Chapter 19- New Friends
“Is it true that you had a pet lion?” Charlotte asked.
“Yes, his name was Apollo,”
“I loved animals more than people. I made friends with so many wild animals but I’d always get in trouble for bringing them to Andreas. They listened to me but that doesn’t mean they listened to anyone else,”
I thought back to those days. It happened hundreds of years ago but it didn’t feel that long ago. Even then, I was scared of forgetting them all, I’ve already started to forget what everyone looked like, even Arturo- my father.
“What other wild animals did you have?” She asked, leaning forward on her seat and I couldn’t help but laugh at her curiosity.
“I had three snakes, a fox, a lion, a leopard, a red panda... and I think... I had a lynx too,” I mumbled, trying to look through my misty memory.
“You think?” Charlotte caught onto my hesitation.
“I’m starting to forget- It all happened so long ago,” I sadly replied but tried not to sound too sad. I failed and Charlotte knew but thankfully she didn’t pry and tried to change the subject.
“How were you able to keep them alive? or even keep them from killing each other?”
“Magic,” Her mouth formed a small ‘O’ in realisation and I chuckled.
“I keep forgetting that you’re a mage. You seem like any other normal human being out there... except for your unnatural beauty,” I blushed at the compliment and she was the one that laughed at me this time.
We were supposed to be studying but kept going off track and ended with the studying completely forgotten and me simply telling her stories about my life in Andreas before I merged with the sword.
So, because of that, I’ve been studying by myself after Charlotte left and I’m sure I fell asleep in the library yesterday... and yet I woke up safely tucked away in the covers of my bed in my room. It was odd but I tried not to pay too much attention.
It’s probably another norm of the present. One that I’ve yet to read about.
“So are you older than me? Or younger than me?”
“You’re choice,” I answered, remembering the time her older brother asked me the same question. How did I reply then?
“How old are you?” I asked, realising I didn’t know that.
“25,” She answered with a small smile. “I got married last year,” She added.
“You’re married!?” I accidentally sounded too shocked but thankfully she wasn’t offended and only laughed at me with a nod.
“His name’s Lucien Armstrong. He’s a year younger than me but he’s not here right now. He went to visit his family in Viaseth and should be back later today,” She said while looking at the wall clock that hung beside us.
I hummed before leaning back in my chair and continued to skim over the book that I’ve been trying to finish reading for a good few hours at this point.
“Enough reading! We have more important stuff to do!” She grabbed the book out of my hands and threw it onto the table then grabbed my hands and practically dragged me out of the room.
“What stuff?” I asked as we hurriedly walked down the pristine hallways.
“Stuff for your festival. Like the dress and hairstyle and stuff,”
Oh. That stuff.
And so, here I am, an hour later, staring at my reflection in the mirror as the maids scurried around me with Charlotte throwing clothes of different styles, colours and materials all over the room, making it unrecognisable.
“This is perfect,”
I can’t begin to explain how relieved I am to hear those words.
It was a long, golden spaghetti dress with a V-neck style and sequins scattered all over the skirt so every time I moved it would sparkle. It didn’t show off too much skin and was comfortable to move around in.
“I’ve never worn something like this before,” I smiled while spinning around. I heard that I would probably end up dancing at the festival so thankfully, the dress was comfortable to move around in.
“It goes perfectly with your eyes, you look like your glowing,” Charlotte gave me a thumbs up and I laughed, staring back at my reflection in the large mirror.
I like it.
“While the people party in the streets, the nobles will have their own gathering in the ballroom in the palace but we’re all free to go out and come in as we please,” Charlotte explained.
“We can start the day off wandering around the streets of the city then get changed into this dress and attend the ball. The ball will officially end when the royal family attend the dance around your statue,”
“Who will dance?” I asked curiously.
“Dances will be happening all over the city around different statues of you. The royals, that being us, will attend the noble one. It’s happening in the main garden behind the castle and anyone’s welcome to dance,”
“Is there a lot of people?”
I still couldn’t come to terms with the fact that this massive event was being held for me.
“For the nobles who’ll attend the after-party, it ranges from 30 to 50 people but only around 20 dance. Everyone’s welcome to dance... Say, you should dance this year too. It’ll truly be amazing,” Charlotte clapped her hands at the idea and I blushed.
Dance. In front of all those people? Me!?
“No way,” I shook my head immediately and she pouted.
“Don’t you know how to dance?” She asked and I tilted my head back in thought.
“It’s not that I didn’t know...” Don’t get me wrong, I loved dancing and I did it all the time in Andreas but at the time, I did it in front of my family. All these people are strangers to me but that can’t really be surprising.
“Then what’s the problem?” I scratched the back of my neck nervously.
“It’s embarrassing,” I mumbled out and Charlotte blinked.
“Okay. I’ll leave it at that but think about it. It’ll be fun and a chance to let loose, you won’t even notice the gazes- if there are even going to be any,” That made me feel better.