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Morning arrived quickly the next day, along with a buzz of debutante chatter about the Palais. In the wake of the King's will proclaimed to the nobles, the ladies of the court had been going frantic in anticipation. Mademoiselle Du Bois paced about her chambers, half an hour before the royal engagement announcement, completely aware of who would become the Prince's fiancé. She stared discontentedly at herself in the mirror across the room from her, glaring at her seemingly perfect image. She grimaced.

"Why is it that she will be chosen, Clarice?" Asked Mademoiselle Fiona de Amour from the loveseat, "And how have you even become aware of this?"

Clarice placed her hand in front of her, blocking Fiona from her view, "I've had enough of your whining, Fiona. Haven't you seen them together? Everyone knows this; you're merely behind on courtly gossip."

Fiona glared at her and turned her gaze back to her clasped hands that rested on her lap.

"I think the lot of this season is much to unfair." Growled Clarice, "The Prince himself has been gone for almost the entire thing! If I could only-"

She was interrupted by a knock on the door, which was answered by a maid.

"Good morning, your Ladyships. I have been sent to escort you to the Royal engagement announcement." Said a butler, calmly. "Please follow me this way."

Clarice and Fiona gathered their shawls and followed the Butler towards the grand hall, where all of the nobility stood waiting in anticipation for the announcement.

Ariella stood shakily before the mirror in her dressing chamber, picking at the elaborate pearl embroidery that lined her light vermillion shaded mantua gown. Mae slapped her hand away from the stitches of the gown, displeasure creasing her young face as she eyed Ariella in the mirror as she stood behind her.

Only once Mae had successfully secured the gold tiara within the piled locks of Ariella's dark hair, did Ariella feel someone's eyes upon her.

She looked to the entrance of her dressing chamber, where she met the eyes of Cal, who watched her with a small smile resting on his lips.

"You're looking lovely as ever, mon amour." He said casually, running his eyes about her small frame.

Ariella smirked at him. "How did you find your way in here?"

"I may have bribed a servant girl for the key. I knew Mae here would've never let me enter."

Mae gave him a disapproving glare as she clasped a necklace around Ariella's neck.

"But," continued Cal, "I thought I'd pay you a visit before our announcement."

Ariella stepped down from the dressing podium and walked towards Cal, much to Mae's displeasure. The maid held out Ariella's earring, a hand on her hip, "You'll be made a fool of you go out in public with merely one earring on, Mademoiselle." She scolded.

Ariella reluctantly stepped away from Cal, leaving him to kiss the air in front of him, and grabbed the earring from Mae. She smiled warmly and fastened it to her ear.

She then laced her arm through Cal's and pulled him towards the door, "I'll see you this evening Mae! I've requested that you have a leisure day!" She called, smiling to Cal as they exited her chambers.

The couple glided along the corridors on the way to the grand hall, gaining the attention of several nobles loitering about the halls.

Cal and Ariella were led up the staircase to the royal balcony where they waited behind a velvet curtain.

After a long few moments, the herald stepped out to face the nobles who silenced almost immediately.

"It is my great honor on this day to present his Royal Highness, Callan de Moreau, and his new fiancé. In the wake of our late King's passing, this joyous day shall shed light on our kingdom's future." The herald paused to clear his throat, "Now, without further ado, I present to you, nobility of Frencia, His Royal Highness, Callan de Moreau and Mademoiselle Ariella du Montamorte, Duchess de Le Fleur."

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