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Rise of the Unfavored Princess Chapter 30

Author:Winter Category:Unreal Update time:2023-04-01 01:23:34


Ch. 30: The Spring Ball Pt. 3

The icy air found little resistance in the thin fabric of my dress, seizing me in its frigid grip. I pay it little mind, my eyes dazzled by the view ahead. Despite the clamor of the ball behind me, the open yard is a serene sight. Even in the darkness, I can tell that each bush is sheared to perfection, the wide lawns clipped down neatly. But just ahead of the neat walking area, I can see what seems like a dense forest within the palace, a confusing but refreshing sight. The breeze coming from in front carries a calming scent of pine and other saplings.

“Sir Finn, why are there such large trees in the middle of the palace” I inquire, pointing at the strange, little forest with my tiny finger.

The tall knight shoves his hands in his pocket, assured in himself.

“Its not well known, but for a period of time in his youth, Emperor Helio spent a part of his youth in the dense woodlands of the Eastern provinces. Right after he was coronated, he uprooted the monument that had stood here and planted a memento of his past.” Finn looked awfully proud of himself for being able to answer my question, although his explanation sounds more fact than fiction. I think of the emotionless, handsome face of my father and it is difficult for me to picture him as a man who was sentimental.

“Wow, youre so smart, Sir Finn! I bet you must be a trusted member of the royal guard to know all these secrets.” I say anyways, sticking to my plan to butter Finn up with praise. He nods as if it were a natural fact and I shake my head on the inside. He is indeed a fox, soaking up all this praise shamelessly.

Slowly we begin to wander around the terrace, the outdoor patio which loops almost entirely around the building the ball is taking place in. Marie follows slowly from behind, not interrupting us as we catch up with each other. As Ive kind of been under house arrest, it has been difficult to meet with Finn, whose job keeps him at the periphery of Rose Palace.

“Finn, how did you become a member of the royal guard anyways” I ask, my small hand grabbing his much larger one. Talking to Finn is calming as he tells me about the rigorous training he underwent at the castle and the final examination that was required for all trainees.

“Here At the palace”


“Yes, there are large grounds where the horses groom near the stables, thats where we practice,” Finn answers, oblivious to how Im rubbing my hands together in glee. This is a perfect arrangement for me to curry goodwill among the royal guard.

“Thats so cool! Since you are so close, I want to go visit the grounds and see you!” I say in an exuberant voice.

Finn looks a little indecisive. “Im not sure if the training grounds is a place suitable for young women.”

I suppress the urge to roll my eyes.

“I just want to watch, I want to see how cool you look when you are using your sword!” I grab hold of his hand with both of mine and look up at him with pleading eyes.

“Please, please, please” I beg my sworn knight.

His eyes soften to my adorable begging.

“Oh, alright,” he finally agrees. “But make sure you bring your maids.”

For such an easy condition, I agree within seconds, and Finn and I continue walking around the terrace at an easygoing pace. My disappointment with my family has faded into a dull background throb as I eagerly plan my next move.

The royal guard occupy a subtle, but influential role within the empire from what Ive gathered in my informal studies. Formed a few centuries ago, when the Erudian Empire was still the Erudian Kingdom, they are a forced composed of noble sons who answer directly to the king and frequently accompany him on his conquests. An unloved, unwanted bastard princess like me could desperately use the powerful backing of the guard in order to preserve my life.

“Finn...” I start in a voice that insinuates trouble.

“Sir Finn,” he grumbles, enunciating the sir. It is a childish correction that makes me want to laugh. Although he is a good decade older than my current body, mentally I feel like he is still youthful in temperament.

“Sir Finn, I didnt think I would see you here at the ball. I thought that this would be too fancy for you,” I say coquettishly, messing around with the knight.

“Of course it is! However, as the heir to a dukedom, attending these are, unfortunately, mandatory.”

The source of this content is no/vel//bi/n[./]net'

He tugs uncomfortably at the starched white collar of his suit, seeming uncomfortable now that Ive pointed it out. I decide to let up on my poor knight.

“Well, Im glad that you are here. Otherwise, I wouldnt know anyone at the ball,” I add sweetly.

Buttering up Finn is too easy, as he rubs his hand on the back of his neck awkwardly at my compliment. Since I was slated to work as a PR manager for the local mayors campaign, telling people what they like to hear has always been a specialty of mine. Coupled with my many exhausting years of retail service in the tepid summers of high school, Im skilled at making myself and others look and feel good.

A rather loud yelp interrupts my quiet walk with Finn, startling him into reaching for a sword at his waist before realizing he didnt wear it with his formal suit.

“Stay behind me,” he orders, his tone switching rapidly. I hear Marie rush over from behind me, her worry making her move faster than usual. The yelp comes again, revealing itself to be distinctly female, and I hear other women speaking as well.

“Relax,” I say to pacify the adults around me, certain that this isnt an ambush on my person. Besides, planning an assassination at the Spring Ball would be near impossible with the sheer amount of security at this event.

The voices are coming from a lower level of the terrace, if we were to rush down the stairs Im sure we would be able to see who is making a disturbance. But I tug on Finns righteous hand that is about to venture down the outdoor staircase and inquire about the matter. The balcony is too high for me to peer over, but I can perfectly hear the argument going on below.

“Ugh Arabella, I cant believe you actually had the gall to show up at the ball tonight,” starts the first female voice in an unkind manner.

“Exactly,” simpers another, her nasally voice grating to the ear. “What Did you actually think you would find a husband An ugly, destitute orphan like you”

I frown as I listen to the exchange, realizing that this is a common scene among the female species: good, old-fashioned bullying. Ive seen a fair share of this when I was in school and want to walk away, but for some reason, the name Arabella sounds familiar to me.

