“We have received an invitation to the annual Lotus Ball at Fenist Castle.” Milo Brambs, my faithful butler informs me.
I groan, “Must I go, Milo? You know how I detest balls and fancy things.”
He looks at me flippantly, “Well of course you must go, Trinity. You will be Queen, and you must keep up appearances. This is your last emergence in society as a princess and I loathe to inform you that being a Queen will require ‘balls and fancy things.’”
“You aren’t going to give me a choice, are you?”
“Not at all.” He smiles as I moan.
“Fine, but only because you will be there with me.” Ever since my parent’s death, Milo has been a grandfather figure to me. Teaching me the ways of a royal to prepare me for the rest of my life.
“I will always be with you, Trinity. And remember, you must make good first impressions. Be kind and considerate, but with authority. You’re a Queen, so act like it.”
“I’m not Queen yet,” I point out.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t act like one. Now go tell Asmire to pack. We have a long journey ahead of us.”
The carriage jostles on the bumpy road, worsening the pain knocking my skull and I suppress the urge to groan. The woods outside the window speed by, their dark leaves airing a bit of mystery. Asmire prattles on in the seat facing me, Milo at my side.
“Oh, and the Duke of Trilino is sure to be there!” she winks at me before frowning and continuing, “Well, blast, I suppose the Grelers will also attend. I honestly can’t stand that little brat of theirs.”
“Now, Asmire, that is quite rude. I don’t advise you to utter such things, especially when we arrive. Besides, this is needless babble. Please, do speak of something of importance.” I retort.
She glowers at me, “Oh, come now, Trin, don’t be so glum! What you deem ‘needless babble’ can help to clear your head of all the things you worry yourself over.”
I roll my eyes in response before resting my head against the plush cushion behind me, “I am not glum. Just a headache is all.”
“Oh please, you are never in good spirits.”
“Maybe that’s because what you think to be ‘good spirits’ are parties and tea! Now that is not my idea of being content.” I retort, my eyes now open, eyebrows dipped. She dismisses me with a wave of her gloved hand.
“Besides, Asmire, as the future Queen, I cannot let myself be distracted by such frivolities as you are.”
“Well, now I know the Queen will surely ban tea parties during her reign.” Asmire jests and Milo lets out a chuckle.
The next moments are a blur. A loud bang from outside startles me and the carriage careens to a stop. Fear tears through me as Asmire lets out a scream.