I wake up, feeling extremely well rested, as I have been spoiled with a delightfully extravagant four post bed, much nicer than my simple cot at home.
After bathing and styling my hair in the usual ( )aid, I am led down through the palace, and out to the beautiful gardens.
As soon as everyone has gathered, a woman welcomes us.
“Welcome. My name is Madam Issera. I am the head of the royal household. I have been employed here since the princes were quite young, and I am entrusted with all the major tasks of the household. That includes preparing for all parties and other special occasions. This afternoon there will be a tea party for all of the major courtiers. This will be your first chance to impress the nobility beyond the royal family.
“As part of the event, I am asking each of you to create a flower arrangement to be the centerpiece of one table. All of the royal gardens are at your disposal, as well as the greenhouses, which contain some of the more tropical of flowers. Your arrangement must be beautiful and unique, but it must be something else as well. It must be meaningful. I will be asking each of you why you made the arrangement you made, and I will expect an intelligent response. You have until noon to complete your arrangements. Begin.”
I am surprised. How will this judge our worth as a leader? I felt sure that we would begin with a more difficult task. However, as they first hour ticks by, I realize that is more difficult than I initially assumed.
I wander the gardens, picking my favorite flowers, and placing them in a basket. When I feel certain that I have found all the flowers I want, I settle into a spot on the grass, and begin to arrange them. I have never done anything like this before, as any flowers that grow in Wenth are small and not particularly beautiful. I arrange a pretty bouquet, with all light colored flowers, and beautiful silvery vines that add a magical effect. But there is nothing meaningful about this flower arrangement, so I place a single blue rose in the center, to represent myself. By noon, I feel as though I have done quite well.
When it is time to present my bouquet, I take a deep (
)eath and begin (I don’t know why I feel so intimidated by this woman).
“Madam” I say, bowing slightly “I present my flower arrangement. I chose these particular flowers for their light colors, because we greatly appreciate light in Wenth, having to spend most months in a wintery dark. The single blue rose in the center represents me, a simple girl trying to find a place in the beautiful world. The silvery vines represent the magic of the city and the palace. Thank you.” I curtsy and step back. Whew.
Afterwards we are sent back upstairs to dress for the tea party, and I am faced with the decision of which dress I ought to wear. As soon as I was chosen to come to the capital, my friends and family (the women anyway) made it their mission to make sure that I would be properly dressed, which was difficult, since most clothing worn in Wenth is too warm, and too simple for Bascalin.
I choose I lovely blue dress that was given to me by Mel. Though it is a few years out of date, I am hopeful that I will fit in well enough with the other girls.
When I reenter the garden, I am amazed. This is much fancier than I expected, and I feel as though my dress is not as extravagant as it should be. Too late now.
I am seated at a table with many important citizens of Bascalin. I make small talk with them and halfway through the meal, the older gentleman seated next to me (whom I quite like) leans over and asks “How do you find our city so far?”
“It is amazing, and far more extravagant than I could have ever imagined. In Wenth everything is quite simple. I do hope to explore the city outside of the palace soon.” I reply with a smile.
That evening, as I am sitting in my room reading, my mind starts to wander. I wonder what will come of my time here. Even if I were to be chosen (which isn’t likely), would I really want to marry one of the princes? Prar seems too bored with it all. I don’t demand attention, but I wouldn’t want to marry a man who completely ignores me.
Delt simply gets on my nerves. He looks at us as if we are objects, and that is something that I cannot stand. Though I must admit he can be quite amusing at times.
And Tamd, well, I am unsure. He is quiet, like me, though that doesn’t say much about his personality. He does seem sweet though. Perhaps if I were to get to know him better, I would like him.
I know that if I do not wish to be seen as an object, I must get their attention somehow. I don’t have a loud personality, like some of the other girls, and I certainly don’t have an impressive wardrobe.
I feel as if my skill set does not fit in this competition. I like to think of myself as a clever person, but the education in Wenth is not as sophisticated as it is in most other regions, giving me a disadvantage.
The only things that I really excel at are creating functional things with my hands, and caring for and communicating with children. These things won’t be of much use to me here.
However, self pity will not get me anywhere. I allow myself another minute of worrying, and then I snap out of it, and pull myself together.
I know that I did not do well in the task today, so I resolve to do much better tomorrow.