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The Crown Prince’s Ball (Meillur-Only)

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The Crown Prince’s Ball (Meillur-Only)

Postby Kingdom of Derita » Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:34 am

It had been so long since there had been a ball in the Celestial Empire. Decades of economic frugalness and with a series of elderly emperors too tired to entertain the idea, one had not been held in years. But as spring began in the Celestial Empire, for the first time in three generations the nation had an emperor who wasn’t ancient and even more so, a crown prince who was young. A crown prince with a birthday that could be celebrated.

Crown Prince Andeja, eldest child and only son and heir of Emperor Andeja III, future ruler of the wealthiest and most populated nation on the continent, was turning nineteen years old, and while in Derita that still technically left him a child, as a member of the Imperial Family, it was the age for royals to make their debuts into society. It was thus agreed by all that this was an event that simply had to be grand. The last time a crown prince had had such an occasion after all had been eighty years go, for the present prince’s great-grandfather, Emperor Andeja I. His debut had been a war with Espana. His descendant’s was to be a far more peaceful affair.

With the new palace in the capital of Gaosa still under construction and yet to be completed, and the Celestial Pavilion deemed unsuitable, the Crown Prince’s aunt, the Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Manchester had suggested hosting the event in the glittering metropolis of Aukusa City. Located in the special administrative district of the Aukusa Bay Area, the city of the same name was the largest in the world and a marvel of liberty, capitalism and innovation. A forest of glass skyscrapers rose out of the hills where lush green mountains met the warm waters of the Western Ocean. It was like being in a completely different country, a different world, for Aukusa City alone remained mostly intact as it had before the Great Collapse that had send the rest of the world back decades.

Where the rest of the Celestial Empire was famous for its unity and tradition, and its authoritative reverence for the Emperor, the tropical Aukusa Bay Area was a culturally, linguistically,racially and ethnically diverse melting pot with monuments to emigration— in the form of a massive golden would standing watch over the city’s harbor— and democracy. Secular and expressive, fashion was more revealing in the city, and luxuries more exotics. Pets of the city ranged from tea cup chihuahuas to parrots to Vatorian dwarf elephants. Massive stately mansions of the ultra-wealthy, for the economy was aggressively free and had given rise to robber barons, technocrats and family companies. Though the wealth gap was high, even the poorest Aukusan was still wealthier than much of the rest of the world, including the rest of the Celestial Empire.

The Crown Prince, entranced by this place left untouched by the watchful eye of the throne, for that was the open secret arrangement: Aukusa Bay Area was left to be as liberal, as democratic and as capitalistic as they pleased, as long as prospered (for it was also the largest port in the empire) and it ended at the administrative border; the prince had agreed. The Duchess of Manchester was herself one of the prominent elite of the city, for she had married into the Ardales Family, water a magnates who had made a fortune over control of the vital resource. She this offered the Ardales Suburban estate,a vast palatial residence that had a beautiful view of the glittering city across the bay, to host the celebration.

The Duchess had thus converted the estate’s massive courtyard into an open air ballroom, the arcade along the northern face allowing for guests to see the glittering city from between the marble columns. The courtyard turned ballroom was decorated with colors of blue and gold, favorites of the Crown Prince, with the walls lined with flowers of the most vigrant hues of blue or cover in metallic foil of gold. At the far eastern end on the second floor arcade sat a live orchestra who played classical music that drifted into the court as if from the heavens.In the court yard the first of the many guests were arriving, for against the wishes of the Emperor, but with the permission of her sister the Empress, the Duchess had opened the even to everyone, from common folk to foreign royalty. Servants in white and gold livery made their rounds with trays of hors d’oeuvres as guest in splendid ball gowns and gloves, or bright colorful agbada suits.

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Postby Royal Genes » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:42 am

Prince Frederick swagged into the the courtyard of the Ardales Estate as he lead the group of his family members. The Delegation they had jokingly called themselves. There was four of them. The

Though not the eldest of them, Frederick was the tallest. He was handsome, with broad shoulders, a narrow waist and short black hair put into a crown of twists. He wore a dashiki suit with shining shoes and an emerald green sash across his shoulder. The eldest son of the Crown Princess of Genes, he was third in line to the throne after his mother and older sister. Frederick was also the only one among his compatriots to have stayed extensively in the Celestial Empire, as he was attending Ezikwizalo University alongside the Deritain crown prince.

The eldest of the group was in fact Frederick’s cousin (once removed), Princess Adela, though she was only eight months his senior. She was a slender woman with long black braids clasped with gold that she wore high on her head. She wore a wrapper dress of violet with beaded necklace and earrings that matched. Adela’s features were plan, and her brown eyes had a lingering sadness to them. Her dress flared at the waist and reached all the way down to her ankles, revealing purple heels. Adela, named after her great-great-grandmother, was the younger sister of the unfortunate late Queen Philippa of Colfico.

Next was Prince Alexis, first cousin of Prince Frederick and only son of Prince Amadeus of Genes, who had added the Turandans in their annexation of Lajastine, though he had been appointed to the position as a piece keeper. Alexis himself had little interest in his father’s politics. Alexis was tall, though still two inches shorter than Frederick, and two years younger, making him a year younger than the Deritain imperial heir, and he had a thin frame. He wore a similar dashiki suit to that of his cousin, but he didn’t quite fill it out, and his light brown eyes were a bit sunken, his short curly black hair un-styled. Despite his less than appealing appearance, Alexis walked with confidence in long strides as he escorted the final member of their group.

