The Emperor’s Daughter Chapter 2
2 The Grand Ball
I was walking steadily. I have been practicing how to walk with heals and a ball gown for the past two weeks. I am confidently walking with my head held up high like a princess would.
At the end of the hallway was the stairs leading down to the ballroom of the palace. There my father was waiting for me. His back was facing me when I arrived and stood beside him.
"Your majesty, my father king." I greeted him as a princess would. I hold my skirt with my hands and made a courtesy.
"Rise my daughter." Father ordered me.
I slowly stand up and looked up at him. My father was looking at me with surprise and awe. This was the first time I saw him look at me with emotion. In the past he has always looked at me indifferently.
The servants that were around us were also looking at me with surprise and awe. They stopped what they were doing to look and stare at me.
"Ahem." My father cleared his throat. "Come, let us not keep the guests waiting."
My father offered his arm. I held it with my hand gently.
I looked down the ball room. Many people from noble and high classes are there wearing beautiful dresses and suits. Some are chattering, some are eating and some are dancing on the dance floor.
Then the musicians stopped playing. One servant blew the trumpet to get the guests attention.
"Ladies and gentlemen. I present to you King Edward Von Heist, ruler of Alvannia. And his daughter third princess Alicia Roselyn Von Heist." The herald announced our presence.
My father started to descend the stairs and I followed beside him. We were descending slowly. I can see the people below were still chattering.
I was focusing in my walk when we were close at the bottom. I noticed that I can't hear the chattering of guests anymore. I looked around and the people's eyes are all looking towards me. Their faces were a mix of surprise, awe, wonderment, and jealousy.
When my father and I reached the ground we stopped.
"Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to present to you my third daughter. The third princess of Alvannia, Alicia Roselyn Von Heist." My father announced with the essence of a king.
The guests applauded. I was feeling overwhelmed. This is my first time to attend a ball. And here now I was the the star of the night.
"Hahaha your majesty." A middle aged stout man approached us. "I didn't know that you were hiding such a beautiful daughter."
"Duke Cunningham." Father greeted. "Alicia, greet the duke."
"It's a pleasure to meet you Duke Cunningham." I greeted.
"Hahaha the pleasure is all mine." Duke Cunningham said. "Your majesty good thing that you have presented this beautiful daughter of yours. My son William just turned sixteen. He is a fine young lad that can be a good match for your Alicia."
"Duke, my daughter just turned fourteen. Isn't it a little to early to make matches?" My father replied.
I have heard of William Cunningham. He is the heir of the Cunningham family. It is said that he was a rising noble here in Alvannia. He is not only intelligent but also handsome. Many young noble women are vying for his attention. And that includes my sister, the second princess Elizabeth.
"Nonsense. There is no such thing as early in match making." Duke Cunningham said. "William, my son. Where is that boy?" He was searching the crowd.
"Father." A heard a voice of a young man in the crowd.
A blonde haired boy emerged from the crowd. He has light blue eyes and fair skin. His smile was dazzling.
"Ah there he is, William my boy. Come here." The duke ordered.
"Your majesty, your highness." William bowed before us.
"Arise." My father ordered.
I also greeted him with courtesy. "Sir William. It's a pleasure to meet you." I said.
"Princess, the pleasure is all mine." William took my hand and kissed the back.
In Alvannia if a gentleman greets a lady with a kiss behind the hand it means that he is interested to getting to know her better. Either as a friend or in a romantic way.
I blushed with his gesture. William looked at me and gave me a sweet and gentle smile.
"Oh look at them your majesty, they just look good with each other." The duke said. "William my boy are you willing to get to know princess Alicia better?" The duke asked.
"If the princess lets me." William said with a smile. "Can I visit you once in a while in your courtyard?"
I was frozen in place. This was the first time a boy has ever took notice of me. I was lost for words.
"Ahh..." I said not knowing what to say.
"Well if young William here wish to court my daughter then I will respect his wish. But expect that courting a princess won't be easy." My father said.
"Hahaha of course your majesty. I am sure my William is up for the challenge." The duke said. His laughter was genuine.
"Then please princess, let me at least start being your friend first." Williams requested.
"O-Okay." I stuttered.