"Chauncy DeFord kept his eyes trained on his surroundings and his back to the wall as gaily attired people floated past him. His vantage point gave him a view of most of the hall. His senses were engaged at every level for this was a most perilous situation—this was a court ball.
It was his second visit to court in his four and twenty years, and the atmosphere was far more festive than it had been on his previous visit. The celebration of the Crown Prince’s marriage, a month previous, was still ongoing in his and his new wife’s absence. While the bridal couple was on honeymoon, the noble youth of the kingdom continued to flock to the court in search of romance and adventure."
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