Princess Natalie, the younger sister of Prince Frederick, and thus fourth in line to the Genoise throne was a girl of just seventeen. Her petite size however in some ways made her seem younger. She stood barely 5’2”. She had dark brown eyes and short thick black hair. Next to her brother and her cousin, she stood like the westwork entrance of a cathedral nestled between two soaring towers. To combat this, she wore heels and a diadem of diamonds and azures that matched her strapless ball gown that short vast skirts that trailed after her, and with a see through wrap around her shoulders, put there by her brother, along with a diamond necklace that looped around her neck. Small diamond stubs were pierced into her ears.
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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:26 pm

The arrival of the Genoise royals was surprise to no one. Even if it weren’t for Prince Frederick being one of his fellow students at Ezikwizalo University, the friendship and connections between the Deritain and Genoise royal families ran long and deep. After all, Andeja and Frederick’s grandfathers were brothers. The Crown Orince smiled as he caught sight of them and made his way towards them.

Like Frederick, Crown Prince Andeja walked with an entourage of his own. While princesses of the imperial family had their ladies in waiting, it had been decided by Andeja’s great-grandfather that the prince need gentlemen of the chamber, friends, companions and aides that could form a closely knit friendship with. He, like his aunt the Duchess of Hyrea before him, had selected them all, from various ranks of the nobility, and they’d all become fast friends.

The Crown Prince of course lead the way. Andeja was handsome, to be expected given the detailed study of imperial genetics that was conducted for generations before he was born. The cult of beauty that stood silently, always watching, would never suffer less than ungodly perfection for the face of the Celestial Empire. He was tall, had a strong jaw and dark brown unblemished skin and marron colored eyes. His hair was short, thick and curly, much to the disappointment of his father, who’d wanted him to have long locks like him. Andeja wore an agbada suit of black and gold with a simple coronet of gold with obsidian, worn by every crown prince through the ages of the Celestial Empire.

At his side followed Keoni Rohan, grandson of the Duke of Maine, one of the few dukes left in the empire. Keoni was on the shorter side. He he cut an athletic figure, muscular and lean, with tan skin, notably lighter than his compatriots. He wore an agbada that was red with gold designs, his hair wavy and parted down the middle so that it framed his face. On the other side of the crown prince was Lord Jean Yoyo, grandson of the Duchess of Infinity whose older sister had served as lady-in-waiting for one of Andeja’s aunts. His agbada was maroon and gold. Jean, in contrast to Keoni, had skin like umber with sharp features and bright hazel eyes, his long dreadlocks forming a ponytail that went over his shoulder.

“Frederick,” Andeja said with a smile as he greeted the Genoise in Deritain. “I am so glad you could come. My aunt has gone over and beyond and I want everyone to enjoy it. You remember Keoni and Jean,” the crown prince gestured to to his friends, also students at Ezikwizalo University.

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Postby Royal Genes » Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:16 am

“Naturally,” Frederick said as he bowed to the crown prince. Though they may be both royalty, it was an unspoken recognition that the Celestial Empire held a higher level of prestige than other monarchies, and even if they didn’t, Andeja, though Frederick’s junior in years, though again only by a matter of months, out ranked him as heir to the vast empire. Behind Frederick, Alexis bowed as well while Adela and Natalie lowered themselves into deep curtsies.

To Keoni and Jean, Frederick gave instead curt nods of acknowledgment. They, he certainly did our rank. Nobility it seemed, in the wake of the great collapse was a part of the monarchies that were no longer considered much worth it. Not in the fact of the centralized ceremony and grandeur of a royal family, many of which had been quite drastically slimmed down. He smiled at the two heirs to the few noble families that remained in the Celestial Empire.

“It’s a pleasure, gentlemen,” said Frederick. He then with a gesture of his hand to his sister and cousins said, “Allow me to introduce my little sister, Natalie, and our cousins, Alexis and Adela.”

“Happy birthday Your Imperial Highness,” said Alexis.

“It truly is quite lovely,” added Adela. Only Natalie, somewhat awe struck by the three older boys, said nothing. She struggled to find her tongue and not wishing to embarrass herself in the endeavor, held it and retreated behind her brother.
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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:40 am

Andeja grinned, trying to be disarming. Though he was used to people bowing and scrapping to him, it had, for most of his life been by adults, servants, ministers and courtiers of his great-grandfather and grandfather. It had only grown more so as he became crown prince, but he started to note that it was odd for him to see people who were his own age doing the same. Andeja had thought that going to school would ease it, but in that he had been wrong. He had, to the horror of his father, if he ever found out, had started to romantize the life of a normal teenager. It had been why he had been. So on board with opening up his party to the commoners. Surely they could not be quite so different. And if they were, was that really such a bad thing?

“Please,” Andeja said, “call me Andeja. We are all friends here are we not? It’s a party, not an opening of the Inama. He looked to Alexis and Adela. “Let me introduce you to some of the others.”

