The ball was everything one could read about in books. Elegant people twirled around a delicately tiled dance floor. The ladies wore dresses in all colors of the rainbow, the men as well, though many dressed in the livery of the castle. I stood by the thrones set up for the king and queen, bowing at each new lord and lady.
Eventually the greeting was over and the dancing truly began. The dance chosen was one of those that required you to switch partners every few phrases so I switched lady after lady after princess after duchess.
The dance ended and I headed for the banquet table, covered in more foods than one can imagine, every kind of poultry imaginable, chicken, turkey, duck, quail, even peacock, these dishes were surrounded by fish, venison, roast bovak, flavored ice in tiny bowls. The king was there, holding a goblet of wine, he was smiling and a little red-faced, so I assumed it wasnt the first he'd had, but he stood rock steady and his voice was crystal clear as he called for attention.
"A toast!" The king announced, his voice ringing across the hall. "To my children, who have brought so much joy to this kingdom, and to my son especially, as he sets off on his quest tomorrow. To princess Aria and Prince Destran!"
"Princess Aria and Prince Destran." The crowd echoed, drank and was quiet.
"Now, my son's quest is very important, showing his diligence and proving his courage. Yes, very important to the future of the kingdom, this castle and the lives of all who live here."
"Whats the quest?" Someone called, I didnt recognize the voice.
"My son," The king said. "Prince Destran intends to find and bring back..." He paused for effects and the crowd was nearly hopping in anticipation. "The Seer Stone of the Sanfadier!" Silence.
"Is this wise?" someone may have said. "Is the prince mad?" "No one has come back from that search before." "What will we do if he does not return?"
"Well, tha'ts it for the announcements," The King interjected awkwardly. "Please, enjoy the remainder of tonight's festivities." I bowed at my father and quickly left the room, making my way down to the beach, shedding the waistcoat and marching straight into the water, boots and all. I stood, staring at the waves as they lapped the rocks at my feet. Suddenly, a head popped up out of the water, silvery-blonde hair melding into the waves where the head met the water.
"Yara." I whispered, smiling for the first time in a while. "Its nice to see you again."