Act 1 Scene 2
Later in the afternoon, in the Romance Castle
"I'll be done soon. You'll look splendid, milady."
Felicia let herself being manipulated by her nurses and her assistants through endless sessions of washing, pampering and adjusting whatever that wasn't perfect. She just couldn't understand how other women are supposed to feel comfortable with all the time wasted to look perfect. She's been sitting here so long that her whole body is starting to ache.
She stared at her reflection in the mirror while Elizaveta was arranging her hair with valuable jewellery and radiant flowers: she was wearing a soft coral red gown decorated with the finest white laces and the royal scarlet stone brooch. It is said that it was inspired by her late mother's favourite dress; Felicia and the queen did look very alike after all. Her hair, after her hours of complains, was left down but is still getting constantly fixed by her nurse. Although her heavy outfit, because the dress' many layers, and the pampering made her feel really uncomfortable, she still couldn't deny that she did look beautiful, "splendid" like Elizaveta would say.
Just as Elizaveta was doing the last touch-ups, somebody knocked at the door.
"Oh! Looks like they've come to pick you up!" said Elizaveta. "Who is it?"
"It is me, Francis Bonnefoy, Duke of France. May I come in?"
"Of course! Lady Felicia is almost ready."
The door opened and Francis appeared, wearing his best plum color suit. He grinned as he eyed Felicia, impressed by her appearance for the evening.
"Magnifique! Even the finest roses would be no match for your beauty tonight." He left a gentle kiss on her hand. "May I have my first dance with you, chérie?"
"My lord!" Elizaveta broke in, hands on her hips. "Have you forgotten what the king said? This is an important night for Lady Felicia. She has to make her choice before dancing with anybody else!"
"Oh, yes! My deepest apologies, I forgot!" The duke laughed and Elizaveta followed, but Felicia was pretty sure she didn't.
"W-what? What choice?" she did have a bad feeling about this party from the beginning.
"Didn't his highness tell you, milady?" asked Elizaveta. "Tonight, you will choose a husband and you will marry him on your next birthday, if he is approved by the king and his crew. Aren't you excited princess?" She cupped her face and smiled widely. "I'm so happy for you!"
Felicia thought her world has just crushed under those words. Her? Getting married? Now? Why? She doesn't even have the age to marry! Or at least she doesn't believe she does
"B-b-but! What about Lovina?! She's older than me, so shouldn't she be the one taking over the throne? Should she get married first? I-I don't think I'm ready for this! I-I
" She was losing her words.
"Princess Lovina is going to find one too." said the duke. "Yes, she is indeed the heir of the kingdom, but that doesn't mean you're not getting married too." He strokes her head. "Come now, don't be upset! It's not as bad as you think. Believe me, my dear; you'll be grateful someday that the king made it so."
Not bad? It's horrible! Of course it wouldn't be bad for Uncle France; he couldn't possibly understand a woman's heart, would he? Felicia knew what was waiting for a princess after marriage: she'll be stuck in the Castle to "rule", obligated to know the etiquettes by heart and live under a man for the rest of her life
What could be possibly worse than this for a woman like her who dreams about travels and adventure!
I refuse! I have to speak to father! This isn't fair!" She ran out of her room, tears flying back as she headed towards the king's room.
Early night, in front of Romance Castle
Ludwig still couldn't believe how they managed to cross the borders: Gilbert had a "friend" make fake identity papers so they could enter the kingdom of Romance
and surprisingly it worked with his brother's "awesome" lying skills. If there's one thing he's good at, it's dealing with illegal matter. Ludwig sure was relieved to have him on his side.
It was the first time since ten years that Ludwig has stepped into this land, but the atmosphere hadn't changed much: it was still energetic, vivid, and festive. Their carriage was rolling among hundreds, even thousands of other carriages, each with their own style but all heading towards the illuminated monument at the center of the kingdom: Romance Castle. Unlike Germania, the night sky was fairly clear with a hint of purple. Maybe it wasn't so bad after all
Ludwig actually liked the feeling.
Excited, Gilbert led rudely his brother inside the castle; just to ditch him after finding himself a couple of attractive ladies. Ludwig didn't protest much, he did predict this anyway. He simply hoped he wouldn't get in trouble
they wouldn't get in trouble.
Ludwig watched his silver haired brother for a while and ends up finding himself quite bored from being alone. He could have found a lady to talk or dance with, but unlike Gilbert he wasn't really into those kinds of "games". He decided then to take a walk outside around the castle just to enjoy the night, hoping he wouldn't get caught.
"How beautiful." He thought as he wandered through the royal blooming gardens. "I hope father could see this too."