disturb her meal. The raw meat was delivered to the table by a rather nervous servant, not knowing if he should put the plate in front of the tigress or on the table near Mayet. It was only after a nervous exchange of stares between himself and another servant and an audible, annoyed sigh from Mayet that the servant simply put the plate on the table and quickly went away.

Despite the surprising variety of dishes, Mayet's choice was strangely fitting to someone who had a tigress as a companion, a sumptuous steak, seasoned with wine, fine herbs and accompanied with roasted potatoes with rosemary. Much to her surprise, the moment she was about to ask for a drink, another servant suddenly appeared, carrying a glass filled to the brim with wine, sent by no one other than Duke Vikena himself.

Raising an eyebrow, Mayet looked back to where Duke Vikena was, finding it strange that someone whom she had just humiliated would send her a glass of wine... Unless there was something on it.

Normally, having been raised on Alidasht, which was no different than a nest of vipers, Mayet's first thought would be that the wine was definitely poisoned. But if there was one thing Mayet had learned about Duke Vikena after what happened was that even though the man was a fool, he was a good-natured fool. Not only it was extremely unlikely for him to do something like that, but there was simply no reason at all for anyone to use him to harm Mayet for the simple reason that it was extremely unlikely that she would accept anything coming from Duke Vikena... After the huge commotion he caused. In the end, while Duke Vikena's gesture was a mystery for Mayet, she had no reason to refuse the wine and ended up simply accepting it.

Just the moment both Mayet and Nala had finished eating, servants started going around the ballroom, carrying beautiful bowls of fine porcelain, filled with small slips of paper inside. The explanation of what was happening came soon after as Wulfric, whom apparently seemed to have already seen such event happening many times, told Mayet that it was a random draw for the first dance.

"A curious custom, although not a boring one. I will play along. I am curious to see who will be my partner for this first dance." Mayet said with a curious, but amused expression as she grabbed one slip of paper from the bowl.

"People do often say to save the best for last, don't they?" she replied to Wulfric as they said their farewells.

The very moment Wulfric started walking away though, another servant approached her. Mayet was about to say that she had enough wine when the servant started speaking.

"He is not who you think he is. Be careful." the servant said in a mysterious tone, clearly referring to Wulfric before walking away as suddenly as she had approached Mayet, not giving her time even to talk or question them.

Mayet's reaction to the servant's words weren't one of surprise or apprehension but instead, of amusement. Whoever gave sent that servant to gave her that warning, they only made her even more interested on Wulfric.

"Oh? They say I should be the one to be careful? I think some of these nobles might be underestimating us, Nala..." Mayet said with an amused chuckle.

"If he really isn't whom I think he is, we just have to figure out his true self... And should he try to deceive us... Well... He will have the same end as so many others who defied me already did... Isn't that right, Nala?" Mayet said, gently patting Nala as she looked towards Wulfric in the distance with sharp eyes and a dangerous smile.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Potter
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Potter

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John Layla



John did not have to enjoy the plain glass of water plainly alone for too long. He could see a couple of servants making their ways around the room with a bowl, and people were getting a slip of paper from it. Unfortunately, and perhaps because he didn’t look important enough appearance-wise, the servant casually ignored him and handed the bowl to a…more lavishly dressed older gentleman, apparently a duke in Caesonia as well, standing next to him. All of which made the doctor perch his lips and shrug his shoulders. After all, it was revealed to be for a dance, something he was fine with staying out cause he never was a good dancer.

However, the duke too wasn't a big fan of this ordeal either.

”Bah, humbug…I thought this was for some gift draws.” He muttered, and swung his head both ways, stopping as he noticed the doctor looking at him. ”Here. You look lively, you can dance right young man?” It wasn’t a question though, ”Take it.” as the duke drilled that slip of paper onto the doctor’s hand and quickly walked away.

”Wait, wha-” John couldn’t protest, as the duke was already out of sight. ’Oh man…out of all the occasions to have to do this.’ He thought, hoping his partner tonight was someone he knows, like Lady Mina, Lady Charlotte or…hell even Thea works. But no…

When his number was called, he approached the front of the room to find out that his partner, out of everyone, was one of the Alidasht’s Shehzadis instead. Her tanned beauty, her more revealing dresses, lavish jewelry and most importantly her steely gaze told him enough where the doctor stood in this hierarchy. She knew where she stood, and she was proud of it.

With some initial flusters, the Varian royal physician presented Layla with the same traditional bow she had known and expected all her life, but the posture was slightly off, especially the shaking hands from the unnatural pose.

”Your Royal Highness, peace be upon you.” John spoke, allowing a moment between them before standing up, but his pose led to him losing balance. He would have sprawled out to the floor, and potentially caused yet another Lorenzo situation, if he hadn’t quickly supported himself with his hand. As he stood up, he gave her another bow, but not as deep as the last one, with his hands crossed above his stomach. ”I sincerely apologize, I have not practiced enough.”

Layla sat at one of the tables with wine, water, and food brought to her. She was surrounded by guards and a few curious admirers, none of which she paid attention to. Zilal had uncurled from her and onto the table instead. She stroked his head gently as she watched the proceedings. Her ears still rang and she had glared in the Duke’s direction. Layla gritted her teeth. Dinner with these vermin would be the highlight of her week. That clumsy imbecile and his sickly-vampire daughter would not be left off easy.

She sighed as she watched people mill about with bowls and numbers. Eyebrows raised, she watched a nervous maid come toward her. The poor thing kept glancing at her snake as if it might attack her. She rolled her eyes and made sure the brat noticed. The woman flushed and averted her gaze and with shaky hands, handed the bowl to Layla. She stared down at the woman as she took her slip of paper. Unfortunately, she matched with one of these imbeciles for a dance. How ridiculous. What if she didn’t want to? Slowly she stood up and flipped her hair over her shoulder and didn’t notice it hit the same maid in the face. She continued forward and found a lowly looking man? Was this a joke? The music began playing rather loud and drowned out the ringing.

Layla looked down at the short man with raised eyebrows. Was he noble? Had this been pre-planned to match her with a non-noble looking vermin? She decided to smile instead with amusement. The poor bastard was fumbling and looked ready to take flight at the first provocation. She couldn’t help but smirk at his attempt to mirror the Alidasht customary bow and had been close to complimenting him, when the bastard nearly fell and took her down with him. Layla let out a hiss akin to her snake’s. She heard Zilal in the background mirroring her and knew the snake was likely staring him down as well. He tried again and this time was more fluent in his movements. She sighed as she flipped her hair and waited for the man to get his act together. She listened to him and replied with a sniff nod. Clearly these people weren’t spending their time well. Was being clumsy a norm here?

”What is your name?” Layla quizzed, glancing around at the other dancers, then back at him. ”And what is your title?” She placed her hands on his shoulders which amused her. She was taller than him.

John felt a little less stiff as soon as the toes were dipped, without them getting shredded, yet. ”I am John. Dr. John Harling Williamson.” He said, as he took her other hand and locked eyes with her. ”I’m a royal physician in the Varian court.”

”A Doctor, huh?” Layla replied as fell into step with him gracefully. Her movements were agile and quick, much like a predator stalking its prey. It was evident that dancing was not a stranger to her. She stared down at him and was less venomous in speaking. Like a hawk she watched his movements and mannerisms picking them apart one by one in her brain. ”I don’t think you know my name yet, which is a pity. I’m Shehzadi Layla.”

”I am honored to be your dance partner tonight.” John nodded his head slowly, trying his best to match her movement, but it seemed pretty clear he was pretty stiff and hadn’t really danced much. However, he did know his limits, so he let the Shehzadi take the lead, making few but complementary movements, allowing her to essentially wrap around him whenever she liked. ”I hope I am not tarnishing your elegant steps, your highness.”

”I’d be honored too.” Layla replied with a smirk crossing her face. Her voice was honest but teasing. She remained graceful and spun him like top and then caught him again. Amusement showed in her eyes and face though she was torn between scowling. As she assessed him, Layla let out the tiniest smile. ”Dancing is more fun when you allow yourself to be light and free. Ignore anyone or anything else going around you. All that counts is the time and space between you and your partner. And you’re not, actually, I’ve seen worse.” She grimaced at the memory and wiped it away as if shooing a fly. Her hand returned to its place on his shoulder. ”As a Varian physician, are you required to come to all these boring events?” She scanned the room and then looked down at him again. ”Your King and Queen - are they near King Edin? Point them out to me.”

”Thank you, and yes you are certainly right.” John had no objections. By allowing himself to be light, like any servant and physician, he continued to mirror her important movements, content with letting her have him at her will, like a snake entwined around a mythological staff. He briefly looked away for a bit and quickly spotted the Varian rulers with his keen eyes for details, then proactively took one step towards their direction. ”They’re over there.” He said, as they continued. ”And no, I’m not royalty, but they insisted. They said it would be like a vacation, but with our nobles, they probably think some old sod wouldn’t be able to take it. So here I am, a young upstart sod instead.” He was clearly joking, referring to himself a little self-deprecatingly.

Layla smirked in approval. She followed his gaze and assessed them. They were as pale and stuffy looking as the others which made her cringe. When he spoke, her expression became stony and the Shehzadi remained quiet in reflection. The ringing in her ears returned and she bit her tongue to not scowl. Then, the arrogant smirk returned. ”Lovely.” She rolled her eyes and turned to face the music. The waltz music was beginning to end and she wondered if there would be a second dance. Gross. She eyed John once more and noticed his stuffy suit and dropped her hands from his shoulders. ”It was nice meeting you, Dr. John.” Layla performed the Alidasht customary bow and had a ghost of a smile upon her face.

”Thank you, Shehzadi Layla. I hope to see you again.” John bowed with his hands once again crossed on his stomach. As both emerged from their bow, John gave Layla a wave and a bright smile before they broke eye contact and retreated back into the crowds.
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Time:Evening
Location:Caesonia Ballroom in Danrose's Castle
Interaction:Kazumin @samreaper
Attire:Pink gown




Anastasia's eyes had been closed as she swirled around, pausing only when she heard a loud female voice. She glanced over and watched Lady Crystal Damien run away from a well-dressed blonde man with a very tasteful cowlick. The girl was in tears and he did not look all that happy either. Lady Crystal really did not attend these events often, however, she had not forgotten her existence. Anastasia recalled that she had always been a nice girl. Perhaps maybe a little sensitive now that she had not been out much. From the man's reaction, it did not seem he meant to upset her.

That was rough.

The blonde man moved off the dance floor mid-song, his face in his hands. She immediately ran over to the man and pranced in front of him, "Hey big boy!"She exclaimed with a smile, looking up at the depressed Kazumin,"The song isn't over yet! Wanna dance with me?" She offered her hands out. "We can always just swing around in circles if you are depleted of your life force. I have not drunk a thing yet so I swear I will not puke on you."

As she was standing there awaiting his reply, a third joined them. A man in expensive wear and a black mask approached them. Anastasia's attention was stolen briefly as he pushed an envelope against her torso. She took it and watched as he walked away without another word. Oh Marek. I wonder who that even was that you sent here to deliver your invitations. You do love the drama of it all, don't you? Unceremoniously, she ripped the envelope open and held the letter up above her head to read it.



Oh no. I almost forgot... I shouldn't go. I told Wystan I wouldn't worry him... But then I also promised Marek I'd be there!