He waved the forward, leading them across the courtyard. Keoni and Jean both gave the young royals short bows as they turned and followed after the Crown Prince. All around them swirled the arrivals of the very creme de la creme of Aukusan society. The scions of the Keeryanga corporate dynasty, the every resilient Fezas (Diliza and his twin sister Dealla were cousins of the late Diza Feza, the executed husband of the late 2nd Duchess of Halliun, grand aunt of Andeja. Despite this, the Feza had managed to avoid the backsplash of this unfortunate relation by fleeing to the safety of Aukusa City. They had been the talk of the town as everyone wanted to know if they knew the whereabouts of the 3rd Duchess of Halliun, who had escaped the blade of the emperor with a band of pirates, dressed as a man. Sadly, for their social capital, the Fezas were just as in the dark as anyone else).

The Crown Prince of the Celestial Empire stopped before a trio of young people, the Dupuy siblings. The two brothers, Augustin and Louis Dupuy, looked like twins, though they weren’t (Augustin was two years the elder) with tan brown skin and close cropped black hair. Their third, their sister Cecilie was eighteen, tall and slender in her pastel blue dress. She curtsied as the Crown Prince introduced them.

“This is Cecilie Dupuy and her brothers, Augustin and Louis. Cecilie is the first woman to attend Ezikwizalo University,” Andeja said with a bit of pride.

“It is an honor,” Cecilie said. “For too long the inequalities between men and women in our great nation was unspoken and thus, unaddressed. The push for removing that barrier is one that I am happy to be apart of.”

“My sister fancies herself a revolutionary.”

“It is the right and the duty for the most privileged of citizens to direct the course of—“ Jean was cut off by Keoni who waved him off.

“Oh dear gods, this is a party, not one of Professor Nacoquma’s lectures.”

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Postby Royal Genes » Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:55 am

“I couldn’t agree more!” Frederick said with a cheerful exclamation. Of the Crown Prince’s two gentlemen, he liked Keoni better. The young man had a good sense of how to kick back and relax. As the second born, the spare, Frederick was not expected to inherit much and thus his life was one that he was able to do as he wished more or less and he could not stand fir the uptightness of some. There was respect and then there was sheer madness of restrictions imposed upon the self. And it only helped that he could not agree more when it came to Professor Nacoquma.

Noting his cousin Alexis’ confusion, Frederick turned to explain. “Professor Nacoquma is the most dreadful bore, I swear anyone who suffers insomnia simply must take his class.”

Alexis laughed at this. “I shall be sure to try to avoid his courses if I can.” He looked to Cecilie with a self mocking smirk. “I’m told I drool terribly when I sleep.”

“Ah yes,” Frederick said, “I forgot to mention, my little cousin Alexis will be joining us at university this upcoming fall. Though I think it would be best for all of us to focus on the fun parts of life before we are dragged back to the studies of our courses. It is after all your birthday, and birthdays are time for celebration! It’s time for us to drink and dance and chat, about anything that isn’t politics,” he glanced at Adela and then to Jean, “or academics.”
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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:21 pm

“That is wonderful news to hear, I join forward to you joining us,” Andeja said to Alexis before turning to Frederick with a small frown, not for displeasure but at the point of one of his requirements for the celebratory times ahead. “But we don’t drink in Derita.” This was true, the Celestial Empire had been a dry nation, willing to produce and export various forms of alcohol, but not consume it for over a century.

“Oh,” Augustin piped up and snapped his fingers. A nearly by waiter, a young woman with braids that were styled up into a bun, with a simple glossy golden mask over her face to that only her eyes and her lips, painted in the same glittering gold were seen, sat the snap and made a beeline towards the group. She curtsied to the Crown Prince offered a tray of crystal flutes. “Alcohol is indeed illegal on the mainland,” Augustin said, plucking up one of the flutes. Inside of the clear glass was gold colored champagne. “But we are in Aukusa now, and here things are… far more liberated.”

Jean huffed, rolling his eyes. “Aukusans.” Though they all considered themselves Deritain, there was a clear different in those who lived in the special administrative regions of the Celestial Empire. Aukusans, Vatoriers, and Oranians (like Augustin) lived in wealthy bubbles that prided innovation and progress while the mainlanders (as they were called by the former, of which most of the aristocracy—such as Jean—and all of the royalty—such as the Crown Prince—were members of) were great traditionalists. Authority and rules were everything to them. Whether they liked it or not.

“Well,” Keoni said, picking up another one of the glasses and raising it in a toast towards Frederick and his cousins. “You know what they say, when in Genes, do as the Genoise do!”

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Postby Royal Genes » Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:43 am

Frederick laughed out loud at Keoni’s statement. Even Alexis and somber Adela couldn’t help but chuckle at this somewhat odd expression. Natalie however didn’t quite get it. But no one was paying her any attention. Fredrick grabbed a glass and swung an arm around Keoni’s shoulder and lifted up the glass as he joined in his friend’s toast.

“I couldn’t agree more!”

With this ascent, Alexis and Adela followed suit, and took glasses. It was true, especially in the last few years, that the love of partying had become something that served as a much needed outlet after the strict regime of King Frederick III. Adela had grown up swaddled in the religious mandated of her grandfather, with the adherence to orthodoxy having been instilled in her and her siblings. Something that had earned them praise while her grandfather had been alive, but when he’d died, her aunt, Frederick and Alexis’ grandmother, had tossed it all out. Suddenly Adela’s family had been deemed old fashion.

That idea had, unfortunately, only been exasperated and cemented by the unfolding events in the disaster final months of the reign of Adela’s older sister Philippa. The death if her sister, so entrenched in her ways, had horrified Adela and her brother, and while it had, no doubt to pleasure of Philippa’s soul, garden their father to his ways, the same was not true to the children. Adela and her brother, Theodore had realize adaption was vital to survive. Even if their sense of tradition remained strong and firm under the mailable surface.

