On the Capital's busy streets.... several guards could also be seen patrolling the region, as if they were on lockdown.
And in the midst of all this, several carriages soon drove into the city from far away.
The carriages looked well maintained, and oozed of money.
For sure, these carriages could only belong to wealthy nobles or merchants.... who had been travelling for days, weeks and even months, just for the celebration.
And if one still doubted whether they belonged to the rich, one could just look at all the noble crests that were placed on the carriages.
Of course, the nobles only placed them there when they were about to enter the city.
Who the heck would do and invite thieves when travelling for that long?
Again, these nobles all had at least 4 carriages amongst themselves... as they brought in numerous extraordinary gifts for their king.
One should know that a good gift could lead to their king bestowing them with more money, land, power, a promotion.... or even one 'request' from their king, which could be used at any time.
'Gallop! Gallop! Gallop!'
The horses moved, and the commoners who were forced to stay on the streets, soon turned to watch the majestic show before them.
Look at that pumpkin shaped carriage?"
"What about that kettle shaped one?"
"No... I like that dark colored one better." Sakd one of the citizens, who kept pointing at 5 mysterious carriages before him.
He tried to look for an Crest or symbol on the carriages.... but say, he couldn't find any.
So who could be inside?
As your loyal aid, I don't approve of this!" Said a 30 something year old man helplessly.... as he looked at his aloof master.
"Why are you bothering the young master?
Relax... what's the point of worrying about this now?" Said another aid.
"But... but... but.... with no crests, wouldn't we be a target of suspect to others?
Wouldn't it have been better to sneak in, rather than driving straight into the city?"
"Collins... today, is a day of celebration.
So even merchants without crests moved in just like that.
So why would anyone worry about us?
Yes they might be curious at the start, but with everything that's going in today.... no one would have the chance to uncover anything.
After all, they are somewhat prisoners of their king.
So like I've said..... you're overthinking it."
Collins glared at his other comrade in the carriage, as if wanting him to smack some sense into the idiot..... but the other aid just smiled back at him foolishly.
It was too late anyway, since they had already entered the city from the gates.
Plus he knew that his master's decision was right.
As even if they were checked, they still had a reliable identity to use.
And that was because one of their men here, was a prominent upper class noble within the city.
So needless to say, he was worrying for nothing.
But for him... he was uneasy because they had never used the front door to get into the Capital before.
All this time that the aids had been bickering, their Aloof master just leaned at the back of his seat, with his hands folded over his chests.
He took this scene as a regular occurence in his life.
As the procession went on, someone secretly sent a letter to one of their guards on horseback.... and he in turn passed the note to his master through the carriage blinds.
"Master..... for you!"
The note fell onto the carriage floor, and Collins immediately picked it up and handed it over to his young master.
2 Minutes later, a smile slowly crept onto the young man's face..... as he passed the note to his aides, who in turn read it and sighed from relief.
Everything was in order!
With the identity of their young master, they had gotten one of the best disguise artists to paint their master's face.
This way, their master could enter the palace without a mask on.
The aides smiled, as they thought about tonight's show.
Oh what fun it'll be.
Time speeded up a bit, and now.... the palace servants had miraculously completed their jobs.... and everything was good to go.
Now..... It was 7 P.M, and the several carriages soon pulled up just outside the main hall.
The nobles and wealthy merchants, all left their carriages one by one, and proceeded to the main hall.
And as they entered, they quickly said their identities to the announcer.... and entered in the order in which it was told.b
"Duke Wolgcord, his wife Duchess Sirola.... and their 5 children, Jake, Maple, Dion.... "
"Baron Furgeson and his first wife Baroness Camila, his second wife...."
The announcements were supposed to carry on until 9:30 P.M.
And by then, if guests haven't arrived yet, then too bad.... because the hall's massive golden doors would be shut by then.
After all, the party was supposed to start at 10 P.M promptly.
Within the hall, several guests walked around and greeted each other happily.... as these events were more of a way for them to get into more higher social circles.
Who the heck cared about the birthday itself?
Raising one's status by association, was a common way for middle class nobles, and even merchants..... to make more financial and political connections.
"That's Duchess Vivian!
I heard that with her husband just being promoted, she's no longer one of us.
Now, she's an upper class noble!"
Why can't my good-for-nothing husband focus on his duties, rather than remarrying a new wife every season?"
"You're missing the point!
Do you remember that she has a son and 4 daughters?
If we could hook any of her children up with ours, wouldn't that automatically elevate us as well?"
"True... so what if our husbands are useless?
With our children still around, it's still a possibility to consider."
"Look over there, it's Baroness Brianca!
I heard that her husband also got promoted as well.
And now, she's a middle class noble now."
"So she's now one of us?
Are you telling me that they would let anyone in now a'days?
I mean, even within our middle class circle..... there are still classes of middle class people.
And just by looking at her last season's outfit, you can tell that she's such a low class woman who would ruin our reputations sooner or later."
As the women mingled, so did the men.
"Ahh Duke Graystone!
It's a pleasure to meet you once more."
"And you are?....."
"The Duke is probably a busy man.... so he wouldn't remember my face that well.
I'm Baron Jamy..... the one who you met at last month's auction."
"Ohh..... now that I think about it, I do remember you.
So how's the family?" The man asked sarcastically with disgust, as he looked at the lower class noble before him.
"Good! Great! Good!" replied the other excited as he didn't find anything amiss.
"Is that your son over there who's picking his nose?"
Small talks like this went on for a while, as everyone was either trying to maintain their social class.... or get into a better one.
2 and a half hours went by.... and the hall's massive front doors were immediately shut tightly.
And now, only 30 minutes were left before the show began.
So everyone quickly found their seats, with the most important nobles and merchants sitting closer to the throne.
Of course after that group, the middle class nobles and merchants were immediately seated.
And lastly, the lower class nobles and merchants were seated right at the back.
Sigh... Social class was everything.
Also within these last 30 minutes, all 3 princes, as well as the princess Cary... also came into the hall from the royal doorway, and immediately sat on the high table on the stage.
Cary had tried her best to cover up the scars she had gotten from today's cat fight.
And since the wounds were just new, one could still see several swelling lines on her face if they were close by.... even with all that grounded stone powder on.
Cary, who was currently feeling very self-conscious... kept lowering her head every minute she got, as she didn't want her beloved Anthony to see her like this.
And the more she thought about today's fight, the more annoyed she became.
Damn!..... So frustrating!
"Little sister... I have to warn you.
The next time you dare to scratch my mother's face again, I'll kill you with my own bare hands." Collins said, while smiling lovingly at her.
With everyone here, he would truly loose face if he showed his real emotions.
His mother was his bottom line!!
On hearing those threats, Cary's face quickly scrunched up.
Prior to his threats, she was already feeling like murdering someone.
And now, if eyes could kill..... he would try be dead by now.
But bow was not the time for this.
Soon, she would have their revenge.
Cary smiled back at Collins, as if unbothered.
'Just you wait!
After tonight.... lets see who will threaten who!!!'
Time went by in a blink of an eye.... and just like that, it was already 10 P.M.
Immediately.... the trumpets sounded, and several guards ran into the hall from the royal doors.
'Din! Din! Din! Din! Din!'
The guards stood all around the perimeter of the stage..... excluding the front view.
And very quickly, everyone instantly rose to their feet.
Their king was finally going to make his grand appearance.