A couple of things about this “chapter”:
- This is actually only a half-chapter. Photoshop crashed the other night and killed the action I was using on these pictures. I really liked the action and the way it looked on this particular set of pictures, so rather than redo them in a new (and likely inferior) action set, I decided to just release the first half as is.
- This “chapter” uses a loooottt of game dialogue. A lot. Beware.
The unlucky girl awoke with a start, nearly toppling out of her chair.
She was in a strange room, wearing strange clothes, and someone was playing strange music on the piano.
It was a very strange situation, indeed.
One that the unlucky girl wanted no part of.
Sadly, no one had asked her.
“Where did you bring me?”
But the Stoic Prince did not answer; he only played the piano as if though she hadn’t spoke at all.
“What do you want from me?” She asked, feeling numb and fuzzy from the peculiar music. “I…”
“You’re being quite rude, Rainelle,” said the Cold-Hearted Princess from behind her. “Can’t you see that Fricorith needs the practice?”
Suddenly the room was quiet; the unlucky girl watched as the Cold-Hearted Princess joined the Stoic Prince at the piano.
“Good evening, Rainelle. How do you feel?”
The unlucky girl tried to answer, but her voice failed her.
“Let’s have a little chat, shall we?”
The unlucky girl groaned miserably.
“Rainelle, you know you’ve been a bad, bad girl.”
The unlucky girl did not quite agree, but felt much too frightened and overwhelmed to say so.
“And bad girls need to be punished, don’t they?”
The Stoic Prince would not look at her, and he would not look at the Cold-Hearted Princess. Instead, he simply looked bored.
The unlucky girl did not respond; she did not know what the Cold-Hearted Princess wanted to hear, and it seemed most unwise to argue with her at the moment.
“Hmmm,” said the Cold-Hearted Princess to no one in particular. “You still don’t understand, do you? Well, you will soon enough.”
Which sounded terribly ominous to the unlucky girl.
Perhaps it would be easier to simply stay lost…
“Now,” said the Cold-Hearted Princess, growing impatient with her captive’s silence. “I’m going to give you your first order.”
“Every month, you must find a gift and bring it to the Aristocrat Club.”
The unlucky girl did not know what the Aristocrat Club was, but she was too afraid to ask.
“If you don’t, we’ll kill you.”
“Is there anything about this that you don’t understand?”
“Yes?” Cried the Cold-Hearted Princess in disbelief. How daft! What was there for the girl to misinterpret? “Oh, well. It doesn’t really matter what you say, does it? You see, Rainelle, there are really only two kinds of people in this world: those who give orders, and those who take them.”
Suddenly, the Cold-Hearted Princess strode across the room, causing the unlucky girl to flinch as she drew near, anticipating some of the punishment she’d already been promised.
But the Cold-Hearted Princess merely moved to stand behind her.
“And from now on, we’ll be giving the orders. Not fair? Well, dear Rainelle, I think you’ll find that nothing’s fair here. You will follow our orders, or else.”
“This is your life, but you’ll play by our rules.”
The Cold-Hearted Princess’s laughter was harsh and bitter and filled the room with its dreadful sound.
“Let the games begin, dear Rainelle,” she cackled, upending the rickety old chair that the unlucky girl had been confined to since waking in the unfamiliar room.
She hit the floor, bones and buttons a-clatter, too startled even to break her own fall. Face first into the old rug she tumbled, where she found herself suddenly surrounded by a thick fog of dust.
Coughing weakly, she was only just able to catch a final glimpse of the Prince and Princess as they scampered away, down the dark hallway and out of sight.