“To the the Crown prince,” Adela said joining in the raising of glasses, “and a happy birthday to him,” she said looking to Andeja.
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Postby Colfico » Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:57 pm

Chamberlain Skotnicki frowned, he had suddenly been summoned by the Prime Minister personally, and requested to join the politician in a visit to the Celestial Empire. He has no particular like or dislike for the country, however his mind was on the men and women of the Evacuation fleet, things were calm, and there was not much time left before the fleet left, but a lot could happen in a day, and that reality kept gnawing at the back of his mind.

The Prime Minister smiled and said “Relax, the Admiral knows what he is doing, and the fleet should be on its way home by the time we are back from this event.”

“I know, however…”

“However nothing, worrying like that won’t do anyone any good, have confidence in the admiral and his ability to manage the situation, we hire our officers for a reason.”

The small, Colficoan built car, simple, but reliably and ruggedly built to handle the less than ideal situation that was the current state of Colficos roads, in spite of the National Assemblies every effort at trying to correct the situation. It rolled to a stop and both the Chamberlain and the Prime Minister stepped out, Skotnicki wearing the green dress uniform of the 32nd mountain, while Arjun Wes wore a humble black tuxedo that fit him well, but was not exactly a ground breaking design, made out of Colficoan grown cotton.

Arjun smiled and said “You still know how to act around pretty women don’t you? I hope your time on a ship hasn’t made you suddenly seek out big, burly men.”

Felix smiled at the underhanded joke and said “I don’t know, I think they made good company.”

They both made their way to the door, the first time that either man had ever set foot in the Celestial Empire, and neither quite knew what to expect.

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:14 pm

Andeja was hesitant. However, though he was destined to one day rule the vast empire, at the moment he was still a young man, and even a crown prince can bend to peer pressure. Even Jean had been worn down and picked up a glass as Keoni laughed with Frederick. With a grin and determination, the Crown Prince of the Celestial Empire plucked up the final glass on the tray and lifted it skywards. “To many more birthdays,” said Andeja, looking back to Adela with with bright grin, “and to many more new friends.”

With that, they clinked their glasses together and drink. The champagne, (though that was technically a misnomer as it was in fact massalia, an alcoholic beverage made from the grapes that grew in the hills of Massalia in the Aukusa Bay Area) was sweet and had a taste of honey to it. (While most Deritains never touched alcohol—more on account of it being strictly kept away from its shores as opposed to any personal convictions, save those who religions forbade it along the west coast— those who had, especially Aukusans and Vatoriers had developed vastly different and extreme tastes in it. Vatoriers were known for enjoying incredible strong and bitter alcohol, on account of many of them being the descendants of pirates and smugglers who had to make do with what they had. Aukusans on the other hand, collectively much wealthier and newer to the drink, adored terribly sweet and fruity spectrums of alcohol. So strong is this different, though Vatoriers and Aukusans like next to each other, just across a small channel, they loath to drink together)

Even then, it burned Andeja’s taste buds and he and Jean were both for a moment overwhelmed by the drink, half choking and half coughing before they both burst into laughter.

Of all the places to first arrive in the Celestial Empire, Siti Muraty recommended the Aukusa Bag Area. While it had fallen onto hard times during the Great Collapse, with many of its skyscrapers abandons and it’s population dropping to only several hundred thousand, in the decades since it had continued to be a dazzling sight. An echo of a memory of the greatest days of the previous century, the city now boasted the greatest relative to the present one. It’s streets weren’t many (as most preferred to walk or take the street cars or trains System that wove through the special administrative area) but they were smooth, especially in glided neighborhood of the Ardales Estate. A valet, a young man in a gold mask and blue and white livery greeted the arrival of the Colficoan Prime Minister with a bow, and went to park the car.

At the door, an usher, a tall woman in the same uniform of as the valet, bowed and lead Prime Minister Wes and Lord Skotnicki through a short well lit hallways lined with glided decor and portraits of Ardales patriarchs and matriarchs from over the decades, and put into the courtyard. It was not as if their arrival was quite notable in itself though. There was a steady stream of guests entering. Ahead of the prime minister and chamberlain was Asya and Jamal Razafinjato, daughter and son of the publishing magnate Lou Razafinjato and his wife, writer (who would have guessed) Sofian Ben Barka. Asya, a young woman as thin as a twig wore a one strap blue and green dress with her hair pulled back into a tight ponytail walked on soaring platform shoes. Jamal meanwhile, a bespectacled man several years his sister’s senior in a blue agbada suit with a wrist watch that’s cost likely rivaled that of the prime minister’s car, plucked a glass of massalia from a passing waitress as he looked at the sight of gold that engulfed the courtyard as music filled the air.

