Author's Note: Hello! I thank you in advance for even clicking on my FanFiction! I have put a lot of heart into planning and writing this story so far, and I really hope that you enjoy it! I am a HUGE Professor Layton nerd, and one of my favourite couples has to be Anton and Sophia from Diabolical Box (or Pandora's Box). It would be greatly appreciated if you left a review and such. I am new to the website and I am very busy, so I cannot guarentee when the next chapter will be up; so stay tuned! I have great plans for the story behind Anton and Sophia! Oh and it is Anton's point of view by the way! Enjoy!
The night was getting dark already. From my open window, I could hear the chatter of people below and the sound of horses trotting away with their carriages. I sighed as I fastened the top button on my dress shirt. Father had only announced just this morning that he would be throwing yet another ball at the castle. He pretended like I still hadn't caught onto his plan, but I knew all too well.
Since my 20th birthday, Father has been urging me to find a wife and settle down. It has been 4 long years of back and forth, parties here and there, Father inviting as many eligible bachelorettes as he could contact. He would usher me into conversations or dance after dance with various women; but the truth was that none of them were genuine. Every young lady I had met thus far were either being un-naturally kind or fawning towards me. That just didn't interest me.
I had just put on my necklace when there was a knock at my bedroom door.
"Come in" I answered hesitantly.
I was facing the mirror to adjust my shirt when I heard the door quickly open and shut, followed by the shuffling of small feet. I sighed in relief when I recognized the steps as not my Father's, but my younger brother Fredrich's. I quickly straightened my shirt collar as he came closer.
"Hm. I wouldn't expect you to be quite ready yet, Anton." Fredrich commented as he came to stand beside me, "You'd best hurry up. You never know; that special lady could be waiting for you in the ballroom!"
I spent a brief silence between us retrieving my long navy jacket off the hook next to my mirror. As I shrugged it on, I glanced at my brother in the mirror. Fredrich, standing not much taller than my hips, wore a small grey vest and matching pants, which were just a few shades away from the black of his hair. The smirk he had on his little face showed that he was still waiting for an answer.
"Oh, don't nag me, brother. Soon enough, Father will be harping on you as well to get a wife!"
Fredrich chuckled as he too checked his appearance in the mirror.
"Well I cannot deny that. But at least I know what I will do with my life. That is, if you still wish to hand the mines over to me.."
Fredrich would always put this decision on me. Since I am the eldest son, Father will pass the owning if the family mines and the title of Duke of Folsense down to me once the time comes. Father will make efforts to have a serious business conversation with me, and I will pretend to be engaged in the topic. I did not want to inherit the mines, and Fredrich was the only one who knew that. He was the son who really wanted to carry on the family business, and he always convinced himself that I would give them to him. Clearly, he didn't know father as well as I did. Father would never allow me to pass the mines down to my younger brother. Even though I wouldn't do it much good anyway, I had to take the mines. I had no choice.
"Besides," Fredrich interrupted my thoughts, "once I -or you- own the mines, Father will have no say in the matter. I hate it when he thinks he can just overrule any opinion I try to include in decision making. I am 18 now, I should have a say as well!"
"I agree." I mentioned as I slipped into my blue shoes. Fredrich could never make ends meet with Father. Both had quite a temper, and when the tension rose, so did the volume of their voices. I acted as the peace-keeper, though I wasn't often successful. Fredrich was about to begin another rant, until I was spared of hearing it yet again by a familiar pattern of hollow knocks at the door.
The knocker did not wait for an answer, but he poked his nose through the open crack of the door. Fredrich and I turned in unison to see Nigel, the Herzen Family Butler, waiting for our attention. Nigel opened the door a tad more so he had room to stand, and then delivered his message to us.
"Master Anton. Master Fredrich. The ball is commencing. The Duke wishes your presence in the ballroom at once."
I sighed again and rubbed my brow. For a moment I contemplated hiding in the castle as far away from the ballroom as I could manage. But if I didn't go now, it would be father coming to get me next time.
"Thank you Nigel. We will be down in a moment." I said back flatly.
Nigel nodded in acknowledgment, and with a glint of his round glasses, he was gone. The door had been left ajar, so the sweet melody of the band and the white noise of multiple conversations drifted slowly into the room.
"Better late than never." Fredrich said under his breath before exiting the room confidently.
Whilst dragging my feet in despair, I began to follow him towards the ballroom.