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collab between @Heartfillia and @Rodiak


As soon as they arrived, Mary ran to sign up for the hat competition.

"They will see what Varian is made of!" She screamed as she held down onto the purple monstrosity on her head and ran away from them.

Mathias and Lukas took it upon themselves to look for adequate seats for the race. Most of the seats by the front were already taken, not that he minded much. Being tall came with a few perks; besides, Lukas would be more than happy to sit on his shoulders, and Mary had no interest in the actual horse race.

After a few minutes of searching, Mathias found a few free seats towards the right side with a good view of the track. Lukas excitedly stood on his seat, trying to catch a view of the horses and their riders. Mathias sat next to him, eyes scanning the crowds of people for a familiar crown of gold.

Crystal showed up a little after. Being slightly late due to hearing her father shooting at someone. When she tried to go to the house Jacob had stopped her. Not allowing her to continue due to it possibly still being dangerous. After a few minutes of arguing with the big oaf she finally relented. If only they would send someone to check up on him for her. Thus one of the extra guards was chosen, Jacob and Lieha much preferred to stay next to her.

She didn’t have time to change into a different dress, much preferring her first one of the day and the hat. However one of her servants had thought ahead and found a hat that would match her current dress and left it in the carriage. She would have to thank Sara later.

When she got out of her carriage, she paused for a moment, looking around… she did not see anyone that she knew right away. She didn’t see charlotte, and while she did see uncle Vikena she couldn’t go and sit by him due to him being busy.

She slowly made her way around Hoping to find a spot that she can insert herself without getting too cramped… not that she didn’t want to sit next to people, but she could feel her anxiety well up inside her once again.

Lukas stopped the familiar face before his father did. "Da, is that… is that your friend?" the boy pointed to Crystal, closing one eye to focus on her more clearly.

Mathias turned his attention to his soon then to the person he had been pointing at. "Yes, but you should not point at people. It’s not nice, Lukas." He gently pushed the boy’s hand down before standing and waving to her.

"Lady Damien!" Mathias waved his hand over his head.

"Oooh, Lady Damien is here?" Mary teased behind Mathias, "Go ahead, I’ll wait here with Lukas." She said, putting her purple monstrosity down on the seat to reserve it for Crystal.

Mathias nodded, squeezing past her and down a few flights of stairs before making his way to Lady Damien. He gave her a proper bow when he finally reached her, a pleased smile on his features. "Lady Damien, it is good to see you here," he had not expected her to show up to the race after her encounter earlier in the morning. Still, he was glad to see her here. "You look lovely." He complimented, bowing his head slightly.

Crystal looked around when she heard someone call her name, her eyes focused on a tall man waving towards her. She smiled softly and raised a hand to return the wave but simply held it still. Her cheeks turned a bit red as she realized who it was.

Mathias’s lips curled into a small smirk at the hint of red on her cheeks.

She stopped and waited for him to come over and when he did, she gave him a small curtsy. ”T-thank you Sir Mathias.” She said softly, her hands gripping her own wrists. ”It’s good to see you here as well, I didn’t know when I would see you again. Today has been quite a…wind whirl of a day… to say the least. She said, forcing more of a smile on her face as she looked up at him.

His smile turned into a sympathetic one. "The winds have died down, hopefully. If there is anything you need or require, please do not be afraid to reach out, my lady." He cleared his throat and straightened his back.

"Would you allow me to grant you a momentary distraction?" Mathias offered his hand to Crystal to take, "We have a few seats already reserved if you would like to join us."

Crystal smiled and nodded her head looking down, unable to look him in the eye as if it would reveal how much she appreciated that sentiment. But she did look up when he offered his hand to her. She hesitated for a moment before giving him a warm smile and nodding again. Her cheeks feeling red hot at the moment. I would love that. Thank you… she said softly, taking his gently. Looking back to her bodyguards who seemed to be interested in everything but what she was doing.

Mathias glanced at the bodyguards behind Crystal, offering a small nod and a smile before she began to guide the lady back from where he had come from.
Auguste& Crystal

Crystal curtsied towards the eldest prince and slowly backed up towards prince Auguste unknowingly. Distracted with herself as she thought that the previous talk went well. Proud of herself for not making a fool of herself.

She was sure nothing would probably come from it. He seemed polite and Courteous but she still couldn’t help but feel something was… off.
Auguste had just escorted a noble to the exit before he began walking back to his table. He raised his eyebrows as Crystal almost crashed into him. He gently grasped her shoulders and held her aloft. “Lady Crystal, are you alright?” He said with a smile, it seemed that she was a tad ditzy.
Crystal tensed up, her hands instantly covered her mouth to cover the shriek that caught in her throat and didn’t escape. Her eyes wide and her face as red as crimson. She slowly turned around and looked up to see Prince Auguste smiling down at her. Her heart fluttered as she stood in shock. Fear, and embarrassment crept up that turned into anger at herself for making a fool of herself once again.
She attempted a few times to reply, her voice seemingly getting stuck each time in her throat. She shook her head. “P-Prince Auguste! I-I’m quite alright!” She was a little confused at first why he was asking that. She glanced down and realized she was going to bump into him, by the way the chairs were positioned. “Yes! No.., perhaps a little.” She took a breath and turned around completely. Her face still as red as before. “Perhaps a touch overwhelmed at the moment,with all this.” she said with a nervous smile. Motioning the entire room slightly with her hand.
“Accept my apologies, I didn’t mean to give you such a scare.” Auguste apologized, realizing that it wasn’t polite to surprise people like that. “Assuming this is your first time at this sort of event, I can’t blame you. You can come to my table, I’ll have them bring some water if you’d like?” He offered. Judging by the timing, he could converse with one more woman before the event is to close. “Ah, it’s alright if you do not want to, it is no issue.”
She blinked and listened to him. Her head lowered a little with a nod when he offered the water, but froze when he said his table. She glanced to the side to see the line of ladies still wanting their moment with him. She could see many not happy that she essentially cut in line. She would feel guilty… but he did offer. She looked back at him and nervously smiled. “O-of course! A glass of water sounds wonderful. Thank you, your highness. A-and please do not worry about scaring me…It was not your intention.” She didn't know if she heard scoffs in her head or from the ladies who were waiting. Crystal cleared her throat and ran a finger over her left ear, tucking a few strands of hair behind it.
“You can just call me Auguste if you wish,” Auguste said with a playful wink as they made their way back into the table. He whispered the request for water from one of the maids. He pulled the chair opposite of his own outwards, beckoning her to sit.
Her shade of red deepened when he offered to just call him Auguste and gave her a wink. She looked down with a smile but it was more to not look him in the eyes. She felt her heart pound a little more. She followed silently to the seat before saying softly. “Thank you…I'll try your h- Imean- Auguste…”

