I smiled as Olivia played a favourite piece of hers. Everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves. I saw Prince Louis deep in conversation with his manservant. I narrowed my eyes, taking delight in my curiosity. I did enjoy watching each of my suitors, all eager to please. I didn't like their delusion in believing they love me when I do not know anything of them, but I must admit I quite indulge in weighing up each man's qualities. Sir Serene had made me laugh with his very witty ballad and lyre playing, and I was glad to Princes Kaedin and Allan conversing. I still found Allan's appearance a little peculiar. There was something about him which...even with my measure of logic (if I must say so myself), I cannot seem to articulate the degree of confusion I felt.
I was still trying to crack this riddle when Father stepped up and motioned to Olivia to sit down. I sat up straight as I knew it concerned the quest. All of the suitors had arrived, so it was after all inevitable. He cleared his throat.
'Kind suitors, we thank ye one and all for attending. You clearly possess strength of mind and of body. You shall embark on the quest in a weeks' time, having undergone training and having gotten acquainted with my fair daughter Isabelle,' I nodded and smiled. 'Now, eat drink and be merry!' he sat down.
Yes, sirs, I thought. Eat, drink, be merry. For no doubt great peril lies in wait in just seven nights' time.