[Story] Fairsong Academy – Winter Veil Ball

[[ Some little short stories from the ball being held at the Academy! We had to split it into more than one night, so there should be more tomorrow 🙂 ]]

Linarelle had put on her dress, but she still didn’t feel much like going to the Winter Veil ball. She’d thought maybe it would put her in the spirit, but all she felt was cold in the drafty sitting room of the creaky inn in Tranquillien. The Captain and the other rangers were usually here this time of night, but they’d all gone up to the academy too. Well, probably not the death knight, but she didn’t see him here now. She was dining alone, aside from the person in the corner who was either drunk or frozen to death, she couldn’t be sure which. She moved the cold, colorless food around with her fork. There was still time to make it to the ball, where the food would surely be better. But she didn’t much feel like watching everyone else dance and have a good time, while she stood around awkwardly.

The door opened, and a man came in from outside. It took her a moment to recognize him; he was wearing heavy armor where last time he’d been in simple leathers. It was the man from the party in Silvermoon, the one who’d been working on the island before they left. Her breath caught in her throat — what was he doing here? Had he finally tracked her down? He came to sit near here, and she waited to see what he would say. Maybe it would be something terribly romantic. I thought of you every day, something like that. But he didn’t. He didn’t show any sign of recognizing her at all. She frowned into her drink. Maybe he’d hit his head or something. But even if he didn’t remember her name, he must remember meeting her? He asked whether there was any work in the area, and she mentioned the captain and their ranger building that would need fixing. There were several other people hiring workers here as well, it wasn’t easy to find people willing to do so, especially in the winter.

When she mentioned the ball at the academy, he seemed eager to go – but she thought that was only because she mentioned the chef there. Was she supposed to go with this man who hadn’t even introduced himself? Of course she knew who he was, but he didn’t know her. She remembered what she had told Des, that she wasn’t going to do things like that anymore. It wouldn’t be a good idea, she said, and it wouldn’t. She would have had to explain who he was to everyone, and that would be even more embarrassing if he didn’t remember her. Here’s some man I found and decided to bring? No, that wouldn’t do at all. He went up to his room shortly afterward, and Linarelle couldn’t help but wonder if all these past months had been a mistake. She’d thought of him so often, hoped that he might come back — but now he didn’t even remember her. She left her plate and went up to her room. She didn’t feel much like going to a party at all.

Maerista smoothed out her new gown, checking it in the mirror. Though she planned to return to Silvermoon after the ball, her father had sent the dress early so that she might wear it tonight. She hadn’t invited them — who invites their parents to a school ball? Well, Keyalenn did, but he was strange. She’d heard them wandering about the hallways earlier, he was pointing out the practice rooms and other places around the school. Maerista didn’t think her parents would have much interest in wandering around a spooky old school. She’d be able to see them soon enough, at their house in Silvermoon.

Some guests had already arrived when she went downstairs, the captain was there standing guard, and some other people she didn’t recognize. One had to be the new mage that Hethurin had mentioned, he was dressed all in blue robes so she guessed that he was the frost instructor. Though she didn’t have much talent for ice magic herself, it would at least be interesting to find out more about it, from a theoretical point of view. There was a boy there too, one that she didn’t recognize. He looked like he was from the country, but more importantly, he was dancing with Des. Of course he was. Maerista frowned and went to the food table, where Tik and Terellion had laid out an impressive array of treats. The ballroom looked beautiful too, hung with tree boughs and banners, and reflective glass globes that caught the candle-light. They hadn’t allowed anyone in to peek for the past week or so, and all of their work had certainly paid off. She had to admit, it was a lovely ballroom.

There was even a fancy cake, the Magister was hovering near it, either admiring it or keeping guard — probably both. It was like those she’d sometimes seen in bakery windows, sculpted in the shape of a dragonhawk with outstretched wings. There was even a little plume of fire carved from something — icing maybe, she’d have to get a taste to find out for sure. Terellion must have spent days working on it. He looked busy, dashing in and out of the kitchen with plates, so Maerista sat near Xarola. She seemed to have joined the party for the same reason that she had — because of the food. Otherwise Maerista would have been just as happy to keep studying, although she did want to wear her new dress. The Magister noticed it, and asked where her father had got it.

Tylenthis was there too, and came over to eat as well. He said that he was still working with the rangers, and that the captain’s house should be finished — or at least liveable — before too long. She thought it strange that he hadn’t come to work if the captain had, but she didn’t say anything. She suspected that he was here to see Lani, because he kept asking things about her. Neither she nor Xarola had seen Lani yet that evening, but they mentioned that she was coming with the Confessor. Unless of course, something had happened. Or she’d decided to lock herself in the washroom again.

 

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