CH 7: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN
The wedding had ended, and the day slowly progressed. We were now officially married and we were enjoying our time together. Our time as a married couple had just begun. Though we had already become acquainted to one another, something just felt new, something was different. We felt more intimate while talking. Since the day was supposed to be a relaxed day, we were both simply relaxing. I sat on my husband’s bed, and he next to me. His strong arm was wrapped around my body, and my head rested upon his shoulder. The grand bed that we sat on was fitted with beautiful bed sheets fitting for a royal couple. The room was big and spacious and decorated with all kinds of things. There were pictures of past kings who were once princes, and pictures of past queens who were once princesses. Since I too had married into the royal family, it seemed that my picture would one day be on a wall somewhere too. Thinking about that, I felt somewhat strange. Previously, I had little status, and yet with one wish, so much had changed. So much happiness had been given to me. The price was that I would have to combat the witches for the rest of my life, but that did not seem so bad. A life spent fighting for a purpose was infinitely better than a life spent slaving away. Having a pleasant conversation with my husband about how grand the day had been thus far, we decided to end the conversation upon noticing that it was almost time for the wedding’s dinner reception. The prince was needed for some preparations, and I was told to wait.
Once the prince had left, I heard the sound of rushed footsteps. They were not that of a human, but rather an anime. Then, within my mind, I heard,
“Cinderella!” The voice called out, loudly.
“Kyubey?” I responded to the voice within my mind with my own telepathic thought. Kyubey seemed to be the name of the white animal-like being that had granted my wish just a week or so ago. “Is Rapunzel with you?” I asked. They were usually together, but Rapunzel hadn’t greeted me yet, so it seemed that she was not in range to speak to telepathically.
“No. Rapunzel is in trouble! She’s fighting a witch. This one might be a bit troublesome.” Kyubey replied. The words were quite dire, I could tell, but Kyubey’s actual tone and voice were no different from his usual tone and voice. Maybe it was impossible for him to change the tone in which he spoke. Putting that aside, if Rapunzel was truly in trouble, I needed to hurry. I had just felt so happy, I did not want to feel sad now! Pushing myself off of the bed, I hurriedly rushed to the desk that was near the bed. Pulling a piece of paper and a feather, I quickly scribbled the words, “Urgent business came up. I will return as soon as possible. Please begin the reception without me, I will be sure to return. Love, Cinderella.”
“Okay. Lets go help Rapunzel!” I thought, urging Kyubey to guide me to her. The white animal that was Kyubey leaped onto my shoulder, and telepathically gave me directions to where Rapunzel was supposed to be fighting the witch. I ran as fast as I possibly could. Running through the castle corridors, I tried my best not to trip over my wedding dress. Almost tripping over the long white dress, I realized it would be more efficient for me to run in my magical girl clothing. Transforming, my white attire changed into red and white attire. The clothing gave me more space to move. Changing from an awkward jog to a sprint, my feet carried me across the castle’s red carpet and to the front gates. Forcing them open, I left the castle and continued running, following Kyubey’s instructions.
It was possible to go hunting for the witch without Kyubey’s instructions, as my soul gem would react when I neared a witch. It would blink and then glow as I got closer and closer. It was like playing a game of hot and cold. However, the situation needed me to find the witch and Rapunzel as fast as I possibly could. As I continued my rushed sprint, the sun began setting. The sky began to dim and the sun slowly disappeared beyond the horizon. As the sun moved lower and lower beneath the horizon, my worry increased infinitely. Trying to keep myself as calm as possible, I continued running. Rapunzel might have been my first friend, I had to hurry, and I had to help her. She had decided to take over my witch hunting duties for the day so that I could enjoy my wedding, and yet now this was happening! I prayed that I would make it in time. Arrive in the nick of time, arrive like a gust of wind, and arrive in a heroic manner like how it was supposed to happen, like how I wanted it to happen. And then, as the sun shone its last rays, I found Rapunzel. Her body was embedded in the grass. Other than slight movements from breathing, she was completely still. I realized that she was probably tired from the long hard battle.
“Cinderella…?” I heard faintly in my mind. It seemed that she was still conscious, I was glad. The witch was nowhere in sight, it seemed that Rapunzel had won the battle.
“Rapunzel!” I exclaimed within my mind excitedly. Making a last stretch forwards towards her, the first thing I noticed was a crimson red. Seeping out from her sides, trickling from the various wounds on her body. The area around her body was soaked in the red liquid, making the green grass a bloody crimson. On some blades of grass, the blood had already dried, making the area with blood an ugly brown. Rapunzel must have been lying there for a long time; in fact, it was a miracle that she was still alive. Realizing how dire it was to give her body treatment, I rushed forwards and moved my hands to lift her up. As I did so however, Rapunzel screamed,
“Get… away! Get away from here, Cinderella…!” Before I could ask her why or what she had meant, her body began shaking violently. Her arms, her legs, her entire body shook. More blood spilled from her wounds due to the sudden violent motions. Rapunzel’s body shook as if Rapunzel was trying to prevent herself from exploding, trying desperately to stop something from happening.
“What’s going on? Rapunzel?” I asked the question desperately, but it seemed that she was in too much pain to form a reply. As she continued to shake, she shrieked loudly showing how painful her body actually felt. The loud shrieks continued, and soon, I saw Rapunzel’s soul gem rise up. Floating mid-air, the soul gem was pitch black. A thick grimy black substance covered the usual bright glow. It was the impurities that accumulated when magical girls used magic. I knew the sight all too well, and yet, I had never seen so many impurities stacked upon one another all at once. Rapunzel had used a lot of her magical power to defeat the witch. As I looked at the floating soul gem however, the soul gem exploded. Once the soul gem had disappeared, Rapunzel stopped shaking. I mentally called out to her a few more times, but I realized that she was dead. I was quickly hit by the realization of why the stone had been called a “soul gem”. It was a soul gem because it was a gem that contained my soul. At some point in the process of becoming a magical girl, I had ceased to be human. My soul had been transferred from my body to a stone. Before my mind could process the death of my friend and the loss of my own humanity, before I could even shed a tear, a huge explosion hit me.
The massive amounts of impurities were released from the soul gem when it had shattered. The impurities had been compressed to fit within the soul gem, but now free from their prison, they expanded at will. The rapid expansion created an explosion. The rupture pushed me backwards and off of my own feet. Tumbling backwards, I landed on my back. The grass underneath me cushioned my fall. Tears formed from both of my eyes, and as they trickled slowly down my cheeks, the scenery around me transformed. It was a maze; a maze had been created, so that meant that there was a witch nearby. My mind slowly pieced the parts of the puzzle together, when magical girls reached their limit—when they expended the magical capacity that their soul gem allowed, they transform into witches, the very thing that they fought.