“You’re so cool.” I whispered as I followed him with more ease as his pace wasn’t set to match the man’s. “How come you acted so calmly in front of them?”
“They ignore servants, I merely bowed to show respect.”
“Now, I’m aware you aren’t used to this situation but you need to behave. Thankfully My Lord ignored your behaviour towards him instead of punishing you for speaking out of turn.”
“Oh you serve the PR right? He was that guy?”
“I serve the Prince Regent.” Jess replied, enunciating clearly the man’s title. “I also happen to help the King when free, His Majesty allows me to choose the punishments if the decision is given to me.” He seemed to smile at this particular notion but I ignored it. He went on to explain how to act and behave during the day or around the Royalty and their guests so I tried to listen but I’ve always had a short attention span.
We got to the kitchen then he left me to go back the way we had just been. I looked at his feet, surprised they didn’t hurt from the amount of walking, then sat down and waited silently in the boredom of the noiseless servant’s hall. My eyes began to close so I put my arms on the table and lay my head onto them, avoiding the spot where I had hit my head earlier.
“Jess!” A voice barked, my eyes instantly opened then I raised my head but slowly as my neck was stiff fm the lack of motion. I stood, stretched back then walked to the doorway and looked out. The Prince Regent looked to Jess who had run up and bowed to him. “Where is my guest?”
“He has yet to arrive My Lord, I believe they may be caught up in the paring traffic.” Jess replied calmly.
“Quite right. I shall change, post someone to await him and gather the writing equipment.”
“I shall with haste My Lord.” He said then went to leave.
“Oh and Jess.” The man’s voice was softer this time.
“Yes My Lord?” He asked, turning to face the man. The Prince Regent glanced around then leant forwards and whispered something. “That’s all.” Jess nodded once then turned and hurried down the corridor, no doubt to the room he had put everything in. As I went to advance Miranda put a hand on my shoulder. I flinched but didn’t scream as my hand still covered my mouth.
“What are you doing? Spying?”
“No I was just… well I fell asleep and…”
“I hope you didn’t drool on the table. Come, you can help the others wash and tidy the hall."
While two cleaned the hoard of plates and cutlery filling not only the sink, side and table, me and Kiara would dry up. Another two took the dried up items and placed them in a pile or straight away where they belonged. We changed cloths about 5 times then once it was all done they began to clean the surfaces. My feet were killing me from the walking and my hands ached from the cleaning but everyone else seemed still full of energy. Maybe they were used to this kind of labour.
I helped Kiara fold up a large table cloth, though she had to constantly tell me the way to do it correctly, the tables were being folded up. It was amazing how big the hall looked without the long tables filling up the gap. I’m sure there would have been plenty of room to swing 100 cats let alone one.
As I put the soft cloth on top of a third I noticed Jess walk out of the room where he had put the writing tray in earlier. He looked as Miranda walked up, towering over the young boy. As the two spoke quietly I continued watching, Kiara had gone off to help a few others so I was left alone with one of my hands resting on the cloths.
They seemed to be quite aggressive about the topic Miranda brought up, Jess looked away angrily a few times then snapped back but still kept quiet so as not to be overheard and gestured only slightly. Miranda turned and walked away as Jess also walked away.
I looked around as Miranda seemed to look at me and march straight towards where I was standing.
“Why aren’t you working?”
“Uh I… well…”
“Look, I’ll give you a piece of advice. Ignore anyone else’s conversation.” She walked forwards one step so she was behind me. “Or at least don’t get found out.”
I watched her as she scolded a few others for playing about then noticed Kiara rubbing her shoulder. She walked up then put a table cloth on the pile, I swiftly moved my hand out of the way.
“You okay? Why were you rubbing your arm?”
“Oh I hit it on a wall that stuck out. I’m fine.” She said then looked as the Prince Regent walked through the door. All the servants turned and bowed, I followed their lead, then all of us chimed: ‘Good Evening Your Lordship.’ though I only mouthed it.
He looked around then to the side. “Jess go to the room and prepare my clothes.”
“Yes My lord.” Jess’ voice came from the side then the soft clicking of heels walking away.
“You lot. Line up.” As we did so I thought of his awful attitude and what I would have said if I didn’t have to be nice. We lined up then I risked a glance to Miranda who didn’t look very happy.
The Prince Regent walked up the line, studying each girl carefully. “You.” He said right beside me. I knew instantly he was talking to Kiara. “Come with me.” He walked away with Kiara holding her left wrist while following, her head bowed slightly.
As the two disappeared I rounded on Miranda. “Where is she being taken? What’s he going to do to her? Does that happen often?”
“We’re servants, we do what we’re told. If you’re chosen you come back and don’t tell anyone. That’s how it always is.”
“You’ve been chosen?” I whispered.
“No. Thankfully.” She added then raised her voice. “Back to work you lot.”