Chapter 32 | Are Those Pistachios?

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Elena's P.O.V.

Today was the day I would attend the ball of Areadan, hosted by the king and queen themselves. For months have I waited for this night, trying to dwindle my impatience by running with Adam on the morning weekends, sung along Emil's melodies, laughed with Hazel, and built memories with Ethan.

I was ecstatic for today's event, and even more so when Francis promised me a gown for the memorable evening. Although I could have reused the dress from prom, I graciously accepted his proposal, curious for what he had stored.

"Oh, there you are, my child," the monk quickly waved me over, his smile blissful and warm. "We must hurry if you are to reach the ball in time."

"Francis, you should come with me," I followed him to the backstage of the great scene. "You are invited just as much as I am."

He chuckled a warm hilarity, "Yes, dear, I know. However, I am an old man now, lacking the youthful vitality I once held." His words were neither wistful nor overjoyed. They bore warmth and acceptance, a savvy that would corner someone in cogitation. "Ah, here it is."

The dress he pulled out of its hiding place captivated me, trapping my eyes in the beauty he held in his hands. It was gray as the moon, majestic and elegant. The hue altered the gown's colors from white to dark gray, changing from snow to ashes.

A thin, cape-like fabric fell from the back, similar to Anastasia's blue dress from the Disney movie. The transparent textile that went from one shoulder to the other, sewn on the heart-shaped neckline, glittered when the moonlight's beams hit it. As childish as I was, I could not help but relate it to Elsa's dress from Frozen.

"It's beautiful," I whispered and softly touched the glistening gown, afraid that any action would tear it apart.

Francis' smile scarcely reached his eyes. "The gown belonged to my daughter," his colorless orbs flickered with water as he spoke. "Though she never had the chance to wear it, I hope you wish to don this dress, my child."

He didn't have to explain. His words were enough to paint a picture.

I hugged him tightly, feeling my heart aching and thawing. "Thank you."

"Now come on, darling, we still have to get you to the castle in time." He pulled away, stroking my styled hair as he sniffled. "It also comes with a matching cloak."

***

Francis walked me to the heart of the realm, bringing me to the ball safely and happily. He quietened my jittery nerves, telling me words that would soothe me.

It was an exciting form of nervousness, yet, the fluttering made the insides of my stomach flip and turn, freeing the boisterous butterflies.

The castle was much larger than I expected, so majestic and magnificent. The immense towers were soaring, almost embracing the clouds. Never in my entire life have I ever seen such enormous constructed building.

I wonder what happened to it. Why there is nothing left of it in the modern time. Not even a trace.

My doubts that the castle would have a hard time fitting thousands of people vanished the moment I stepped inside it.

As I entered the vivid ballroom, I watched how the people walked with elegance and smiles. Everyone was dressed beautifully for the event, and the bright room was decorated immensely.

Huge chandeliers hung from the lofty roof, and below the powerful lights were several dance floors, occupied by people moving to the music. The ballroom contained delicate food and was filled with laughter and joy.

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