Location: The Yellow Castle, Orion
Formendacil wrote:The dinner was over, the delectable desserts finally picked over. The Emperor rose to address the guests. A bell in the background signaled for their attention.
Hans gratefully cut short his polite nothings with the two flirtatious (and air-headed, in Hans’ opinion) young noblewomen and turned about in his seat to look at the Emperor. Everyone else also broke off their conversations, including the reluctant Bulls, who had been guffawing at Adrian because of a suggestively sly comment Cate had made. Emperor Constantius stood and announced grandly,
Formendacil wrote:"Now that we have enjoyed this most delicious repast, I invite you all to make your way to the Grand Ballroom, where the Imperial Orchestra will strike up the first dance in precisely twenty-two minutes."
Cavaliers escorting him, Constantius departed the Banqueting Hall. As soon as he had left, the guests began to make their way out as well, to refresh or to go straight to the Ballroom.
Luckily for Hans and Adrian, most of the young women hurried off to “refresh” themselves in womanly ways that are always an unfathomable mystery to all males. Among this exodus of females was Cate and Han’s two female acquaintances. As Hans fumbled with his mammoth hat, Adrian broke free of the Bulls, who were still winked and snorting, and tapped Hans on the shoulder. Hans grinned and tipped his hat elaborately,
“By my troth!” he exclaimed theatrically, “Dost thou wife be off?”
Adrian fingered his sword and glared.
“I’ve just about had it with this husband-wife business.” he grumbled, “I prefer my bachelorhood.”
“I’d so trade places with you any day, man.” exclaimed Hans, both of them now going with the crowd toward the Ballroom.
“No you wouldn’t.” Adrian firmly.
“Yes I would.” said Hans, “At least you’re ‘taken’. I’m, like, totally free, open, available! I haven’t been claimed yet, and therefore it’s in ev’ry gal’s interest to check me out!”
“I thought you were looking forward to mingling with the ladies.” Adrian nudged Hans. They were now in the Ballroom, watching the other guests mingle and the musicians prepare their instruments.
“I, er, was!” snapped Hans, ducking behind Adrian to avoid being seen by the newly cleaned-up Monique, “But I prefer girls with…er…”
“You prefer girls who have more than fluff in their heads, eh?” Adrian suggested.
Hans nodded, causing his hat to bobble dangerously.
“Aye. Totally. I like girls like…Cate…”
Hans went red and Adrian chuckled evilly. Hans punched Adrian lightly.
“Let’s see who’s laughing once the dancing starts, Mr. Slacs-Scl. Here comes your wife…”
Adrian turned swiftly to see Cate rushing toward them, her skirts hitched up, her face glowing.
“Adrian, Hans!” she caught up to them, “Isn’t this absolutely marvelous!”
“Aye.” nodded Hans. Adrian merely grunted.
At that moment the thrumming of cellos and violas filled the air.
Formendacil wrote:The First dance began. The Emperor, widowed, did not lead it. Neither did his son, Crown Prince Clement, whose wife was absent. Instead, the opening dance was led by the newly-wed Viscount and Viscountess of Quoran: Bernard and Elwen Quorandis.
“Come one!” cried Cate, seized Adrian’s hand and literally dragging him out to the dance floor.
“Good luck!” he called, and winked.
Adrian, looking like he would have preferred to remain at the dinner room and eat snails all night, grimaced before being swept away by Cate.
Formendacil wrote:Soon the floor was covered in couples, elegantly circling the floor to the melodious sounds of the Imperial Orchestra.
Hiding underneath his hat, Hans managed to avoid Monique until she was grabbed up by handsome Knight’s Kingdomer. Eager to delay the prospect of dancing as long as possible, Hans made his way to a small bar of sorts where several men and woman where having drinks. Hans passed by two bearded Eastern Knights Kingdomers, one dressed in bright red armor, the other in Crusader garb, and took a glass. He leaned against the table and listened idly to the slurred chat of the Eastern Knights Kingdomers.
“I tellee…Viktor, ye should come with us. Ye know, me an’ Jaffon…Jeffsoon…Jaffuss…er…me young friend over there in the blue suit and purple helmet…”
“I might just…I might just do that…Santis…”
Someone tapped Hans’ shoulder. The teenager turned.
“Let me congratulate you on your fine choice of headgear.” a man bowed slightly, a Black Falcon with a huge moustache.
Hans nodded graciously, staring at the black and blue behemoth that sat atop the Black Falcon’s head. It was even bigger than Hans’, being a least three feet across from brim to brim. It was solid black, and a giant dyed feather at least as long as the hat was wide looped gracefully out of one side.
“You’ve got quite a kick-butt one too, dude.” said Hans, forgetting his ballroom speech.
The Black Falcon chuckled.
Hans cocked his head slightly, surprised. He didn’t know some Black Falcons spoke the same way he did. The Black Falcon stuck out a hand.
“M’name’s Vanderdious Shiringtonbergville, yer gov’ner’ship.”
Hans shook Vanderdious’ hand firmly.
“Hans Lentawl, and I’m not a governor of anything.”
“Aha! But you are, lad, but you are!” exclaimed Vanderdious, raising a gloved hand winking jovially, “I’ve heard of the family Lentawl, young Hans. Bunch of scholars and whatnot, eh, laddie?”
“Yeah, that’s right,” said Hans, tried to get used to Vanderdious’ varying accent, “My Dad’s the Head Archiver at the Classic Archives.”
“And you’d you be, then, the Junior Archiver, eh?”
“Jolly good!” chortled Vanderdious, “And can ye guess who I am, laddie?”
Hans was stumped. The man was dressed as a Black Falcon, but alternately spoke as a Classic, Royal and Crusader every other sentence.”
“Nay, lad, nay. I be--” he said dramatically, “an actor!”
Vanderdious bowed with a flourish.
“Wow.” said Hans, slightly taken aback, “So that’s why you…er…speak funny…”
“Roight, then.” said Vanderdious, “Thar ye be roight.”
“How do you, er, speak normally?” asked Hans.
“Like this, Hans, yer gov’ner’ship.” said Vanderdious in a much more normal Black Falcon accent, “But these stuffy Classic types like to think more of one who has an impressively snooty accent.”
Vanderdious raised his nose high into the air and said,
“I say…sink me, good sir, but I’m nearly out of snuff.”
Vanderdious withdrew a small snuffbox from a pouch, put two small pinches of snuff on his wrist, and then breathed sharply, inhaling the snuff.
“Sink me.” he exclaimed again, twirling his moustache.
Vanderdious grinned and shed his Classic nobleman accent.
“Glad you like it, yer gov’ner’ship. Iffin ye be ever up at Falconis City, stop by to see a show!”
Vanderdious withdrew a card and handed it to Hans.
“’Til we meet again, your gov’ner’ship.”
Vanderdious bowed again, and left, off to impress more guests.