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The party came to an end, and it was time for goodbyes.
I was greeting several of my father’s acquaintances, but my rejection was beginning to show. That ball was the debut in the high society for all the ladies above the age of 14, which contrasted with my child-like face. Even if I tried my best for my father and myself, there was not much I could do about that.
When you turn 14 years old, there are two possible paths: you either enter the fourth grade at the royal school, or you immediately enter the high society. Usually men go to the school and girls make their debut in social circles, but as far as I knew from “The Labyrinth of Destiny”, both myself and Mishuly went to school.
Well, I didn’t care about the future. I was clever enough to enter the school and graduate with high marks, but all that mattered was the present.
My condition in that moment can be said in a single world.
Speaking naturally is easy. But it is hard to keep behaving as a perfect lady is supposed to. But I’m seven years old already. I managed to withstand physical fatigue thanks to my great will power, but that could only help me so far.
Okay, I decided.
I was done for.
I had already gone around and greeted adults long enough. It seemed my role at that event was over. There was no problem if I left. I wanted to throw away the lady’s skin and spread my wing somewhere secluded. There would be no problems as long as nobody saw me.
In order to get a momentary rest, I quickly checked the surroundings.
Young gentlemen and ladies who fulfilled their social debut as a leading role tonight were gathered in groups according to their age. It seems that the children of my same age were not trusted alone. They were not with each other, but by their parents. Just like I had my father beside me.
If you understand the situation, then you can conceive a suitable plan.
It would seem suspicious for a child to be strolling on their own, but because that was a ball, several people were still dancing. Leaving the venue without a reson, a child – even me – would have been drawing attention. I had to reach the garden, wherever it was.
There was only one problem left.
My guardian, my father.
Even though I said it to myself, I do not think that my father didn’t know what I was thinking. I could tell it because of his indolent reaction, that my father didn’t think very highly of me. There just wasn’t much trust.
But, myself being clever, I was thinking of some believable reason to leave my father.
“What’s wrong, Christina?”
“I would like to go and pick some flowers.”
That was the best hope I had. My father had been put in a situation where it was difficult for him to deny me my leave.
My father spoke gently to me, hiding my perfect plan.
“I do not mind if you want to explore around, but leave the flowers of the royal palace’s garden untouched.”
I felt a bit ashamed at my father’s words.
I thought he would have taken my word for it, how could he have figured out my intentions so easily?
My father’s advice was annoying me as well.
Going outside was easier than expected.
I left the dance hall and walked for a little while. Got out to the corridor facing outdoors and could confirm that there was nobody around the garden. There were trees as dividers, but me being seven years old, I was able to get through thanks to my smallness.
Well, thanks to my intelligence, leaving that dreadful palace wasn’t hard at all.
So I reached the garden. It was filled with flowers looked after by the best gardeners, ready to be collected and brought to the palace.
I didn’t have to worry about people looking at me, so I ‘climbed ‘a bench.
I breathed out and looked up at the sky. In the dark night sky there was a full moon that eclipsed the stars. I could see my shadow in the clear and bright moonlight.
I was staring at the full silvery moon, then evaluated my situation again.
Yes. After all I was pretty tired.
I managed to behave like a lady without committing any mistakes. No, I had not finished yet, but after some rest there I would return as if nothing had happened, and everything would be fine.
Then I would leave with my reputation as intact as that full moon. Listening to what the people would tell about me, Mariya would have no choice but to praise me.
I was laughing, but there was nobody else to listen to it. It was a good way to relieve my stress. There was no reason to suppress my laughter.
I sat still on the bench and laughed freely towards the full moon.
“Ha ha ha ha ha ha…”
“What are you doing?”
My happy laughter died out in a loud noise.
I cried out a single dissonant syllable, turned my neck and searched for the person speaking.
I was looking at the entrance to the garden, so they couldn’t have come from there. He had come through the gaps of the garden, as I did.
Wow. I would have never thought that another aristocrat would do such a thing.
We were staring at each other and wondering what was going on.
The person speaking was a boy with soft blond hair and blue eyes. I thought he must have been of the same age as Mishuly. Even though he didn’t look as good as me or Mishuly, I found myself smiling at him.
The boy kept his head low while holding a thick book beneath his arm.
“Who are you?”
“Who are YOU?”
An then it was gone.
The mind of the little girl was fading off. I wondered why was I asking him that question to begin with.
What I first thought a full moon, was actually still a day away from completely its cycle.