Anastasia seemed in her head, conflicted for a moment before she looked back at Kazumin and placed the letter in his hands with a smile. She had to get rid of the evidence regardless of her decision. "You look like you can use a better party... Girls here, well, they're a little on the delicate side sometimes. Don't take it too personally."

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Kazumin Nagasa




Currently wearing: Caesonian traditional formal wear

(Minus the gloves and cape)

Location- Main hall/Dance floor
Interactions- @princess Anastasia




Hardly a few minutes passed after leaving the dance floor and trying to make sense of things did a voice suddenly speak up at him. And in such an unexpected manner causing Kazu to jump in surprise." Crhist! Where did you come from?" He exclaimed flabbergasted, his head still whirling and at a loss only to be approached and the manner she did so actually had him blushing a bit for once. Not often does he get called big boy and from a lady at that... in fact never that is until today.

" Um..what? Dance? I..." Trailing off as he struggled to make sense of what was happening as he heard her suggest joining her in swinging around on the dance floor with the added promise, she wouldn't puke on him. The lady unknown to him had certainly helped snap him out of the guilt-ridden bout of depression he nearly sank into and now just found himself both confused yet curious.

The woman who was a fellow blonde also seemed to carry with her a wild and energetic disposition which was not all too different from his own. She was of course stunning though what woman here wasn't? But she looked like someone he could get along with and were he not in such awkwardly horrendous situation would be sharing in her enthusiasm.

Opening his mouth to speak when a masked man walked over who had an air of mystery around them and without a word handed the lady some letter. Then he was gone as quickly as he appeared.

As one could imagine, Kazu had a hard time following anything that occurred these pasts several minutes. For now, he was observing Anastasia; curiosity towards the letter's content beating out everything else at the moment though he dared not ask for it was none of his business.

It ended up not mattering as he had the letter handed to him anyway followed by mention of an afterparty that had the discombobulated blonde perk up." An afterparty? Lady...you're speaking my language and if the place has actual liquor then consider me there yesterday." Some of his usual playful spunk returned upon being given such an opportunity and so took a moment to read the contents of the letter before crumpling it up to be pocketed for now.

There was still the matter of her offer to dance and was intending to refuse at first. But after considering that he was already heads deep buried in muck kinds of trouble..."Fuck it. I'm probably gonna be dying tonight or tomorrow so why the hell not." He finally replied proper with a casual shrug of the shoulders. This time he made sure to reach for the hand but stopped his hand short with an uncertain look in his eyes." Wait... on one condition. That you promise you won't break down or run off crying on me." He tilted his head in a suspicious manner; hesitation that was warranted as two of the ladies he met this night had done exactly these things, mind the first one had nothing to do with him. Yet, he was starting to have suspicions that noble women were either very sensitive or crazy and this one could very well possibly be either or both.

If she agreed to the little deal he extended then he would take hold of her hand and let himself be led onto the dance floor.
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Saiya & Amir





While standing and talking with Nahir, Saiya almost missed when her number was called. She hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly. ”I suppose I shouldn’t leave my dance partner waiting too long, nor should you. Go have some fun with a dance or two, Nahir.” She gave the woman a smile before setting her wine glass down and headed towards the front of the ballroom. Her bare feet made very little sound as she made her way through people, the only noise coming from her was the jingling sound of the bangles on her wrists. She soon found herself glancing around, waiting to see who she would dance with.

Amir’s eyes were always on the move. Even while conversing with Lady Vikena and Verrick, he scanned the ballroom continuously. He kept tabs on where his siblings, father and Vizier were located. Some ingrained instinct or perhaps the patriarchal idea that the oldest is to protect the young made him ensure that all was well. The twin would vehemently deny it of course.

His eyes fell on Nahir and Saiya conversing. Strong footsteps propelled him towards the pair. Then he saw the adopted daughter, now serving lady, move towards the dance floor. Moving like a shadow he suddenly appeared next to her. The twin’s voice was low but confident. “Would the lady honor me with this dance?” His eyes looked down at hers. Strong callused right hand extended to take hers. His honey colored eyes were waiting expectantly.

Saiya had felt the sudden presence appear next to her and glanced over at Amir with a smile. She glanced down at the paper in her hand, but then dropped it as she decided no one would truly know if they had gotten the same number or not. If they hadn't, the two they were to be paired with could simply get paired together instead. "Who am I to deny my Shahzade a dance?" She said as she gave him a bow before placing her small, delicate looking hand in his. "How has the night been treating you, dearest Amir? You were not harmed in the disturbance earlier I hope? She asked as she readied herself for the waltz, a northern dance she had practiced yet wasn't completely familiar with.

The tiniest smile appeared on the second born’s face. Saiya had always been different, even as a noble. She was truly brave. In a sense, it was a compliment that she would rather dance with him than whomever she had been assigned. Neither would know that fate would have brought them together anyways. As his bigger hand closed on hers, he would bow slightly.

With all form and decorum, he led her to the dance floor. His voice was cool as he answered her question. “I thank you for your concern, my lady. No harm came to me.” Reaching their destination he crisply placed his free hand on her hips in the Northern fashion. His eyes looked into hers. To any onlooker, they would seem like very well acquainted friends at the least. The music started and with just the barest of pressure on her waist, he directed her movements.

"Good, I'm glad no harm came to you." Saiya responded, a truly thankful smile on her face as she looked up at him. She followed his lead as he began the dance for them, her hand going to its proper place on his shoulder. "I saw you were speaking with Lady Vikena and the white haired man, did you make new friends?" An innocent question, though she knew he'd easily understand what she was actually asking. Did he find out anything interesting from them? Are they harmless? These were all things she'd hoped to eventually find out as they were two people who'd piqued her interest already. Amir had simply beaten her to it.

Just like Saiya, this dance was known to the twin but he was not proficient at it. This meant that to better control her movements he had to pull her in close so that their bodies could be in sync. He was thankful that the lady was so attuned to the slightest of movement. He gave her a slight grunt as she asked about the Duke’s daughter and Varian Princess bodyguard. “Sorry to disappoint you. No lasting friendships were made.”

At this point he leaned in close, his lips almost touching her ears so that she felt a slight breeze as he spoke. “Lady Vikena is a good source of information as she gives it freely. A kind smile will do wonders. The Varian warrior seems to have eyes only for his princess, so I doubt even your honey words may avail you. I would be careful with him.” His tone passed along the warning easily enough.

Amir stepped back as the time for the twirl came. He held Saiya’s hand as he lifted his own arm to allow her to pass under it. After full extension, he would pull her back, the momentum bringing her close again. “I saw my dear uncle grace you with his presence. No doubt encouraging you to mingle with our gracious hosts.” The twin asked, his tone slightly playful.

Saiya understood why he'd pulled her in closer as she found it easier to follow him by doing so, but her body betrayed her as she felt butterflies in her stomach for a brief moment. She silently cursed herself, but she kept a flawless mask as she listened to him speak. If one had asked her if she were attracted to either of the Sultan's sons she would tell the person asking that she was not, but it would be a lie. She swore to herself that she wouldn't admit to anyone that she found both Amir and Munir attractive.

His warning pulled her back out of her thoughts and she nodded slightly in understanding, but her eyes found the white haired man dancing with a young blonde woman. They seemed rather cozy and Saiya quietly noted to speak with that woman at some point. Her eyes met Amir's once more as he mentioned Hafiz speaking with her and a playful smile crossed her own face now. "Oh yes, he instructed me to mingle, form relationships, and have fun. Such a kind man, is he not?" It took everything in her to keep from rolling her eyes at the last statement. She, of all people, knew quite well how bipolar the Grand Vizier could be. "I believe he wishes for me to weed out any threats to all of you, especially after what happened with Duke Vikena." She said softly to him as she leaned in closer.

Amir was never as vulnerable as when around Saiya. The lady in waiting had been with the Kadir children basically all their lives. In some ways she was like a sister. In others….she was not. It was not lost on the twin how she felt to his touch, and against him. Thankfully, his own cool nature was able to overcome any flares that he may have. Mentioning the Vizier helped tremendously as his face hardened into its usual visage.

He crossed both their arms using opposite hands then spun her so that her arms enveloped her midsection and pulled her backwards against him as they swayed to the rhythm of the music. Again, his voice was near her ear. “Oh, yes. A veritable holy man.” The sarcasm was thick and deadly as a viper’s venom. “He wishes to learn of any threats indeed. It is easier to use traps that have already been spotted.”

Letting go of one of her hands he pushed her by the waist making her twirl again until both their arms were fully elongated. Then he pulled her back again, dipped under her arm as he spun himself to finish opposite of where he had started. A look that held a very subtle content face regarded her. “I feel more than one eye is upon you my lady. I am sure you will have no lack of dance partners tonight.” The slight tone of playfulness in his voice was recognisable to Saiya only.

When he pulled her back against him, arms crossed, Saiya found herself instinctually leaning into him. He spoke near her ear and she found herself turning to look at him, bringing their faces incredibly close. "I may pose as his little spy, but my loyalties lie with you. They always have and they always will." She said softly back to him before he spun her back out.

His next words caused a slight tint of red to color her cheeks, but she found herself smirking up at him. "Is that so? I wonder if seeing me dance so closely to Shahzade Amir will frighten them off? A shame, if so?" She then leaned in a little closer to him. "Or perhaps that was your plan all along?" She teased him and then grinned widely.

It was actually the nearness of their faces that had forced the second born to gently propel Saiya away before he lost composure. It had been her declaration of loyalty that had pleased him enough to show content. Gently, he gathered near her again, his hand once more on the small of her waist, holding on just a bit tighter. He raised an eyebrow at her cheeky taunting.

“If any man would not risk my swords to dance with you…then they are not worth the air they breathe.” He said in a low, almost guttural tone. Once more Amir leaned in close, his lips actually brushing her ear this time as he spoke into it. “As to the inner workings of my mind, my dear lady will have to try harder to discern them.” Before she could answer, his strong hands held her by the waist and lifted her up, spinning in place as the dance required and then brought her down when the spin was over. “Offering the gentlemen a better view of the prize to build up their courage.” He winked at her, honey eyes showing a glint.

Her breath caught as his lips brushed her ear and her heart seemed to skip a beat. Once upon a time, their mothers would tease that she would marry one of the twins some day. Her father even tried to go as far as arranging it once, but it was never to be. She'd lost her title and thus lost any chance of that. He could easily become the next Sultan and she was no longer worthy of becoming a Sultana. She wasn't even worthy of gaining the title Shehzadi, despite being taken in by the family. No, there was to be no hope of any of that transpiring…and yet? "Amir…" She breathed, but then caught herself and composed herself once more.

"You are cruel, Amir Ibn Raif Kadir. Teasing me so and toying with my heart." She said playfully, a teasing smile on her face. "I do believe there are plenty of eyes on both of us. Perhaps you will find yourself a wife during this season?" She smirked at him.

Though she was teasing, his face lost its playful tone. His face was not angry, instead a hint of sadness fluttered in his eyes. His voice was cool as always. “Lady Saiya, I would never play with your heart…” It seemed like he was to say more but he merely shut his mouth. The second comment did not help either. “I wish no lady to endure a life with me and I do not intend to merely be a political tool.” His honey eyes narrowed slightly.

The twins had never known of the secret arrangements secretly plotted. Kahrem had indeed felt more for the lady in waiting than mere friendship and would have been more than happy with the arrangements. Old Amir had seen her as nothing more than a pretty face. The current man before her looked at her, melancholy written in his face. “I pray to the gods that the same fate does not befall you my lady. Your hand should be given only to one who has won your heart and can promise you everlasting happiness.” The hand around Saiya’s waist loosened a little and Amir could not meet her gaze for a few seconds.

