Raina sat gratefully behind the Tigress Zither she had come to love. Each movement she made was careful and calculated, her focus fully applied to every note. Her lips sang the song from memory every note matching that wich her hand brought to life. There was hardly a difference between her hands and voice and the song her teacher had played.
There was a awe in the crowd as the quiet, shy princess debut her abilities for them to hear. Clovis was shocked, his eyes darting to Kyera who stood near her own zither to rescue the princess if she stumbled or lost her place. Yet it was clear there was nothing to worry about as the child finished her song and set the Zither down on the stand beside her.
"Thank you." Raina bowed her head before rising to her feet and gliding back to her grandmother's side. The Empress was repressing tears as her grand daughter looked up at her, eyes hopeful. "Did it please you, Empress?" Raina asked a hint of nervousness as she tried to read Eve's complex emotions. The compliments her father was being showered with from the ladies here hardly mattered. They had all been so mean, their words only proved their two face manners.
The ladies and their escorts were showering Clovis with praise for his brilliant daughter. He was brilliant to teach his daughter such a elegant instrument that played to her talents. Yet, he didn't take the credit, honestly focused on the woman who had given his daughter a reason to feel confident.
"You played wonderfully, Raina dear. I have never heard that song played so heavenly. You have much to learn, but you have a talent little one!" Eve assured her, her eyes glowing with pride. Raina beamed as well and curtsied to her.
"As long as you are pleased, Empress. I will continue my studies." she agreed openly offering her obedience. The Empress smiled proud of her granddaughter, especially seeing the look on a few of the disrespectful older women's faces. she had always known Raina was a treasure, but now they were forced to see it as well.
Kyera finished thanking the musicians as Alexi approached her with a knowing grin. "That was pretty thoughtful of you. What you did for my niece, Lady Kyera." Alexi praised as he came to stand beside her.
"I did very little. Princess Raina has a gift better than my own. She will be a amazing musician if given the chance." Kyera replied smiling, eyes gentle and warm. Alexi nodded.
"Yes, but without you she would never have had the courage to play so publicly. You have no idea how much good that would do for her reputation." Alexi added and Kyera shook her head, raising her hand to stop him. He seemed surprised by the sudden royalness of that gesture.
"I did not do this for her reputation or your social circles impression of her. I think your society puts too much pressure on little children's shoulders and would never guide her to fulfill such ignorant requirements." Kyera replied firmly. There was a fire in her eyes that warned him she was serious and sparked his curiosity.
"Then why did you do it?" Alexi asked feeling he had to now.
"Raina was losing her self confidence. These people talked badly about her, comparing her to others. I needed to give her a way to fight back without resorting to childish games. I let her prove to herself she could do it. If they changed their opinions or her family is proud of her, that is only a bonus to me. What is important is her knowing to be sure of herself." Kyera replied honestly. Her heart and soul bare in her voice as well as her previous annoyance at those cruel women who had damaged the child to begin with.
"You sound like a mother defending her daughter, you know." Prince Alexi pointed out with a wide grin. To his surprise, Kyera didn't deny it, but her cheeks turned pink.
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