Chapter 14 - The Tea Party
‘Wow, she’s so pretty that her sadness looks intensified.’ Aris thought as she looked at Violet.
Perhaps this was the power of beauty. Violet’s maid approached her with a small plate of sweets, and the girl began to eat hungrily. Aris watched her eat for a moment, then held out the cookies and chocolates that she had saved.
“It’s not much, but you should eat it,” she said.
“Oh my goodness!”
“I’m sure you’re hungrier than I am.”
Touched, Violet looked up at Aris with shining eyes. “Thank you so much.”
“Not at all.”
“Would it be alright if I called you Big Sister?” Violet asked.
Aris nodded. ‘It looks like sweets were the key to her heart,’ she thought, amused. If the crown prince had known this, he might have had better luck with Violet.
“So, the crown prince really took a liking to you,” Aris said.
Violet sighed loudly. “I don’t like him.”
“He has many mistresses, and he doesn’t know how to treat a lady,” Violet said with a conviction far surpassing that of any normal 13 year old. Aris suddenly felt as though she’d found a kindred spirit in Violet. Now that their bellies were full, some ladies began to approach the crown prince for a chat, and Hiel welcomed them all with a charming grin.
“Aha,” said Aris.
“He really likes women,” the two said at the same time.
The girls shared a look.
“I don’t like him,” Violet repeated.
“Me either,” Aris said, nodding.
Neither of them had the slightest interest in the crown prince. Upon discovering that their views on men were quite similar, they decided to walk to the far end of the garden to chat a bit more.
“My father always told me that a good man must always be loyal to his wife,” Violet said. She had learned how to discern a good man from Duke Essel’s teachings.
“I agree,” Aris said.
The male lead was charismatic and incredibly talented, but he didn’t have a flamboyant personality. He was just a man who cherished the woman he loved. Of course, he just so happened to be gifted with good looks and skill. Remembering that a man like that waited for her made Aris’s mood lighten considerably, and she smiled as she thought about her future husband.
“I already have a man I like,” Aris admitted.
Violet’s eyes widened. “What kind of man is he?” she asked, eager to hear more.
“He lives on the battlefield.”
The war had yet to end, so the male lead hadn’t returned from the war zone at this point. He hadn’t been bestowed a title yet, but the court was in agreement that he would be awarded one upon his return. Just this morning, the newspaper was filled with articles that lauded his amazing deeds. He was a hero.
“He’s the one who won the recent battle against the Oraanian Empire,” Aris explained.
“Ah,” Violet hummed. She knew who Aris was talking about. “Are you sure? He’s a commoner.” The convention was that nobles married only other members of the aristocracy. To have a lady of noble blood marry a commoner was very unusual.
Aris nodded. “I want to get to know him.”
“Why don’t you write a letter to him, then?”
“Yes. What if you wrote a friendly letter to him and you became penpals?” Violet suggested with a smile.
Such an excellent idea hadn’t crossed Aris’s mind before, but she could practically smooch Violet out of gratefulness. It was so nice to find a friend who could help her out like this. She didn’t have to wait for the marriage proposal to get to know her future husband, she could start right now!
“Here you are,” Hiel said, making a beeline towards Violet. Contempt flashed in her eyes, but she fixed her expression before the crown prince could notice and smiled politely at him.
“Yes, Your Royal Highness,” she replied sweetly.
“Who is this next to you?”
Even though Aris had greeted him earlier, it seemed that the prince had barely noticed her presence beside Violet. Then again, she wasn’t his type, so it was no surprise that he didn’t remember her.
“I am Lady Aris Horissen.”