“How does she even count as one of us No matter what she wears, she is still a lowly peasant. She should just marry a commoner and get out of our sight!”

They all laugh, taking great delight in their victims misfortune. I hear Finn let out an irritated breath above me as a loud slap sound fills the air.

“Such disgusting manners...” he starts, moving towards the stairs so he can descend upon them with his fiery sense of justice and give them a piece of his mind. The more time I spend with him, the more I realize that it isnt just my slights that Finn cant tolerate, he cant stand to see any innocent be maltreated. Such an iron sense of truth and justice, I wonder where a nobleman such as himself would cultivate that mindset. Out of everyone at the palace, his otherwise tricky personality carries the most honesty behind it.

“Dont,” I say quietly to my sworn knight, the words almost a whisper. His sharp senses pick up my words and he freezes but looks down at me with a conflicted expression.

I continue softly, so he can understand my point.

“If you barge in tonight, you will save Lady Arabella for now. But do you think it will end there Later, when you arent there to protect this girl, the treatment she receives will be twice as bad as it is now.”

“So I should just watch” His voice comes out in a half-yell that I know the bullies on the lower terrace heard because their jeering all of a sudden quiets down.

Standing on the tips of my toes, I can finally get my eyes over the ledge and see the dark silhouettes of ballgowns rushing away from the crime scene, afraid to get caught harassing someone publicly. I sneer to myself. If they were so fearful of getting caught, they shouldnt have bothered to even speak to Lady Arabella in the first place.

“There are some battles we have to learn to fight on our own,” I finally say as the last shadowy noblewoman escapes, leaving a crumpled figure on the ground clutching her face. And Im not just speaking on Arabellas case.

Finn gives me an unreadable look, one that is almost indiscernible in the evenings darkness. Harried steps from the nearby staircase tear his gaze away from me, and we all turn to see the aforementioned Lady Arabella rush up the stairs towards us.

The small amount of light from within the ball illuminates the young woman and I see her wearing a tasteful ivory gown decorated with satin ribbons and complete with matching ivory gloves. The color looks serene on her lightly tanned skin, a fond similarity to my skin tone as Maria. Her hair is in an updo, as is customary for any young woman who has debuted in society, to signify her transition from child to woman. Our eyes meet for a moment, a strand of her chocolate brown hair obscuring her reddened cheek. Im struck by recognition and can do little more than stare back with the same wide eyes before she disappears around the corner.

Upon laying eyes on her dress that easily outclassed any of the other overpriced, frothy creations within the Spring Ball, I recalled where I had seen her name before. A short while after Clara had transmigrated into the story, she goes on an extravagant shopping trip with her new friend and Finns younger sister, Victoria. Due to Claras friendly and bubbly disposition, she was able to snag a coveted appointment at the most exclusive and fashionable fashion house, Arabellas, created by an illusive noblewoman who hated to go out in public. And Ill bet all the money I own that this is that young Arabella.

Here I was wondering what to invest my money into and then in runs a golden opportunity, covered in tears and a stylish gown. I dont let any of my excitement show on my face, turning away from Arabellas running form to continue on our walk. Finn is silent and so is Marie, so I take this as an opportunity to admire the sights within the palace that Ive never seen before. If Im fortunate, one day Ill be able to explore this area in daylight.

But it seems I am not meant to enjoy this peaceful night outside of this disappointing Spring Ball. There are slender shrubs placed intermittently around the building, starting with thick bases wide enough for a grown man to hide under before tapering off into a sword-like point. I hear generous moaning coming from one, along with both a man and a womans shoes poking out from underneath. The thrusting sounds are incessant, ruining the calm atmosphere of the terrace.

“Whats that” I ask innocently, full well knowing what was going on under. Some people just had no control over their lust, to dare to go at it in a place like the royal, no imperial palace.

The undisguised shock on both Finn and Maries face almost makes me burst out guffawing. They are extremely proactive, with Marie picking me up and covering my eyes while Finn proceeds to start yelling at the people under the shrub.

“Whats going on” I ask further as Marie rushes me away from the forever polluted shrub.

“It is no matter, your highness. I just feel like it is time for you to retire from the ball,” she gasps out, doing a terrible job at keeping my curiosity to a minimum.

“Marie, what were those people doing under that bush” It is just too fun to watch my nursemaid flounder for answers.

“Ummm... Im sure that man was just helping the woman find her earring under the shrub, your highness.” Maries face must be so red now, its a pity she is diligently covering my little eyes so I cant see.

“But why were they making so much noise Isnt it just an earring”

“Dont ask anymore, your highness! Just put this occasion out of your mind!” Maries run finally slows down and she releases my eyes within the marble walkways we passed to go to the Ball.

I smile to myself. What a way to end the night.

“...Marie” I ask as I spy my Rose Palace in the distance, the pink-tinted windows more apparent in the nighttime.

“Y-Yes, your highness” Marie sounds wary as if she is about to head out to battle and I hide my **-eating grin by burrowing into her warmth as she carries me.

“When we return please bring me a pen and paper.”

“Yes, your highness,” she replies, the relief evident in her voice that I have forgotten the matter of the two people having sex under the bush.

When the sun rises, I will tell Emma to find a way to secretly deliver this letter to Lady Arabella, my future cash cow. If it goes through, this will be the most worthwhile investment I will have made. If the Empress were to know that soon in the near future, more money than she showers upon her brat will fall into my hands, she will surely have a heart attack out of anger.



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