A/N: If you're wondering why it took so long to publish, I am now back in school (XC) and it's been taking up way too much time. And also, I get my fic betaed (or however u wanna say it) and she hasn't been able to look over it, cuz she's also in school.

Disclaimer: Princess Debut is not mine. Sorry :C

Chapter 8:

I headed up to my bedroom and closed the door. One thing was on my mind: the dance competition. After leaving Practice Hall, I felt totally confident and ready for it. It might have been dancing with Luciano that made me feel that way.

I opened my wardrobe to look for something to wear. Surprisingly, there were no other magical accessories except for a special spot for the Royal Tiara. Some dresses hanging there were too casual, some were too girly, and others were just plain weird. The shoes were a different story. All of them were high heeled, and there was no way I would use them to dance. I closed the wardrobe doors, uninterested.

Is there anything comfortable I can wear? I thought and sat down at the edge of my bed. I've been wearing this poufy dress nearly every day, but it's still kinda itchy…

My eyes wandered around the room until I saw a black mannequin neck on my dresser. I walked up to it in curiosity and noticed that a small necklace hung around its neck. It had tiny, dark blue beads and a sky blue seashell hanging down the center. A note was placed next to it. It read:

Dear Princess,

I saw this in the market and decided to buy it for you. It's a present from me because you took the time to actually learn the Waltz. You also look a bit down, so I hope this cheers you up!


P.S. If you don't know where the dance competition is at, it's going to be at Dance Hal. It's right next to Practice Hall. I'll see you there!

"Thanks." I said aloud. I took off the Royal Tiara and picked up the delicate necklace. When I put it on, I was wearing a sleeveless, light blue dress that reached down to my knee. I had white, elbow high gloves; except the weird thing about them were that they left my hands uncovered. My shoes were pale blue, open-toed heels, only centimeters off the ground. My brown hair was down, slightly curled at the ends.

Wow… I thought, breathless. I look… pretty good…

I took off the necklace, put it back on the mannequin, and put on the Royal Tiara. With something to wear for the dance competition, I skipped happily to Dance Hall.

"No! I said put the banner over there!" Kip shrieked.

I saw four small flying mice sigh and move a white banner to the place where Kip wanted. Servants of rushed around, placing decorations everywhere. Cats in maid outfits were cleaning red curtains, probably for the stage up front. Dogs in butler outfits were up on ladders, hanging different colored flowers on the pillars. Dozens of tiny flying mice were dusting hard to reach places, such as the ceiling and above the stage.

"You're doing a great job decorating, Kip!" I commented and he turned around to face me.

He gave me a huge smile, and flew over to where I was. "Thank you, Princess! Nothing plain, shabby, or boring when I decorate! I am the best at decorating!" he put his tiny hands on his hips.

"The best? Or the bossiest? Is that why those four mice holding the banner over there glaring at you?" I pointed behind him to show him that their eyes were narrowed.

Kip turned around and the four mice immediately whipped their heads in another direction. "They're just jealous!" He laughed and tuned back around to face me again.

I rolled my eyes and shook my head. "Whatever…"

"So!" he said. His voice hinted that he was changing the subject. "How's the practice going?"

"Great! I'm so going to win this thing!" I replied.

"And… Who are you going to dance with?" Kip questioned me, raising an eyebrow and grinning. His elbow nudged my shoulder playfully.

"Um…" My face turned red, remembering who my partner was. "Luciano."

"Oooo!" he stretched out the word as long as he could.

"Kip! Stop it!" I hissed.

He chuckled to himself and sat down on my shoulder. "That's good."

"Oh! Thanks so much for the necklace, Kip. It's great!" I picked him up in my hands.

"You like it! You're welcome then!" He flew off my hands and high-fived me.

"Kip!" a cat maid called. "What do I do with the extra fabric?!"

Kip sighed. "Well, I better get back to my job…" He reluctantly went over to where he was being asked for help.

I shrugged my shoulders and exited the building. What do I do now? I decided to go into Practice Hall again. Big Mistake.

