"I don't want to wear that!" both Abels yelled at the same time. Seth held up two suits with similar styles the only difference was the color. "I refuse to wear anything remotely similar to what he's wearing!" They pointed at each other then turned to glare in each others eyes, when both of their fingers jabbed the other in the chest. "What was that for? You did it first! You poked me too! Did not!" They turned back to Seth, "I'm not wearing that."
"Then go look for your own suits!" Seth ordered. They were currently in a store that sold expensive clothing. Esther and Leon had already picked out their clothing and masks. Asthe already had her own ball dress and Seth, well she was the empress. Of course she had an appropriate dress to wear. Now the only two who still needed something were Nightlord and Nightroad.
"This is dumb," Nightlord grumbled. "I have enough trouble just wearing these clothes you've given me! Look at this, they have golden strings woven in through it!" He held up his hand and pointed to the sleeve.
"In Tres language, they restrict my movement and so they are a nuisance ," Nightroad said, earning a chuckle from Esther and Leon.
"Besides, I don't even know how to dance!" the two silver heads exclaimed. "And I really don't think I can sit around doing nothing until the ball ends."
"I know for a fact that you can both dance. And you won't be sitting around doing nothing. We've already accepted Lord Walsh's invitation so we need to go. Plus Cain wants us to go, if we don't we could be putting everyone else in danger."
"I'll wear the dumb suit."
"So you two don't care if they're the same?" Esther asked. "A minute ago y-"
"It's fine, at least the color is different," they said.
"Finally," Seth exasperated. She quickly purchased everything before they could change their minds.
Asthe looked at their small group as they left the store. "How are we going to partner up? I understand it's a masked dance, but I would rather not dance with someone I don't know. Especially with the orden involved."
"I agree," Seth said. "And I have already decided who's going with who. Father Leon and Esther will be together." Leon smiled wickedly at this information and put a hand on Esther's shoulder. "Nightlord will go with you, and Nightroad with me."
"What, but he's a priest! Your dance partner shouldn't be him!" Asthe said, shaking her head. "You should take Nightlord and I'll take Nightroad."
"Is that really a good idea?" Seth asked. She looked up at Asthe and looked as if she had aged by hundreds of years. "With everything that has come to light, you still don't trust Nightroad. If anything happens you two will most likely be together, and I don't want you two arguing in any life threatening situations. Besides they are the same person in the end so it's fine. I'll take Nightroad."
"Am not! He's nothing like me!" the Abels yelled.
"See?" Seth smirked. The silver heads had proven her point for her. She glanced at them to see them whispering to each other. It was most likely another argument.
Guests began streaming into the palace. About half of them had dates while the other half arrived by themselves or with friends. Some of the younger Nobles were using this masked dance to dress out of character and find their dance partner who also wore masks.
Seth had decided it would be best for them to arrive at the ball at different times. She and Nightroad had already entered and Esther and Leon had gone after them. Now all that was left was Nightlord and Asthe.
"Shall we?" Nightlord offered Asthe his hand and gave a slight bow.
Both his and Nightroad's suit were a brilliant white. The vest underneath was grey. The only difference where the streams of gold and blue silk that lined the cuffs and pants. Nightroad wore gold while Nightlord had blue.
Asthe took Nightlord's hand and he stood up to his full height. Her dress matched Nightlord's suit almost perfectly. Her dress was sky blue and layered so it puffed up around her hips, but not so much as to make it hard to maneuver around crowds. Her sleeves had double ruffles and left her shoulders bare. She topped it off with a small pearl necklace.
Nightlord led Asthe into the hall. Just like planned he made sure to find a seat next to the table's Seth and Esther were sitting at. Leon had already whisked Esther away onto the dance floor and Seth had somehow found a way to convince his other self to dance with her.
Sighing Nightlord took off his coat and hung it nonchalantly over the back of a chair. "Would you honor me in a dance?" he asked. He really didn't want to, but if he just sat down it would be seen as rude.
"I'd be honored," Asthe replied. She took his hand and they both began dancing to the beat of the music. They didn't miss a beat and they were in total synch with each other. They soon found a pattern and didn't even bother stopping when the songs changed or when they sped up.
As they danced people began backing away from them to watch in awe. Soon they were the only ones who were still dancing besides Nightroad and Seth. Nightlord and Nightroad locked eyes, both mentally telling the other they hated this and really wanted the song to end.
"Want to take this up a notch?" Seth whispered. As crusniks and methuselah they all heard her.
"What do you have in mind?" Nightlord whispered back. Weren't they trying to keep a low profile? Wasn't that why they entered the palace at different times? He just hoped it wasn't anything extravagant.