The crowd, each person dressed in their finest (though the days of Deritain nobles being weight down in diamonds were gone— the Imperial family alone now enjoyed that right) and glittered with precious metals and gems (as the second and third generations of fortune makers, and thus still considered new money by mainlanders—such as ironically the Ardales who had been filthy reach long before Aukusa City ever broke ground—Aukusan elite liked to show off in what ways they can)

Behind the two foreigners, for it was clear by his tuxedo that Prime Minister Wes at least was certainly a foreigner, was Sauda, Duchess of Roannis and her sister Siti Murray, of the Aukusan BC Company Muratys, who owned or had a hand in just about every form of entertainment in Aukusa Bay Area. Sauda, the elder of the two was petite had dark ebony skin and wore a large blue, red and orange gele that covered her hair and radiated around her head like a halo. It matched her blue and orange wrapper dress with a red petticoat. Pearls hung from her ears and around her neck. Siti, just as dark skinned as her sister, was taller and had large dark brown eyes lined with orange mascara, while orange lips tick colored her full lips. She wore an orange and blue sleeveless a-line dress with large bows at the shoulders and a full skirt of tulle that went down to her ankles, showing off her red heels.

Sauda swept past the two men without a second glance. Having married into the Roannis ducal family, an obscure family who’s only claim to fame was their descent from a second son of an emperor centuries ago (hence their duchy) Sauda had grown haughty and arrogant. Never mind her husband was dependent on the Muraty Family’s wealth. Sauda had, with the stroke of a marriage contract, gone from Aukusan elite to true mainlander aristocracy. Though that didn’t mean she had to send time in the mainland. Surely his husband wouldn’t drag her out to the tiny, cold chateau at the heart of his small domain the far north. They would stay in nice, glittering tropical Aukusa City. Or the bills wouldn’t be paid. She got to have her cake and eat it to.

Siti, having not yet had the fortune of find a 6th cousin of a collateral branch of the most august family in the world, remained a commoner and slightly less elitist. She was a Muraty after all. Ah let out a small laugh as she walked slowly past the chamberlain and prime minister saying, “No need to worry, you’ll find a good stick of both in Aukusa,” clearly having over heard the conversation of jabs between the two men.

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Postby Colfico » Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:12 pm

The Chamberlain raised an eyebrow, that had been mildly unexpected, however, he remembered something, many of the people here would have agendas, not unlike the halls of the National Assembly, except hidden by pretty faces and lots of money.

While the Chamberlains military garb was very utilitarian, the blade that hung in a hand made leather sheets of his hip was something available nowhere else in the world but the northwestern mountains, and even then, only to a select handful of people whom were deemed worthy. The blade was concealed, however the hilt shows its craftsmanship, made of tough, durable and equally beautiful steel, brass and wood of the hardy trees that made the mountains home. It’s design however was not that of a ceremonial weapon of display, it’s curved, but thick, heavy blade was that of a utilitarian weapon and tool, exactly how it was made.

Image

“This will be interesting then.” The Prime Minister said while nudging the Chamberlain in the side with his elbow, but Felix paid it no mind. He could already see why the National Assembly had been so insistent that he go. There were certainly plenty within the National Assembly that would be vulnerable to the scheming and seduction of those of nobility, wether it be their beauty, or their immense wealth and prestige. The exact sort of environment that only a Visari Peacekeeper could be trusted to hold his ground, no matter the amount of wealth or prestige laid at his feet.

“It will be very interesting indeed, but remember we aren’t here in a pleasure trip.” The Visari Peacekeeper couldn’t help but shoot a glance at the Deritan woman whom had made the comment, really not knowing whom she was. Felix had paid little to know attention to High Society within the Celestial Empire, although he was sure that more than a few knew vaguely who he was now, much to his chagrin.
Last edited by Colfico on Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:17 pm

Adela returned Andeja’s smile and felt a small blush flash across her cheeks as she flunked her glass with the others. Frederick meanwhile took down in a single gulp a harty amount of the massalia. Satisfied by the sweet taste, the pinch of honey was a surprise, but a welcomed one, and fitting the beverage’s golden color.

“Wonderful! Now it is a party!”

“Do pace yourself,” warned Alexis as he held his glass.

“On account of his party spirit or his consumption of alcohol?” Asked Adela cheekily.

“On both.”

Frederick let out an unimpressed huff as his cousins jabs at him. “Please, I was able to drink everyone under the table back at the academy.” He nudged Keoni with an elbow. “Same is true with the university.”
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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:54 pm

“Who was that?” asked Sauda as she handed a glass she’d gotten from a waiter to her sister. Siti accepted and made a mocking confused face back at her sister.

“Who was who?”

“That man, last you, you said something to someone.” Sauda said, waving a hand as if to dismiss her sister’s mocking face. “You never speak to someone not worth speaking to, and I’ve certainly seen him or that foreigner he is with.”

“They are both foreigners,” Siti said, rolling her eyes. She glanced over at the two men. She and her sister had not traveled too far away and it was easy to spot them through the crowd. “That’s the Colficoan prime minister and the Lord Chamberlain.”

Sauda blinked and glanced back at them, narrowing her eyes slightly. “Which one is which?”

“The one in the tux is the prime minister.”

“Ah,” Sauda nodded her head and looked back to Siti. “And?” The Aukusans, used to a rather direct democratic system of government and viewing authority, especially that of the mainlanders with thinly veiled suspicion, we’re not ones to fawn over politicians. Certainly not ones from abroad. Perhaps if they had been a pair of tycoons.

“I heard he is the Queen’s lover,” said Siti. Sauda gasped. Then tilted her head, confused.

“Which one?”

As Siti rolled her eyes, a waitress swung by the prime minister and offered the two men drinks. A third man however joined them, a towering rotund man with a hard jaw a soft belly and half a dozen rings on each hand (on account of doubling up, not having extra digits). Despite his many pieces of jewelry, this was merely Ashon Kito, curator of the Kesi Wing of the Aukusan Bay Area Museum of Art, which had been donated by Koman and Kalere Kesi. He picked up a glass which liked tiny in his large hands. “Isn’t it so exciting to be here?” he asked.