Oh dear…she wanted to shrivel up and die. She sat down and wrung her hands in her lap for a moment, as he moved to his own seat. She tried to calm herself down. She also tried frantically to figure out what to say to him, while the time waiting for him to sit and look back at her seemed to take forever. It at the same time seemed to be not enough time to think. “S-so besides being a charming prince…and s-scaring ladies, what do you like to do?” WHAT DID SHE DO. She groaned inwardly at her stupid attempt at a joke.
“Scaring ladies… well that's not a skill I'd like to cultivate,” Auguste chuckled. She still seemed a bit hurried and frantic, his attempts of levity seemed to have failed. “Well, I am a bit enamored with the blade, er I am sure you already knew that, seems like I am known as a sword fanatic locally. I plan on attending the dueling competition later in the day. If I am able. Many skilled swordsmen will be present, it will be an interesting event.”
“What about you, Lady Crystal? I do hope you're enjoying yourself in this event, I know how it can be a bit stifling and overwhelming at times.” Auguste broke eye contact with Crystal and smiled at the maid who placed a glass of cool water in-front of Crystal. “Thank you, Steritta.” The stern looking red-haired maid bowed and left.
Crystal sighed softly, at least he chuckled. She managed to keep her eyes up on him as he began with the basics. It was true, Everyone knew he was a sword fanatic. She had heard many times of his victories in duels. She nodded and blinked when he turned the question on her. She didn’t really learn anything.

Auguste nodded as he listened. It seemed that she wasn’t entirely satisfied with his short blurb regarding his love for swordsmanship. He cleared his throat and elaborated a tiny bit more. “Swordsmanship… It's freeing. The repetitive and rigorous training. The thrill of improving yourself and combating others. My worries, responsibilities, and even my titles seem to melt away in those moments. To be unshackled from my worries for a momen-” His eyes widened slightly, he scratched his cheek “Er- don’t tell Wulfric I said that, alright?”
“Oh..well I…” She paused as the maid Steritta placed the glass in front of her. She smiled and echoed“Thank you.” towards her. She blinked a few times seeing her stern look. Were all redheads always stern looking? She glanced over to see if she could see Liah, but couldn’t. She looked back to Auguste and took the water into her hands but did not drink as he then decided to add onto his first answer. She could see why it was such a focus in his life as he expounded upon it. She did smile when he asked her not to tell Wulfric. She nodded a few times. “Of course. Your secret is safe with me.”
She continued, “T-to answer your question, despite making a fool of myself more times than I can count, I really am enjoying my time here. It has been a dream come true.” She took a tiny sip of her water and sighed once again.
“I hope I get the chance to go myself actually. It will be interesting to see first hand, I have only seen one duel at a tournament in my life when I was really young.” It would be fascinating to see how a real sword fight would look…it would only help her writing more.

“Ah mingling in-and-around nobility,” Auguste said. “A difficult skill to learn and improve, certainly. Don’t worry too much, I’ve made a much bigger fool of myself. You may be better than me when I’d started going around political courts.”
“It’ll be good to see you there, Lady Crystal. I hope my skills live up to the rumours.” Auguste continued, “Perhaps I may be able to bear witness to Varian swordsmanship. I’ve heard tales of Sir Matthias' skill, to cross blades with him would be a pleasure.”
“Ah but enough of my personal musings.” Auguste locked eyes with her again, “It is truly good to see you out and about. While we’ve talked about this ball, I do hope that the planned events of the Caesonian met your expectations.”
“Aside from my swordsmanship, what else have you heard about me?” Auguste asked out of the blue. “Good things, I hope.” He joked, letting out another chuckle. The Prince was truly curious about his reputation and rumours that floated about. A hard thing to gauge, and dear Wystan wassn’t exactly an impartial observer.

“You’re being too kind…” she said softly with a smile when he said she might be better than him when he started. She doubted she would be but she kept it to herself.
He went on to hope he would live up to the rumors. She was surprised at his humbleness, but even more so when he brought up Sir Matthais. She didn’t know he was skilled enough to gain the attention of the prince, two princes in fact, thinking back to Wulfric bringing him up as well. She wondered who she would win between the three…but then she thought of Liah. She was the most skilled swordswoman in her fathers employ. What would happen if she joined the event as well? She pushed the thought to the side for now as she simply nodded to a when he hoped the events met her expectations. As he didn’t give her much time before continuing.
She blinked a few times when he then went on to ask what else she knew of him. Her mind went blank for a moment as she was put on the spot. She scratched her cheek. “Hmmm. Only that you are most popular with the common people due to your charm and how you treat and mingle with the common soldiers and knights. As well as how you treat those who serve you…” motioning with a tiny nod to the side towards his maid.“It’s refreshing to see…”
Auguste let out a legitimate sigh of relief. “That is good to hear, truly.” To hear that he was not as hated as he thought he was amongst the populace allowed him to indulge, atleast a little bit, in the sin of pride. Hopefully he would be able to fix the reputation of his family in his lifetime, but he would understand if they never forgave the Danroses.
Noticing how he’d made the conversation all about him, he was curious about Crystal though it would be hard to broach the subject considering how much her family had stowed her away. It also seemed like the lady held back alot of her thoughts. “... Do you have any questions for me, Lady Crystal? Feel free to ask,” he reaffirmed his smile. “... Or would you rather speak about the festivities?”
Crystal had taken a longer sip of her water, her blue eyes flicking from the cup to the prince before her. She noticed the hesitation as he looked at her… then his next questions caused her to pause and lower her drink. Tilting her head to the side for a moment. “Maybe.” She said softly. First she wanted to fix something she overlooked in her fluster. “I-If I am to call you Auguste… then please just call me Crystal.” She said with a warmer smile.

