Minjeong stepped through the tall gates of the Truillion Palace with her older sister Seulgi. The princess of the nation, Yoo Jimin, was having a ball to celebrate her twentieth birthday, and all Lords, Ladies, Dukes and Duchesses were invited. Minejong was meant to meet her friends from her county, Aeri and Ryujin, but they were running late, so she just had to stick around with Seulgi and her girlfriend. Their parents had told them not to interfere with the Royal family when they arrived, so they just curtseyed and entered the ballroom, which was around the back of the Palace. The King and Queen were not involved in the planning of the ball, obviously, as many of the drinks offered were alcoholic, and everyone could see that the Princess had drunk more than a few. Despite that, Minjeong thought Jimin was a great dancer. After a while (a while which consisted of talking to Hyunjin and his twin sister, Jimin’s maid, Yeji), Ryujin, Aeri and Aeri’s friend, Sakura, arrived. They were in similar dress to Minjeong and Seulgi, gowns and high heels, which proved very tricky - and uncomfortable - to dance in. A candle flickered next to them as Aeri launched herself at Minjeong, and, being weak as she was, Minjeong failed to catch her. Fortunately, a woman near them happened to be close (and strong) enough to grab Aeri by the waist, and pull her up to her feet. Minjeong's friend brushed herself down, and met the woman's eye, whilst Minjeong just looked curiously between them. "Do you know her? Sakura hissed into Aeri's ear, and she shook her head slowly, seemingly captivated by the woman's gaze. Even in the dimmed lighting, Minjeong could see that she had bright red hair, something unusual in the seemingly mundane cities of their realm. "Thank you. I'm Aeri." Aeri finally managed to open and speak, and the woman was still for a moment, and then smiled, holding out her hand for Aeri to shake. "Ning. Ning Yizhuo. I'm one of Kari- , er, the Princess's ladies-in-waiting." Minjeong frowned. She wasn't aware that Jimin had any other name than, well, Jimin. She guesses that she was wrong, now that she figures out why Ning stopped herself. "I'm Sakura, and these are Ryujin and Minjeong. Mind Minjeong, though, she's a little shy at times *here Minjeong glared at Sakura*. Thank you again for rescuing Aeri - she can be clumsy," Sakura grins at Ning, and Minjeong tries to smile, even though she knows that they shouldn't be casually talking to a lady-in-waiting. Aeri seems to have noticed too. "Oh my goodness, er, do we c-curtsey or - or what?" she stutters, and Ning laughs lightly, slapping Yeji's arm. Minjeong then realises that Yeji must be a lady-in-waiting too. Minjeong's eyes catch Seulgi talking to Irene, and she is glad that they found each other because, just like Minjeong herself, Seulgi is very awkward around strangers. "No, it's alright." Ning sees Sakura's worried face. "Really, Sakura." She smiles again. "I like to make friends rather than acquaintances." And for once, Minjeong understands her, and decides that she is really going to like Ning. "Me too," she says, and Ning turns to look at her. "So, Minjeong, right?" Minjeong nods, sheepish, and Ning bites her lip. "The Princess has heard of you. She delivered your invite to your house herself. Went to a lot of trouble." That really confuses Minjeong, and she glances, puzzled, at Aeri, who shrugs and raises her eyebrow, teasing her. "Oh, just go away." Minjeong hisses, and Aeri complies, sealing her lips shut and turning to Sakura. "Do you know why that might be?" asks Minjeong politely, and Ning shrugs. "Some of her closest friends, such as me, should know, but she didn't tell anyone. Yeji and I got dragged along, of course, but we couldn't disagree." Music starts playing from the piano in the corner, and people flock onto the dance floor. Minjeong shrinks into the corner as Aeri is swept away by Ning, Ryujin by Yeji, who had been talking to her away from the group, and Sakura finds her crush Chaewon, and stalks away with her. Happy by herself, Minjeong sits herself down and quietly rejects an offer of wine from the waiters shuffling uncomfortably around the ballroom. Most of the guests have arrived by then, and the guards outside close the ballroom doors with a loud thud, which, suprisingly, nobody notices. A click of high heels approaches, and Minjeong turns her head towards the sound. A woman appears from the dark, tall and slim, and Minjeong doesn't realise who it is until hands grasp her around the waist and pull her off her chair. "Your Majes-" begins Minjeong, but a hand is clasped over . "Jimin." demands the figure in front of her. Minjeong bows her head unsurely, as Jimin takes her arms from around her. "I noticed you saved some of our soldiers from the war in Sollei. You have mine and my family's gratitude; you may have lead us to victory." Minejong shyly shakes her head in modesty, but Jimin places a long, feminine hand on her bicep. "Really." She pulls Minjeong closer. "Will you dance with me? Only if you want to, of course." asks the Princess. "Do I want to?" retorts Minjeong slyly, a side of herself she has never used before. "I know you do." Jimin winked. And with that, the Princess of the nation and the shy Duchess of Sollei took to the dance floor. Together.