“Soup anyone?” he asked to break the awkward tension. We all put up our bowls and were served helpings of soup. Amelia clapped gleefully at what was inside the bowl.
“Why, heavens, this is perfection at its finest! Not only am I making a new friend I also get to eat my favourite soup!” She squealed. Her father rolled his eyes and took a spoonful of soup.
“Amelia, may I ask you exactly where you were? We specifically told you to be at dinner on time,” he asked. She shrugged nonchalantly and took a sip of wine.
“Well, today I had my oratory lesson out in the garden, so I was sitting alone in the peaceful setting and the sea breeze came in. After that, I knew I was going to be down for the count because I was so relaxed that I kept nodding off. So-”
“Practically you’re telling us that you have fallen asleep outside in the garden and that is the reasoning behind your tardiness and the twigs in your hair?” Amelia nodded.
“Yes, but by the way I think these twigs make quite a fashion statement, don’t you agree kind gentleman?” she asked to Andrias. He gave an awkwardly uneasy look, as if he were half laughing and half disturbed but then covered it up with a smile.
“Yes! The green in the twigs really brings out the green in your eyes, princess.” He responded coyly. She took no notice to his mischievous tone and considered this statement as a complimentary gesture. She grinned from ear-to-ear.
“Why thank you, sir! And please do call me Amelia. We are now both in a position that we can be cordial.” He nodded.
“Of course, and you can just call me Andrias.” He said with a small smile, taking the princess’ hand in his and planting a small kiss on top of it. Piem, was she sold!
“Alright, Andreas! Oh, and you didn’t even introduce me to your friends!” she said, directing the latter comment to her brother. Andrias rolled his eyes playfully at the mispronunciation of his name, and Tarquin cleared his throat.
“Well, this young lady beside me is Siram, and the gentleman sitting beside Andrias is Parauvin.” The princess gave Parauvin and me a small smile.
“A pleasure to meet you, Paraveen and Seeram!” She chimed. I wonder if her mispronunciation of names is her being playful or if it’s some form of a speech impediment all together. Parauvin and I nodded at her and watched as the butlers came in, taking up our soup bowls and replacing them with plates. A couple of chefs from the kitchen came out of the room with big covered trays. They placed these trays in the centre of the table and proudly uncovered the trays. Parauvin’s, Andrias’ and my eyes all lit up at the sight before us. There was a massive, steaming filet of Yichmar on a bed of rice. A beef roast that was nicely carved, and there was a lobster as big as my torso! Yes there were other trays and bowls as well that were filled with other side dishes, but nothing was as impressive as the main courses. Parauvin and Andrias immediately went for the lobster claws, not even bothering to be considerate of our hosts due to how drunk they were. They ripped apart the claws with both hands, barbarically snatching the meat out of the shell. The Royal Family and I watched awkwardly at this circus act, and to alleviate some of this awkward tension the king began to start another conversation while he served himself an appropriate amount of Yichmar.
“So, Siram, is there anything else that brings you and your confidantes to Minerva?” he asked. At first I didn’t know how to respond, nor could I rely on the boys because they were wolfing down their lobster, but then I came up with the most brilliant excuse ever.
“Well, we’re here to visit the schola academia to see if I qualified for the cartography major, but with little money and no place to stay it would be quite difficult for us to venture to Syreni Springs.” I responded. Tarquin cleared his throat.
“Well, if you need a place to stay we have more than enough room to accommodate the three of you. Father…would that be a problem?” He asked. The King didn't even hesitate to respond.
"I see no problem with that. They can take the three guest rooms in the north wing overlooking the sea." Suddenly Andrias snapped out of his drunken stupor. He looked me dead in the eyes and stood up from the table. He slapped Parauvin in the back to force him up as well.
"Excuse us, Princess, Prince, King and Queen," he began, his eyes motioned for me to follow him, "we must have a brief meeting in the hallway." He and Parauvin made their way outside, while I sat there for a moment. When I finally got up from the table I clumsily dropped my silverware and scurried out into the hallway.