CH 4: GLARES OF HATRED
After the prince’s bold declaration of his love and his proposal, the ball had ended. The ball’s purpose was to find a bride for the prince, and the bride had been found. As a result, there was no reason for the ball to continue. I could practically feel the burning hate within the girl’s glares. Slowly women of all ages trickled out of the castle, giving in to the crushing sense of defeat that they had felt. The part was over, and once more, I was alone. Well, not completely alone. The prince was by my side. My whole life, I had been alone, isolated, and I slaved away for my adoptive family, but now, I had a new place to belong. I guess this too was thanks to the wish that I had made. We spent the next quarter of an hour just looking at each other, examining each other. After the party had ended, we were unusually solemn. After I felt that too much time had passed, I decided to ask the prince.
“Hey, are you sure I’m okay to you? There were a lot of prettier people, and a lot of people with higher status as well…” I said cautiously. I wondered if the magic would suddenly end, I wondered if he would suddenly come to his senses and kick me out of the palace, but that didn’t seem to be happening.
“That doesn’t matter. The moment I saw you, I knew that you are the one.” The prince replied with a smile on his face and used present tense. I was sure the magic had indeed taken influence. He saw me and knew that I was the one? How superficial did that sound? Regardless, I was happy. For the first time since my parents had been executed, I felt that someone actually loved me. It was something to rejoice over, surely it was. He seemed to sense that I was still unsure, that I was unconfident about myself. The prince then moved forward, coming closer to me and then wrapping his arms around me gently embracing me. He then lifted my chin and brought his face even closer to mine. In return, I leaned myself toward him as if it were a natural thing to do, and again our lips touched. The gentle touch reassured me, something about it just felt “right” to me, but it too was probably a product of the magic. Regardless, I was happy. Once our lips parted, he spoke to me in a gentle tone. “I’m sure you’re tired so we’ll go into the details of the marriage tomorrow, such as when we hold the ceremony and other such things. Until our marriage, we’ll have to sleep in separate rooms.”
Finishing his sentence, the prince snapped his fingers and called one of the maids over. The prince instructed that maid to guide me to one of the various shower rooms in the palace, as well as provide me with anything that I might need for the night, and then guide me to my temporary room. It seemed that royalty were to live pious lives, and that was what the prince intended. I had no objections of course. After having showered and changed into the nightgown that the maid had provided me, I lay down on the softest, most comfortable bed that I ever had. However, that was quickly interrupted.
The world had begun to transform rapidly. The comfortable bed that I had just lain myself in was no more and the world around me was suddenly dark. It looked very similar to the world of the witch that I had been in before; there were however, several differences. The previous world’s scenery contained items that were used for childcare. The items had been very disfigured and had an evil aura about them; they had definitely not been suitable for children. Some of them would probably have given children nightmares for a few days at least. This world was different. It was just as dark, but the scenery was composed of orchestras playing. In those orchestras, one could only see the instruments and not the players. It was like in those horror stories where one would wander into a music room and hear the piano being played but never see who played the piano. This however, was a lot scarier, possibly because of the dark and demonic aura that the world seemed to emanate.
I now instinctively looked at my left hand. There was a ring on my left hand’s ring finger. I then remembered that they had mentioned something about a soul gem. As soon as I focused myself on those words, I found that the ring had disappeared and then now in my palm was a soul gem. Concentrating on the glowing object within my hand, my attire disappeared from my body. My body was then covered in a blinding light. The light wrapped around me and seemed to compress itself, forcing it to become a solid. The light condensed around my hands the fastest forming white gloves with red outlines. The ring was back on my forefinger by the time the gloves had materialized. Next seemed to be my top, it was a white and red top, and next up was a red skirt. Systematically proceeding down my body, the light condensed around the lower half of my legs next. White stockings appeared, and then, came red slippers. It seemed that the transformation was nearing completion. I lifted my right hand and held it in front of me. The hilt of a rapier appeared and I instinctively grabbed for it. The blade of the rapier was long and there was a bright red gem bridging the handle and the blade. The gem was of a similar color to my soul gem. Having grabbed the rapier, a red cape formed overtop of my shoulders. It was a long cape, stretching down almost to the back of my knees. The transformation sequence had ended.
It seemed that I would have to fight in close-quarters. Personally, I was fine with this. It seemed that all of the physical labor that I had down would finally have a use! After slaving away in the farm for so long, I had developed physical strength and stamina. That would certainly help in my fights.