She decided to then turn the question on him. “Well since you asked what I've heard about you…it's only fair to hear what you’ve heard about me… Though…honestly it’s a shock still that both you and your elder brother knew me by name. Most only saw Violet and we did not look similar at all.”
“You certainly drive a hard bargain, Crystal, Auguste acquiesced as he enunciated her name.
A pang of guilt reverberated within him as she mentioned Violet though he kept his expression from changing. Poor, poor Crystal, she will be devastated when she hears what’s happened to her sister. He cleared his throat before answering. “Your father, Count Damien, he is fairly… popular around the court. I am certain that the Danroses know of your existence… Many even believed you to be nothing more than a rumor. Of course, it is a pleasure to have met with the real thing.” Meeting with Crystal, it seemed that the apple may indeed fall from the tree.
Crystal noticed a twinge of something in the prince's eyes before he cleared his throat. She didn’t catch what it really was. After his answer she tilted her head to the side. “Mmmmhmm. As much as I am flattered by you having the pleasure to meet the real me. All you heard was I was a rumor to many, but your family knew I was real?”
“Indeed,” Auguste nodded. “Other than Count Damien closeness with my father… we wouldn’t be much of royalty if we were lacking in knowledge.”
Her attempt to pry more from him failed, but she held her smile.[color=1e4fff]“True…” She looked down at her water and thought for a moment. For him to know her by name in this crowd when they never met she assumed he might have known a bit more… He could have easily seen a resemblance of her mother which he surely met before. The tiny flame excitement of possibly, perhaps…a prince had looked into her, possibly interested in the mystery isolated noble girl held in a tower.

Silly little child…
As soon as that thought came across her mind she smiled more and played it off as if she was thinking of what to say next. “Well, besides soldiering and dueling and learning to be a ruler. What do you do to relax? I-I mean when you are too exhausted to work out that is…”
“Ballads and written work!” Auguste replied, as if just remembering. “I do enjoy good books and an awe-inspiring ballad in my free time, a personal indulgence, truly.”
“As for genre, hmm- I enjoy all manners of ballads and books but I seem to gravitate towards fantasy and, well, books surrounding knights. As cliche as that is.” Auguste chuckled, eyes sparkling as he spoke like a child regaling others. It really wasn’t often that he spoke of such lighthearted topics, even in this very event. Often it was words mired with agendas and hidden meanings, something he truly doesn’t enjoy about the politics of nobility. As such, he indulged.
“I really liked the ballad of the dashing rogue Robin Hood.” He continued, “But as for books, I would be hard-pressed to pick a favourite.”
Crystal smiled slightly, “There is nothing wrong with cliches. There is a reason why there are so many books focused around knights and fantastical stories… we all seek to be a part of it in some way, or try to emulate it in our own life.” Auguste nodded, agreeing with her assessment.
Odd as he was a knight and prince, he was living the story most strove to dive into. But maybe… It was also the reason he seemed different from his father, and elder brother.
“Robin hood is one of the classics. It is hard to find someone who doesn’t like it… unless you look at nobles. They tend to like to keep their riches. Do you- ” she stopped herself. It wasn’t appropriate to ask that. Those who look to that ballad tend to be seekers of injustice and outlaws of types in their own land. Did he see himself as one? Wanting to change the kingdom?
Realizing she left herself in an awkward position she continued “ Do you like romance novels if they are centered in fantasy?”
Auguste raised a brow at her hesitation. Perhaps she had something else to ask but he moved past it as he wasn’t one to pressure others if he could help it. “Romance novels with fantasy…” He paused and stroked his chin, “Certainly, while I prefer the focus to be fantasy, having romance in the background certainly adds depth to the story.”
“Not to say I haven’t read any romance novels not entirely rooted in fantasy. I enjoyed that popular book, what was it, ‘The Princess and her Unorthodox Prince.’ I could certainly see why it was enjoyed in the kingdom… and me, luckily, being nobility, I could somewhat ‘relate’ to the Princess and her struggles.”
Crystal nodded, it was what she expected from a man. ‘If it was in the background’. So she couldn’t fault him for it. It was better than no.
She did perk up when he brought up her book. A slight flush on her face realizing a prince read her works and ‘somewhat’ enjoyed it. As it was mostly focused on romance and the action was supporting the book it wasn’t a far leap. But it was still a win for her.
“I love that book! I feel like I've read it a thousand times.” She said with a genuine smile.” I feel you would enjoy the sequel “Shattered Oaths” more due to having more action and adventure than the first.”
She paused for a moment thinking how he would relate to the heroine more. “Do you have an unorthodox guard?” In a softly jesting tone.
Auguste smiled at her jubilance, it seemed that she enjoyed books. “I did know that there was a sequel. I will have to pick one up-” His eyes widened, slightly giving away his odd habit of dressing up as a commoner and going around the city. He cleared his throat, “Er- have it picked up for me. I enjoyed the first one alot, even if the swordfighting wasn’t the focus, it was thrilling. If it is more action-packed then I will likely enjoy ‘Shattered Oaths’.”
She tilted her head in slight confusion, wondering why he would hesitate and change his wording on picking up a book. Wouldn’t he be able to go and pick up a book if he wanted to? He could do anything he wanted essentially. She smiled and nodded again before he continued.
“Keep it a secret from others, but I’ve tried mimicking her guard and style. Even won a duel with it, certainly unorthodox, but that makes it hard to pin down in an actual duel.” The Prince had even incorporated some of the ideas into his own style. “But more to the point, the author had portrayed royalty well while not capturing the entire nuance, it was written through the lens of someone in the know. It wouldn’t surprise me if the writer was of nobility!”
She was confused for a moment. His answer wasn’t at all what she meant. Wondering if he had a female guard who was his unorthodox princess. She held in a giggle, but was surprised he had used some of her techniques she used for the princess in her book. Not totally surprised as she copied text books on fencing from the Varians style, and mixed it with liah’s style. Asking her to show how it would work so crysta could write it out. “I meant… if you had an unorthodox princess…” she said with a smirk, “but that is impressive! I heard Violet Columbine researches all topics to be as authentic as she can. Perhaps she is a duelist as well?”
“Ah that’s what you mean, my apologies.” He replied, “I certainly do have an unorthodox guard, dear Wystan is unorthodox, atleast thats what many others have told me in privy. I always rebuff them, however, Wystan is as reliable as the Knight-Captain being a guard if you ask me.”
He nodded as he said the following words, “It does seem like Violet Columbine is, at the very least, versed in dueling and swordfigthting.”
When he brought up the writer being apart of the nobility she fiddled with her thumbs in her lap. “Hmmm perhaps. Or perhaps they gained their knowledge of how the court works through books which could explain why they didn’t quite capture it?” She blinked… as it was what she did, that and asking her parents for insight.
“That makes sense.” Auguste said, “At times it does feel like a second hand account, as some parts are well detailed while others are more sparse.”
“But it seems that you enjoy literary work, do you have any books you would recommend?” Auguste asked earnestly.
“I do enjoy reading, it helped me explore the world while being stuck in my bed. My theater says he is sure we have the second biggest private library in the kingdom to sate my appetite.” She said fondly. “I recommend all of the Violet Columbine books personally.” She said a little selfishly. As she had to advertise her own books.
“‘The Thirteenth sword” by William Ferrigan might be a great book for you. He was a duelist in the Varian kingdom a hundred years ago who used his experiences to write a book.”
Auguste made mental notes of the authors' names and books. “I will give Violet Columbine another look then and read William Ferrigan’s works. A real-life account of a duelist from a century’s past is a must read for me.”
A butler whispered something into Auguste’s ears. “Ah it seems that we’ve ran out of time.” The Prince eyed Callum walking in the direction of Wulfric’s office.
“I am sorry to run out like this on you.” He said with an apologetic face, “I would very much like to continue our conversation about literary works another time.”
“Would you like me to escort you out of the palace?” Auguste offered with a smile.
She smiled when he confirmed he would look into her recommendations. She looked to the butler as he whispered into the prince’s ear. Taking a final drink of her water and setting it on the table between them. She looked back to him as he spoke up again. She smiled as he mentioned he would like to continue their conversation, and then offered to escort her out.
”You do not need to apologize, I understand. I would love to continue our conversation as well. I look forward to it already.” She stood up and looked towards the door, seeing her guards and then looking to Auguste once more. ”As much as I would love that, I don't want to keep you from your duties. ” She said with a small curtsy. ”I Hope we meet again soon to continue this conversation. ” She added before making her exit.
Wulfric & Crystal

