Despite the excitement surrounding today, Reya in particular felt sorrowful. She found it rather... odd. From the second she had learned about the masquerade ball she had been ecstatic, waiting eagerly for this day to arrive. This was her chance at escape. She would take this rare occasion to liberate herself and disappear into the shadows of Hua'mu. She would give herself a new shot at life and live by her own rules. Admittedly, however, her plan had not been very well thought out; she had no idea how to live by her own means. Her entire life had been orchestrated by others and she had never known a life where she had only herself to rely on. Not only that, but she would become a fugitive and have to live life on the run. Hau'mu was allied with Estrye and would most likely turn her in if she was discovered, thus she would have to continue in search for another place to call home. The idea had excited her, filled her with ambition and belief in herself. Many nights alone she would fantasize about what her new life might look like. She had been so ready for this... until today.
When she had awoken from a restless nights sleep next to her new husband, the reality of what was happening sunk in. If all things went to plan this would be her very last day in Estrye. Everything she knew would be gone within hours. She would never be able to return without risking being caught. Reya's heart ached as she thought of her siblings. She he had not seen them in six months and missed her brothers dearly. In all likelihood she would never see them again. Her husband, the Chieftain, had paid her mother a hefty sum in exchange for Reya; there was no doubt in her mind that he would want his property back.
This day felt as if she were grieving the loss of a loved one.
The carriage ride to Hau'mu wasn't exactly helping to lift her spirits, though it was exciting for her as they passed into the kingdoms borders. She had never been to another kingdom before! As they entered the kingdom Reya had turned to express her enthusiasm to carriage-mates Hanne and Willa, but quickly bit her tongue and refrained. From the moment she had been stuffed into the carriage with the two girls she had been ignored. For hours it had felt as if Reya had not existed and after so many dirty looks from Hanne, Reya had decided to give up on trying to have a conversation. Despite her best efforts during these last six months it had seemed that nothing would make the Guo siblings warm up to her. Not that she could truly blame them, she was near their age and the newest of their fathers many wives. They owed her no respect, she understood. Especially for someone such as herself, who did not come from any sort of nobility. She was a commoner brought in off the streets; the other wives had made sure to remind her of her place in the castle.
“ Willa, I wanted to talk to you about the nightmares. They've been really bad lately, and I feel terrible for being so selfish asking you to spend so much time with me. Being alone with my thoughts is terrifying, and you're really the only one I can trust. You're the only one who treats me like a person, and not just a nuisance that my family thinks that I am. I just want you to know that I really appreciate your being there for me, and when we have more time, I want to talk more in length about the 'bad dreams'.”
Reya listened in as Hanne spoke, though she did not turn to make eye contact and instead continued to gaze out of the window. "Nightmares?" Reya thought, surprised at the fact that Hanne would even speak about such things while Reya was sitting only a foot away from her. Nonetheless, she felt glad that Hanne had someone like Willa. She even found herself wishing she had someone like Willa too.
As the carriage came to a halt Reya felt another tiny spark of excitement. Finally she could be let out of this box and perhaps find a random servant that might have a conversation with her. Even exploring the castle sounded more exhilarating than this silent ride.
Stepping out of the carriage, Reya smiled and gazed at the fog fondly. She adored dreary weather and she found herself hoping that this ominous fog would eventually turn into rain. Upon hearing footsteps on her left she turned her eyes away from the landscape of Hau'mu and watched as the Guo siblings all began to walk towards the castle and people whom she could only assume were the Princesses of the kingdom. Hurriedly, Reya patted down her red silk dress and affixed the white and gold mask to her face.
"Happy birthday, Princess Minagi. We from Estrye greatly appreciate the opportunity to have an enjoyable evening. It will be nice to get away from the political side of things and to have a good time, no? And Princess Asami, it is good to see you again as well."
Reya listened intently as Cryus spoke, Hanne having already run off with Willa. It was a good thing Cyrus was so good at this "royal" thing. Reya already felt so lost, so she would have to follow his lead. As he spoke she made a mental note of their names, etching each of the princesses outfits into her mind so that she would not look like a fool and somehow accidentally mix their names up later on. Unfortunately, her mother had not taught Reya much about other kingdoms before handing her over to the chieftain.
"Yes, happy birthday Princess Minagi." She bowed her head in respect before meeting the girls hazel colored eyes and beaming a smile, "I'm thrilled to be here. It's a pleasure to meet you," Her own icy blue eyes turned to meet those of the smaller red haired girl, "And you as well, Princess Asami." She bowed her head in respect to the younger girl too. "My name is Reya."