Behind Another passed, her tray empty, having just served the crown prince and the gaggle of royals around him, disappearing into the crowd. As the waiter

Andeja eyes were pulled away from Adela as he processed Frederick’s comment and was struck by a bolt of surprise and shock. Before he could get the words out, Jean said them. “There is no alcohol allowed on campus, how would you know?”

Keoni laughed. “Oh please, sure you know Ezikwizalo has a million little hiding places. Places that,” he shrugged his shoulders, “may just so happen to be perfect for hiding illegal stashes of contraband.”

“You’re kidding,” Andeja said, trying not to burst into another fit of laughter.

“I can neither confirm nor deny that.”

“Honestly, why am I not surprised?” Augustin with a roll of his eyes.

“I swear, we aren’t all as bad as those two,” Cecilie said to Alexis,

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Postby Colfico » Mon Nov 22, 2021 9:19 pm

The Chamberlain nodded, and thanked the waiter after accepting a drink, carefully analyzing it for a moment before taking a sip, although his eyes having caught the glance from one of the deritan women who had passed him earlier, he gave a silent, unseen mental sigh, but he turned his attention, at least for the moment, to the conversation before him, but the prime minister beat him to a response.

"Yes, it has been a very interesting trip here, although, as for the night before us, it is too young to tell as of yet, besides, I can get too excited, my wife back home would be very upset with me if I did."

Felix nodded and said "yes, she would be. Although I have to admit, I didnt come looking for excitement, if i were, i would have stayed on the aircraft carrier where i was."

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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Nov 22, 2021 9:26 pm

Alexis gave Cecilie a grin. He was pleased to know that she didn’t think that he was as bad as his cousin and his friend. He wasn’t, but Cecilie didn’t know that. It gave him a small amount of pride of his vibe. He leaned forward towards Cecilie.

“No worries Miss Dupuy, I can’t speak of Mr. Rohan, but I can assure you that there is no one who is as bad as our Frederick.”

“Indeed,” Frederick said with unabashed pride. After all, there was nothing wrong with breaking a few rules after all. And when one was a prince, there were far more exceptions so what need was there for them anyway? “I am the best as having a good time.”

“My,” Adela said, looking to Andeja and Jean, “you’ve got quite a devil on your hands. One must hope that the University has a staff that is clever enough to handle him.”

“Ha,” huffed Frederick. “Never.”
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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:05 pm

Aha,” Ashon said with a shocked wave. “How can you say that? Do you know whose party this is?” He asked, stressing the point. “This is not just some royal’s party, but the party of the Crown Prince. It’s exciting to just be in the same building of him, not to mention the same room. The Imperial Family never let anyone near them. It’s like walking amongst gods.”

Aukusans, while not having a great love of the Emperor, that did not mean they were immune to the fascination around the Imperial Family. While some may have thought of them gods, it could not be said that it was purely in a reverence way. Ashon, who spent his life perfecting galleries for the upper echelons of society, couldn’t help but fall into a category amazed by those who sat as the highest rungs of it.

“What aircraft carrier could compare to this?” Asked Ashon, waving a hand around them.

Meanwhile Andeja, cradling his glass in his fingers carefully, listened with a mix of shock and amusement to the conversation. He was certain that the faculty at Ezikwizalo University would indeed be livid if they discovered even one of the secrets that the Genoise prince had in regards to his conduct. “You shall have to direct me to these hiding spots.” He looked to Adela again, though only for a second this time, before turning to Frederick and Keoni. “To keep you out of trouble of course.”

Watching the exchange between the two princes, Cecilie stepped closer to Prince Alexis. “Please, call me Cecilie.”

“And my name is Keoni,” said the Rohan family heir. He playfully clinked his own glass against Alexis and Cecilie’s. “We are all friends here. And it can get confusing to navigate the trappings of blah blah blah. Best to stick with names.”
Last edited by Kingdom of Derita on Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Colfico » Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:37 pm

The Chamberlain shrugged and said "I believe you misunderstand what I mean by exciting, but yes, it is certainly an honor to be in the god-like presence of the Crown Prince. However I have been managing an evacuation effort in Lajastine, I have had enough excitement for a while."

The prime minister then said "It is certainly very....artistic" the Prime Minister could agree with the Chamberlain, he himself felt it a bit much, and he knew that the Visari Peacekeeper had led an even more spartan lifestyle than even the majority of Colficoans did, so he knew that the man had to be fairly uncomfortable in a place like this, although he did not seem to show it too openly, which was surprising.

Felix nodded, and said "Indeed." He glanced towards the sister that had glanced towards him before, and eyebrow raised, before turning his attention back to the conversation. "You must show me some of the art, I am sure that it will be very informative."

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:06 pm

“Oh,” said Ashon putting a hand to his mouth in surprise. “Oh how awful. We’ve heard all about how terribly dreadful things have been in Laja. Dreadful. Positively dreadful.” Ashon shook his head somberly. “The old football stadium on the north end has been serving as a temporary housing location for the refugees who’ve made their way here.” As Aukusa still had a great many buildings that were unoccupied, it was quite easy to find a place for new arrivals to city, whether they be domestic or international migrants to the glittering city. “It is so awful for so many to have lost their homes.”