Holding the blade in my hand, I struck at a floating violin that was coming toward me. Being a rapier, the only type of attack that it was capable of was the thrust, so that was what I did. Rapidly thrusting the blade forward, the rapier made contact with the floating violin. Piercing the violin easily, my rapier continued through until the tip burst through the other side. The violin then exploded. Having apparently noticed and marked me as a hostile being, the world sent new creatures at me, seemingly testing my strength. There were many more of the floating violins. Following suit though were disfigured ballroom dancers, mostly female. I was soon surrounded by the female dancers, and realized that the situation seemed very similar to the situation in the ballroom just before. The disfigured dancers seemed to stare at me with contempt. They were angry; they may have even hated me. I felt that this was too much to be a coincidence, so I decided to ask the cat like being that I saw earlier if I ever met it again. For now though, I needed to fight. The dancers approached me from all directions. I wasn’t sure how I could fight all of them at once, but I had to do something.
Recalling the blonde girl’s fight with the witch that I had previously witnessed, I wonder if I too could spawn multiple swords. Imagining several rapiers, I realized that those rapiers were now floating beside me. Stretching my right hand forwards, the rapiers flew, piercing and obliterating the dancers that they came in contact with. Suddenly I wondered if I could change the sword that I had in my hand. The rapier was a deadly weapon, great for one-on-one engagements. When the enemy was in a massive mob though, that changed. Thrusting was single target. Rapiers unfortunately, could not be swung to hit many targets. Bringing my left hand to the hilt, I tried to imagine a different blade style. The blade quickly changed according to my thoughts. The base of the blade was fatter and wider now, and the blade had become longer. The tip was pointy, and the edges of the blade were sharp. This blade could be swung. Because the blade had become bigger and longer, I had thought that it would have been heavier. In truth though, the blade’s weight was actually no different from before. I quickly decided that this was due to the assistance of magic.
Dashing forwards, I formed several more rapiers to my left and my right. Magically, I propelled them forwards to meet the opponents in front of me. The rapiers pierced the disfigured dancers as if they were paper, after making contact and piercing its target, the rapier disappeared. I held the blade low and continued to charge forwards. I held the blade low, and had the handle in a tight grip in both of my hands. Approaching another dancer, I swung the blade upwards diagonally going from the left to the right. Slashing through that dancer, the witch decided to show itself. The witch was in the general form of a ballerina. The face of the so-called ballerina was however, definitely not human. The body was discolored and very strange. To human standards, the ballerina looked deformed, mutated by unknown forces. Undaunted, I felt that I knew what I needed to do. Concentrating on the magic that was emanating from the red ring on my left hand’s ring finger, I concentrated the magic and allowed it to cover my blade. The magic seemed to flow out onto my blade. It was hard to control, but I managed to cover my blade in my magic. It glowed a beautiful red. I then spoke words that were unfamiliar to my mouth. They were words of a different language; they seemed to be incantations for the spell that I had just used.
After uttering those words, I rushed forward and swung my blade at another ballerina. As I did, a crescent of red energy was projected outwards from my blade, cutting through ballerinas and violins behind the one that I had physically cut. It seemed that I could use my magic to project my attacks. After another swing however, I realized that it was not a good idea to release the crescent waves too much, as releasing them seemed to cost me a lot of my energy. With training, it was probably possible to control the amount that I released with each swing, but at the moment, I couldn’t control it. It seemed that I had two options, to either release whatever was released, or release nothing and just perform a melee strike.
Deciding to conserve my energy, I rushed forward to the closest enemy. Concentrating on the blade and keeping all of the energy where it was, I swung, this time vertically from above to down below. As the sword hit the ground, I pushed off the ground using my feet and launched myself into the air. Aiming for the witch that floated above the mass of dancers, I swung my sword and launched a crescent of red energy at it. The ballerina witch easily dodged to the side, spinning on one foot’s toes as ballerinas often did. Knowing I had to corner it before I could do a move that was truly draining, I sent multiple more crescents all in different angles and vectors. The ballerina began moving once more to avoid the attacks, concentrating on avoiding whatever it could. It began to spin over to the left, so aiming my next attack at the area just ahead of it; I spoke another string of incantations.
“Flame of the Divine”
The energy that had surrounded the blade of my sword began to converge at the tip. The excess energy streamed off of the tip of my sword and seemed to extend the blade of the sword. Later however, that stream of energy completely left the sword. The energy formed itself into a gigantic see-through red sword. The sword pierced what seemed to be the heart of the witch, and the world vanished. I began falling down back to the earth at an accelerated pace. I had jumped, gravity had been pulling me down, but the force of releasing the sword pushed me back faster. Unfortunately, I was too exhausted to do anything about it. As I plummeted towards the floor, I felt myself land in someone’s arms rather than on the cold hard floor. I struggled to open my eyes and I found myself looking at the blonde magical girl that I had met just a few hours ago. She spoke softly and gently, comforting me, complimenting me.
“Good job, you did well.” I could see the girl bring a black orb to the soul gem that was strung around my neck. I perceived the black orb to be a grief seed. With my soul gem purified, the battle over, and my body drained of all energies, my attire quickly changed back to the nightgown that I had been wearing before, and I slipped into sleep. It seemed that my life would get infinitely busier when I awoke.