Saiya's own face fell as she tried to read his expression, to understand what she saw in his eyes, and to quiet the small spark of anger she felt at his words. Suddenly she pulled them to a stop from the dance. Her small hand reached up to gently caress his face and make him meet her gaze once more. "Endure a life with you?" She questioned and then began shaking her head softly. "I pray that someday you can open your heart and realize that you are just as deserving of love and happiness as anyone else. Then I hope you realize that someone would be thrilled to endure a life with you because they love you." Her words were gentle as she gave him an affectionate smile.

"I want to help you accomplish your goals, but I also want to see you happy by the end of all this. Despite what you think, you deserve happiness." She said as she moved her hand back into place to pick up the dance once again. "Now shall we finish our dance?" She asked, keeping a smile on her face as she tried to lighten the mood some.

The abrupt stop of motion and the gentle hand upon his cheek made the twin look up into Saiya’s eyes. Her words made him feel weak. It was almost as if she was holding him up merely by that gentle palm upon his bearded face. Their eyes spoke volumes. His features softened somewhat. Amir’s mouth felt dry and he did not dare speak should his voice betray him. All he could do was nod understanding what she meant but not fully agreeing with her.

His hand at her waist tightened again to move her out of the way of an incoming couple. Again he brought her close. “My life is not my own. I cannot deviate from my goal. Her soul, nor mine, can rest until…” His voice had begun to get louder but then he caught himself and took a deep breath. “Your words are kind and they are appreciated. You will make someone very happy one day.” His voice was cool again.

With the last measures of the song marking its end Amir brought her in close so that both of their bodies were pressed against each other. The hand at her waist moved to her lower back and the one holding her hand went behind her head cradling her neck. In a smooth motion, he dipped her. Amir’s strong arms holding the pose with no outward strain. His eyes looked into hers, their faces close to touching. “It never ceases to amaze me how vexing and calming you can be.” As the last notes faded, the twin lifted the lady in waiting back up. He bowed to her slightly. “Thank you for the dance Lady Saiya.” His normal demeanor returned.

Her heart had ached as she listened to his words and stared at him, but she spoke no more on the matter. She'd spoken her piece and there was no sense in continuing the conversation…for now. She understood where he was coming from and their goals aligned, but she also would not stop fighting for him to have happiness. She cared for him deeply and she knew Esrin would want to see all her children happy. Saiya would ensure that to the best of her abilities.

She hadn't been expecting him to pull her in so close and she felt her heart begin to race. He then dipped her and she found herself inches from his face. Her mind betrayed her for a brief moment as she wondered what it would be like if he closed the distance and their lips met. As she realized she had this thought and heard his words she felt her face heat and she had to avert her gaze. He lifted her back up and the dance was over. She dipped down low in a curtsy, trying to still her racing heart and rid her face of its red glow. "It's always a pleasure to dance with you, Shahzade. I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening." She said quickly to him, briefly meeting his gaze once more before turning and leaving. She found herself once more by the wine table and desperately needing the sweet liquid.
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Duke Lorenzo Vikena
&
Count Calbert Damien

Location: Balcony
Time: Dancie Time


Lorenzo had attempted to seek out Charlotte in the sea of people but the initiation of the first dance caused the duke to step aside and watch his stepdaughter drift further away from him.

“Such poor timing.” He grumbled as he stopped advancing, so he wouldn't cause a mess equivalent to the one that occurred during his arrival. He took a few steps away while taking the moment to look around before he found something… until he found someone. Lorenzo's eyes again were locked onto Count Calbert Damien. His brow furrowed before he stepped off towards the man he considered a menace.

“Count Damien! May I have a word?” Lorenzo didn't even bother to stop in front of Calbert and instead continued to the nearest vacant balcony. Like Calbert, Lorenzo had much to discuss. Calbert had met his eyes and smiled.

“Duke Vikena. Of course, you may.” He replied pleasantly and followed him out to the balcony. The night air was cool as he shut the doors behind them, the sound of the music dulling quickly. The bright light from the ball lit up the stone floor as he came to stand parallel to Lorenzo. His posture was very relaxed as he spoke first.

“I hope you are faring well after all that transpired.” His long black hair billowed in the breeze as he took out a pipe and began to light it.

“I- I am.” His simple and stuttered answer gave away his lack of confidence. “You seem to be doing so…” he saw this as his chance to steer the conversation. “...making your rounds, talking to many as a good count should… I saw you…” the duke cleared his throat as he faltered in his speech. It was pathetic. With a deep gulp, he wished were rich with wine, he continued. “I caught- I mean, I saw you speaking to Lady Vikena earlier… What was that about?”
Count Calbert had allowed the amusement he felt to cross his expression as he smirked at the fumbling Duke.

“Did you now? Are you certain?” He put the pipe to his lips and then exhaled smoke straight into Lorenzo’s face a moment later which caused the man to waft it from his face. Calbert's feet began to move as he began to pace around the nervous duke slowly, much the way a shark would its prey. Calbert set the pipe in Lorenzo’s palm firmly and suddenly as he was rounding towards his initial position. Lorenzo attempted to not look nervous but Calbert always gave him the feeling he could do anything to him. Eerily unpredictable. “You… aren’t mistaking someone else for me, are you?”

“I-” Lorenzo averted his gaze as he tried to think. “I am sure it was you. No one carries a presence like yours.” He gave a nod as he unconsciously fiddled with the pipe in his hands. It surprisingly eased his nerves.
Count Calbert nodded, accepting Lorenzo’s answer.

“Yes. You’re quite right.” He watched him fiddle with the pipe and suddenly snatched it back, looming over Lorenzo and glaring into his eyes. “It was indeed I who spoke to her.” He finally confirmed. “I’m pleased you were sure. Men of our status should carry certainty with our thoughts and words, don’t you concede?” Lorenzo gulped and nodded. Not because he actually agreed. The duke hadn't even digested his words due to how menacing Calbert was. Nodding just made him feel safe from any wrath that could be inflicted upon him.

“I am also very sure about something, Lorenzo.” Calbert continued, his eyes narrowing. “I thought I told you that you’d only be attending events with my permission….I was very thorough in our prior conversations.” Lorenzo flinched as Calbert tapped him on the forehead with the pipe. “And you must recall I said something like this might happen. You could have been killed. Or worse… With all this in mind…” He stepped closer menacingly as his tone grew cold, Why did you attend this ball?

Where there should have been an answer was silence. The question that was so unreasonable, wasn’t. There had been an agreement. Informal, but an agreement with the devil need not be formal.

“I did it f-” He took a quick step back. “I was just tired of being cooped up. A year… It’s been far too long.” His tone was almost a whine.

“You did it… for who?” The black-haired count leaned his face close to his, “For Charlotte? For yourself?” He emitted a soft yet hollow chuckle, “Either one is an unfavorable answer. Considering both would mean you’re a self-absorbed imbecile. Charlotte was offered up like a lamb for slaughter, either because you forgot you came here for her sake and made an embarrassment of yourself… or … because you were bored.”

Calbert let his words sink in, giving him some space finally as he stepped back, “And what suitors will she now ever have now that she’s volunteered herself as essentially a concubine to the Sultan and his sons? The girl had no idea of what she was saying undoubtedly due to a lack of guidance on your part…We all know how it must have been interpreted.” Lorenzo couldn't look the count in the eyes as felt the immense shame weigh down on him. Lorenzo could take it if it was done to him, but anyone else…

“And Violet did better? Is that what you're inferring?” Lorenzo's timidness almost masked the insult. “I was… I was so sure Charlotte getting the attention of one of the Sultan's oldest sons might be a good sign.” He shook his head solemnly. “But I guess not…” His eyes finally met the counts with a tinge of fire in them. “Who was that man she was with? Was he a prince? Maybe one that just simply escapes my memory, hm?”

With a sigh, Calbert began shaking his head at the bold man. Did he truly dare to try and challenge him? Fool.

“Lorenzo, I do not mean my words to be cruel. I merely say them so that you think. Charlotte is in danger. Her reputation is tarnished… All because she is willing to do anything to protect you.” He placed a hand on Lorenzo’s shoulder, face now displaying concern. He let go of the man and turned to look back at the dancing couples, silent for only a moment. Calbert finally gestured to his daughter once he caught sight of her dancing with Prince Callum. ”Look at my Violet. She is dancing with a prince.”

“Charlotte is a beautiful girl with a beautiful soul; she could easily win the heart of a prince.” He finally turned back to face Lorenzo. “How can she do that if you continue to be a black spot on her reputation?” Oddly enough his voice held a gentle tone to it. The man was a master at his craft and he secretly took pride in it.

“I’ll tell you what, I can help rebuild Charlotte’s reputation. I’ll take her under my wing, help her find a suitable match that will provide her with security and safety. King Edin respects me and he’ll listen to what I have to say on behalf of Charlotte. In order to ensure this, however, I need something in return from you.” He studied the man for a moment, trying to discern if he would be agreeable. From what he could tell, the duke was on the fence. Perhaps he shouldn’t have started off the way he had. Sugar after the salt wasn’t always the best approach.

“I don’t know… She… She will be fine if I settle myself. I am not yearning for Charlotte to win the heart of a prince. I’m… I’m not like that. I just want her to do better than I did. I want someone who makes her look good. I want someone who will make Lottie happy.” His eyes watered as he spoke. “I don’t know if you, the king, or even myself can find such a thing. Something that is truly beautiful… Love.” Count Calbert smiled at him, continuing softly.

“One day she may be very well on her own without you. She needs a chance to find someone who can love her the way she deserves and I can very well provide that opportunity, set her up for dates with only the finest of men so they get a chance to know your little Lottie the way you do.” He then asked, “Don’t you think it’s what Emina would have wanted? To know her daughter is well looked out for?” Lorenzo stood there, silent now and looking down and away.

“I-I… I don't know. Only if she desires it. Just…” He took a deep breath. “Allow me to speak with my daughter, first.”

Calbert took a step back to allow him to go back inside, gesturing his arm to give him the right of way back inside, “Of course, my dear friend.”
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by princess
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Kazumin & Anastasia





“No way would I do that!”Anastasia exclaimed and took Kazumin’s hands with a giggle, “You’re my new friend!”She took the initiative and led him enthusiastically to the dance floor. She paused to comment on the previous statement as it had been lingering in her mind, “Oh, and you’re telling me about that liquor! They put out this stupid wine and stopped bringing out the good stuff a few years ago. I’m convinced they’re hiding it from me somewhere after what I did at my brother’s birthday party. ”

She pointed suddenly at the woman near the attendant near the wine and spoke intensely, “See that broad? …She’s to blame. Her name’s Helga. She hides the whisky from me. “ The woman made a face and glanced around her area. Helga finally gestured to herself, perplexed. Anastasia narrowed her eyes at her, whispering to him, “Look at her playing dumb. The fiend!” She stuck her tongue out at Helga whose eyes widened in further confusion.

He let out a relieved sigh as his nerves were somewhat shot at the moment and didn’t need another woman crying on him. Being told that she considered him a friend brought a grin back to his previously dejected face.” I’ve made one new friend tonight at least.” His chuckle cut short upon being pulled onto the dance floor; now it was his turn being pulled along and it was just the thing needed to keep from feeling sorry for himself. As there was nothing he can do about Crystal for now so there was no point in fretting over it.