Ashon shook his head, a flicker of a shadow passing over his face. “My mother and my grandparents were Makonian refugees who arrived in the city, before the Great Collapse. They were forced to paddle in makeshift rafts for days before the Navy found them and brought them to Aukusa. When they arrived the Prime Minister opened up his palace for them and the other refugees to stay at.” It was a story true for many residents of the city. Makonians escaping Genocide had fled amass arriving in the city, where they and their mixed raced children had become known as Creoles. Ashon shook his shoulder and his smile returned, taking a sip of his drink. “Now look at me,” Ashon said with a laugh. “At a party with the Crown Prince.”

“As for art,” Ashon put a hand to his chest. “I have an excellent eye. I selected everything at Kalere Kesi’s wing of the Museum of Art.” He looked around again, noting the other two’s expressions. “The duchess may have gone hard on the glitz and glamour, but can you blame her when handling the debut of a future monarch? And the Ardales have money to burn.”

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Postby Royal Genes » Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:24 am

Frederick rolled his eyes and nodded his head, but in a playful and mocking way. It suspected that the Crown Prince was still too much of a goodie-two-shoes to actually go looking for any of his secret stashed In Ezikwizalo, much less partake in any of the fun. But he also got the feeling that with the right persuasion, the crown prince wouldn’t tell anyone about them either.

“Good god,” said Adela, cutting off anything that Frederick had been about to say. She had, at some point moved closer to Andeja till she stood almost but not quite at his side. Frederick raised an eyebrow a fraction of a centimeter as he took another sip of his drink, leaving barely anything at all in the glass. Adela continued. “Frederick, you are going to corrupt the future emperor.” She touched his arm and looked up at the crown prince’d eyes. “Surely we must rescue you.”

Alexis, Cecilie and Keoni meanwhile seemed to have broken off into their own subset of a group, Alexis feeling a strange mix of emotion between the the two. “Cecilie and Keoni it is.” Alexis declared, before hiding behind a sip of the massalia. “I must admit I would have thought you all far more married to the protocols of majesty. The Celestial Empire is so…” Alexis waved his free hand to the crowds, and gold, and the elaborance of it all. The fact that most Genoise traced their roots back to Derita and the decades of limited communication between them had lead to a great deal of mythologizing of the place.

To many Derita was the ‘Motherland’, a place of great spiritual connections. Many Alexis’ age had grandparents who retold stories of their grandparents and the grandeur of the Celestial Empire. Or in the case of Alexis, his actual grandfather had grown up as a prince during the height of Deritain power and told him of the carefully scripted ceremonies, outrageous outfits and schedule of Ezikwizalo back when it was still a palace. Of course that had been over fifty years ago. Still, Alexis had arrived expecting to walk into that. Instead he was surprised by how… casual it all ways. Certainly by royal standards.
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Postby Colfico » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:52 am

Felix nodded, as he listened to the Curators story, and simply nodded, listening carefully, it was interesting information, and something he was sure that he could find somewhere in the archives of the Visari Order.

The Prime Minister was the first to answer although his answer was brief and to the point.

"That is understandable of the duchess."

The Chamberlain gave a simple nod, not having a real opinion, he had been a wandering soul for a good portion of his own life, and then been thrown into the conflict of the Time of Despair, and followed not long after that by the Southern War. To earn ones way of life was normal for the VIsari, in fact, it was the core of what it meant to be a peacekeeper, it was not something given or born with, it was earned through hard work and sweat.

The Chamberlain decided not to give a comment on the matter, knowing what his response would be.

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:04 am

Andeja grinned as he looked at Adela. She was a surprising delight. Though she had a somber edge to her, she still seem able to talk toe to toe with the likes of Frederick, who he knew could bulldoze most people. The crown prince glanced down at the princess’ touch on his arm. It was a small gesture, but no one dared touch a member of the imperial family. Usually because they couldn’t, using being out of reach on far away platforms or balconies waving down to the crowds, or, in the case of the emperor, because his pet tiger always lurked nearby.

“You must,” Andeja said, “I am a damoiseau in distress, and your cousin is a frightful dragon.”

Keoni huffed at the thought proposed by Alexis. “Ha, they don’t call it trappings for nothing. Though things are a bit different Gaosa,” (the understatement of the century) “this is Aukusa City and it’s an entirely new kind of etiquette.”

“A far preferable kind of you ask me,” said Cecilie. “We have far more fun.”

Meanwhile, Ashon nodded his head. He glanced around, as if to make sure they weren’t over heard. (They were of course. Even the title-less elite of Aukusa lived and died by gossip.) “The Duchess is said to be the richest woman in the empire ever since the new premiership.” Ashon said . (This euphemism “the new premiership” was a favorite used by Aukusans to refer to the dramatic fall of the Hollande Family, which had ended in their exile, executions and seizure of their vast fortune.) It was rumored that their vast assets had been handed over to the Duchess of Manchester, which if true would make her one of, if not the wealthiest individuals in the world.

“The Ardales are the new second family,” Ashon continued. This was a statement that referred to the second most important, rich or powerful family in the empire over the centuries. In the 20th century it had been the Troyes, and in the 21st the Hollandes, and now it was the Ardales. “So it’s not just a debut for the crown prince, but for them as well. I imagine that this is a test run for when their heir makes his debut years from now.”

