CHAPTER 10 - Of a Royal Ball (Part I)

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Tiny Note I swear: Attaching an image of a centaur, for reference. 
This chapter might be long but the next won't, so  do avoid skimming. 
~Happy Reading ❤✨~

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"Stop fidgeting with the armlets, Eleni," Serena pinched the back of my palm.

"Ow!" I hissed as her long nails dug into my skin. It would be an understatement if I said that I was a little nervous. Truth be told, I was extremely panicked. I had never been invited to any of my school parties. I had left school early, of course, but all the years that I attended, it was just a building where I went to get humiliated. I flinched at the memories that were wheezing in my head.

And now I was at a ball, a proper royal ball.

"You look great. Just calm down, alright?" Serena put her arm through mine and we walked slowly after Kevyn and Jordan. We had our badges pinned to our dresses, but looking around the massive hall, it felt useless.

Landon advised for the fifth time, "Just mingle a little or if anyone feels overwhelmed," he looked at me at that part, "just stick to the group, okay?" I nodded nervously and every chorused affirmative.

Everyone other than Serena, of course, was visibly nervous.

"Time for some food," Rosa said in a sing-song drawl, her eyes twinkling. I followed her gaze to the small tables laden with desserts and a huge table at the far corner with drinks.

"Rosa, dear," Violette placed a hand on her shoulder and spoke in a tone that one usually takes with a child, "how about we take a glass of something to drink first?" Rosa's smiles vanished but she nodded nevertheless. We giggled as Violette led us to the drinks table.

I looked around me at the vast expanse of the ballroom. The stunning dresses and beautiful crowns; the gleam of nobility. The interior aesthetic was something out of a painting. A few couples were dancing in the middle of the hall, while a quartet of musicians played a chirpy country tune. There was loud chattering all over as it was quite seldom that the Four Realms congregated in such a manner. The antique furniture shone in the bright lights and I suddenly jumped as my gaze fell over a taxidermized elk. Rich people are crazy, I mused. Why keep a dead animal's carcass?

Serena grabbed my hand and pulled me away from the table as soon as she had secured us wine glasses each, "Are you feeling bold yet?" Her eyes were twinkling again as she passed me my glass, filled more than needed.

"Serena, for heaven's sake, it's just a quarter of an hour that we have arrived," I rolled my eyes.

"Yeah, but look, there's Lord Gareth. And oh my, who's the lady on his arm?" I turned in the direction she pointed sipping my wine.

"Must be a noble lady of the Spring Realm, of course."

"Eleni," Serena stretched the last vowel of my name a little too much, "look, it's the horsey king." And sure enough there was the infamous King Orlon sitting on a couch bellowing loudly with some stately men his age. His back was facing us but his bellowing laughter had given him away. He was sitting on the couch that means he had finally decided to let go off his beastly centaur avatar, I pondered.

"Oh, do you think the driver Prince is here too?" She had her eyes wide open now, scaring me. I felt hopeful for something, but I didn't know exactly what for. The mere memory of the incident with the black tower still gave me chills.

"Serena, go slow on the drinks and also on the sugar. You already seem pretty much drunk without even getting started," I gulped some of the drink and let my eyes wander around the room.

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