Finally, I get to see the outside world!
It had finally been a year since Ethan and I were born. Many things happened but it was all resolved quickly. After the priestess came and left, the duke assigned us a knight that can cast simple spells. He was a young knight named Ian and was a newcomer. But ever since that day, what happened did not occur again, and all Ian did was stand guard for us.
And now, the celebration will begin in the afternoon and will end after dinner since the celebrants, Ethan and I, will probably be sleepy at this point.
It was still early in the morning and I could already feel the bustling of the people around us so I couldn't help but get excited too.
I couldn't see our mother as she was busy getting prepared and it was only Trisha, Beth, and Ruby as usual who were looking after us. But nevertheless, they did a good job dressing us for the party.
They put on a small pink dress for me with small white pearls that were stitched so gingerly at the bottom part and formed patterns of what seemed to be flowers. As it fell under the light, the pearls sparkled in a bluish and golden hue. The top part was adorned with gold laces and they had put golden silk at my waist and tied it into a ribbon. The sleeves were thin short pink frills.
As the last touch, Ruby put on a headband with a large pink flower embellished with gold glitters. It didn't feel stuffy and I felt light.
When it was time for Ethan to change, he really gave them a hard time. He was so pesky and uncontrollable that I could see on his face that he was annoyed. Although when he was about to cry, Beth gave him an edible dough. He was so amazed by the sight, he stopped moving and the maids quickly dressed him.
His top was silky white adorned with golden buttons. At his waist was a royal blue belt with a gold buckle. The white sleeves had blue cuffs lined with gold stitches. The maids put on shoulder pads with tussles. His bottom pants were also of royal blue color with golden linings. He looked like a prince. The maids had done a job well done dressing him, he was actually comfortable.
Albeit, sooner or later, I bet he'll be in a mess.
After what seemed to be hours of getting ready for the party, the maids took us downstairs. Our room was situated on the third floor, like most of the bed chambers and private rooms, and the terrace. The second floor was for the duke's office, study rooms, a library, a small dining room, and a wide parlor.
And on the first floor was the grand hall, a spacious foyer decorated with sculptures and paintings, a large banquet room which was connected to the kitchen, and another small office and parlor. There was also a room filled with valuable pieces of art, which was locked in the meantime.
I couldn't really explore the rest of the mansion but I heard there was the maid's residence nearby, and also a storage shed. There were also the knights' grounds and headquarters somewhere in the estate where the Duke would train the knights under him. The garden was also capacious as I saw from the window with the violet and blue flowers dominating the field.
As the maids carried us towards the first floor I saw butlers and maids, lined up in the foyer. With different shades of blue, the floors created a visual pattern and along with the marble walls and golden draperies, and the staffs' uniform of black and white - the scene was a sight to behold. And upon the bottom of the stairs, I saw the duke and the duchess standing together. They were waiting for us.
"My beautiful twins finally turn a year old today."
My mother wore an off-the-shoulder, floor-length dress. It was a deep green color. The top part was studded with white diamonds as it trailed off at her waists. The bottom skirt puffed out like a ball gown with sequins embroidered exquisitely forming an elegant design. Her hair was braided loosely adorned by gold hairpins encrusted with emerald gems. Her face looked smooth and appeared to be at ease today.
And beside her was the Duke standing tall. They matched their outfits' color as well. The top shirt was high-collared and of a dark green hue, it almost seemed black. His shirt covered almost all of his arms with silver cuffs on his wrists. The shirt had silver-white patterns on the sides while the center was adorned with gold buttons and bandings. He wore a silver belt embedded with gold emboss. The bottom pants were plain, but his boots caught my attention. It was like silver metal, and it was so shiny. His black cape was draped over him making him more intimidating.
"Let us depart for the royal palace. I assume the others are waiting," the Duke ordered but his kind eyes were set upon us.
As we exited the mansion, the staff greeted us with practiced unison. A wave of nervousness flooded over me but when I felt the warmth of the sunlight, it vanished. This is the first time I've ever set foot outside the house.
There were several knights surrounding the three carriages at the front of the entrance, one with a black and silver motif, and the other two were plain white and gold. Though the common feature among them was the emblem of the Redgrave House imprinted rather boldly. The main body was of a shield and in the center was an ensemble of flowers. Four red petals enclosed another flower and on the very center were strangely shaped petals forming a red pattern similar to a cross.
