We entered the square and were immediatly drenched in cheers and praises. After our introduction, our little group, most comfortable with each other than a whole village of strangers, headed for the sidelines.
I folded my arms, leaned up against a stack of crates, and looked around at everyone's nice attire. It made me almost want to laught at mine. My boots had been patched and repatched, my pants bragged a whole collection of holes and stains, my weathered belt hung loosesly--still bearing my sword just in case, my tunic was beyond wrinkled, and my cloak was beginning to fray at the end. That and I hadn't shaved for a few weeks.
But, I thought with a shrug, at least the tavern we'd gone to had allowed us to at least wash up a little. We may look like typical travelers but at least we didn't smell like them.
Yet, even that small sense of confidence fled as the duke of earlier strode up to us. He nodded politelyto us in gretting before bowing to Odael and I couldn't help but notice his neatness.
"Would you like to dance Miss?" he asked, holdling out a hand.
"Of course," she blushed, placing hers in his and letting him lead her off. My eyes narrowed as I watched the two from underneath my hood--jealousy laughing in my face. But then, I thought with a scowl, what did I expect? She was princess. And I was a shadow; close to an outcast. What foolhardy idea ever convinced me to believe she would look my direction? No, she would find someone like her, royalty.
"C'mon Jevin," Valour nudged me out of my brooding thoughts, "Go ask someone."
"You first," I grumbled, still watching the graceful form of the only person I wanted to ask.
"Well," he shrugged, "Alright then." I smirked as he waltzed up to a whole group of giggly peasant girls and threw his arms around two of them.
"Which one of you lovely ladies would like to dance with me first?"
Volunteers all around. It wasn't long before he was leading one past me and nodding me towards the dance floor.
"I'll do it if you do," Lace smiled.
"Fine," I chuckled, making my way towards a lonely looking maiden and deciding I could somewhat relate to her right now.
"W-would you like to dance?" I asked, bowing pathetically and holding out a grey, calloused hand that still wore the torn leather fingerless glove I had forgetton to take off and I suddenly realized how long it had been since I had been to a social event.
"Sure," she smiled kindly, gingerly taking it. Suddenly remembering, I brushed off my hood and led her out to the cobbled floor, hoping against hope I still knew a little ballroom.
She was pretty with her long, brown hair and clever green eyes. But I couldn't help but think that Odael was beautiful.
It wasn't that eventful of a dance. I got a few stares at my strange goblin-traits and she asked a lot of questions but nothing I wasn't used to.
"Thank you," I grinned, leading her back to her spot.
"Thank you," she smiled in reply, reluctantly pulling her hand from mine. But I hardly noticed the slow movement at the duke's voice.
"Sounds like you have quite the group. Oh, and who's that bloke?" I felt his questionging eyes on me.
"Jevin," Odael replied, "He's a skilled ranger who once served my parents."
I frowned. Was that really all she saw me as or was she just sticking to the facts out of courtesy?
"Oh. Is he a," his voice softened, "goblin?"
Yeah, I sneered, Got a problem with it?
"Only half. But as I was saying--"
"Poor guy. Does he act all strange? Like does he stick to the goblin's tribal ways and such?"
"No. I don't know what--"
"And what if I did?" I sneered from behind him, startling him right out of those nearly-ironed pants of his.
"I'm sorry," he gasped, "I didn't mean--I was just curious."
"Yeah well maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself. What if I went around asking people if nobles--"
"Jevin," Odael warned, her lovely eyes flashing angrily at me, "Go find yourself a partner."
It hurt, but I only placed my hood over my head and nodded, realizing I had sort of flown off the handle a bit, and headed back towards the stack of crates deciding to ask Alexican or Arien or something.