Despite being in the Juan family for many years, she had never attended an event as grand as this. The family provided the guests with sofas and cushions in the spacious hall for them to rest; there was lavishing food on small tables and carpets for them to dine on with ease. The waiters and waitresses replenished the food as soon as it was depleted to ensure that there were no empty plates and to showcase the host family’s warm hospitality.
She wore a light blue one-piece dress with varying shades of color to match her purple skin. Her neck, deliberately exposed, showed a gemstone necklace, which hung by a simple string. The pink gemstone was roughly half the size of a palm and stood out when placed in front of her.
“Miss, what do you think?”
The girl turned around and had to restrain herself from showing any signs of astonishment. She was barely able to recognize herself in the mirror. She remembered Hassad saying that dresses unveil differences in social classes as well as reveal one’s spirit. Putting on this gorgeous dress felt like putting the real Diana on her, causing her to feel replaced once more.
“Isn’t this necklace too showy?” asked one of the maids in charge of dressing the girl.
“These are the only colors that we have for necklaces with small gemstones… the other colors are too gentle-looking and are unable to show miss’ grandeur.”
“I think too much grandeur is not good. Remember, some of the guests who came here have not yet expressed their political stance. It is not a good idea to provoke them.”
“We must show them her grandeur to gain the guests’ confidence in the Juan family. I think this gemstone is just right.”
“What if we both make a concession and choose this amethyst instead…”
“No, the family head specifically told us not to cover her neck; the diamond chip pendants at the top of this amethyst will do just that.”
The girl frowned as she listened to the two maids going back and forth. She kept looking at herself in the mirror and the dozens of gemstone necklaces on the table. She did not know why the maids had to argue for so long about a mere necklace.
“I think this works,” she said, picking up a necklace that was bright in color but did not steal her thunder.
“This is the cheapest gemstone,” the maid said, looking confused and unable to understand why the girl selected it. “In addition to powerful businessmen, families who gave up the throne war will be attending this event. You do not want them noticing you wearing a cheap gemstone.”
“Well… okay,” the girl said diffidently, deciding to not interject anymore.
The maids went on for another five minutes before finally deciding to go with the initial outfit.
During this time, the banquet had already started. Endless streams of guests had been coming in since the morning. By noon, the representatives of more than 20 families had taken their seats and been entertained by the Juan family couple. As for the girl, her mission was simple: attend the lunch banquet. She was not even required to talk; she merely had to eat the meal and leave. Following the lunch banquet was an afternoon dance party, a dinner, and a series of entertainment activities… Over the course of the day, she was merely required to say ostentatious greetings only when asked by the family head to do so.
She practiced the greetings and different forms of small talk to prepare herself for anything that might transpire. She was nervous; however, she did not know whether it was because she was scared of being exposed, or that she was scared of facing these powerful individuals.