What Anastasia said next left him looking appalled before turning his gaze to this Helga she pointed out to.” The absolute audacity of that woman. Booze is meant to be shared, not coveted.” Shaking his head in distaste at how the dastardly Helga went so far as to hide her whiskey even while her whispered comments brought a smirk to his lips.” A fiend indeed. I know a horrid hag that takes whatever vodka or scotch I’m lucky to get my hands on and pour them down the sink in front of me.” He whispered back after leaning close with his attention kept on Helga, his eyes lowered suspiciously.” I bet the fiend and hag are in cahoots and actively work to ruin fun for others.” The cowlicked blonde finished whispering with a nod only to start snickering.

Anastasia gasped. ”Vodka! Scotch! Oh my God! She sounds like an absolute villain. Where did you find such a horrible hag? ”She questioned as she began to lead him into dancing.

”You think there is a legion of liquor coveting fiends right under our noses in Caesonia?” She then nodded firmly as if she had convinced herself by her own question, ”Yes, yes there must be. Despicable! “ However aghast she may have sounded, the corners of her lips had twitched as she struggled to keep a serious face. ” We should start an army of…. blondes to counter theirs!” She poked his cowlick. ”For we are superior and the only ones who can save the kingdom!”

The hag is my etiquette teacher, unfortunately. As if torturing me with that deadly stick I mess up wasn’t enough.” Were he not covered up in this stuffy suit she and any other would see the myriad of bruises covering his flesh even now, the fresher ones still stinging raw. Turning his attention back to his dance partner; listening to her tell of a possible conspiracy of vile liquor fiends to which he followed up with a quick motion of his feet having the two spin on the spot.” My gods! You could be onto something there.” He exclaimed after doing so while trying to keep a serious expression of his own though hardly did any better than his dance partner.

The small grin widened upon having his cowlick flicked where it bounced with fervor from his agreeing nods.” Indeed. An army is needed to defeat such a dastardly cult. And I already know a fellow blonde drinker to recruit.” Continuing to whirl around with his fellow blonde ally, eventually motioning in Thea’s direction after spotting her.” Truly, we blondes need to unite lest the kingdom become dry and devoid of joy.

Kazu prepared himself to continue, but finally broke and started laughing even as they kept whirling about.” Haaah… sorry about that but I couldn’t hold it in any longer.” Exhaling a huff through his nose trying to catch his breath, thankful for the dance otherwise he might have broken into a proper fit of laughter.

Anastasia’s expression had fallen slightly and briefly in reaction to his first statement. She was uncertain if that little tidbit about him getting hit with a stick was part of the charade or not. Anastasia could only hope. She then shook her head as if shaking away a bad memory. His joyful joking had allowed her to easily put the smile back on and forget about it.

It was a pleasant surprise to see him point out Lady Thea, someone she ran into often at the parties she sought out. If they knew each other, then she felt very secure in her selection of a new friend tonight. Anastasia blew a kiss to the fellow blonde party girl, giggling.

She could not hold the charade either, bursting into laughter as well a moment after he did. ” That’s okay. I suppose we should introduce ourselves anyway. My name is Anastasia. Annnd you?”

Still in the midst of recovering from laughing when he saw the way she blew a kiss to Thea leaving him wondering what silly and amusing crackpot theories the three of them could come up with together while sharing drinks.” Mhm, It is high time we properly introduced ourselves.” Once more shifting to have the two twirl around as he received her name.” And I’m Kazumin. I am most grateful and delighted to meet you, Lady Anastasia and thankful for the laugh you have given me.” Shaking his head along with an amused chortle.” Normally I’m the one making others laugh as it's rare for me to be the one needing cheering.” Though he knew that if anyone truly needed cheering up it was Lady Crystal, but for now such a task would have to go to someone else. Taking a deep breath first then dismissed the thought, not wishing to dwell on the depressing ordeal.” And I must ask, but do you know lady Thea, perhaps?

Anastasia was quite pleased to be twirled as she listened to Kazumin introduce himself, ”Oh wow! Great name. Kazumin. Kazoo in. Haha. Anytime for a laugh! ” She repeated his name in amusement. She considered the fact he had called her Lady Anastasia. It would be a lousy thing to lie about who she was to her new friend, so she decided that she had to tell him. She didn’t fault him for not identifying her as her own parents often acted as if she was not part of the royal lineup. Though, she felt reluctant as she was afraid he might treat her differently. Perhaps she better get in another fun twirl in case. ” Yes. I know her. She’s a sweetheart! I see her often since the same people always turn up at these things every time… Can you twirl me? Please!” In case of reluctance, she pulled out her puppy dogs eyes for the second time tonight.

The way she said Kazoo in had him raising a brow curiously.” Well that’s certainly a first. Kazoo..well if you want to call me that then feel free though it's only fair I get to call you by nickname too.” pursing his lips with a mock expression of deep thought as he peered at her face.” I want to say Ana, but that’s too obvious…I’d say you look more like a… Ani.” Kazu said with a smug little grin.”She does give off that sweetheart vibe. I do hope she is doing well after that..” Trailing off having decided not to say anymore as he did not want to risk ruining this pleasant mood. Thankfully Ani had carried on with a request to twirl her while hitting him with those adorable puppy dog eyes only to give a cheeky scoff in return.” Good try, but every one of my sisters pulled that trick on me all the time back home so I am immune to your powers of cuteness… though I will twirl you…if you twirl me too!” And with that he lifted her right arm up high with her hand held above her head and with a small flick of his wrist twirled her around on the spot.

Anastasia smiled wide, excited about the nickname he bestowed her. She could recall someone calling her Annie before and she had always thought it was cute and straight to the point. As lovely as the name Anastasia was, it was often a mouthful. “Ani sounds so cute!”She practically squealed. Her expression fell immediately when he started to tell her that her cuteness had failed. No twirl??She thought in terror, only to find that all was right in the world and she indeed was receiving a twirl.

”Whee!”She spun around, her pink dress billowing out and fanning around her. Right after she completed her exciting twirl, she began to attempt to twirl him. There was a technical issue as he was quite a bit taller than her. Nonetheless, she got on her tippy toes to lift his hand as high as she could and gave a weak flick of her wrist to twirl him back. Once the mission was complete, a mischievous grin formed. ”... Wanna do that again?”

Pleased to see that she enjoyed the nickname he bestowed upon her and to the point of getting a happy squeal followed by her stating it to be cute.” I’m honored to see you so thrilled for the name I have beseeched upon you after putting all my brain power into it.” He responded with a playful wink then moved to twirl her about which got a childlike whee out of the high-spirited lady. Now it was his turn to get a twirl and as expected proved difficult due to the height difference and to make it easier he willingly bent his knees then gave a bit of push of his legs to get that extra bit of force to make up for Ani’s slight lacking of strength. In doing so, it allowed him to twirl about in place albeit a tad awkwardly though Kazu did not care as he spun about with a joyful whee of his own.

After a few spins the laughing blonde came to a stop; paying the onlookers judging glances no mind. All that mattered was that they were having fun and enjoying themselves.” About time we guys got the chance to twirl for once.” For a moment the room was spinning, likely thanks to the wine and several turns he just did but it seemed they weren’t done with twirling quite yet as he saw that mischievous grin Ani was sporting.” Again? Well I don’t mind…you do seem to have something in mind.” Eyeing her suspiciously for a moment then gave a shrug of his shoulders.” But you seem trustworthy so go ahead, twirl me.

” Everyone deserves the chance to twirl.”Anastasia agreed. She reached her arm up to twirl him then paused. She took both his hands instead and let her body fall back a bit as she started to move her feet to pull them in a circle so they could both spin at the same time. Guests around them were grimacing and moving out of the way of the spinning duo. The music had already stopped at this point and people were confused. She was able to keep it going for an impressive amount of time.

But eventually, she did get so dizzy that she let go and stumbled back, practically falling back onto the floor. She laid her head back against the shiny ball floor, giggling despite feeling quite nauseous. ” That was fun!” The ceiling was spinning above her and she could not bring herself to budge. Anastasia wondered if it was okay for her to just lounge here for a few minutes.

That I wholeheartedly agree with.” Kazu agreed in return as he waited expectantly to be twirled. Anastasia, however, had a different idea in mind and soon found both hands grabbed then watched as she leaned back until their hands were pulled taut between the two. Next thing he knew he was spinning along in a wide circle with her, the action forcing those nearby to quickly move out of the way of the giggling pair.

Everything was a dizzying blur and all his qualms that occurred today were forgotten. Right now, the only thing he thought about was enjoying this moment with his newest friend.

And without warning, Ani had let go of his hands causing the two of them to fall back leaving the two of them sprawled on their backs. He didn’t even notice landing or the faint dull ache in his back for the thrilling laughter overtook every sensation until he was lying there panting.

Gazing up at the ceiling as the last of his laughter died down only to find the room much more quiet than expected. Blinking, he realized the music stopped.” Hah..looks like the dance is…or has been over?” Uncertain of how long exactly as they were too busy spinning. Using his arms to push and prop himself up to aim a wide grin at Ani.” Man, that was a blast! I had a lot of fun. Thank you for the dance, Ani….really, I appreciate it so much.

Anastasia smiled and waved from her spot on the floor, dazed, ”Of course! Keep a smile on your face, Kazoo! See you later at the educational study group!”

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by JJ Doe
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Ríoghnach "Riona"

Interaction(s): Munir @Infinite Cosmos

At first, Riona didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. There was no litter on the floor or tables to pick up, nothing got broken, no one’s clothes were ruined, the animals were surprisingly well-behaved, and for the most part the guests appeared to be satisfied. Even if she knew it was only a matter of time that would change, it was a moment of relative peace for the maid and she planned to enjoy every second of it.

It was the frantic movements of a handful of her colleagues that tipped Riona off that something had gone awry. They turned their heads, left and right, searching for something, or someone in the ballroom. Riona was about to offer to help look for whatever it was they were trying to find, when one of them caught sight of her and immediately started pointing. The heads of the servants who were also searching all turned towards Riona and they started to point at her as well.

She stared at them with one eyebrow cocked. With the exception of a few who ventured farther away, most of the servants were standing near the “Alidasht side” of the ballroom. Then it clicked. That could only mean one thing. Riona quickly reached for the extra cleaning supplies the servants brought just in case the animals had “an accident”.

“Riona!” Riona turned to the source of the voice as she changed her gloves to ones that were more suited for the messy task ahead. The other maid rushed over to her and tried to whisper to her in a voice a bit too loud to count as a whisper, “Quickly, the Shahzade is requesting for you.” Riona nodded and wrapped a white cloth over her nose and mouth and tied a knot behind her head, “Don’t worry, I got this.”

Riona was guided by her colleague to the opposite side of the ballroom, where the color gold dominated. She followed until the other maid bowed in front of a young man wearing glittering gold and red. Riona stopped and bowed as best she could with two hands occupied with cleaning equipment.

“This is she, Shahzade.”

“Many apologies for making you wait. I am at your disposal.” Riona’s head remained lowered. “If you would kindly point me in the right direction, I will immediately start cleaning.”

Just as Munir was looking around for his dance partner, another servant rushed up on him and brought another with them. “This is she, Shahzade.” Munir turned around and simply waved a hand to dismiss the extra servant. “Disposal? Cleaning? Just what do you think happened, girl? You’re not here to clean. You’ve been chosen, it seems.” Munir said, making it quite obvious that he was measuring her up.