When I pushed open the doors, I saw Cesar standing in the middle of the room. I tried to sneak out quietly, but Cesar had already seen me.

"Elizabeth, darling!" he called out.

Great… I sighed and unenthusiastically turned around. "What is it?"

"I knew you would show up sooner or later!" He walked over to me and opened the doors for me to come in.

"Sorry, Cesar… I don't have time for your games…"

"I'm not playing any games with you… What I really want is to dance with my lovely lady!" Cesar said in a sing-song voice. He stroked his pink hair with one hand and looked at me, waiting for an answer.

When was I ever your lovely lady? "Uh… No, I'm good…" I answered.

"But we must! We must dance, so I can show you how much I love you!" he opened his hands, leaning forward to hug me, but I side-stepped him and he fell on his face.

"No way!" I yelled and ran away from Practice Hall.

"Playing hard to get, I see…" Cesar muttered as I ran as fast as I could back to my room.

When I was once again back in my room, I fell on my bed and hugged the pillows around me and pulled the quilt over me.


I shrieked and pushed myself off the bed. I must have fallen asleep because I was under the sheets. I saw Kip at the door.

"Kip! What?" I looked around, confused.

"You're going to be late for the dance competition!" Kip screeched. His chubby face was giving me an angered expression.

"The dance…" I trailed off. I bolted towards the window and saw that the sky was dark. The moon was shining down, and I saw couples walking towards dance hall. "I'M LATE!" I screamed and grabbed my seashell necklace. I threw the Royal Tiara on my bed and hurriedly put on my necklace. In seconds, I was wearing a blue dress. I looked towards my dresser mirror and finger combed my hair. When I was satisfied, I rushed out of my room.

Kip was following me as I ran towards dance hall. Luckily, I made it in a few minutes early, and everyone was just chatting amongst themselves. The circular room seemed more crowded than when I came in earlier, probably because of all the people here. There was a small group of musicians playing on the stage. People with violins, a bass guitar, and a grand piano were all up there being played. White bouquets of flowers occupied the top of the golden pillars and pink curtains adorned the sides of the walls. A big, white banner that read: Flower Kingdom's Dance Competition hung above the stage. The magenta floor contrasted against everything in the room.

I wiped my forehead. "I made it…"

"Princess, is that you?" A voice behind me asked.

"Huh?" I turned around and I saw Cesar standing there.

"I would have been your partner, Princess, but I'm already someone else's…" Cesar frowned.

I crossed my arms and walked past him. "Like I would ask you…"

"I know some day you'll be mine, sweetheart!" Cesar called out after me.

Sweetheart? What a weirdo… I shuddered. I saw Vince, leaning against the wall, looking a little sad. "Um… Vince?"

He looked up at me. "Hi Elizabeth…"

"What's wrong?"

His green eyes avoided my gaze. "I couldn't get into this dance competition because I don't have a partner…"

He looked as if he was about to cry, so I touched a hand lightly on his shoulder. "Have you looked around for anyone?"

"No…" His head fell down from his neck.

Vince looked so sad, that I just had to comfort him. "Well, why don't you go look for one then? You still have time, and probably lots of girls would want to be your partner!" I smiled at him and gave him an encouraging fist pump.

His eyes showed a small glimmer of hope, and he grinned. "That's a great idea! Thanks Elizabeth!" And with that, he skipped away from me.

"That was kinda easy…" Kip muttered.

"Well, at least he's not sad anymore. I always feel bad when I see him like that…" I sighed and went to look around some more. I saw Liam sitting in the audience. He waved at me, so I made my way up to his seat.

"Elizabeth, you're entering the dance competition?" he asked.

I nodded my head. "Why, you're not?"

He shrugged his shoulders. "I don't have a partner. It's fun watching, too."

"I think it's more fun to dance though…" I mumbled.

"Do you have a partner?" Liam looked at me, waiting for a response.

"Uh… Yeah. Luciano." I answered quickly.

"Good luck then!" he smiled and I walked out of the crowded seats.

"Speaking of Luciano, where is he?" I wondered aloud.

"He probably got lost again." Kip snickered to himself, but his smile turned into a frown. "What happens if he can't find his way here?"

