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   Chapter 14 An Agreement with the Prince

Ceaseless Gravity By JMFelic Characters: 18109

Updated: 2018-09-30 22:24


The following two days ensued as if nothing happened.

Lianne had her same routine every day helping Lady Faye of the kitchen chores, gardening, reading and avoiding the prince as much as she could. She heard from the other servants that he was always staying in the library and that annoyed her.

By the third day, early morning, Erza was frantically running down the hallway to everyone's confusion. Apparently, she was looking for the princess and there she saw her washing a saddle in a large trough just beside the entrance of the royal stable.

"Princess..." she stopped as she gasped for air after a good run. "I've been looking everywhere for you!"

Lianne turned to the servant with a questioning look on her face. "Why are looking for me?" she asked in a calm manner dropping the sponge she was holding and began to walk towards the exhausted maid.

"Princess Lianne, here, a letter of invitation for another ball, " Erza said as she handed her the artistically-made envelope sealed with a melted red candle. On the back of the envelope, it was written in a high-style calligraphy her name, to which the princess definitely did turn ashen.

"It is from the House of Astoria, my Lady, judging from the seal on the candle, " the maid explained in excitement, her eyes round and bright.

Lianne went inside the stable and sat in a wooden bench looking confused by the envelope in her hands. She immediately tore it apart and took the letter from inside it.

This was her second invitation to another ball and it sure looks like it will be a grand ball like the one in the Soulisse mansion. She opened the invitation letter not wasting a second and read its contents, but before she could finish the entire writing, Prince Ruen suddenly entered the stable and dismissed Erza out of their presence. The latter did so without a second thought.

"So, you're invited also." He pulled his hands from the pockets of his black slacks and then crossed his arms to his chest. He watched her place the letter behind her lightning fast as if trying to hide it away from his view, but he had already seen a letter like that before.

"You don't have to hide it. Here, I have one myself, " he stated with a slight smug on his face. He held out the invitation letter in her front as if he was flagging it with all its glory.

Lianne was irritated by his gesture, but was dumbfounded of the fact.

"Don't tell me..."

"I'm invited also, " Ruen confirmed. "The master of the House of Astoria is one of my father's royal council, and my mentor in Philosophy and Arts."

Lianne rolled her eyes in response not at all surprised by this truth. Sighing in displeasure, she stood up and walked to a nearby garbage bin and threw the envelope and the invitation letter into it. Ruen's eyebrows then raised in confusion.

"Do you think that I would even consider going to such a ball when I know you are there also?" she spat the words out as if it was acid melting his skin. She glanced at him curious of his reaction, but he only gave her another arrogant grin.

"Don't you know that father has already approved of your attendance in this ball? You wouldn't want to waste that opportunity right?" Ruen walked closer to her. This time, Lianne did show some bit of regret. "Apparently, after your 'debut' in the Soulisse mansion, you made such a headline that everyone of my father's royal council was practically leaching him to ask for your presence in their own houses."

She continued on her chore as if looking busy, but mindful of Ruen's gaze directed to her. "Like I would care of it, " she denied, hiding the concern in her eyes.

Ruen scoffed, not believing her words.

"I know you yearn to leave this mansion so much, Lianne, " he said as he went to sit on the wooden chair she had sat awhile ago. Lianne frowned recognizing that his annoying presence would prolong inside the stables. "But you, of all people, should know that that will not happen. So, why not take advantage of your momentary freedom through this? This is your chance."

The princess took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Why the hell is this man persuading her? It's not like he'd benefit from this.

"So you would know, I am not that desperate, " she countered, still not looking at him.

"Oh by all means, princess, please don't hide your enthusiasm about it. I know for a fact how much you enjoyed going to the Soulisse ball last time."

She flinched her brow in reaction to his words. There was definitely some double meaning there.

"What are you trying to imply?" She spun around and looked at him with her arms crossed to her chest. "Are you here to start another argument with me?"

"No, " Ruen immediately answered. "I just want to make a bargain with you."

'Arggh! How could he be so conceited! So infuriatingly persistent!' she shouted in her thoughts.

"And who even told you that I would make such a bargain with you?"

"Well, my instincts told me, " Ruen stated whilst flashing a proud smile.

"Huh! Aren't you jeering."

He walked towards her and stopped a couple of inches away. It was this close when he could clearly see the tension in her eyes. She was definitely holding back something and it was pride that ranged supreme. However, she couldn't fool him.

"You can go to the ball and even be allowed outside the mansion after that if I'll be your escort that evening, " he said.

The p

what she meant. But Lianne didn't really want to talk about Cain or any other man for the time being so she dismissed it that instant.

That being said however, she noticed something odd about the Head Servant. She actually wore a dark green gown. It was very simple, almost to the point like it was her everyday change of clothes. She had her hair done cleanly at the back like she used to and oddly enough, the old woman didn't have any jewelries to adorn her neck or ears, unlike back when they attended the Soulisse ball. It was almost as if she never intended to go to the ball in the first place.

"Uhm, Lady Faye, you seem to dress lightly for the occasion. Is it okay for-" Her inquiry was interrupted when the carriage abruptly stopped a kilometer away from the mansion.

A hasty knock was heard on their door and when Lady Faye opened it, Lianne was stunned by whom she saw.

"Oh Lord Jared, what is it that you want?" the old woman asked, her tone a little forced. "Is it that much of importance that you have to halt our trip to the Astoria mansion?"

Lord Jared bowed low and cast his eyes downward. "Madame Faye, my apologies, but it is of a must that I need to talk to you right now. Can we talk outside?"

Lady Faye looked at the princess as if waiting for her to comment, but Lianne didn't say anything save from the confused look on her face.

"Very well, " the Head Servant said and then she proceeded to step out of the carriage while Lord Jared assisted her.

This time, a feeling of mild alarm started to grow inside Lianne. She watched the open door past the majordomo's back to see a stallion that he might have ridden to catch them.

"Umm, Lady Faye?" the concerned princess uttered, peering through the door.

The Head Servant who was now standing on ground gave her a smile and said to assure her, "This will not take long, princess. Just stay inside the carriage."

The conversation only took a minute when Lady Faye returned, but this time, she did not even try to climb inside the carriage. She only stayed at the entrance of the door while explaining the princess the changes in their travel.

"It seems that I am needed back at the mansion my dear, " Lady Faye started. Lianne's face turned sullen.

"Huh? Is it that of great significance my Lady? I don't think I can go to the ball without you, " she exclaimed, her voice sounding worried.

Lady Faye only bowed in response and went on to explain her side. "I am heartily sorry, Princess Lianne. I didn't expect this would happen, but rest assured your concern is already taken care of."

Lianne's brows arched in confusion. "What do you mean Lady Faye?"

"Your escort will join you soon, my dear."

"Who is it?" the princess quickly asked with an unconcealed curiosity.

Lady Faye was the only person she would feel comfortable to be with in a ball, but if she were to be escorted by some other person, it would probably be someone Lady Faye knew she was well-acquainted with to lessen her anxiety.

"I must go, " the old woman replied, avoiding an answer to the princess' question. "Enjoy your night at the ball, princess."

"Lady Faye, wait-!"

For some reason, it left the princess a feeling of dread thinking that there might have been an emergency situation inside the mansion. But, why would she care in the first place anyway?

Her curiosity as to who would be her escort to the ball began to peak, but as soon as she glanced once again when the portal opened, all her curiosity turned to fuming rage when she saw the person who stepped inside the carriage rather too casually.

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