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"He had not seemed a threat at first, even after it became apparent that he was attending the ball as an honored guest. He had no fortune, his face was pleasant but nothing to boast about, and he said not a word about his deeds, though he might easily have done so, with the Queen's medal of honor glittering upon his chest."
She was attending the ball at the palace to dance. That was all. Which made it annoying to face a proposal of marriage from a guard who was distinctly not the sort of man she would ever consider marrying. Certainly not.
It was even more annoying to find that she kept thinking about the man. Why would she want to continue to speak to a guard who rudely implied that she led a frivolous life?
And why oh why were all the balls in the capital suddenly so boring?
This is a side story in the series, but you can read it without having read the rest of the series.
- Part 4 of The Eternal Dungeon