Crystal flinched, managing to suppress another squeak from coming out while her head flicked towards Prince Wulfric who just welcomed her. She was lost for words, while her hands wrung each other in front of her chest, she didn’t reply right away.

How did he know her name? She knew she had never met him before, even in her very short time of socializing every few years every other summer when she was not sick. It certainly wasn’t because of the archery contest. Many nobles just forgot about her because she was missing for so many years.

Was it because of last night? When she ran into him? Was he mad? He didn’t look mad… or sound it.

She was pulled from her stupor when he walked over to her. Her face was a clear shade of pink on her porcelain skin as he came close.

“I-I-I am sorry, y-yes. Thank you.” she said, trying to be polite and keep eye contact. But failing as she kept looking down to the ground. But she did offer her own left arm, and slipped it through his loosely. Allowing herself to be led to a chair she could feel the heat on her cheeks radiating.

She thanked him again as she tucked her hands behind herself to scoop her dress and sat down. She sat very stiffly as her hands went to her lap and clenched each other again. “I’m sorry again, I-I am not used to being at social gatherings.” she said realizing she didn’t apologize for last night. She looked slightly worried as she looked at him. “AND…and… I am sorry about running into you last night. During the dance I-” she looked back down. “This…. This is all new for me… I got a bit overwhelmed.”

“You are very welcome, my lady,” Wulfric murmured as he sat himself down after he’d helped seat her. While Crystal’s gaze was averted, he took his time studying her. She was a nervous, stuttering wreck, true, but she was making an effort to express herself, and socially engage with others. Violet never had bothered, as she had preferred to seclude herself with her books. Which reminded him…Crystal would not know her sister was dead, and thus he had to act as if she wasn’t. Thus, he mentally compartmentalized away that knowledge, and changed how he referenced to Violet even within his thoughts.

He still briefly lingered on the comparison between the two sisters. He wondered how a man such as Calbert managed to produce not one but two daughters who were so…Weak, his mind supplied. But it wasn’t quite that, per se. Violet, it seemed to him, disdained any and all power games, and the social obligations of nobility in general. The height of irony, that.

Crystal, meanwhile…Frankly, she was socially incompetent. However, it was perhaps inevitable given her circumstances. She, too, seemed aware of her flaw, and trying to correct it.

Thus, when she admitted she was unused to this, Wulfric graced her with another smile. There was a mild curiosity on his part if there was anything to her beyond her fear, and what she might be like with more self-confidence.

“No need to apologize,” he started, when she swiftly added another apology. “As I was saying,” he continued, amusement creeping in. But he took a moment to regain soberness, and his next words to her were calmly serious, tone as kind as he could make it. “It is well-known that your health is unfortunately poor, Lady Crystal. It is through no fault of your own that you have been unable to attend many social events. So, it is understandable you would have more difficulties compared to those of us who have experienced them time and time again,” he explained.

“As for running into me,” he slowly shook his head. “That was very much caused by your graceless dance partner. Dare I ask if your second dance was better?” he prompted.

Crystal gulped as she interrupted him with her second apology. But she smiled nervously at him saying she didn’t need to apologize. As he continued, explaining rather simply she was known for her illness and it's easily explainable why she wasn’t used to social events. She nodded as she looked to her lap, calming down a little. It would make sense the prince would know and keep up with the dealings of other noble families. She felt a bit foolish for freaking out about it now. She nodded at the end, showing she was paying attention and agreeing with the prince. “T-Thank you, your highness, for understanding.”

She looked back up when he brought up running into him. He easily pinned the blame on the man… she sighed slightly. Thinking it was probably her fault too…she… overreacted as she thought about it. Upon him mentioning her second dance partner and if it fared better, a more genuine smile crept upon her face. “Yes, your highness…” She said as she looked him in the eye for a moment while her cheeks continued to hold that pink flush. “It was far better…Sir Mat-” She cut herself off, about to go on to explain how wonderful it was, but realized he wouldn’t be very interested in it. She saved herself as she cleared her throat. “Sir Matthias was a true gentleman.”

“It does sound as if Sir Matthias has impressed you,” Wulfric mused with a tiny suggestive smirk.

She held in a frown, the mention of his name only made her wish she had more time to speak with him at the archery range. But she pushed the thought from her mind. As she tried to force herself to be more comfortable inwardly.

“It ended well, at least. I thought my mother and father were going to kill me for showing up.” She smiled, “They are a bit overprotective at times, and they didn’t expect me to come on my own…Despite telling them I felt fine.”

“Parental paranoia can indeed be overbearing,” Wulfric replied with a hint of dryness, thinking of the many times he’d been kept at home as a child because his father had deemed it a security risk for him to visit such-and-such. That there could have been guards accompanying him hadn’t swayed Edin, as there’d been political dangers they couldn’t have done much about. There too had been a few cases where his younger self’s behavior had been deemed problematic, and that had been the reason he had not been permitted to go. Though his father had certainly ensured his heir had been present at the most important of the social functions…All of which was neither here nor there.