She was his height, with a smaller, but still voluptuous build. Skin was nice, for a working class woman. Fierce eyes, ones that Munir liked to see in women he might pursue. The hair can use a washing, however. Much less luster and wonder about this one. But, with some dressing up, and cleaning up for that matter, this one can turn out to be rather nice. It’s just down to whether she would let him do that or not.

Chosen? Riona was only able to exchange the quickest of confused looks with the other maid before she was essentially forced to leave. For what? “I humbly beg your pardon, but I am not sure I understand what you mean.”

“Look. Yes. You were chosen, but not by me. You’re my dance partner.” He said and offered a full Alidashtian bow. “Shahzade Munir Ibn Raif al Kadir, at your service.” He said again, offering her his hand. “I didn’t get your name?”

I am WHAT? Riona was very close to dropping the items in her hands. This couldn’t be happening. She had worked in the castle long enough to know about King Edin’s famous random-dance-partner-selector, but never in her 12 years of service had Riona’s name been placed in it. Not that it was unheard of to place a servant’s name into the bowl. It happened once every blue moon, but when it did happen it was done with the explicit intent to humiliate the person who drew the short straw or, in even worse scenarios, it was done to select the servant who would be given as an offering to placate the offended party. The latter supposedly helped redirect their anger and frustration of the royal family to the family’s property. By doing so, the royal family was never directly harmed, and the offended party would be satiated by breaking the proxy, whatever that entailed. Either way, the servants were just pawns, tools to be used for someone else’s amusement.

Riona eyes looked away from the shahzade and narrowed at King Edin’s direction before she looked back at the shahzade’s feet. “I am no one, as such my name is of no importance to you, Shahzade Munir.” Don’t think he’d remember my face or name after this anyways. “I am sorry for your misfortune. This lottery was intended as a chance to meet new people… other important people. If you wish, you can bow out from this round of dancing or request for a partner worthy of your station. Is there someone who has piqued your interest? If you have a name, I can go ask them on your behalf.”

Not only did she ignore his hand, she did not answer his question. Understandably, this irritated Munir somewhat. However, given his nature, Munir took this as a challenge. This girl thinks herself so far below him, she wouldn’t offer him her name. Servants in Alidasht, while servants, still had names. Munir assumed it would be no different in the North.

Matter of fact, servants here might be treated nicer than they would be in Alidasht. Given that no one lost their heads due to the earlier events. Nevertheless, the fact that this one in front of him chose to defy his words, which should realistically be taken as commands given the difference in their social status, brought a small smirk to Munir’s face.

“Girl. I asked for your name, and I’ve extended my hand to you. Not only did you not give me your name, you’ve also ignored my hand. Tsk Tsk. I would have thought whichever plump noble’s house you served trained you better than this. I’ll do this again. I am Shahzade Munir Ibn Raif al Kadir. May I have this dance with you?” Munir said, bowing his head lower than he needed to, and extending his hand to her once again. There wasn’t malice in his voice. Instead, it was warm, and gentle.

Munir is a firm believer of destiny. The fact that this girl has been paired with him must have been the doing of the Gods. Whether its her destiny to dance with him, or it was his destiny to dance with her.

Surely the announcer would be either waiting for their arrival, or would soon call their names…

He’s a persistent one isn’t he? Riona exhaled slowly through her nose. It was obvious he had no intention of letting her free, but if there was no escaping this, she wasn’t going to do it with the cleaning gear on, “As you wish, Shahzade.” Riona finally eased out of the bow only to turn away from the man and raised her hand. A moment or so later, two servants wearing the same uniform as her swooped in. One retrieved the mop brush and bucket filled with other cleaning items in it while the other held on to the items Riona was removing from herself. The gloves, makeshift mask, apron, and mobcap. She touched her brooch that served as a collar in contemplation before removing that from her person as well. Now she looked like some random commoner who somehow got herself lost in a royal ball.

As she fixed her hair into a neater bun, she turned around to appraise Shahzade Munir. He was a gorgeous man, the type that would be immortalized in oil painting or marble statues. Nothing about him suggested that he knew anything about labor or hardship. Which made the fact that he insisted on dancing with a servant all the more confounding. What did this man gain from this? Surely servants weren’t a novelty in Alidasht.

Once her hair was properly set, Riona gave the man a proper Alidashtian bow and “sang” to him, << Shahzade Munir Ibn Raif al Kadir, peace be upon you. How can I, ‘Girl’, deny one such as you? It would be my pleasure to dance with you. Let us be the envy of the ball, that even the Sun has no choice but to rise early to see Your Highness’s radiance.>> Riona stared directly into Munir’s eyes as she reached her hand out, making sure to show that it was not the kind of hands the shahzade would be used to touching. They were rough, with numerous cuts both old and new; worker’s hands. Riona’s last attempt at dissuading the man from dancing with her.

Munir patiently waited as two more servants appeared to retrieve the cleaning gear the girl previously carried. He glanced at the girl’s hand and noticed all the small wounds and the obvious signs of her leading a life of hardship and labor. Munir simply smiled and raised her hand to his lips, and gave it a small kiss. His eyes, fierce but warm, met her gaze and did not falter one bit. Quickly, Munir spun the girl softly closer to him, taking her hand and waist. All of her hasty preparation was not lost to Munir either. It would at least seem like she made sure she was as presentable as possible before beginning the dance with Munir. A gesture Munir appreciated. Oftentimes, as it has happened in Alidasht, when Munir set his eyes on a servant girl, they were always so awestruck that they forgot about such things.

With the dance slowly progressing, Munir naturally leaned in closer. “Are you really going to make me beg for your name?” Munir said in a teasing tone. “Or are you just challenging me because you detest royalty? I may be royalty, but I believe that humans should be treated with dignity and respect.” He said as he swayed to the sound of the music. “Also, please, Munir is fine. My name, in its entirety, is far too long.” He said with a small chuckle.

Of course he knows that the crowd would be watching him. Not only is he a guest of the royal gathering, but he was also paired with a commoner. That fact alone would surely raise questions. However, Munir will not let that deter him. With a small gather, he turned and subtly dipped Riona just enough to serve as a surprise to her, but not so much that she would lose her balance. As the dance continued, Munir was determined to make conversation. He has never seen someone this distant to him. It was common for peasants to avoid talking to him but this felt different. Somehow, Munir sensed more tension than there should have been. “So… Tell me more about yourself. I’m curious. Also, we ought to get you a proper dress the next time we dance. Surely these stuffy nobles will be even more awestruck than they are now. I’ll have my personal clothier come by and take your measurements after the dance.”

Quickly but quietly, he moved both of his hands to her waist and gently lifted her a few inches off the ground as they spun slowly…

The shahzade was not what Riona expected. While she would’ve been mildly surprised if he had simply taken her hand even after looking at the state it was in, he shocked her by kissing her hands without hesitation or any hint of disgust. Shahzade Munir continued this streak while they danced by insisting on conversing with her, as if he was interested in some foreign nation’s servant. Maybe he was just chatty, but it was nice to be noticed once in a while.

Riona let out a startled laugh when she felt herself being lifted and spun around. It had been years since anyone did that to her, and, though it wasn’t the most flattering thing to think of while dancing with an eligible bachelor, it reminded her of her father. Of happier, innocent days.

She smiled at Shahzade Munir, “The time remaining for this dance may be too short to give you a satisfying answer, but I will do my best. Let’s see… Well, as much as I appreciate the gesture, I am afraid I would not have the opportunity to wear such a gift. The castle has a strict uniform policy, and I would never be invited to a party such as this. The clothes would be a waste on me.” The maid’s dance movement subtly changed by the addition of a little flair to her steps, not enough to throw her partner completely off, but enough to disrupt the pace the shahzade maintained up until that point.

“Secondly, no. I do not detest royalty.” At least, not your family.<< So, fear not, Shahzade Munir.>> Mischief twinkled in her eyes. << I agree wholeheartedly that humans should be treated with dignity and respect… but I must confess the idea of you beseeching me… is intriguing. It is rare to hear people of royal blood beg for anything.>> The irony of using the Golden Tongue as she said this was not lost to Riona. How horrified her father would’ve been had he heard her use it in this way with an actual shahzade.

In a rapid succession of movements, Riona managed to reverse their dance roles so that Shahzade Munir was following her lead. “There is no need to beg, however. Though you may not believe me, Your Highness, you already know my name. How else would you have requested for me?” Riona leaned in so she could whisper, “You just weren’t able to read what was written on the paper, could you?”

“No no. I insist. A woman with your figure deserves nice dresses, no matter the social status. I will speak with whoever I need to make sure you have the occasion to wear that dress. My clothier is…I guess he is quite good at what he does. He, from time to time, designs dresses for my sisters so I suppose his work with women’s fashion is up to par. Look, if it makes you more comfortable, I won’t be there for it. I know my reputation precedes me.” Munir said with a small chuckle. “I like to enjoy the finer things in life, nothing sinister.”

The music was starting to wind down. Munir, with his keen ears, noticed this easily. He smiled softly and nodded to nobody in particular. He assumed that the dance would simply conclude with him leading from start to finish. However, it would seem Riona had something different in mind. He furrowed his brows in surprise as she added a few small steps to change up the pace. It would seem like the girl was finally opening up to him, at least a little.

“Ah. So you do know how to dance. Here I thought they didn’t teach that here.” He said as a tease. He did not resist the change, instead allowing the girl to continue. “Well. I’m glad you do not detest those of royal birth. It is known that there are jealous folks out there who are wishing for our downfall.” He noticed the small change in the girl’s expression and a small smirk appeared on his face as well. Her next comment gave him perhaps a look at who she was when she isn’t donning her uniform and answering to someone’s beck and call. Munir leaned in much closer than before, and whispered to Riona “Well. You’d be worth it. I’m not above begging for it…”

Riona continued to change up the dance for Munir to the point where she was now taking the lead. Munir gave her a nod of approval and admiration. It would seem there is much more to this girl than the shahzade had first thought. Munir let out an airy chuckle when Riona mentioned the slip of paper. “Well. I didn’t request you directly. If I remember it correctly, your colleagues brought you to me, thinking that there was something to be cleaned. But yes. When I saw the name on that slip, I may have had some choice words. I will be honest here. If I had to try to pronounce it right now, with no guidance, I would pronounce it Re-ohg-Knock. I’m sure I butchered it, but it’s what I would have said.”

The music was entering its final phase now. Munir, while letting Riona keep the lead, simply wrapped his arm around her lower back, leaned in and gave her a small, gentlemanly, kiss on the cheek before stepping back. “ My lady. It was my pleasure to have shared this dance with me. You must join me for some more conversations while I’m here for the season. I will send for you when the time is right.” Munir offered her another Alidashtian bow. “Enjoy the rest of your evening.”

Riona took a few steps back and returned the bow. “As you wish, Your Highness.” When she stood straight up again, she added, “I should inform you, though, that this castle does not have an employee by the name of Reohg Knock.” Riona offered a smirk before curtsying, << Have a blessed evening.>> The maid then vanished into the crowd of people.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by mantou
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Rodiak
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collab between @princess & @Rodiak



”The honor is mine, Sir Mathias Larsen.”Charlotte had replied to the beautiful blonde man before her. All the effort to utilize the wine to slow her heart rate had been for nothing as she felt it speeding it up again. He was a picture out of a storybook with those green eyes and such a charming face. She stepped forward toward him as they were directed to move off for another couple to be acquainted. He sure was tall; the top of her head would tickle his chin. Though the name had some familiarity to her, she could not recall ever meeting him before.

