Chapter 13 - The Tea Party
“Good evening, Your Royal Highness,” Aris said.
Her time with Violet had been so enjoyable that she had missed the opportunity to get her greetings to the prince out of the way. If she had really tried, she could’ve been one of the first to greet him, but by the time the prince approached them, he had spoken to nearly all of the attendees. Next to her, Violet greeted the crown prince as well.
‘I want to eat too.’
Unbeknownst to Hiel, a fierce battle for food raged behind him. Every tray the maids brought to the tables was emptied in the blink of an eye. It was clear that the ladies were all starving, Aris and Violet being no exception. They just wanted to get this over with and start eating.
“Ah, and you are!” Hiel exclaimed, stopping in front of Violet. There was no doubt that he was absolutely taken with her, as she was the most beautiful girl here. None of the other ladies could compare.
“My name is Violet d’Essel.”
The crown prince nodded slowly. While he was busy appraising Violet, Aris took the opportunity to slip away.
“My lady!” Lucine yelped, hot on her heels.
“Don’t try to stop me!”
Sweets! Delicious honey and chocolate! Aris desperately needed the rush of happiness and pleasure only sweets could bring her.
She felt sorry for abandoning Violet to the crown prince, but she had to satisfy her hunger first. Aris then reached out for the snacks she had been craving since she’d arrived. Her motion seemed to alert the other ladies and realizing there was food still available, they charged toward it without hesitation.
Aris got there first and grabbed a handful before the rest of the ladies could. “Got it!”
She could finally eat now. Aris was about to take a bite when, out of nowhere, a girl ran into her, toppling them over like a pair of felled trees.
The cookie fell out of Aris’s hand and rolled out of her sight.
“I’m sorry!” the young lady said, helping Aris stand up.
However, Aris was still in a daze. ‘My cookie…’ she whimpered.
That cookie was long gone. Holding onto a last strand of hope, she checked the tray where she found it, but to her dismay, the few cookies she had left there had already been taken. The palace maids, astonished at the pace the young ladies were eating, had started bringing out smaller amounts of snacks. They were worried about running out of food before the tea party ended if they kept bringing it out at their current rate.
“You should have paid more attention to your surroundings, Lady Aris,” Lucine tutted, brushing off Aris’s dress. The brunette girl looked devastated.
“I’m so sorry!” the other lady repeated, bowing her head in embarrassment.
“No, no, it’s fine.”
“Still, I feel so bad…”
“I mean, it’s not really fine, but it’s not like you did it on purpose,” Aris said reassuringly, not allowing herself to display the despair of losing her favorite snack.
Lucine smiled approvingly. “Here you go,” she said, holding an assortment of sweets in her hands.
“I grabbed a few of the treats you were staring at earlier.”
“Yes, my lady?”
“I love you.”
At last, she could eat her beloved cookies and escape from the clutches of hunger. Aris began to enthusiastically eat the snacks Lucine had saved for her. Around the room, some ladies with clever maids were doing the same. As she chewed, Aris glanced at Hiel. It seemed that he was quite besotted with Violet, as he was still by her side.
‘I knew he was into blondes,’ she thought.
Luckily for Aris, Violet was so pretty that the crown prince could barely show interest in anyone else.
‘Maybe I should save some snacks for her.’
At the rate the ladies were plowing through the refreshments, it was almost certain that there would be none left for Violet. Her maid had likely set some snacks aside for her, but Aris was sure it wouldn’t be enough for the girl. After all, Violet had gone hungry longer than Aris had.
Finally, the crown prince left Violet’s side to approach other ladies for some small talk.
Violet looked visibly relieved.
“Aren’t you hungry?” Aris asked, walking towards her.
Violet looked like she could cry. “I really just wanted to run away.”
The young girl had assumed she would just say hello and then feast upon sweets, but that had not been the case. A frown tugged the corners of Violet’s lips downwards, and Aris’s heart broke for the girl.