Besides, the difference was that Crystal was no longer a child, yet her parents were perhaps still inclined to try and wrap her up in cotton wool. “Though, watching my siblings, I have come to understand the impulse somewhat,” Wulfric admitted. Tilting his head, he suggested, “I expect it is merely a case of proving your parents wrong, and showing them that you can, in fact, handle yourself.”

Crystal simply nodded at his remark, her mind wandering to all the times she wasn’t allowed to even leave the house because they feared she would overexert herself. She did indeed have to prove herself a few times, with helping around the manor, cooking, gardening…teaching children of the servants. Each time she had to just go and do it despite what they said, and only then did they relent a little. She then, not really wanting to delve more into that part of her life, decided to ask him about his night.

“I do hope you had a wonderful night, despite the multiple fiascos.” She asked, looking back up to him. She could feel herself calming down a bit. He was quite handsome with that smile, still a bit intimidating but it did help her relax.

“Thank you, I have had,” Wulfric replied, not mentioning the disastrous after-party. She wouldn’t know of it, nor did she need to. “And yourself? How have you been faring here since your arrival? I hope it has been largely pleasant and engaging.”

She smiled softly…not much of a sharer, was he? As he turned the conversation back on her. “That’s good to hear.” She then took a moment to think about the last 24 hours and tilted her head to the side as she spoke, “Mmm…Despite the multiple times embarrassing myself, I have quite enjoyed the experience. It’s been a dream of mine to dance at a ball for a long time.” she blushed as she looked back at the prince. “A bit silly I know… But it was wonderful, at least near the end.”

“There is nothing silly about wanting to experience something which others take for granted, yet you could have only imagined so far…” Wulfric smiled at her when she looked up. It was practically an automatism; part and parcel of when he felt like being charming. “And to have had such a grand ball as your first?” The whole Lorenzo mishap notwithstanding. “It is not something just anyone would have dared to tackle,” he flattered. “I am glad to hear you’ve enjoyed yourself, and that you have had such a memorable finale.”

She bit her tongue, wanting to tell the prince about how rude her sister was to her after she went out of her way to set her up with Lord Roman. But she shook her head slightly, remembering he was at the archery contest. “I also really enjoyed the archery contest, I always wanted to see Sir Verrick shoot his bow. I’ve heard many tales of his mastery of it…from gossip and the like of servants in the kingdom…” Well, mostly from her own source… but she couldn’t quite just say that for a few reasons. “It was also wonderful to see the park once again. It’s been a few years but Sorian always has beautiful gardens and parks within its walls.”

“It is one of the best times to admire verdure,” he agreed idly. “The botanical gardens are always worth a visit. Though if you ever tire of the more cultivated variant, you might consider a meadow or a forest.”

“I’ve always wanted to visit the forest, but thanks to my sister in her earlier years that’s one place my parents never allow me to go sadly.” She said with a small smile, riding on a road through forests is far different than traveling paths where a cart can’t go.

Wulfric nodded when Crystal mentioned her sister, recalling that Violet had suffered a wound from a wild animal attack - something that was rather common knowledge among nobility. He then redirected the conversation to a topic he was far more interested in. “I, too, enjoyed the archery contest this morning. I certainly appreciated how close some matches were, especially that last one,” though he kept it mostly in check, a slight thrill coloured his tone and expression. It had been fun to watch.

“Since I have not ever heard much about Verrick O’Hare, his victory was not as expected to me as it may have been to you.” Then, he gazed at her for a longer moment, as if he were considering not saying his next words, expression becoming serious and concerned. “But the man he won against…” They’d both know he was speaking of the self-proclaimed Damien.

“That was assuredly the greatest surprise. I realize this is a sensitive topic, so I will understand if you would rather not address it,” he said gravely. In actuality, he was intensely curious, and thought that the Vael man just might provide some entertainment, depending on what he did. “But have you inquired into that man’s legitimacy? If he was merely fooling around, then I would expect your father to act on it.”

Crystal was surprised he had not heard of Verrick. She assumed with him being the princess’ bodyguard he might have met him in passing. But before she could say anything he changed the subject to her new supposed half brother. She closed her eyes with a wince. Cursing herself for even bringing up the contest.

She let out a soft sigh, and looked at the prince once again with a polite smile. “It was a shock for me for sure. I was unaware my father even had a previous marriage, let alone a son with another woman.” She took a breath.

“My father says to treat him as family… but he seems rude, careless, and dirty minded. I don’t know what my father expects? Say ‘oh, thank you, I finally have a brother I’ve always asked for growing up?’” She stopped herself, looking down. “Forgive me, I-I don’t really have a grasp of my feelings on this subject.”

Wulfric kept his expression neutral, and nodded slowly. “I can only imagine it is difficult to accept so suddenly.” Or at all. “Take what time you need…I’m sure your feelings will clarify eventually.” Privately, he thought that she might not be granted such a reprieve, because her half-brother would be a constant presence. Whether by his actions, or the actions and reactions of others, it was something she would constantly be reminded of, and forced to confront.

But he had learned what he’d wanted, so there was no reason to further pursue this topic. “Please excuse me for broaching something so inevitably upsetting,” he inclined his head to her in apology. Then, he offered her a small, wry smile. “But to try and conclude this on a more positive note, let us speak of lighter topics. Are there any events you are looking forward to? Swimming at the lake should be available now, and I expect many a lady will attend the fashion show.” He tilted his head at her, considering. “However, if contests appeal to you, then there will be the horse race, and the dueling tournament afterwards,” he spoke of the latter two with more enthusiasm, so it was apparent these were the events he was intrigued by.

Crystal shook her head. “It is fine… I’m sure the subject will be brought up quite a few times today. He was very insensitive in revealing it and I’m sure it will be the talk of the town for a bit.” She said with a huff.

She did smile at the change of subject. “As much as I would love to swim, I hardly want to embarrass myself more than needed.” She wasn’t a strong swimmer…mainly she could do a doggy paddle rather unladylike. But she left it up to the prince to draw his own conclusion.

“I would much rather watch an exciting duel or horse race. As much as I love clothes it seems quite boring to me to just watch others wear and show it off.” She said softly, not wanting the other ladies to hear for some reason.

“Oh, I agree entirely. There is a wonderful anticipation in seeing who will win…especially when competitors match very closely, and the situation changes from moment to moment; one second it seems as if one person might win, and the next, their opponent prevails,” his eyes shone with fervour as he spoke with some excitement. “The thrill of that…Well, it can only be exceeded by participation in such a competition. I do hope nothing else comes up, for I intend to join the dueling…” he tapped his fingers against the table as he considered his schedule.