”My name is Charlotte… I mean, Lady Charlotte… but no need to fret over the title. I’ve never been quite certain if it’s meant anything all that interesting since I’m very obviously a lady like any other girl here, so why should I in particular state the obvious?”She smiled at him but her pupils had dilated slightly in the realization of the silly statements tumbling out of her mouth.

It seems I am a lightweight.

Mathias offered his arm to Lady Vikena for her to take as they walked together to their designated spot to wait for the dance to start. He glanced down at her, seeing her this up close- it felt strange almost after the whole debacle with the Alidasht Kingdom. From his spot Lady Vikena almost looked like a porcelain doll; elegant, graceful and smelling slightly of sweet Caesonian wine. The knight did not blame Charlotte for taking advantage of the free wine, not after what had happened.

"I am not very sure why we carry such titles, my Lady, but you have opened my mind to these questions." Mathias laughed softly. "Very well, Lady- Charlotte please call me Mathias from now on." He wasn't much fond of being called Sir Mathias and even less being Lord Larsen. Even after all of these years he was not used to either of those titles. Besides, it would only be fair that she would call him by his given name instead of his title if he was going to do the same.

She was relieved that he had seemed amused with her words. ”Very well. Mathias, it is, but you just called me Lady now haven’t you? You’re taller than me so I couldn’t possibly be above you by such an exorbitant status.” Charlotte had joked. She let him lead the dancing as they had taken hands. Muscle memory helped her place her feet in the right spots luckily enough. She just had to ignore the idea that she was dancing with a two-headed man. Hopefully, this conversation would flow better than her first attempt. ”I-Uh... You should tell me more about yourself..”

"I-" Mathias wasn't just about to spill his whole life story as to why she was indeed in a higher class status than he was- but he just smiled and bowed his head slightly. "My apologies, Charlotte, it shall not happen again." There was a slight relief in his face, he'd gotten so used to calling everyone around him Lord and Lady that just saying someone's given name brought him back.

Tonight's waltz was a bit slower than Mathias has grown accustomed to, leaving him to lead slightly faster than the other dancers on the floor. "There's not much I can tell you that would interest you," He spun them around once, twice, keeping his hand firmly on her back as if the force of the spin would break the porcelain doll. As if Lady Vikena had not just taken Crystal's sudden embrace. "I am a Royal Guard of Varian," Another spin, this time just in sync with the rhythm of the music now that he had gotten a hand at the slower pace. " the Larsen family has served Varian for centuries now. I'm just following the legacy."

Charlotte gripped his hand tighter as they spun, trying her best to keep up with his footing. His first statement had resonated with her soul. The only thing that could be said about her that she was girl privileged enough to be born into money but unfortunate enough to lose her family. It made her heart ache nonetheless to hear someone act as if they had nothing of value to say. Her eyes lit up as he explained that he was a Royal Guard of Varian. How magnificent. She felt honored to speak to yet another extraordinary person.

Charlotte raised a brow and smirked as she told him sarcastically, ”...Yes because being a part of a family line of Royal Guards is so uninteresting.” She paused her footing to stop their dancing. Her eyes then met his. The dryness melted from her tone and she told him warmly, ”Please don’t demean yourself. You sound like you’re amazing.”

She earnestly continued, ”Your duty is a valiant and noble one. Perhaps it does not cross your mind often but I am sure you are part of the reason why the people of Varian feel safe… Why children can play outside, why the Queen and King can sleep at night… It’s all because of what you do. “ Charlotte smiled up at him, ” I do believe that makes you a hero, now doesn’t it?”

Seeing her struggle with his lead, Mathias quickly slowed down to correct his pace and match hers. He wanted to apologize and blame the difference in culture when he saw a familiar look in her eyes. It was a flash- and just like that- it was gone and replaced with sarcasm.

"I suppose you are right, La- Charlotte." Mathias caught the slip just in time and smiled at her words, nodding his head when he realized that what she had said rang true in her voice. He supposed being a Royal Knight was a grand deed. But the title of knight, or Lord, or just standing here in the ballroom with a beautiful woman before him in a Kingdom far from the slums of Breoven- it didn't feel right. To be here while everyone he had grown up with remained there.

The following words that slipped past Lady Vikena's lips washed away the creeping guilt that was currently trying to crawl its way into his mind. Now, instead of guilt, there was doubt. Perhaps she was correct. He may have gotten lucky, and that did not mean everything he had now was not well deserved. He worked hours trying to protect and serve all for the sake of those he loved. For his son.

He opened his mouth to say something- anything, but no word seemed to form in his mouth. They stood there as the dancing and music continued without them. Such a small frame, and yet Lady Vikena had brought a Varian knight to the verge of tears.

"Words cannot express my gratitude after hearing you say that," Mathias finally spoke, bowing his head slightly. Charlotte didn't know him, yet she was making him doubt the guilt he had been carrying for years now. "You are a kind woman, Charlotte," he cleared his throat and blinked a few times before he let himself smile again. "I- Thank you again. You've opened my eyes, yet again. Perhaps I am a hero to some."

Charlotte was genuinely surprised by his reaction. She was certain he was blinking back tears. Hearing this man express such heavy gratitude through both his words and his emotion made her feel as if she were perhaps a hero too. She smiled again and squeezed the hand she was holding, ”No perhaps! You are one Charlotte assured him. She paused, her gaze dropping as she contemplated on whether or not she should share her next thoughts.

”...Ever since I was a little girl, I’d read books and always be enchanted by knights and heroes. I know it’s not quite the same but I always wanted to have such purpose. I want to help people somehow; to have an effect on the world around me.” Her voice was softer than before as she spoke.

Mathias looked at her, Lady Vikena carried an air of familiarity he had seen before. A kind woman, one that yearned for change- for power. A title that many wished to possess. "Charlotte, I may not know you personally but I can attest from what I have witnessed today that you are already in fact changing the world." With an index finger he gently tapped the bottom of her chin, bringing her gaze to meet his. "You are a brave woman, a kind soul. You do not need to be a knight or a hero to continue to have an effect on the world."

The music continued around them; Mathias took her hand and wrapped the other around her waist. "I am sure you will come to see how others see you, and that you will continue to do marvelous things." He began to lead the dance again, this time slower than before.

Charlotte’s blue eyes met his as she listened with lips parted in surprise. She could not help but blush at his words. They were as sweet as honey and as if they were created to fill her aching heart with warmth. She hadn’t been certain he had witnessed the fiasco that occurred before but she supposed he indeed had. She took his hand and as they positioned themselves to continue waltzing. She moved her hand delicately on his shoulder. ” Thank you, Matthias. You’re very sweet.”Charlotte told him softly.

Though it was often intimidating for her to hold eye contact for long periods of time, especially when she was nervous, she was growing comfortable doing so with him. ”I… I was honestly so afraid tonight that it’s been hard to imagine myself as brave. My stepfather Lorenzo is the only family I have now. I thought…” She felt her voice choke up a little and took a moment to recuperate before continuing, ”...I thought I was going to lose him.”

Mathias looked at her with gentle eyes as he listened to her speak. "And you would do anything to save him." He gently guided her under his arm for a spin before bringing Lady Vikena closer again, a hand resting firmly on her back as if to comfort her. He understood why Charlotte had done it now and he could feel his chest swell with admiration for her. "Do you love your stepfather?"

Charlotte was careful as she was spun, managing to retain some grace. Lorenzo had been in her life for so many years now, but he hadn’t been a father in the traditional way she had thought of one. There had always been expectations with her birth parents. With Lorenzo, that wasn’t really a thing, but… ”Yes of course. I consider him my father. ” The hand on her back was a great comfort to her as it wasn’t often she received touch like this.

Her shoulders relaxed and she said, ”...I am sure if you were in my place and your family was on the line, you would have done the same. They must feel blessed to have you in their life.”

There was no hesitation when Mathias nodded his head, "I would have done the same to protect my son." He smiled at the thought of Lukas, "But I am the blessed one to have him in my life." Around them, the music began to slow down and other dancers did too. The knight followed in step with the rest, disappointed that their dance would soon come to an end. He had enjoyed Lady Vikena's company much more than he had anticipated and wished for the song to be longer.

Charlotte’s brows lifted in subtle surprise. She then smiled, “I am glad your little boy has you and that you have him.” As the music began to fade, she let her hands slowly fall off Mathias. ”Thank you for the dance, well… For everything.”

The nearby balcony doors suddenly opened and Duke Lorenzo Vikena emerged from them. Count Calbert followed after. She could not help but utter as massive concern filled her, ”Oh no.” Charlotte folded her arms as if to comfort herself then apologetically looked at Matthias, ”I am so sorry. Please excuse me.”

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Inertia
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Inertia Pretty Lackadaisical

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Auguste & Persephone
MENTIONS: King Edin @princess, Wulfric @SilverPaw, Callum @Helo, Anastasia @princess, Wystan @Mantou




Auguste’s eyes caught his sister, Anastasia, escorted by Wystan. For both Callum and Anastasia to make trouble, he couldn’t help but smile and silently praise their youthful exuberance. It was a thing he couldn’t ever think to do. Auguste watched their exchange some more before a piece of paper was pushed onto Wystan, before Anastasia’s signature laugh echoed softly in the hall.

Wystan now began approaching Wulfric. Auguste took a moment to piece it together. A laugh bubbled in his chest. Auguste cleared his throat, a poor attempt at pushing down the laughter that now threatened to escape his throat. With another cough, he stifled and transformed the laugh into a poorly concealed, soft chuckle. When Edin’s eyes landed on him he quickly turned away, suddenly fascinated by the ornate pillar to his side.

”I am unworthy of such high praises.” Auguste smiles, ”I hope my skill continue to impress, Lord Smithwood..” The prince’s interests were clear, with a noticeably happier countenance when the subject was about swordsmanship.

A servant too held out a basket filled with papers, ”Thank you.” He says, unfolding the paper, studying the contents and then placing it in his breast pocket.

Greeting the Princess would come later, as he soon heard the dance couples being called to the front. Auguste stayed in place, hoping that his partner would appear.

After coming in from the balcony, Persephone grinned. Her hair was messy and she’d actually had laughed. It had been foreign to her since the drama. Her bag had more food in it and was tucked away safely. She glanced in a mirror and adjusted her braid so it looked neater. When she turned back around, there stood a maid holding out a bowl with papers in it.

Perplexed, she took one and began to examine it. Realisation dawned on her and she audibly groaned. A dance? She panicked and grabbed a piece of bread to stuff in her mouth while going to meet her partner. As she strode forward, she noticed the nobility moving into the middle and almost choked. When her number was called, she swallowed the remaining bread quickly. She looked up to see…

”Prince Auguste? Were the Gods taunting her? There was no way in hell she was dancing with him. Persephone gazed around with confusion and then looked up with wide green eyes. Act natural… She forced a smile on her face and waited for him.

Auguste’s ears pricked up hearing his name called. He turned towards a blonde woman, who seemed surprised. “My lady, are you perhaps my dance partner?” He gently enquired. His dull eyes met hers, he did not recognize the lady. For him and Wulfric to not be dancing with prospective nobility… it was likely to anger their father. A small laugh echoed in the back of his mind at the realization- Callum was being the filial son for once.

