Chapter 19:

Chapter 19

Prince of the Sun


The biggest ballroom in the palace was of course the host of the main event of the winter solstice: the ball.

Guests poured into the hall. It was quite the journey to arrive at the palace but for special occasions such as these a decent number made the journey all the way up north. The arriving crowd for the night included Phoenix of other clans from around the world and their allies who were other myths, easy to spot without their long coats.

Jace stood beside Lynn who wore a full ball gown of white tulle, her hair swept up high with curls that dripped off and grazed her neck and shoulders. They both stood stiff and greeted the guests that walked by. Jace felt as frigid as the air outside. Yet he didn’t dare relax as both the King and Queen stood so close by, not greeting but inspecting the guests with plastered smiles.

Sure many of the people attending were residents of the palace but a slip up could mean the loss or distancing of an ally the Phoenix needed. Slipping up in front of the residents was not a good look either.

Jace and Lynn found some relief in the head seamstress who was a member of the court, Yvonne Albrecksson. She had her husband with her and smiled at Lynn and Jace as they walked in.

“You two look wonderful, absolutely darling,” she exclaimed.

Her black coat framed the blue velvet of her dress.

Lynn broke character a little, showing a real genuine smile. “The Prince looks wonderful tonight doesn’t he? I had to help a little.”

“It was very worth it,” her yellow eyes glittered with joy, “I’ll see you around Prince and Princess.”

She disappeared back into the crowd and Lynn’s smile returned to the plastered one.

Many more members of the court poured in. Jace and Lynn greeted them by name and some fawned over how perfect they looked and how wonderful the ballroom looked.

The ballroom was spectacular, he had to admit. This was the only time in the year when the huge fireplace was ablaze. Roaring flames crackled and raced upwards. Many around it became transfixed by it. Jace also loved to watch it during these events yet he was a decent distance from it, all he could see was its orange glow. Its light made all the decorations of the room sparkle much more than they usually would in the stagnant light of the chandeliers.

The music had begun, sombre melodies of longing for a god lost to the night to return, yet fast enough for a dance to be performed to it. A few couples were already twirling around the dancefloor.

A feast of winter food was constantly being updated as people were ravenous at the beginning of the longest night of the year.

A coven of witches entered, close allies of the Phoenix, Jace had been to visit them many times within the mortal capital closest to them. They didn’t exactly boost the strongest magical power yet they could be relied upon when needed. He greeted and welcomed each of them.

A clan of Phoenix from far further south entered, their deep skin and vibrant blues complimented perfectly. They had found the trip to be a long and arduous one yet they were happy to share the night among the apex of the Phoenix community.

Finally a guest note worthy enough to move his parents entered. A witch holding a lot of magical power.

Lynn and Jace both collectively relaxed. A knowing smile was shared between them.

Jace’s eyes scanned the crowd. It was becoming so much more thick and he still could not spot Momoka and the other werewolves within it.

“Don’t worry she’s in there somewhere,” Lynn whispered.

“Do you think she’s going to enjoy the solstice?” he asked.

“It’s a lot of fun, despite the more tedious parts I also usually enjoy myself,” Lynn said.

Thariel entered, his hair tied back in braids that seemed almost like a net across his back. His large frame was decorated in fine lace and crisp whites.

Lynn rolled her eyes as soon as she saw him.

Thariel pretty much ignored her as he walked up to Jace. “Another one of these,” he said.

“Yes indeed,” Jace replied.

“Hey you’ve got a hot date this time,” Thariel said with a smirk.

“Hmmmm technically I suppose you do as well,” Jace said, sharing the look on his face.

“What?” Thariel didn’t understand.

“Gross Jace,” Lynn said and marched off.

Thariel’s eyes widened. “Oh yeah I mean by that logic I suppose you have Nikita.”

“I feel like she would hit me if I called her that,” Jace said.

“Yet you called your sister that, shameful behaviour Prince.” Thariel shook his head.

“Lynn can actually take a joke though,” said Jace.

Thariel snorted. “I’m glad its so funny to you, Lynn actually hates me.”

Jace softened. “She doesn’t hate you. She just hates what we have all been born into. Don’t take it personally.”

“Oh the irony,” Thariel mumbled.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

Jace turned his head once again to the crowd in search of Momoka.

Still no sign of her or the Fujimura pack as far as he could see.

Nikita walked passed, for once her hair wasn’t straightened as was allowed to exist in its natural curls. A rare sight. Her clothing was still quite alternative, a mini dress and floral fishnets. It was clear she was trying to put some effort in, in her own way. Still it would cause Pearl and Cassianus to make a complaint, which would mean more lessons on courtly attire.

Jace sighed, where was Momoka?