This was when a servant unobtrusively came to their table, and informed the pair that five minutes had passed. Wulfric nodded in acknowledgment, and asked, “It is noon now, is it not?”

The servant bowed with a, “Yes, Your Highness.”

Wulfric curtly tilted his chin down at the servant, and dismissed him with a brief, “Thank you,” and a wave of his hand. Then he turned to Crystal. “Speaking of…I am afraid this event is coming to an end now, and I do have some other matters to attend to, unfortunately. But I am glad I was able to speak with you, Lady Crystal.”

Crystal notice him open up more when speaking of dueling, even mentioning himself participating. Before she could say anything more she saw a servant come up and mention the time has passed. She stood up and while the prince said his good byes she curtsied to him and replied “I am glad I was able to speak with you Prince wulric. I do hope you enjoy the rest of your day.” She bowed her head and took a few steps back towards Auguste unintentionally.

Time: 11:00
Location: ball room
Mentions:@HeloPrince Callum@InertiaPrince Auguste@SilverPawPrince Wulfric @TpartywithzombiAreilla

Jacob quickly followed, bowing his head to Lord Calbert as he left then half jogging to get up next to Crystal. Bending down and Whispering something to her.

Crystal moved quickly, mostly to get out of the view of Mathias if he did watched what happened…partially to make it back home to change quickly. Jacob whispered into her ear as they left, ”Are ye ok MeLady? I kno i work for ye dad, but i can still bop the fool of a boyo on the head in his sleep…Cass..i…dus I mean.” confusing himself as he tried to remember the new ‘lords’ name.

A tiny hint of a smile on her face appeared and vanished just as quickly. ”I-I am fine. I just need some time. As for bopping him on the head…That…that won't be necessary Jacob.” She said looking up to him for a brief moment. She appreciated the man in his own way trying to comfort her. She quickly added after looking forward again. “For now.”

Jacob nodded with a serious look, Sad, but understanding. But When she added for now he chuckled heartily. But said nothing else as they made their way back to the mansion.

There, the maids already had her dress and matching heels ready, so it was a quick switch. Crystal loved dresses, but she loved the more simple ones, compared to the more extravagant other nobles wore. She decided to keep her hair down to save time, only brushing it a few more times to fix it. She then added a crystal butterfly hairpin she loved to the left side of her head. Then a thin blue ribbon around her neck that trailed behind to her waist. She kept quiet during this time thinking mostly on what just happened.Never bringing it up to liah, or jacob or her maids.

She was then rushed into a carriage and made her way to the castle, Liah riding with her and Jacob standing on the back…He learned his lesson once by trying to fit into it when crystal insisted. One could still see the crack in the door frame Fixed and glued, but still a crack.

It didn’t take them long to make it to the castle. She weaved her way through the crowds of Ladies leaving or arriving late, many apparently turned away before they got the chance to even meet with the three princes.

Just as she entered the main hall, The king roared out for guards to take a girl away. She let out a squeak as the sudden outburst scared her. Her face turned red as the other women around looked at her as she did. She tried to ignore it as she looked to see a white haired girl with different colored eyes be dragged out of the room. Suddenly nervous if she messed up that might happen to her. She looked over to see Prince Callum eat a raw onion as he stared at his father. She remembered their talk they had yesterday, how he disliked his father. She could tell he was doing this on purpose, while she would commend him on his bravery of doing so, she probably wouldn’t have recommended his protest be like that. He continued chewing with his mouth open. The sound and image didn’t sit well with her…it was one of her irritations. She closed her eyes and looked away, hoping. With all her heart it wasn’t how he normally ate.

Crystal opened her eyes again as the women around her shifted and bumped each other, moving her to stand in between Prince Wulfric and Prince Auguste. She glanced around to see a few Ladies she knew...not close friends, but in passing. One she did see was Ariella, She wanted to wave to her but didn't think she would see her. Hopefully she could catch up with her after.

While she wouldn’t have minded talking with Prince Callum once again, she did want a chance to meet the other princes. Pulling a hand up to her mouth as she looked between the two. nervous and unsure of who to pick. Both were dashing and interesting, while Callum was still handsome of course, but his older brothers held themselves quite different.

Wulfic seemed more scary to her. She couldn’t quite place why. Perhaps it was due to the fact she collided with him on the dance floor the night before…and ran away. But Auguste was just as intimidating. Was it the air about the two of them? Their eyes? Their height. She was of course a dink in comparison to them.

She froze in place…not knowing what to do.

Time: 10:30
Location: Archery Range
Interaction:@PapaOso Cassius,@princess Count Calbet, @Rodiak Mathias

Jacob sighed heavily as he used one of his massive Mittens to facepalm himself. ”Oh ye a special kinda huddy…” then slapping the back of Cassius's head. ”Haud yer wheesht” As Liah began to speak

”You made the scene... This was to just make sure you don't run off.” Liah said coldly. Twisting the blade slightly from her hip so the tip was aimed towards the neck of Cassius, though a few feet back. But the blade then turned on Jacob.

Jacob raised a hand, despite being a foot and a half taller and twice as wide. He looked slightly worried.”Luve, the idjit is of his trolley. Ye know this clearly.” He said as he slightly side stepped ever so slightly behind Cassius.

Crystal touched Liah’s arm and she dropped her blade’s tip toward the ground. Before sheathing it once again. Crystal finally spoke up.”I do believe I said we were taking you to MY father in the first place. But first…” She said as she looked over to Mathias, trying to work up the courage to walk over to him and give him the book. However she heard horses coming up on her and turned again to see her father approaching and dismounting from his horse.

”Perfect.. Fa..” Crystal began, hoping this would be over quickly so she could speak to Mathias, But was cut off as he quickly confirmed Cassius was his son. She stared at her father with her mouth slightly open as he went on to explain he was married before, that he knew he had a son…

Her shock did not fall from her face as she tried to wrestle with this new information… with her gaze going to Cassius. Normally she would have been sad for him for losing his mother but it didn’t really register for her.

Her father rested his hand on her shoulder and reminded her of the prince court event. She pulled away without thinking. Logically it made sense why he wouldn’t speak of him, it was probably hard for him to talk about. But she was still hurt…She couldn’t help that feeling.

”I-um.” She started, as her eyes flicked back and forth between the two. She could now clearly see the resemblance between them. ”Does…mom know? Violet?”

