The Marquis’ Daughter Wants to Do Nothing - Chapter 11.2
The five of them walked to the palace. Their parents followed at the back and the three siblings led the way, as if it wasn’t downright odd for nobles to just casually sashay out of their carriage and walk to the palace. The path leading to the palace was paved. It wasn’t like they were getting themselves muddy, or dirty from walking. But that didn’t stop the stares that fell on them from the carriage windows. It was uncomfortable being gawked at, but it was strangely thrilling, as well. Alice would never have dared to do this before.
“I like you the way you are now, Alice,” said Alex, looking at her proudly, “You are so much fun to be around with now. You have become quite the trouble-maker.”
Aaron groaned. “Don’t encourage her!” he said exasperated, “What if she gets more ideas and does something even weirder?”
“Oh come on, Aaron, you old man,” said Alice, “What is so weird of a walk? You should walk more, you know. All those textbooks and being cooped up reading is giving you wrinkles and making you old and naggy.”
“That’s because you don’t comprehend the satisfaction of an intellectual pursuit!” retorted Aaron.
“Well, I for one think you are weirder than Alice,” added Alex.
“Seriously!” exclaimed Aaron.
Behind her, she could hear her father and her mother snorting at their conversation. The carriages hadn’t moved a pinch since they had started walking. The parents, and the children bickering reached the palace soon.
They arrived early, obviously. But Alice’s mother was of the opinion that it would be better to tarry around before the party started. In the end, they headed to the lounge where the Rice family (their servants) were waiting to fuss over them: Sam Rice, Josh Rice and Amy Rice. Sam and Josh were brothers, but Amy just so happened to have the same surname as them. So they collectively called them the Rice family.
They walked down the hallway leading to the party hall. When they arrived, the man at the door announced their arrival. “The Marquess and Marchioness of Wishburn, Viscount Wishburn, Sir Aaron Warwick with Alice Warwick.”
Several glances were directed at them as they entered the party hall. Chelsea and Jeremiah were at the front, followed by their three children. They made their way down the enormous staircase.
The old Alice would be nervous and ecstatic at this moment. But she was only nervous now with so many eyes looking at her. She wished she had brought along a book.
But this is a necessary evil, she convinced herself, I must do this for my family. Appear pretty like a flower. Not that being pretty meant anything bad, it could prove to be very useful in several contexts.
She reminded herself that she wasn’t alone. Her brothers were at her side. Their blond hair combed and slicked to the side, sparkling in the light. They wore navy blue robes, and shiny boots. Alice, herself, was in blue as well, but of a lighter shade than her brothers. Her accessories were little, but the gold thread woven through her dress made it glitter. Her hair was curled and it flowed down, with a flower behind one of her ears.
She forced herself to flash a graceful smile as she reached the bottom of the stairs and looked around. So many people were gathered in all manner of fabrics, glittering and shiny. Alice, if she was the same as before, would have fawned over them and been nervous of people finding faults in her, but now, she wasn’t bothered by the murmurings of people. This wasn’t her destiny. She didn’t care.
Several people made their way towards their parents and greeted them, some came towards Alex, Aaron and Alice, too. Alice tried not to fall asleep. Viscount this, viscount that, your dress is beautiful, yaddah, yaddah, thought Alice. Not one of them has anything interesting to say.
“Grandfather,” she called. She excused herself from the people around her, pulled her skirt up a little and made her way to the Duke of Seymour. Her brothers followed her.
Duke of Seymour was still a handsome grandfather. In his youth, he had been talented in martial arts, had joined the Royal Knights and trained them. Her mother’s inheritance of her impeccable fashion sense and her headstrong attitude wasn’t from god but from him and her grandmother, respectively.
Rumours had it that he had used silly tricks to catch the eyes of ladies until he had fallen in love and married her grandmother, who was a princess, first in line for the throne.
When she died, he was devastated. His blond hair turned white which was cut very short. His beard was long now. Some called him the silver fox. He had refused to remarry. He was ever so devoted to her grandmother, unable to forget her.
“Oh, my Alice,” he said, spreading his arms wide for a hug. “You look pretty today.”
Alice happily flew into his arms and then pulled away, eyebrows raised. “Is that supposed to be a joke?” she chided, “I look pretty every day.”
The Duke burst out laughing. They always said this when they met, and he always laughed with a gusto. Her grandfather, who was always so patient and attentive with her. She was indeed blessed to have this family.
But for some unknown reason, she felt like something was still missing. A loud trumpet blew from the entrance interrupting her reveries. The servant announced the arrival of the Royal family.
“King Inverus III, Queen Grace and Princess Eleanor.”
Everyone bowed respectfully. And Alice bowed with them. Although their heads were lowered, everyone tried to steal glances at the Royals. Alice was curious too, so she slightly raised her eyes at the stairs.
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