”Yes… Yes I am.” Her voice was quiet, then became confident and strong. She grinned at him as if she’d read his mind. ”I seem to be the lucky lad, or are you the lucky lad?” She teased while she put her hands on his shoulders. Although she was light on her feet, it had been ages since she’d danced. She took a deep breath and fitted a confident smile on her face. Was fortune on her side tonight? Would her luck run out? She prayed it wouldn’t.

“Perhaps it is indeed me who is lucky.” For the lady to not balk at being matched with royalty and even joke about such was unique, to say the least. Auguste smiled and offered his hand towards her. “You will have to excuse my hand- it is rough and calloused. Unbefitting of a prince.” He said, “I am Auguste Alden Danrose.” Although it was unlikely that he would be unrecognised, it was a matter of politeness. “And you are?”

Persephone took his hand and eyed it. Though it was rough and calloused, she found his hand looked nice anyways. She looked back up and wrapped her fingers over it. ”I don’t think we should judge a prince by his hand's condition. Mine aren’t the best either.” She commented and smirked at his introduction. He was a proper gentleman. “I am Persephone, but you can call me Seph for short. Salvatore.” She added the last bit and dipped in a quick curtsy. “I’m… obviously not nobility… I live over on the farms.”

“Ah, of course.” Auguste said, “It is nice to meet you, Lady Persephone… er- Seph.” He made it a goal to remember notable families. The Salvatore family, a family that has met many unfortunate tragedies. A pang of guilt ran through him, although he did not show it. There was definitely more he and his family could do for the people of Caesonia. It was something he would personally see to in the future.

Persephone’s hand was similar to his own. It was clear that she had experience with her hands- be it through swordsmanship or archery. “Don’t worry about nobility or my father. It is what the paper dictated, after all.” Auguste winked as the music began playing.

Auguste decided on the dance- the Vienesse Waltz. A dance with variable levels of difficulty and complexity. He would change the difficulty depending on how well Persephone could follow.

“Shall we?” Auguste said. He slid his right hand to her left back. His left hand clasped her right hand. His right foot stepped forward, his left step continued to the side. Next he closes his right foot to his left. “What brings you to this gathering, Lady Persephone?” He asked in-between steps. The next few steps were the same, except the first step started with the opposite foot. The first movement- the natural turn. It led to a clockwise movement, the simplicity highlighting the sharp refinement of each of the prince’s steps.

Persephone giggled when he called her ‘Lady’. She had never been referred to by that title. It seemed to be saved for the noble families. She looked taken aback, but recovered quickly. His words calmed her a bit; he didn’t seem arrogant. In fact, he seemed to retain more humility than what she’d expected. When he indicated the beginning of the dance, she nodded and replied confidently, “Yes we shall.” His question made her think for a moment and chewed on her words before spitting them out. She couldn’t tell him the exact truth and finally settled on a reply. ”Oh the food for sure it’s quite amazing isn’t it? I also thought it’d be nice to attend the grand ball. It’s quite extravagant isn’t it? Although, I’m sure you may be used to it.” She watched his footing for a moment and tried to mimic it, but she wasn’t certain what they were doing. He was quite skilled at this dance which made her cheeks flush. Try to blend in… but the girl honestly didn’t understand and looked at him with confusion but wasn’t willing to admit it out loud. Was anyone laughing at them? She felt her ears burn and bit her lip. Her eyes watered as she fought them back.

“Ah, the food, of course.” Auguste smiled, not an ounce of doubt in his tone. He leaned in closer to whisper his next few words, “... After the party, you can head to the pantry in the back and mention that I sent you. The servants will give you the leftovers.” He saw it a waste to dump the excess food and has covertly been packaging away party leftovers to distribute to the poor.

Auguste noticed her struggling to follow his steps. He slowed down tremendously. Her nearly tearful face reminded him of his cute sister during her youth. She pouted and hid when she struggled. He turned his head to his side, eyes meeting a leering noble. He smiled viciously at him, causing the man to turn away. “Focus on my eyes, Lady Persephone.” Auguste said kindly, an attempt to get her to ignore her surroundings. ”I will assist you.”

He replayed the first movement, but instead of continuing, he would wait until she had mimicked his step and placed her foot in the correct place. “Exactly like that.”

Should I leave or should I go? Am I embarrassing him? He seems so nice. Am I humiliating myself? Will everyone talk about this clumsy, unaware farm girl? Her mind was racing with anxiety and was trying to hide it.

When he leaned in closer to her, panic filled her. What was going on? The words that tumbled out of his mouth caught her by surprise and halted her anxiety. She… had permission… To go to the pantry? A million ideas filled her head, but none she focused on. He was offering food to her for free? Her stomach rumbled and she could see her townsfolk, the poorest of the poor, rejoicing. How could her luck be so good tonight?

She didn’t have time to process this notion due to a leering noble who caught her eye. In her peripheral vision, Auguste’s vicious smile caused him to turn away. She turned back and looked into his piercing yellow eyes as giggles escaped her. For a moment, she was lost and blushed and cast her gaze away. She watched him replay his first move and blinked, then slowly repeated it. It was less graceful, but she’d understood the step. Heart hammering, she sucked in a deep breath and visibly began to relax. “Tha.. Thank you…” She finally stammered, meeting his gaze again.

Auguste smiled warmly as she chose to meet his gaze. He repeated the first movement a couple more times so that she could get used to it. Each repetition faster than the last.. “You’ve picked up the first movement faster than I, Lady Persephone.” He complimented, “I will move on to the next movement- the reverse turn.”

For Auguste, dancing bore many similarities to movement in a spar. Almost eerily so. As such, he had very little issue with learning dances- from the simpler dances to the more advanced ones.

The reverse turn. Auguste’s left foot moved forward, his right foot moved to the side, and finally his left crosses in-front of his right foot for the first half. In the latter half, his right foot stepped backwards, the left foot moved to the side, and the right foot closed on his left foot like the first movement.

Like earlier, Agusute did these steps slowly, waiting on Persephone for each step. “You are doing well. A simple trick to remember is that it is done in a three step motion. Three-Two-One,” He counted each step, “... and One-Two-Three.”

Persephone felt her cheeks burn at his warm smile. The complement caused a genuine bright smile to appear on her face. She watched his movements and thought for a moment. It was an intricate and complex dance, yet it was also fun once she had the hang of it. It was something she knew she’d have never learned if she hadn’t come. However, she stumbled every now and then and regained her footing. Having not eaten much the past few weeks was definitely beginning to wear on her, yet she refused to give in. Fatigue was going to come for her sooner rather than later and she hoped she was alone when it did.

When he told her the recipe of the dance, she nodded. It made sense to her but was still puzzling. She decided to piece it together like she would learning the art of the sword or the bow. Each had their specific instructions and rhythm to it. “Thank you, and you’re a good teacher.” She realised how she was enjoying herself and had forgotten about the rest of the ballroom. She didn’t feel King Edin’s angry eyes boring into the back of her skull as if trying to telepathically kill her. Persephone also didn't notice the leering noble now watching with surprise. His humility, kindness, and patience, had surprised her.

“So… What is the name of this dance and is it taught to all the nobles?” She wondered if it was a dumb question so she quickly moved on. “I’m sure being a Prince you know can use a sword and bow. Am I correct?”

“My thanks.” Auguste replied to her compliment. “The dance is called a Viennese Waltz. I believe most of the nobility are at least well acquainted with the dance.”

“You are right, Lady Persephone.” He said, “I have a penchant for swordsmanship. A bit moreso than others, I’d say. It’s gotten to the point where my hand is truly unbefitting to that of a prince.” He chuckled, “At least my father seems to think so.”

“And what hobbies do you partake in?” He asked with genuine curiosity.

Auguste led both of them into a change step. A quick stopover step that lets them change the direction of their spin from clockwise to anti-clockwise. At the same time, Auguste skillfully spun them around each dancing couple. He was impressed at the speed she picked up his instructions, soon their speed became quicker. Soon they both settled to a comfortable and manageable speed, as Auguste picked up her exhaustion.

“You’re welcome.” She nodded in response to his answer. Persephone listened to his answer and grinned. However when he mentioned his dad again, she had trouble not rolling her eyes. Her hatred of King Edin burned for a moment and she took several deep breaths. She hated him so much she couldn’t wait for him to get his karma. Expressing these thoughts and emotions would not go over well, so replied to his question.

“I enjoy using the sword and horseback riding… I also enjoy sewing and knitting.” She chose not to indulge too much information. The bow, rifle, and agility and fighting would be her secret for now. He seemed sweet and innocent, so she felt guilty, but didn’t let it show and smiled instead. “Maybe we could spar in the future.”

Auguste’s face became complicated at her change in demeanour at the mention of his father. He was no fool, he knew of his father’s debauchery and general reputation within Caesonia. For now he chose not to comment.

“A fellow swordsman, huh?” Auguste replied, his face noticeably lit up. “I accept your challenge, Lady Persephone”

Persephone felt herself grow smaller at his expression change. Had she upset him? She sighed and chose not to comment on it. The swordsmanship discussion caused him to light up and she was back to grinning again, genuinely. Hopefully she could repair it.

“You name the time and place and I’ll be there, Prince Auguste.” She replied and curtsied as the music began to slow down. “It was a pleasure to meet you and dance with you. My thanks goes out to you.”

“And I, you, Lady Persephone.” Auguste placed his right arm over chest and bowed. “Keep in mind what I mentioned during the beginning of our dance.”

With a short reprieve, he made his way to the food tables to grab some snacks and water to refill his energy.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Heartfillia
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Heartfillia

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Countess Liliane, Count Calbert & Lady Crystal


Mentions: @samreaper Kazumin @Tpartywithzombi Violet





Liliane had been watching her daughter as she had danced with the unfamiliar boy from her spot in a chair in the corner of the room. A few nobles ladies were sitting nearby the delicate woman as she had her hands folded neatly in her lap. She had told an attendant that she had been feeling dizzy and needed a seat for the remainder of the ball. After she had been given one, quite a few people asked to sit by her, eager to speak to the angelic countess.

She entertained the conversations with them with soft and short answers, her attention moving often toward both her daughters as they were on the dance floor. At first, she had been quite happy to see Crystal dancing with someone, and had only been glancing over here and there, but it had taken a downward turn. He had taken up Crystal’s personal space multiple times, causing her visible discomfort. At this point, she had tuned out the conversation with her lady friends and had put her full focus into the situation at hand. Something the boy said cleared struck fear into Crystal. Liliane stood up immediately.

Crystal quickly made her way towards her mother. Trying her best to ignore the stares and looks given her as she hurried by. Her face, hot with embarrassment and her skin prickly from the creepiness from the situation.

Had he really stalked her? He went with a story like that, that couldn’t be coincidence. But the way he got close to her by pulling their bodies together it only made it reaffirm her belief.

She honestly would have gone to her father first, but she didn’t see him. She didn’t give her mother a chance to say anything before she hugged her. Her voice muffled in the shoulder. “Mother, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have come. I’m just making a fool of myself and you and father…” She wasn’t bawling, but the tears still threaten to breach her eyelids at this point.

Liliane’s expression broke seeing her daughter distressed as she came into close proximity. She wrapped her arms around her and embraced her tightly. “Oh my little girl. You have no idea how happy I am that you decided to come. You’re doing no such thing.”She kissed her head and ran her fingers through her hair comfortingly. After a moment she gently lifted her daughter’s chin up to look her in the eye. “Can you tell me what happened?”