I gulped. "Good point…" I dashed out of the room and saw Luciano wandering around Practice Hall.

Kip flew off my shoulder and darted towards Luciano. "Prince Luciano! Dance Hall is right there!" He pointed a tiny finger to the building behind me.

I waved a hand at him. "Hi."

He looked a bit weirded out by Kip's sudden appearance, but he soon forgot about it after seeing me.

"You were lost?" I asked him, with a raised eyebrow.

"No!" he crossed his arms.

"Yes you were!" Kip laughed loudly.

I glared at Kip and pushed him towards Dance Hall. "Just, go inside, Kip!"

Kip obeyed, but I could still hear him giggling the whole way.

I rolled my eyes and focused my attention back to Luciano. "So… Did you do something to look fancy for the competition?"

"…No." He replied.

"So… let's go in then. It'll start soon!" I grabbed Luciano's hand and pulled him inside.

When I entered the building again, all the couples that were going to dance were all sitting in a special space in the audience. Luciano and I silently walked up some stairs entering the seats and we picked a spot to sit in. I noticed the MC at the corner of the stage, readying himself. He had gray hair with curls at the side and he had a small thin mustache. He was wearing a purple jacket with an undershirt covered with ruffles. He wore oval-shaped glasses over his blue eyes. When he finally walked onto the stage, a small round of applause was given to him.

He smiled and started announcing the beginning messages. "Ladies and gentlemen! Greetings to the welcoming dance competition! This dance competition is a warm welcome to the princes and princesses who have traveled here from their kingdoms to participate in the annual Ball in Saint-Lyon! There are many eager faces out there to start, so let's get started! We will start off with Prince Klaus from the Republic of Lamor and Princess Cynthia from the Marine Kingdom!"

The crowd started cheering and clapping excitedly as Klaus and Cynthia entered the middle of the room and waited for the conductor to cue the orchestra to play. When the music started, they started dancing. It felt so… mesmerizing to see them twirl and dance perfectly, both of them on time. They danced the same way they did at the feast. It was just so flawless, no fumbling about it. After those few spellbinding minutes, they held hands and bowed.

I realized I was clapping wildly with the crowd. "They were so good…" I heard myself say. I turned my attention to Luciano to see what his thoughts were, but he only raised an eyebrow. I stopped clapping and looked down to my lap, embarrassed. It seemed like I was rooting for them, and not believing how good Luciano and I were as dancers. I didn't comment anymore because it made me sound unconfident in our dancing skills.

The MC continued to announce couple after couple to dance. One couple's dance was elegant, but they seemed a little off beat. Another couple made a mistake and the girl dancer ripped her dress. She ran out of the building with her partner in embarrassment.

"And last but not least, Prince Luciano from the Garadium Kingdom and Princess Elizabeth!"

I stood up from my chair and went around the seats. There was a staircase leading down to the dance floor, and I strode towards it.

I stopped abruptly and noticed for the first time how big the audience was. I turned around to face my partner.

"What?" he asked when I looked at him.

I can't do this… There's too many people out there! "Luciano, I can't go down there…" I nervously said.

"What?!" he said again, giving me a shocked look.

Kip flew up behind him. "Princess? What's wrong?"

"Stage fright." Luciano muttered to Kip, but his eyes were staring at me. He seemed upset with my sudden behavior.

I just stood there, looking at Kip then at Luciano and then back again. What should I do? I can't just stand here. Everyone is expecting me to go out there and dance!

"Oh, c'mon now!" Kip grabbed my hand and forced it into Luciano's. A wave of electricity shot up my arm and I couldn't help but turn a little red.

After a few awkward moments, I felt Luciano tug on my hand, and realized that he was leading me down the steps onto the middle of the dance floor.

"Don't look around. Just focus on dancing. Pretend the only people in the room are you and me." Luciano instructed.

I just nodded my head and looked into his honey-colored eyes. When the conductor cued the orchestra to play, I listened to his advice. Just looking at him made the audience seem like they weren't there.