She waited for his answer while hugging her books even tighter, so much that the bindings might have been crushed. Her thoughts turned to her bugging her parents for a little brother as a child… She pushed the thought away as she shook her head. ”I-I cant deal with this…right now…” She looked to Mathias weakly, she couldn’t go to him now. Her face was red with embarrassment.

”I-” She started to say as she looked at them both, Before shaking her head and walking away towards her home. She was suddenly stopped by Liah who offered a hand and indicated to Crystal's arms. A brief hesitation before she gave a tiny thankful smile and allowed one of the books to slip from her grasp. Before glancing at Mathias and moving on out of embarrassment.

Jacob quickly followed, bowing his head to Lord Calbert as he left then half jogging to get up next to Crystal. Bending down and Whispering something to her.

Liah watched as they left, tucking the book she took from Crystal against her chest with one arm… She bowed her head to Lord Calbert and only gave Cassius a cold glare, before turning and walking towards Mathias.

Once she reached him, she quietly said”Lady Crystal regretfully has an appointment to keep. However she wished to give this to you in person, but could not given the unforeseen interruption.” Liah offered an old leather bound book that looked very well worn and used, but at the same time seemed well taken care of.

Seeing the cover finally she could see it was called ‘Sir Ivan Whittlock’s collection of Fantastical true Stories.’ She glanced at the man's child and gave him a small smile. Before looking back towards Mathias. ” Her personal copy…” She said softly with an intense knowing look. She then gave a very slight nod, looking the man up and down clearly before turning on her heels and walking in the direction Crystal went.

Time: 10:30
Location: Archery Range
Interaction:@PapaOso Cassius,

“Y-you are not my brother…” Crystal said quickly. She held her books tightly to her. “My father did not cheat on my mother…” She added. Rather weakly. Of course she believed he loved her mother, the way he treated her as well as his two daughters did not work with a man who would walk out and cheat on them. She was about to say more when suddenly Sir Mathias decided to walk up to them.

Her voice caught in her throat as her cheeks flushed. ”I um …” she started, looking to Cassius then back to Mathias. ”T-thank you Sir Mathias..” She gripped the books to her chest again. Wanting to give him a book but feeling extremely awkward about it now. Clearing her throat as he walked away she looked back to Cassius then again to Mathias

She watched him walk away before looking at cassius. ”There's no way I believe you at your word. Anyone can claim to be a part of a family. I'll let father deal with you.” She sighed and looked to Jacob to grab him by the arm, while Liah pulled her sword from her sheath.

Time: 10:30
Location: Archery Range
Interaction:@PapaOso Cassius,

Jacob hesitated for a moment at the reaction he received. Of all the times he went to drag someone away. Not once was his threatening tone met with…whatever that was. A slight frown appeared on his annoyed face. He was actually hoping to bop him on the head with the blunt end of his ax. Or throw him into a table, possibly even throw him into the stands. He let out an annoyed huff and grabbed the smaller mans shoulder, his eyes narrowing more in confusion.

”Yer bum’s oot the windae. Does the tone of me voice sound like I’m here to give ye a prize?” he then motions himself pointing back to where he was coming from. ”I mean EVEN THE WALK. If I said nothing at all, it was clear I was aiming to bop ye on the noggin. He looked down at him again and blinked seeing his still smiling face.No? Even after that clarif.. he blinked more with an exasperated look on his face before letting out a large sigh.

Dropping his hand from Cassius’s shoulder, facepalmed himself. Pure barry! Well that explains everythin. Yer a bampot.” He shakes his head then quickly grabs cassius’s shoulder and yanks towards Crystal. ”Possibly a dungeon. But for now the Wee lass wants a word…

He gave him a shove in front of him. To point him in the direction he wanted him to go. Following behind him. ”The man is a Bampot. Thought I was coming over to hit on him… yep. ON him. Not hit him.”

Crystal sighed. Looking at Cassius with a glare that would make her father proud. She didn’t do it often, but she saw his glare and it was scary. ”Who are you really? Speak truthfully….please. She said in a forceful tone…but she couldn't help herself by adding the please at the end. Despite her intentions she couldn’t stop herself by saying it.

She seemed to fluster herself and added.”I-If you don't Ill have Jacob drag you towards the prison himself.

Time: 10:30
Location: Archery Range
Interaction:@PapaOso Cassius,
Mentions:@Rodiak Matthais, @Aerandir Verrick

Crystal was very excited to watch Sir Mathias shoot…as well as Sir Verrick. Though she was conflicted right from the start. She truly did want Sir Mathias to win, but she also wanted Verrick to win as well. The childhood crush she had on the man was now back in full strength. She found herself blushing at seeing his muscular arms in the few moments he would reveal them from under his cloak.

From the stories she heard of Woodsman during her research,She heard time and time again that they were true masters of the bow. As well as having a strange style not normally seen. She worked off what she could hear about, but to see him actually shoot would be amazing for her future books. She frowned a bit when she realized she forgot her idea notebook as well as left her typewriter at home.

But on the other hand, Sir Mathias certainly made quite an impression on her as well. Seeing him with his son brought a small smile on her face, and warmth to her cheeks as well. It was rare to see a man so genuine with their child in public like that. Most nobles were very standoffish when it came to showing ‘love’ to their family.

It was strange to see the two together. One as a knight and the other as a commoner. Short and tall, rugged and elegant. Smiling and a scowl. She found herself fascinated at the opposites. Something she would certainly have to add to her next book somehow….and bring it naturally so the readers didn’t wonder where the heck this new character came from.

Sadly though as the contest began, she got quite distracted at an unexpected entry. A man claiming to be the son of her father. She could already feel eyes on her as people began to mutter under their breaths, wondering if it was true…and what that meant for the family.

Before he even took his first shot. She looked to one of her extra guards and said, ”Please go back home and inform my father of this and bring him here. ” The guard bowed his head and quickly turned and jogged off towards her home.

”Why are we waitin? I can go ov’r there and give ‘im a wee bonk on the head and drag ‘im out of ‘ere” Jacob asked a bit annoyed. Miming hitting his own head with his ax as he spoke.

”We don’t want to ruin the show for the people…You can still do it, just wait till it’s done.”

Jacob cracked his knuckles with a wicked grin and twinkle in his eye. . His tone clearly improved as he said.”Pure Barry! Looks like me birthday came early this year!”

Liah did speak up softly, ”He does share some traits with Count Damien… But I couldn’t imagine your father ever being unfaithful to your mother. So clearly the man is an idiot.

