"Good day, my lady. I hope to see you again, if I may be so bold", came the overly slick voice of Prince Cecil Boyd of Fera. Lila and Karmella shared a quick glance while suppressing their laughter before returning to their statue-like poses. Luckily for them, this action went unnoticed.
"Oh, my lord, I do believe we will meet again", Princess Giselle replied, mocking his slick voice. Prince Cecil looked up, apparently hurt, but Princess Giselle just smiled and waved him away. He turned to leave, stopping only at the door to take a last glance. Princess Giselle did not meet his gaze. As Prince Cecil left, Princess Giselle looked up at Lila and Karmella and burst out into laughter. They followed suit.
"Oh, my lady, I hope to see you again", Giselle quoted laughingly, "Can you imagine? As if I would subject myself or my loyal servants to that oily travesty of a prince!"
Laughter filled the room. Princess Giselle was laying on a periwinkle couch with her two handmaidens standing on either side. Her orange hair was in one long braid which was draped across the arm of the couch. She wore a pale yellow dress spun from silk from the fairy realm. It truly was fit for royalty.
"Come, come sit with me!", Giselle said to Lila and Karmella. Giselle straightened up and let the two girls sit on either side of her. She began to braid Lila's hair.
"Oh, Lila, how I wish I had your curly, brown locks. My hair is so...droll", Giselle commented. Lila turned around with a non-believing expression.
"Oh, my lady, you are too kind. But, you know as well as Karmella and myself that your hair is beautiful", Lila explained. Giselle ignored her comment playfully and continued to speak. She cupped Karmela's cheek.
"And how I wish I had Karmella's lovely complexion. Dark as the night sky, smooth as river stones! I envy you both", Giselle said in a pretend whine. Karmella took her turn to speak.
"Oh, but my lady you are far more lovely than your two handmaidens. After all, you are the royal one, if I may be so bold!", Karmella said, mocking Prince Cecil. The three women burst into laughter. After a few moments, they calmed down, but at that moment, King Andres, Princess Giselle's father, burst through the door with a flurry of guards behind him.
"That is it, that is it! Giselle, do you realise the necessity of a bond with another land, and how important it is to this kingdom?", King Andres shouted as he walked through the doors. As soon as they saw him, Lila and Karmella jumped off of the couch and took their places beside it, standing at attention. Giselle sighed deeply.
"Father, do calm down. You are as red as a tomato," Giselle said, tired already. This only furthered the king's anger.
"For God's sake, think before you speak. You are talking to the King of Nouvelle!", he shouted. Giselle yawned. King Andres began to sputter in anger.
"Yes, Father?", Princess Giselle interrupted, batting her eyelashes. Lila almost lost her composure with laughter. King Andres narrowed his eyes.
"You have already passed up seven chances to marry and unite this kingdom with another, and today will be number eight! Don't you understand that when these princes return home, they spread stories of the frigid princess of Nouvelle?", King Andres whispered harshly. The last portion caught Giselle's attention. She turned to her father.
"I am most certainly not frigid! I simply choose to not pick any old degenerate to be my mate!", Giselle said, raising her voice with every word. King Andres looked stunned.
"They are not degenerates, Giselle, they are princes! They are-"
A knock on the door interrupted King Andres' last thought. He whipped around, ready to scold whoever had interrupted them, when he recognized who was knocking.
"Beg my pardon, I apologize for my intrusion, but I was led here by these kind guardsmen. Am I too late to meet Princess Giselle?", Prince Dimitrius Cane said smoothly. Lila looked up from the spot on the ground that she was staring at. She saw a man that had a light tan and hair that was either black or very dark brown. He had a strong build with broad shoulders. He might have been considered handsome by society's standards, but Lila couldn't wait for Giselle to send him on his way in whatever hilarious fashion she might have planned. Lila smiled slightly, but when she looked at Princess Giselle to judge her reaction, her smile faded. Giselle seemed to be in a daze. Lila raised one eyebrow. She couldn't possibly...approve of this fool, could she? He had barely said anything! King Andres hurried over to the prince and encouraged him to introduce himself. He got down on one knee, and outstretched his hand, waiting for Princess Giselle to comply. She did. After he kissed her hand, he spoke.
"Princess Giselle, it is my utmost pleasure to meet you. I have heard of your beauty, but I must say, it has been understated. I am Prince Dimitrius Cane of Enderth," the prince said, genuinely. Lila rolled her eyes.
"I..erm...I mean, it is my pleasure, Prince Dimitrius," Princess Giselle said softly. They both smiled at each other, and King Andres' face slowly faded from red to a normal color as he saw the connection between the two. He quietly began to walk out of the room, his guards in tow. As they left, Prince Dimitrius got up, but before he could speak, Princess Giselle turned to Lila and Karmella.
"Ladies, please leave Prince Dimitrius and myself to talk", Giselle said sternly. Karmella began to walk out, but stopped when she noticed that Lila wasn't following her. Giselle looked at Lila with a harshness that Lila had never seen before.
"I said, please leave us," Giselle repeated. Lila almost began to protest, but then remembered her place, and what her father had taught her. She looked towards the floor and began to walk out. As she passed him, Prince Dimitrius caught her eye. There was a sense of sadness in his look that Lila couldn't quite place, but it soon left her mind. She followed Karmella out of the room and shut the door behind them.
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