Chapter 2: Ball Adventure

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"I'm sorry sir, but what did you just request?" I asked the king as he had a wide grin on his face. Cinder seemed startled as well.

"The ball is tomorrow night, and I want you to attend. I can have your dress made by tomorrow afternoon, just say what design and color you wish. I can also have the finest cobblers make the greatest shoes you would ever wear. Doesn't that sound lovely?"

No, that sound awful! I cleared my throat, "Can I just work as a guard or something instead? Dresses and balls aren't really my thing, if you catch my drift." I confessed. He shook his head.

"Nonsense! Attend the ball and then you may leave the next morning. You can stay the night here, and breakfast will be served in your chambers. My son will be your guide through town and help you buy whatever it is you wish to have. The ball starts at sunset, but most show up 'fashionably late.'"

I felt frozen and tense. I haven't worn a dress since I was a baby, and even then I protested and played in the mud. I hated dresses for multiple reasons. First, they are so big and stiff. Second, not very good in combat or for climbing trees. Third, one wrong move, and everyone could see your underwear. But I nodded and agreed to his terms anyway. It's only one night, and then I could leave.

King Tremaine told Cinder to show me where I would be staying the night. We walked down the long corridors as I evaluated my decision. "I'm sorry that my father is making you attend the ball. But, it's really not that bad. I have to attend every year and I always seem to enjoy myself somewhat." Cinder tried to sympathize with me.

"Somewhat?" I inquired.

He shrugged, the tassels on his epaulet shaking, "The food is decent. There's wine, and music, and entertainment. Everyone looks forward to it."

"Thanks, but I tasted palace food and it's too bland to me. But, I need you to come with me, so I guess I can suck it up for one night. I've experienced worse in my life, so this should be no big deal."

Cinder hummed at my response and opened a door to reveal a large bed and vanity. A dressing screen was leaning against the wall and the wall were decorated with purple flowers. A maid was dusting off the wardrobe and turned to us. "Ah, I take your measurements." She spoke in a thick accent. I couldn't place what language she spoke, but it made her English almost hard to understand.

Cinder turned back towards the doors to leave. "I'll let you get measured and situated. This is our main maid and will do anything you request. You can come down whenever you wish to eat dinner. Bye for now, Rion."

"See ya, Cinder."

He left and the maid came closer to me with a measuring tape that she pulled out of her apron pocket. She wrapped it around my bust, hips, and waist, writing each number down on a notepad. "So muscular, yet soft." She commented. She then sketched out a dress design and showed it to me. Oh hell no!

I gently took the pad and pencil from her to sketch out my own design. On one of my journeys, I stayed at a seamstress's home and worked there to pay her back. She designed her own clothes and sewed everything by herself. I asked her to teach me how to draw, and she did. I try to learn at least one skill when I travel, because you never know when it may be helpful later.

I sketched out a ballgown that I was kinda okay with wearing and handed it back to her. I circled the top and wrote "blue", and the corset "light orange", and the final bottom "white". Her eyes sparkled as she was imagining the dress in front of her. She nodded and ran out of the room so the dress could be made.

If I was going to wear a dress, might as well make the dress honor home colors. I took a last look at my surroundings and decided that I was going to spend little time here as much as possible. I searched my bag for some money and started to head out to eat dinner.

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