The old castle sat upon striking hillsides. Lac d’Asti yielded its most precious secrets when the druids erected this castle two hundred years ago, raising this impeccable monument from nothing but faerie dust and human blood. More impressive yet, the amount of blood needed was adequately backordered within two months.
The princess, blonde tresses thrown back in the resounding wind, was in a rush. She walked on impossibly high heels, and donned an olive dress salaciously cut just above the ankle.
“Monseigneur Ariadne!” She halted at the mention of her name. “What a coincidence!”
“Monsieur Leroy!” A face she had not expected. The second son to the Duke of Bourbon, Leroy was amongst many typical noblemen, in his twenty something, to always inexplicably run into her during her morning commute to class. “Though I value the sentiment, I really must be on my way, for I’m already quite behindhand in the study of oppression.”
“Ah, I apologise for holding you up.” He retreated in dismay, tail tucked between his legs.
Ariadne rapidly carried on. Within her harboured an ounce of guilt, for it was spell class she was late too. However, someone of Sir Leroy’s stature would not respect the ability to turn rodents into frogs, as much as the ability to treat common folk as lesser and feel good about it. Only then did she recalled that Leroy was also in her class, and he would be heading this way as well. Rushing, she did not notice the steep rocky steps leading to the higher levels. Her right heel was caught with a bump, and she inadvertently fell backwards, legs still together and hands crossed on her chest.
“Monseigneur Ariadne!” Impeccable timing. “Are you alright?”
“I’m only a little hurt.” She laid there, waiting for help.
“This would not do!” Leroy, his index finger raising vigorously, proclaimed, “I shall find the builder responsible for these malicious stairs, and have him beheaded. Do not worry, I shall do my best to preserve your honour.”
He soon disappeared from sight, chest full of pride. “No one humiliates la princesse and gets away with it!” were his last words.
Sighing, Ariadne picked herself up. Her clothes were sullied beyond belief, and her footwear rendered unusable. This meant that she needed to take a bath and change, which would set behind her daily schedule by at least five hours. She silently wept, thinking of all the scolding her mother will give, and all the fun magic she would miss. At least she could still attend the public whipping later, Ariadne consoled herself. She also broke her ankle, but that was of minimal concern.
“Alice”, she bellowed.
“Votre Majesté!” Her servant, no more than seventeen years of age, appeared from across the hall, dressed in a stained apron, and ran barefoot towards her downed mistress. “What is wrong?”
“It would appear I can no longer walk.” Ariadne gave the best melodramatic expression she could muster, and her contour shifted in utter intentional helplessness. “I need your help.”
“Of course!” Alice swept the princess into her arms, carefully easing her right shoulder to not hit the swollen ankle. “Your orders?”
“Order me a healing potion, but don’t call the druids, theirs taste like newts.” Alice was fully focused on taking mental notes. “Call Tiresias instead, and ask for chocolate flavour.”
The servant nodded in acknowledgement, prompting a smile from Ariadne. Maybe today wasn’t going to be so bad after all.