"Nothing much, just switching partners and a few swings in between," Seth grinned.
"Seth is that really a good idea? We're already sticking out as it is," Nightroad said. Seth rolled her eyes and looked back at Nightlord with begging eyes. Her lower lip was pulled in a pout so it stuck out a little.
"Don't give me that look," Nightlord said.
"Please Abel. I haven't had any fun in centuries, please!"
"Fine already," they both whispered back. "On the third beat then…?"
Around them their audience didn't notice their small chat. They simply continued watching. Even Leon and Esther where watching, both were shocked by Nightroad's sudden gracefulness. A few brave people had started forming a wide circle around them.
Without missing a beat the Abels switched up movements and spun the ladies. There wasn't even pause as the two reached over and switched partners. The movement was so fast that the audience didn't notice the change at first. They continued dancing and after another six beats they swung the ladies to the side in a sweeping motion then brought them back up and caught them, holding them in a pose as the crowd burst into cheers and the song ended.
"Happy?" they both muttered to Seth who simply smiled up at them.
"Very," She replied. "So when did you guys switch?" Seth whispered, she looked up at Nightlord.
"Switch? What are you talking about? We just switched a few beats before the song ended," Nightlord said. His brows furrowed in confusion. He took Seth's hand as he led her back to where Asthe and Nightroad were.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about," Seth rolled her eyes. "I'm your sister. You think I can't tell the difference between the younger you and the older you? Nightroad?"
"Oops," Nightlord said. He was actually Nightroad wearing a wig and had stuffed his hair under it to make it short just like Nightlord's. Nightlord was also wearing a wig that was the exact same length as Nightroad's hair and kept it down instead of in a bow like how Nightroad usually wore it. "Just don't tell anyone yet," he whispered back to Seth.
By now all the nobles including Esther and Leon had filed back onto the dance floor. A few of them without dates looked at Nightroad, Nightlord, Seth and Asthe with jealously, but none of them were brave enough to actually ask for a dance.
"Pretty good for a brat," Nightlord said, taking this act very seriously. He ran a hand through the long hair of his wig. They both moved to stand next to their original dates.
"Could say the same to you, Geezer. Who knew you could be so nimble?" Nightroad shot back. It was a good thing only Seth knew about the little switch.
The two both snickered. It felt odd calling the other by another nickname than the one they usually used. Especially when they were using the name they were usually called by the other. They turned back to the their dates and said in unison, "care for a drink?"
"I'll have wine," Asthe said.
"And you want punch right?" Nightlord asked.
Seth nodded, "we'll be at our tables." The Abel's nodded and left to get the drinks.
Once they were out of hearing distance of the girl they both let out a breath they hadn't noticed they were holding. "Who knew it would be so hard to act like a brat/geezer? It was your idea," they both sighed. "I know. I'm starting to regret it."
"Seth knows," Nightroad added. He looked at the brat. Since the kid was wearing a wig that was the exact replica of his own hair it really looked as though he was staring right at himself, even if he was now wearing a wig with short hair.
"She does? You told her not to tell Astharoshe right?" Nightlord asked worriedly.
"Nope, told her not to tell anyone. Esther's a lot smarter than she looks. She might find out as well so I just told Seth not to say anything," Nightroad said. "She probably thinks its a prank." He grabbed two glass cups and began filling it with his and Asthe's drinks. Nightlord was doing the same for his and Seth's.
"That's fine. Just as long as Astharoshe and Leon don't find out," Nightlord said. If Asthe found out she would end up making a big scene or end up yelling at them when they went back to the ship. And Leon, well he was an even bigger problem. If he knew, he wouldn't even think twice about opening his big mouth and 'announcing' to everyone that they had switched places.
They grabbed the cups and began maneuvering back to their separate tables. Although Seth and Asthe were on different table they both sat so that they were in between the two, and could talk to each other freely.
"… that does seem like him," Asthe was saying as the Abels approached their dates and sat the drinks by them.
"Seems like you two are enjoying yourselves," Nightlord commented, resisting the urge to roll his eyes at what had just come out of his mouth. Instead Nightroad rolled his eyes for him. They had this acting thing down. It wasn't as hard as it seemed.
Nightroad snickered at the 'geezers' discomfort. 'The brat's better at acting than I ever gave him credit for,' Nightroad thought to himself. He grabbed his coat that he had hung on his chair and began slipping the coat on before pulling the chair back to take a seat. He didn't get the chance to sit on it.
Someone's hand suddenly gripped his shoulder and Nightroad turned to look at the owner. The man stood at the same height as him and had light blond hair. His eyes were blue just like Abel's only a few shades darker. He smirked at Nightroad's shock but quickly changed it to an over friendly smile.