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And when Arcane thought that her life could get no more disturbing, She was told to learn proper etiquette as she was the crown princess candidate. The training included studying the arts, history, politics, and geography of the kingdom. Along with that, she had a special lesson for foreign affairs and last but not least she had to learn how to dance and how to carry herself like a proper empress. 

 

“What is all this?! This was never mentioned in the book!” Arcane screamed when she saw a woman in black formal clothes walk towards her with a sewing kit. 

“Princess! You will have to make a gift for the crown Prince, He will be receiving it after the banquet. And he will reward the art he likes the most.” The lady giggled and spoke.

 

“But...I don’t know how you sew, I have never learned it.” Arcane muttered with guilt.

 

“There is nothing to worry about, I will teach you everything you need to become a perfect bride.” She replied.

 

And that was when her nightmare began. For the next three days, Arcane spent sleepless nights just to make the perfect design on a handkerchief that was supposed to be the Prince’s.

 

“What do you think?” 

The first light of the day entered the room, Arcane held up a white handkerchief with her injured fingers, she had dark circles under her eyes while her hair had lost all its beauty. She looked like a scarecrow at that instant.  The handkerchief she held in her hands had a flock of birds that were flying away. Blanca’s face fell into deep sorrow.

“What happened? You don’t like it?” Asked Arcane.

“No, I like it… it’s just that it looks sad.” She mumbled.

“It does?!” Arcane looked at the piece of cloth with interest but the only thing she saw were birds flying freely in the sky.

Without realizing Arcane had sown her dream into the handkerchief.

 

“I think it looks good enough, I hope the crown prince doesn’t burn it down.” She muttered while looking at her poor fingers that she had stabbed multiple times just to get the design right. 

 

“Now I   can sleep...Finally!!” Arcane handed over her masterpiece to Blanca and rolled herself in the sheet to fall asleep.

 

Knock...Knock...Knock.

But it was just then that the door of the room had a knock,

 

“Princess, Your dress has arrived.” Said a  feminine voice.

“Blanca! Deal with her...If someone asks about me! Tell them that I have died!” Arcane gave out the last groan and fell asleep.

 

                                …………………………………………………..

 

“Princess! It’s time.” Said Blanca. 

“Huh? Time for what?” Asked Arcane with droopy eyes.

“You have to start getting ready for the banquet,” Blanca replied.

 

“BANQUET!!” Arcane jumped out of the sheets she was rolling herself in and sat up with a scared look on her face. “Wasn't the banquet supposed to be held after three days?” Arcane mumbled.

 

“Yes but three days have already passed, Remember?” Blanca was left speechless when she saw how messed up Arcane’s head was.

 

“YOu mean the three days are already gone?” Arcane bit her nails.

 

“Princess! YOu are finally awake!” Another maid who was supposed to take care of Arcane’s needs spoke with excitement. “ We have prepared a massage for you, And After that, you will take a bath followed by the make up session…” And then the list went on. 

 

The dress that she was going to wear for the ball was of the color black with a golden embroidered bodice and three layers of puffy skirt along with a hoop skirt and a petticoat. Making it a total of five layers. 

Arcane gulped in her uneasiness and stepped forwards to get dressed. Her neck injuries haven't recovered yet so she avoided wearing any accessories. But to stop the white bandage From ruining the entire look, the maids had specially prepared a black bandage for her. Arcane was impressed by their creativity. 

 

The banquet was going to be held after sunset. The Palace was already decorated with lights and flowers making everything look like a dream.

 

“I wonder how does Soarsa look? She must be breathtakingly beautiful by now.

 

Arcane stared out at the setting sun, she seemed sad. 

 

Knock! Knock…

Arcane shifted her head towards the door. There was no maid around her who  could open the door so Arcane walked at the door and opened it up.

 

“Chan...No Sir.Darius? I wasn’t expecting you at all.” Arcane was caught by surprise when she saw Darius dressed in a neat uniform. Arcane hadn’t noticed his youthful appearance because of the boring colored clothes he wore when he attended to the king. He looked like an entirely different person, his deep brown hair swept backward neatly while his clear black eyes gave a shine Arcane could feel herself drool over his handsomeness.

“That...My Princess,” Darius seemed to have encountered a ghost because the way he shuttered made Arcane worry.

“Is there something wrong? Sir Darius.” Asked Arcane with a worried tone.

“I don’t want to be rude but…” HE looked away for a second, Arcane noticed that his cheeks were slightly flushed. “You look breathtakingly beautiful!” With those words, he covered his face with his hand trying not to show his blushing cheek.

 

‘Gasp! What is going on?!’ Arcane looked down at her dress and then back to Darius who was still out of his character.

 

“Are you serious?” Arcane asked in a doubtful tone.

 

Arcane hadn’t seen herself in the mirror because Blanca asked her to wait until she brought some flowers to put in her hair. Arcane was elegantly dressed in the gown that was prepared specially by the emperor himself.

The maids had taken a long time to get her ready. Her skin looked radiant and fair just like freshly fallen snow, while her eyes matched the ripe cherries. They had applied a bit of dark eyeshadow to her eyes that made her eyes color even more prominent. Her hair was tied into a loose bun, a few hair strands dangled down lazily on her back and her neck. On her head was a diadem complimenting her beauty overall. 

 

“I can swear on my life.” He replied, “Allow me to take you to the Emperor.” Said Darius, he held out his hand for Arcane to hold.

“To the Emperor? Shouldn’t I go directly to the banquet?” Asked Arcane.

   

“No, The Emperor will take you along with him,” said Darius.

 

‘Was that supposed to happen? I mean I know that Arcane wasn’t an important character of the book but something like this should have been mentioned there.’Arcane thought.

“My Princess! My hand is still waiting for you,” said Darius.

 

“Oh! My bad.” Arcane smiled at Darius and held onto his big hand.”By the way, Sir. Darius...How old are you?” Arcane couldn’t hold in her curiosity, as she wanted to know how a man she thought to be 40 years old turned into a 22-year-old lad in just three days.

 

“I will be 26 this fall,” Darius replied.

 

“26!!!!” said Arcane.

 

“Pfft…” Darius cracked. “Princess, You look so cute when you are surprised.” Darius chuckled lightly, Arcane who had a low tolerance for handsomeness kept her eyes on his soothing smile. And she didn’t realize that they had already reached the Emperor’s room.

 

“Wait a minute!” Arcane stopped in her steps.

“What happened?”

“Why is the Emperor’s room so close to mine? Shouldn’t he be living somewhere far far away?” Arcane looked back at the path she had just walked and realized  that her room was just 30 steps away from the Emperor’s room.

 

“The Eastern wing has the rooms of the royal family, The rest of the rooms are on the western side of the Palace.”

“Royal Family?”

‘But why am I living here then?’

And Arcane heard another low chuckle for Darius’s side that made her even more confused.

 

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