She took a moment to collect her thoughts, finding her self calming down a bit when her mother stroked her hair. She always loved that. When her chin was lifted so she could meet her mothers eyes she took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment as if that would force the tears back down.

She finally reopened them, “ That man I danced with… I… think he might be a stalker. I don’t know how, I just might be overreacting. But with how close he was getting… and the fact he tried telling a story that was basically the start of mine.” she sighed and took a tiny step back to look… another woman was now dancing with him, she seemed to completely enjoy his company.

She felt annoyed, hurt, angry, relieved…. All at the same time. “It was too much to be coincidental right? But I’ve never seen him before… how would he know? Am I overreacting? I don’t know but I suddenly feel like the bad guy… I mean look at that woman, she is clearly enjoying his company…”

Liliane listened to her daughter with a warm smile then advised her gently, “It is okay, no matter what the reality of this situation or any other one, to decide you are uncomfortable and you want to leave.” She followed her gaze and watched the blonde in her pink dress dance with the perpetrator. “That’s Princess Anastasia. She is… ever the friendly sort and doesn’t have a instinct that tells her to run when she should. If you recall, I believe she ended up getting herself kidnapped years ago. The poor dear.” She sighed and took Crystal’s hands. “Listen. Don’t worry about it, alright, my dear? … As for him being a stalker, your father and I will find everything out that we need to and go from there.”

“I can’t just go back out there… I don’t know who I bumped into but everyone will stare.” Crystal said softly… looking at the other lords and ladies not dancing and we’re looking at her. “Continue to stare.” She added. She started to wring her own wrists again. “I shouldn’t have come… this never would have happened if I didn't come.”

She looked over to see Charlotte having a wonderful time with Sir Mathias, and finally spotting her sister dancing with another Lord. Looking lovely as always. “I should just go… I don’t want to embarrass You or Violet. Not when she can actually find someone…”

“You can! Would the heroines in your stories give up?”Liliane asked her, brushing hair behind her ear, “You’ve been in your room for so long, Crystal. This is your moment to start your real story.” She had noted to herself to chastise her later for coming on her own instead of with them, but she wanted to see her daughter have fun before doing any reprimanding yet tonight. Crystal was here and she looked so beautiful that it had moved Liliane to tears when she had seen her come in. She deserved to dance with lovely men and enjoy fine cuisine with the rest of the young ladies of Caesonia tonight.

The countess glanced at Charlotte once she saw her daughter look in the direction and then looked down at Crystal again, “Lady Vikena’s had an arduous night. Before you arrived, her father embarrassed the Sultan of the Alidasht Kingdom and she made an attempt to take the blame. Alas, the Sultan was merciful on the two of them. I think it would be beneficial for the both of you to catch up. You both require the commiserations of a friend tonight.”

Crystal closed her eyes and sighed. Her stories weren't the same, just some lonely girl dreams written on paper. She didn’t say anything though as her mother continued. She looked back to Charlotte.

Her mother went on to explain that Charlotte had a horrible night in her own right. Yet there she was, enjoying a dance… no one is looking at her, judging. She smiled faintly, maybe she was being a bit…childish in a sense. She took a deep breath and looked to her mom a bit sheepishly. “I feel so foolish… thank you.” She said softly allowing her head to fall into the crook of her mothers neck.

“Don’t feel foolish. You have every right to be upset. I am upset too.Lilianne told her and gave her a firm hug. “I cannot bear to see someone scaring you like this… But it will be taken care of. ” As the dances started to come to their conclusion, the two women soon saw Count Calbert striding toward them through the crowd.

Liliane bit her lip as he stopped before them and glanced down at Crystal. His brows furrowed,
“Why is she despairing?”He asked as he moved to rub his daughter’s back. He had caught a glimpse of Crystal dancing with some blonde man while he had been speaking with Lorenzo, but he had not recognized him. “Was it that nobody she was dancing with? Did he hurt her?”

“Crystal received the impression that a young man has been stalking her.”The countess told her husband softly,her tone full of concern. “He knew all about her life and even went as far as to invade her personal space. “ There was a twinge of anger too now.

“What!”Count Calbert’s voice raised exponentially, those nearby looking over in alarm. He turned around, his eyes searching the crowd until they locked on Kazumin. There he was. Dancing with the princess as if he had not just hurt his baby. If looks could kill, the boy with the cowlick would have instantly collapsed to the floor. He snapped his fingers without turning around as a servant nervously came to his side. “Find out the identity of that man.”He hissed under his breath. Calbert weighed his options carefully before deciding to take some inspiration from the Sultan, “...And invite him to brunch tomorrow.” He then whispered to the servant for several moments.

Liliane touched her husband’s shoulder. “My love. This could be a misunderstanding. Maybe we should find out all the information before-”

“I simply want to have a discussion with the boy..”Calbert turned to look at her, his eyes flashing, “Just…a little chat. ” Fury was apparent in his gaze, but he kept his expression stoic. With clenched fists, he continued explaining, clarifying his sentiment, “I would like to speak to him and find out his intentions for myself. He can clear up any misunderstandings to me. Regardless, I have full faith in Crystal’s intuition. If she says that man is a menace, then so he is. I will make sure he never even glances at her ever again.”

Crystal raised her head as her father touched her back. Looking up to him. She couldn’t even answer when her mother spoke up for her. All she managed was a shake of her head when he asked if he hurt her.

She stood there and watched as her father grew angrier by the moment, instantly ordering a servant to find out his name and wanting to ‘just talk to him.’ She began to worry slightly. She never saw him this angry before. While she honestly believed that Kazu was stalking her. She worried that her father would take things a bit too far. From stories she read about fathers having no issues ‘taking care of things’ when it came to protecting their families. She didn’t want anyone to die…not that her father would ever do that.

“Father…” She said softly, moving from her mother and wrapping an arm around his and leaning her head against his shoulder. Looking at Kazu,“Can we just leave it be? I don’t want to make it any worse than it is already…” She said looking up to him “I…honestly never had a stalker..that I know of before… I could be wrong…” She gripped his hand in hers, if anyone was hurt because of her she couldn’t bear it… it would be horrible. Even if it was a creepy stalker…

Calbert looked down at his daughter, his expression softening. He had always said she was too pure for the world…But that was why he was here to protect her. He would do anything to make sure her and Violet had everything he did not. Every time the world dared to threaten to take from them, he would take from the world first. He smiled down at her and gave her a loving hug. ”I am sorry, sweetpea. I must have frightened you. Your safety means everything to me and I am afraid I cannot just leave it be. I will simply discuss the matter with him to find out the truth. “ He let go of her but stayed at her side. ”If he is stalking you, we have no idea what he may dare do next. You understand this right, dear?

Liliane moved to her side and added in a kind tone, ”And Crystal, he may be bothering other girls, maybe even your sister, for all we know. It is important we get enforcement involved if he is following around young women.”

Crystal groaned inwardly as her father released her from his hug. She didn’t say anything but gripped her hands in her lap. She didn’t want to say she understood. She looked away and twisted her hands again against each other. She then looked up at her mother, she added onto fathers 'argument’ so to say… she lowered her head and simply nodded. ”O-ok… Just don’t…hurt him..please.” She muttered under breath.

”Your father would never hurt anyone, sweetheart.”Liliane assured her then glanced at her husband. ”Oh, Calbert. There’s something we must discuss about Violet.”

His eyebrow raised. With a sigh, he told Crystal, ” Alright then. Crystal dear, run along but stay within sight. Do not leave the ballroom. Oh, and stay away from that vulture of a man tonight. I’ll be keeping an eye on him.”
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Potter
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Potter

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Ezra Turner
Time: Evening
Location: Caesonia Castle Ballroom
Mentions: @Silverpaw Wulfric @Mantou Wystan @princess Anastasia @Inertia Auguste @Helo Callum, @samreaper Kazumin




The grand ballroom was spectacular and beautiful and not admitting it was downright silly. The cakes and pies he’d created were laying on an elegant display. Ezra had researched every recipe he could find for this occasion. It was of the utmost importance that everything was perfect. He knew he had to greet King Edin and Queen Alibeth to announce his arrival and bakery. He didn’t care for politics but had to tonight for his goal to work out.

The display of drama with the all too haughty Alidasht Kingdom was something he’d remember for years to come. He had sit and ate his food, some he’d stolen from a few nobles nearby who were too stupid to notice. He tapped his foot and folded his arms, unsure why he hadn’t seen her yet. Ezra was halfway to his feet to go find her when the angel graced the ballroom with her presence. However, the sight beside her made him growl under his breath like a wild dog. That mutt was with her. He relaxed his posture after realizing he looked too intimidating and sighed. It would be a cat and mouse game, but he’d be the one to win the cheese.

With the brothers and the entire continent in view, he couldn’t do anything. Ezra moved over to grab some food, noticing the Varian and Caesonia nobles conversing nearby. Keeping to himself, Ezra grabbed more food and went back to his table. Unexpectedly he noticed the servants and maids going around with a bowl and papers inside of them. Panic rose inside. Was his dream dancing with anyone? To his relief he noticed no she wasn’t, and he decided now might be the appropriate time.

Standing up tall with his chest forward and a charming smile upon his face, he started forward when some blonde boy intervened. Ezra frowned as he watched the scenario play out which resulted in them both twirling like tops and finding themselves upon the floor. How dare he let her fall? What an absolute moron! He’d never allow that to happen! Before he could approach, Wulfric and Auguste’s pet were at their side and were likely scolding them. What a duo of idiots. They were nothing compared to him. The images of her brothers, Wulfric, Augsute, and Callum, mangled and lifeless, was music to his ears. He sighed and shook his head. Such misfortune, but he’d wait and play the long game.

Just like a cat would catch a mouse in its trap, so would he.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Tpartywithzombi
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Tpartywithzombi “Strong women are absolutely unpredictable.”

Member Seen 3 mos ago



Location: Caesonia Castle
Interactions: Ballroom - Balcony
Mentions: @ReusableSword Roman Ravenwood , @helo Callum Danrose



Violet Was taken aback by his suggestion “right..yes to identify the ..animal “ she said emphasizing the animal being the reason behind her scaring. Although the thought of someone hurting her, perhaps because of her father was a thought she held for a while.

She could tell his mood shift after she mentioned the arrangements “ I apologize, there is no chosen man for me, I wouldn't allow it. I shall choose the man that I decide is appropriate for me. “ she paused “ Call me old-fashioned but I believe in love.” she shrugged.

She Listened to him closely while leaning against the railing. She smiled brightly and perked up “ Yes I would really enjoy that “ Her voice for the first time had a gleeful undertone to it. She took a step back as he bowed towards her, she could feel a flutter in her chest as he called her scars beautiful. “Thank you Lord Ravenwood, I would be honored to dance with you this evening. I look forward to it.” she offered him a smile.

Confused as to why he wanted to know about her parents, she gestured into the ballroom pointing out her parents when she noticed her sister had joined the event. Taken aback and surprised she looked at the lord “ They are right over there, Count Calbert and Countess Lilianne. “ she smiled at him “ If you’ll excuse me, My sister has appeared to join the festivities and I’d like to say hello. ‘ She curtsied towards him and took her to leave from the balcony.

Heading inside, the music began to start for the dancing, where she was greeted by Prince Danrose inquiring about a dance. She cursed “ I would be delighted with your highness. “ she regretfully agreed.

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