Alimah,” hissed Sauda, who had been half listening to her sister recite the rumors of the Colficoan Queen and her supposed paramour. Her attention however had drifted over to the other side of the courtyard. “Can you believe that?” She was looking to the crown prince and the young woman he was talking to.

“What did you expect?” Siti said. “A Deritain royal always causes a bloodbath.”

Sauda shook her head in disapproval. “Why do you think he brought him then?” She asked, having turned her head to the Prime Minister. Siti blinked. So her sister had been paying attention. The chamberlain, it was said, had not been originally on those to arrive. Siti considered that. And looked over at the prime Minister, watching him speak with the Kesis’ art curator.

“A good question.”

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Postby Colfico » Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:01 pm

The chamberlain nodded, he resisted the urge to shake his head, such hording of wealth and assets that could be put to use helping the rest of the nation appalled the peacekeeper, it was the exact kind of corruption that had sparked the bloodshed of the Time of Despair in the first place. However, he did catch on that the man was trying not to be heard, as if it were dangerous. However, the chamberlain had no such fears, nor any misgivings about letting his thoughts and opinions be heard.

"Perhaps for the house and family in question, but it sounds like putting someone on display for the world to gawk at and marvel at, almost like an art piece in a museum display." The Chamberlain made no attempt to be unheard, nor did he particularly care if he was over heard or not. He visibly shook his head and then said "Sounds to me like being the heir to the wealthiest family in the empire is not an enviable position."

The Prime Minister sighed somewhat at the blunt answer of the Chamberlain, but he did find himself agreeing, he didn't like the idea of being put on display like that. "Not everyone has the relatively liberated upbringing of the Visari Order, Felix."

Felix simply shrugged his shoulders before saying "Perhaps not, but that doesn't mean I have to marvel at glamour and wealth blindly."

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Tue Nov 23, 2021 1:42 pm

Ashon laughed and nodded his head in agreement. “Oh of course not, it’s the worst bloody job in the world. The last ones to do it… well, there is a reason the fortunes of the Ardales had been so bright right after all. I admit I can get fascinated by them, but I wouldn’t want to be one of them.”

Ashon shook his head, as if horrified by the prospect. “You are quite right,” Ashon said to Felix. “They are exactly like pieces of art. I think that’s why I enjoy watching them. Each one like a living sculpture. And this is just the latest exhibition. And isn’t that our right when you have so much money? I mean no one would, nor should pry into the lives of people like me, or the other millions of the middle class, but the Kesi? When you own half the fine art in the city, don’t we have a right to see it? The Saudajidas? The Mkubwas? The Muratys? When you have enough money to determine the lives of millions, and start and stop wars, we’ll, I say part of the deal is living in a glass house. After all the rest of us have to keep an eye on them, no?”

Ashon smiled and winked at the chamberlain.

Sauda rolled his eyes from a bit ways, having over head the statements like others in the vicinity. Anger filled her chest as she turned to her sister, the fury at what she’d had just heard only barely keeping from boiling over. “Can you believe this? Cousin Kalere acts as if she didn’t get half her collection from Auntie Fatima. I am going to go find her. We are renaming that wing.” Sauda stormed off. (Fatima Muraty-Kesi, the matriarchal member of the city’s governing council had been heiress to the engineering branch of the Muraty conglomerate. She was to thank for the city’s smooth roads.) Siti chuckled and sipped on her drink, forming a plan.

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Postby Colfico » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:06 pm

The Prime Minister raised an eyebrow and said “Then I must have missed that part of the job description then, while it is true that a certain degree of transparency is recommended, putting children on display is an entirely different matter. I would never willingly show off my children as art like that.”

The Chamberlain simply nodded, but was confused by the wink from the Curator, although he gave it little thought. “Although, it should be concerning in the first place when any one person has that much power.”

The Prime Minister scoffed and said “Coming from the one who can command an entire fleet?”

“I suppose you are right, although to be fair, that is not my power, it is the authority entrusted to me by the National Assembly and the people of Colfico, rather than by the sheer weight of cash in my pocket.”

The Prime Minister shook his head and said “Even if you did have that much money, you would not keep most of it anyway, you would have already donated or spent it on something useful, like bridges and such.”

The Chamberlain nodded with a smile and said “Because that’s what it should be spent on, improving the nation and the livelihoods of those who live in it, not padding out my bank account and invested into a massive estate.”

The Prime Minister chuckle and said “Typical Visari.”
Last edited by Colfico on Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:48 pm

“And who, pray tell, do you think pays for everything in Aukusa?” Siti Muraty said as she joined the group of men talking, waving her glass thoughtfully. Ashon stepped aside to make remove for her and her voluminous dress as she stood next to Prime Minister Wes. She looked down and inspected her glass of massalia.

“Who do you think pays for roads, bridges, and railways? For welfare and healthcare programs? For public transport, and utilities, and local theatre programs.” All things that were free in the Aukusa Bay Area. Siti continued. “Surely not the developing class, nor the tens of thousands of newly arrived migrants and refugees that we welcome to our shores, provide jobs for and for whom we find housing. What do you think we do with all our millions of dérrals?”

Siti hadn’t been able to resist the urge to join the conversation, especially with Sauda having gone to fine a way to upset the Kesi’s place in the art world of the city. While she had noticed the chamberlain’s arrival, her sister question had turned her attention to that of the prime minister, curious about his intentions in her city.
Last edited by Kingdom of Derita on Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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