Once everyone was gathered and both parents approved of their attire, they royal family left the palace and began their walk to the beloved fair grounds. The royal family walked forward with dignity, their heads held high and a smile on their faces. As they entered the fair grounds, the cheers of peasants could be heard far and wide. With grace and charm the princess and her family kindly smiled and waved when appropriate.
Alejandro kept his straight expression and kept his eyes and ears open. Felicity’s older sister, Allera, elegantly and discreetly nudged Alejandro and whispered to him as she covered her mouth with a fan. “If you wish to blend in, you should at least try to smile,” she chuckled and fell back into her place with her future husband, some prince from a wealthy alliance of their kingdom. Alejandro grimaced uncomfortable but sighed knowing she was probably right. The corner of his mouth turned up a little as he tried to smile. Felicity looked at Alejandro and nodded as she smiled. His face would have turned red had he not had more control, but hundreds of years of experience had trained him to conceal this. He finally managed a smile and after a while it came out naturally as he was having a good time.
Following the lead of the royals, Alejandro kept a happy appearance but was still on alert. After stopping to kiss some babies and say kind words to non royals, they finally reached their destination. There was a royal seating booth that only the Queen, King, and their closest friends could sit in. Felicity smiled kindly and before entering the booth and told him to stand until it was time to be seated. He didn’t understand why they didn’t just sit down. He held back a sigh as he thought of royals and their many traditions. Together the royal family stood proudly and smiled out at the crowds.
The kind cleared his throat and raised his scepter and a hush grew over the crowd. “Let the Moonlit festivities begin,” he exclaimed and a roar could be heard across the land as the many people cheered. Finally the royals took their seats and Alejandro followed suit. Alejandro wondered what kind of festivities these people had put together for a moon party. He was pleasantly surprised however. There were hundreds of circular tables adorned with beautiful china and other things you would see at a tea party. He nodded impressed; this was a late night garden party.
He looked up just as the royal chefs and butlers were setting up trays for each of the royals in the booth. There was one for him too he realized. Finger sandwiches, keesh, scones, and many other tasty little treats filled the platter. He was handed a menu with over 100 tea choices. He settled on the Bourbon Street Vanilla, it sounded delicious.
“Alejandro, which tea are you going to have? Normally I’m a little adventurous and I try new teas…but this year I’m sticking to my favorite, Bourbon Street Vanilla,” she said as she turned to look at him.
He chuckled softly. “That’s the one I picked to try Princess. If it’s your favorite I must have made a good choice,” he said as the tray of food was put in front of him and the tea menu was taken back. The butler told him that his tea would be ready in about 20 minutes. Wow. They must have a huge kitchen and lots of chefs for this night, there were so many people that were going to drink tea. Too bad they didn’t have magic like he did, though he had to keep it secret among the humans.
The tea was just as good as he thought it would be. The sweet vanilla taste was not over powering but made a lovely balance to the tea. This was his new favorite. He made a mental note to himself to ask for more of this from now on. Tea was one of the few things that relaxed this demon prince.
“Princess, I understand why this is your favorite. It’s honestly one of the most perfectly blended and exquisite teas I have ever tasted, and I’ve tasted a lot in my time. It’s kind of a hobby of mine,” he explained.
“Ah! You and my sister have that in common! She’s a tea connoisseur. Right Liccy,” exclaimed her older sister Allera. Felicity blushed and nodded but added modestly that she wasn’t really an expert. The queen, upon hearing this conversation smiled and used this opportunity to try to bring him closer to the family, and hopefully her beloved daughter.
“Alejandro, if you like tea, you should come with us to Chi’Dong. It’s a very famous tea place we visit a couple times a year. They also have very nice hot springs,” she added and her husband chuckled softly, having experienced the same wit and charm before he had married her. He knew exactly what she was doing. Sure he would have to come along as a bodyguard, but with the invitation he would be joining the family in activities, not just watching them. Alejandro kindly said that he would like that a lot.
Alejandro continued making polite conversation with the royals. He was actually pretty entertained for a while. He had almost let his guard down. Almost. He shook his head to clear his thoughts and decided to scan the crowds and grounds again. You couldn’t be too careful. Depending on who was trying to kill the princess, a public execution might be what they want. Although with the last few attempts he’d heard about, they were getting pretty sloppy and desperate.
That’s when a sudden thought ran through his head. He was concerned but his face did not reveal so. Desperate people lead to desperate acts…things that they thought they could control, but most certainly couldn’t. Humans were delusional and cocky about control. He sensed it then…it wasn’t there yet but it was close by. Something sinister and powerful…something like him. One of his kind. He carefully thought over what his next steps should be. He needed to figure out who it was and who summoned it. Quickly he made some telepathic calls because he would need someone to do this work for him as he couldn’t leave the princess.