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The two stepsisters sat in front of you, their postures straight and their menacing eyes staring ahead of them into the vanity mirror. Pleased with themselves, their freshly painted primly pink lips would smirk condescendingly in secret. Attempting your best to ignore them while you busied yourself with their hair, you were doing Rosa's dark, silky hair first. You brushed her strands gently to take out any tangles and knots rooted within. Then came the braiding that she had demanded from you; no, not like a simple braid, but rather a crowned one.

"You know, mother shouldn't have arranged this tea party for us. Those girls drive me insane," the dark head grumbled. With her talking, her head had moved, making your progress on her braids slow. Pursing your lips, you furrowed your forehead in concentration to fix the strand that ran away from home.

Delphine raised her eyebrows at that, fanning herself as she waited for her turn. "They're one of the most reputable girls in the country. What is there not to like?"

"They talk about the Prince all the damn time. They look like fools doing so."

The other sister voiced your exact thoughts at that sentence. "Do we not... also... speak of the Prince a lot?"

Rosa blinked for a few moments, her expression blank. Her mouth forming an 'o', she let out a nervous chuckle. "Right! That's right. We both like the Prince too. I... I suppose you have a point there, dear sister." You stared at her through the mirror with your features twisted. [e/c] hues landing on a girl fidgeting in her seat, you noticed something off. Was it just a fig of your imagination or was she acting strange? You wondered why that was.

Feeling your attention on her, her own pair of eyes settled on you through the mirror and she sent you a nasty glare. Nearly flinching at it, it was a miracle you had not let go of the braid.

"What are you looking at, peasant?" she sneered. "Hurry up and get my hair done. We do not have all the time in the world to be dealing with your slow ass."

Silently nodding, you returned to braiding her hair and mentally chastised yourself for getting into more trouble. It was none of your business anyway. The most important to you at this current time should be to finish this task and leave unscathed. You could not allow yourself to get distracted — the faster, the better.

You pinned her hair down firmly and hurried to do the other side. The two continued to speak and once again, your curious ears could not help but listen in. "Delphine, I also heard how if neither of us ends up marrying the Prince, mother will find suitors for us. That's what she said to her friend."

The auburn haired girl shrugged in nonchalance. "What's wrong with that?"

The head in front of you whipped to the left so fast, you almost ruined the braid again. Her face full of disgust and shock, Rosa shook her head, aggravated. "What do you mean what's wrong with that?! What if she forces us to marry some sleazy, old man for the sake of his money? What about love? We'll be stuck in unhappy marriages for the rest of our lives!"

The other girl began to argue and the next thing you knew, a whole fight broke out between them.

"It is not likely she'll match us with just anyone. But if there's money involve, then of course I wouldn't mind!"

Letting go of Rosa's hair, you slowly backed away from them as they stood up to yell at each other. Finding the best time to sneak out unnoticed, you scurried out the room as they tackled each other and threw things towards one another. Down the staircase you went and you reached the first floor before stepmother could leave her bedroom to see what the commotion was all about.

Well then... they were quite ready for a tea party, weren't they?

You were gone from the scene, but something was stuck on your mind — something that Rosa had said. She mentioned about love and how she wouldn't want to get matched with a suitor. There was desperation in her voice, but you didn't know what it was for. It was unusual to see her in such a state. Oftentimes, she would do anything stepmother tells her to do, so for the first time, you sort of see her as her own person. And though you still hated her, you felt bad for the pressure she'd been dealing with.

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