Crystal nodded, but she did not say much for the rest of the tournament. Sadly Sir Mathias was defeated in the first round. She frowned slightly and wondered if he would be ok clapping as he walked off the field…but with how he acted with his son afterwards it would seem her worry was misplaced.

She was surprised at Verrick’s showing though, while very subtle in showing his pain. She could tell he was not shooting as well as he should have. She wondered what happened recently that he injured himself. But his skill did show when he did switch between dominant hands as well as firing with the arrows in between his fingers. A skill none of the other archers used. Or were as quick. Despite not being as she imagined she still enjoyed watching him and got excited each time he did win.

On the other hand…She half paid attention to the man who claimed to be her brother. Partially annoyed and out of spite to not give him her attention for daring to claim to be her brother. Though he was good, a bit of a show off though which only added more of a bad taste to it all. She did not clap for him one time.

THANKFULLY. Verrick won. Though it was close. She sighed with an audible breath. At which Jacob turned to her expectantly. Crystal nodded as she stood up. Wiping the wrinkles out of her cream dress as she did. Her other guard folding up the blanket she had brought as they prepared to leave. She looked to Liah and grabbed her two books from her. She then looked over to Sir Mathias wanting to go over and talk to him shifting her books higher on her chest as she hugged them to herself... But she shook her head...not right now. She frowned slightly. It going away quickly when she noticed Liah watching her with an amused raised eyebrow.

Liah, seeing how Crystal reacted to Mathias this entire tournament easily caught on. Liah simply nodded her head towards the knight while keeping her eyes on Crystal. Conveying to her to go talk to him with out words.

Crystal only turned red as she knew Liah saw right through her. Shaking her head quite suddenly and firmly which caused her hat to slide a bit. "W-w-what? No. I can't simply walk up to him...b-b-besides I have to deal with this b--baffoon." She said quite quickly as she adjusted her hat. Making sure to look in the complete opposite direction of Liah...and Mathias...which was at the tree behind her.

Liah rolled her eyes and shook her head with a smirk before looking back towards Jacob as he made his way over to the imposster.

Jacob chuckled under his breath and with a little hop in his step he swung his ax over his shoulder and made his way over to the man who dared claim to be the count's son. ”Oi! YE WEE BAWBAG!” He hollered as he walked directly towards him. Pointing his big meaty finger at the smaller man despite his 6’4” height. Jacob still stood a foot or so higher. When Cassius would look at him he nodded. ” AYE you! Yer Coming with Me!” He said with a scowl.

@Apex Sunburnheya discord is a bit easier to get all your questions answered, and we are really cool about newcomers joining to ask questions. BUUUT If you prefer this way I’ll boop princess and potter for you.

I can say there are muskets. there are trains and type writers and steam engines. It’s a Victorian age fantasy. So not everything is exactly historical if you get what I mean.

And no they don’t have to be, I believe we have one person who isn’t from any of the set kingdoms, but that’s a question for princess.

We do have a merchant/ lesser nobleman right now. @ReusableSword So you might want to ask if he’s ok with a similar character.

Hope you stay interested!

Time: 10:00
Location: Park / Archery Range
Interaction:Kieran@Prosaic, Pricilla@mellowdy, @13org Mayet,@RodiakMathias, @AerandirVerrick
Mentions: Lorenzo@FunnyGuy @princess Charlotte, @Conscripts John

Crystal froze when the large animal growled at her approach. She felt her heart leap into her throat. At mention of the guards she was trying to find her voice when a calm but firm voice came from the normally silent Liah. ”Be as agitated as you wish. We are not moving.”

”Aye, Don’t insult the wee lass by thinking only ye can have an armed guard.” Jacob motioned to Nala with a head nod.

Crystal turned and raised her hand to motion to them that it was ok…she hoped. She was then gestured to come closer then only confused her when she mentioned She should have the first bite.

”O-oh… but I have my own already these are fo-She started to shake her head, wondering if this was some Aladashi tradition. But then the woman insisted. Crystal blinked and swallowed. Her nervousness rose. This was to test if she poisoned it. These Aladashi are really paranoid… Why would she poison it? What would that gain? She let out a breath and took a bite of the pancake offered to her, despite the woman turning towards Kieran as he spoke up.

She took a half step back as she heard swearing behind her. Looking towards the ruckus she saw Uncle Lorenzo right in the center of it, Charlotte next to him But she couldn't see her face. As much as she loved him, she did see he did get in quite a bit of trouble. She also noticed the man she ran into in the library the night before.

The woman spoke up and introduced herself. Crystal turned around and tried to smile, ignoring the growing ruckus. ”I-it’s a pleasure She-shehzadi Kadir “She fumbled, trying to wrap her tongue around the new word. Only causing her to redden with embarrassment. It was at this moment Lady Harlow came up and suddenly started accusing Priscilla of spilling syrup on her. Mayet’s tiger quickly stood and moved towards the snotty woman. Crystal took a few steps back, suddenly even more terrified. The tiger stopped at Mayet’s touch. Who in turn threatened the noblewoman.

”Allrightte thats enouf excitement.” Jacob said, suddenly moving between Crystal and the tiger. ”Sorreh, but I think it's about time we move on.”

Despite being frightened, Crystal still wanted to talk. But before she could say anything. Jacob, not even looking at her, shook his head. ”NOPE. DONE. NOW.” As if he knew she was going to protest.

Liah took Crystal’s shoulder gently. ”Come on.” She said, eyeing the sudden brawl that started. Confident enough in Jacob to watch the tiger.

“O-o-okay…. It was um nice meeting you…” She said while being escorted away. ”If you wish, you can come sit next to us at the archery competition!”

Crystal and her guards arrived just as the announcer finished announcing the first pair. Most of all the seating was taken, so Crystal decided to sit next to a tree. One of her guards unfurled a blanket she had asked him to hold onto while she looked at the contestants. She was pleased to reconize one in particular. She moved to the fence that separated the audience from the range and raised her hand while standing on her tippy toes to get as much height as she could. And started waving. ”Sir Mathias!!! Sir MATHIAS!” She waved till she gained his attention. ”Good luck! I Do hope you win!” She said with a bright smile. Her smile faltered when she realized who was standing next to him. Her face turning a bright shade of Red as she began turning back to walk away, hesitating, turning back to the two men to raise a finger as if to say something else. Only to stop before she could and quickly retreated to her blanket.

It was then she realized and frowned. Kieran still had her waffles…
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