Part 42: To Esperance

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           "... For we are going to the wedding at the king's palace." (Cinderella, TheGrimm Brothers )

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                                                                                        -Ruta-

                            

                        Light pouring in from the window stirs me out of a dreamless sleep. I squirm my face beneath the soft covers, resisting life for a few more pointless moments, before I give up and pull the sheets away from my face. The bare ceiling stares wordlessly back at me with gray, stone eyes. One anxious hand pats down the covers beside me. It freezes.

           No Eden.

           I shake my head at the ludicrous thought. Of course there's no bloody Eden. He's where he should be now--out of my hair.

         The sounds of chattering peasants and shuffling feet drag me out of the comfortableness of Father's bed. The sounds remind me of what's happening today: the trip to Esperance.

       There's no time for silly thoughts of blind children. Judging by the roar outside Father's door, it's nearly time to leave my beloved Castle Livor and head to the place where days of relentless planning will finally come to sweet fruition. Revenge is the only thing I will allow to have space in my mind. Nothing else. Not anymore.

       My luscious, red hair goes into the hood of my cloak and my mask gets readjusted to my face. I almost expect Nate to come and wake me, as he's been so keen on doing lately, but the black knight never shows. It seems as if my announcement to participate in the marriage contest was the right thing to do. After a quick glance in the reflective platter on Father's desk, I slip out of the room.

       As soon as I step foot outside of the room, I'm swept up in a overwhelming current of smelly, excited peasants. They press around me, pushing me forward and down the hall, each of us struggling to stay upright in the thriving sea of moving limbs and bags.

         "Watch where you're going," I growl at anyone who dares to touch me, but my words are unheard over the rest of the noise.

        Lively conversations of hope awaiting in Esperance fill what little room is left in the tight hall. One particularly loud man has the audacity to belch by my ear in the midst of his conversation and then laugh. I try my hardest not to gag as I allow myself to be urged forward by the crowd. I have little choice in which direction I want to move; everyone is determined to go forward. Some seem a bit hesitant to be near me. Their frightened eyes regard my mask like a cat approaching a lion. Still, their excitement beats out their fear and I'm subject to their grimy hands as they continue pushing forward through the halls.

           When I was alive and still held claim to my castle, a scene like this would have never occurred. Peasants weren't allowed within my castle's walls unless they were here to serve me until their dying days. Things have certainly changed since my death and not for the better, Nate made sure of that.

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