Suddenly, a strange feeling rushed over me. The only thing I wanted to do was start dancing. It was like I wanted to just keep dancing and never stop. As we danced, I felt myself getting lost in the music, and I focused on all the steps and twirls. The feeling remained throughout the entire time we danced.

It took me a moment to realize the song had ended and we were done dancing. The audience gave us a loud round of applause.

"Wow." I breathed. "That was fun…" I noticed that Luciano was staring at me, looking somewhat surprised.

"Elizabeth… I never… You didn't dance like that at practice…" he muttered, his eyes wide with astonishment.

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"The way you danced… It was so—"

Our conversation was cut off by the MC tapping on the microphone. "Ladies and gents, please silence your applause. We're going backstage to decide the winning dance couple, so please just wait a few minutes." The MC shuffled back into the side of the stage.

I turned to face Luciano again. "Ok. What were you say—"

"Princess!" Kip flew over towards me, interrupting what I was about to say. "That was absolutely excellent!"

"Thank you." I giggled and glanced at Luciano. "You were great! Your leading helped a lot! Also, what did you think of my dancing?"

"It was…" he paused. "Beautiful…"

Hearing Luciano compliment me like that made me blush. I started fiddling with my fingers, reluctant to look at him. The only thing I managed to say was, "Thank you…"

Luciano cleared his throat and shook his head. "Um… yeah. We should head back to our seat now…" he rubbed the back of his neck with his hand.

"Ok…" I giggled nervously and followed him back to our seats.

We just sat awkwardly, waiting for the results to be announced. After a few minutes passed, the MC finally came out from the curtains. When the audience saw him, there was an instant shush over them and they focused their attention onto him.

"Alright folks! The results are in!" He pulled out a small scroll of paper and unrolled it. "And the winner of this dance competition is…"

I gripped the edge of my seat and waited anxiously for the winner. The wait was killing me. Other couples around me looked nervous too. One girl in the audience looked like if she didn't get an answer soon, she would go crazy.

"Prince Luciano and Princess Elizabeth!"

I didn't realize that they had called my name until Kip started clapping and cheering. "R-really?"

"Come on down and get your prize!" the MC announced.

Me and Luciano made our way down the steps onto the stage. I was smiling the whole way.

"Congratulations." The MC shook each of our hands. He handed each of us a golden, circular medal that hung off a red ribbon. When I took it in my hands, I saw that the border was a vine with leaves on it. The middle showed a large flower, and layered over it was a couple dancing together.

"And this is a special prize for you, Princess Elizabeth." I was given another item. It was a weird looking piece of neck clothing. At least I think it was. It had a circular opening at the top and two tails of fabric hung out from it. A red ruby shined in the middle of it.

"Congratulations!" the MC said again. "To the winners of this dance competition!" The crowd erupted into cheers and shouts.

I was still trying to figure out what the clothing item was. "What the heck is this thing?" I asked, turning the item around in my hands.

"It's a choker!" I heard Kip exclaim as he flew over towards me.

"Huh?! Excuse me? A-a what?!" I looked at Kip with wide eyes.

"A choker!" he said again. "It's a clothing item you put on your neck."

"Oh…" I giggled nervously. "That's what you mean by choker…"

"Alright, settle down please. I have one more announcement to make." The MC said and the cheering died down. "The King has requested you make your way towards Waltz Castle for a feast. So please head towards the exit with your partner. Thank you all for coming!"

There was one last round of applause and the huge crowd of people got up from their seats. It took a while for Luciano and I to come out since everyone there was trying to get out all at once. Everyone was muttering to themselves about the competition and the upcoming feast.

"That was great, wasn't it?" I smiled and looked over to Luciano, but he just nodded and continued walking.

I thought back to the dance competition.

"What did you think of my dancing?"

"It was… Beautiful…"

I felt my face get red when I remembered Luciano saying that to me. Did he really think that? No… He probably said that because I danced better than I did in practice… But was he really complimenting my dancing… Or…. Me?

A/N: And that's it! I don't know if it's just me, but the end kinda sounded weird... Your thoughts? Anyway, thanks for reading! :D