Over a decade ago, who would have thought that a minor house with flowers as an emblem and selling books as a business would rise to the very top? That very house which now controlled one of the knights' corps of the Glarios Kingdom.
The Duke and the Duchess boarded the black carriage and the maids carefully handed us over since Ethan shouted, astonished when he saw the horses. There was some special seat for us and mother placed us accordingly. It was surprisingly spacious inside the carriage and Ethan couldn't help but squeal at the new scenery. He was also very excited as it started to move.
As I looked outside the window, I could see nicely cut green grass and a view of the garden, indicating that we were still near the manor's grounds but for five minutes, trees invaded my view as if we were treading inside a forest. My brother was equally amazed at the sight, and our parents couldn't help but smile at him.
And for the next five minutes, I heard some metal gate raucously creaking. We were now outside the Redgrave estate.
And for what seemed to be a long time, we finally reached our destination. It was a whole new world for me. There were sounds which I heard the first time and I could describe it as the noise of the crowd. Horses loudly neighed, the wheels turning squeakily, people's voices escalating, it was exhilarating.
When the carriage stopped for a long time, the coach reported that Capital Square was flooded. It had heavy traffic since it was near the royal palace. It wasn't soon after that the carriage moved again. And the next moment it stopped; We were in front of the palace's gates.
Knights opened the enormous gate and we slowly moved inside. And when the carriage stayed still completely, the door opened widely. When the duke got off, the duchess picked me up first and gave me to him. But I want mother...
I couldn't complain now since father quickly accepted me. But my lament was soon replaced with wonder as I saw the palace under the sun. It was shining. The whole entrance was blinding to my eyes.
I glanced sideways, and I noticed Emma and the other ladies-in-waiting forming themselves behind us, with some knights. Emma's expression was serene and the blue gown she wore suited her.
We were then greeted by a man who wore knight's armor that seemed to be polished recently. His red cape looked really good on him, considering he also had red hair. The knight bowed with respect and when he greeted us, his blue eyes were light.
"Your Graces, great greetings to you. I am Rowan Ulric of House Griffith, serving as your escort for today." He appeared to be around the same age as my father.
I heard duke coldly imitating his name and replied. "Didn't I invite Rowan Ulric of House Griffith for this celebration?" The Duke's voice implied mockery.
But mother calmly answered him. "Yes indeed, Your Grace."
"Then why was he fully armored and seemed to be working as an escort today, when he should be enjoying the party like the rest?"
And mother answered again, this time, she was looking at Rowan as if she was teasing. "Why indeed?"
But the knight only sighed at my parent's discourse and shrugged his shoulders as he replied, "The wind appeared to breeze away from my favor today. Grandfather compelled me to do my duty to the last minute."
At this, father shook his head lightly. "Lord Griffith always had work on his mind."
Did my parents know him personally? They had somewhat a friendly atmosphere.
But Rowan gently smiled. "It's an honor to be beside the celebrants, anyways. I wish you a joyful birthday, Young Graces."
"Thank you, Sir Rowan," mother spoke and the knight bowed his head a little in return.
"Princess, beautiful as always," Rowan said and then started to escort us towards the location of the party - the royal hall. He gestured for several knights to accompany us, and the entourage finally moved.
With a short walk from the entrance, many of the nobles saw and greeted us. I saw them hurriedly dashed in the opposite direction, seemingly excited at the sight of us. The knights accompanied us for quite longer and eventually, I saw many valuable-looking things decorating the hallway and some large scenery paintings.
When we stopped, there in front of me were magnificent golden doors. A man dressed as a butler bowed, and I took note of how prestigious it looked. He then proceeded to knock and the heavy doors opened.
"His Grace, Edward Wilton, the Duke of Redgrave and the world's hero, together with Her Highness, Lillian Peyton, the Duchess of Redgrave and the first princess of Glarios and the guests of honor..." the announcer quickly breathed for air and then returned to his task of shouting our names. "Young Lord Ethan Dunne Redgrave and Young Lady Emilia Kinsley Redgrave!"