Derek Thane (accompanying his parents, of course) was the first of them to get inside.
Lady Brighton was a few places down, dressed in black to show mourning for her now dead husband, the Lord Brighton. One of her servants carried a bag resembling one that Arowyn had once owned, in her days of tutoring Trey, the prince in hiding.
Landon had disguised himself as a low-ranking nobleman, and had hidden a multitool inside the thick heel of his boot.
Korman had snuck in through a servant's door, with other tools they would need to get in, get what they needed, and get out.
Arowyn and Christopher waited to be searched. Arowyn joked to Christopher that she hoped bobby pins weren't considered weapons. But though the fourteen-year-old had laughed nervously at the joke, he was still afraid.
"What if the guard recognizes you, Miss Arowyn?" he whispered as they got closer.
"I doubt it." Arowyn whispered back. "My father probably had a search done a long time ago, but he's gotten lazy. Thomas tells me he catches more guards sleeping at their posts almost daily, and Alyssa says the kitchen staff aren't as worried about their master's mood as of late." When the boy still looked worried, Arowyn nudged him gently.
"Look excited. This is the first time you've been here, right? Your father would be head groom now, but he isn't. You're not a stable-boy anymore, Chris. Act like it!"
Christopher took a deep breath. He noticed that Arowyn's hair was lighter then yesterday, a lot lighter. She was older now as well. She knew what she was doing.
Still, he felt himself tense up when the guard approached him to ask if he had weapons and to search him.
He forced himself to relax, as Landon and the elves had taught him. He slacked his shoulders, he quietly slowed his breathing. He emptied the pouch at his waist for the guard, who confiscated a small screwdriver, but told him to pick it up on the way back. Chris gave the guard a false name, jogged to catch up with Arowyn.
This would be a great promotion.
So the High Lord Dictator Bennett said to his 'most loyal man,' Thomas of Irvin, soon to be the Duke of Plight.
"This will be a great demonstration to the people, Thomas. Old ones will remember the Duke of Plight, and the younger generation will strive for positions among us. We will be as kings live, Thomas. You will sit at my right hand. "
"Yes, Milord." Thomas said nervously.
"You will sit at my right hand, Thomas. It fills me with pride," Bennett added. "to see a day such as this."
"Yes, Milord." Thomas raised a glass of wine to sip, and calm himself.
"The only thing left is to find you a prudent match, young man." Thomas dropped his glass, choked on the wine he had sipped, and doubled over. He hadn't planned on marrying yet.
"Get someone to clean that up!" Bennett called to a guard walking by. "Are you alright, son?" He asked Thomas in a concerned voice.
"Yes," Thomas coughed. "Yes, I am alright. You caught me by surprise, Your Lordship." he smiled weakly.
The High Lord Dictator began to laugh as a maid began to clean up the glass.
Still laughing, Bennett clapped Thomas on the shoulder. "I felt the same way at your age, boy. Marriage is serious. You will want it whence you find a woman who pleases you enough."
But what of love? Thomas wondered. He didn't ask, though.
He didn't wish to know just yet.