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  1. #1
    Chapter Two: Rescue from the Castle

    Chapter Two: Rescue from the Castle

    Isobel

    Being back in Sonnet City was more overwhelming than Isobel expected. She closed her eyes to try to drown it out a little - but there was no way to stop smelling the familiar air, or to ignore the familiar cobblestones that she could feel with her bare feet instead of seeing. Isobel was even further from being able to squeeze her damaged feet into a pair of shoes now that Willard had re-injured one of them. Walking was difficult enough as it was.

    Isobel pointed to a narrow alleyway with stone walls on both sides.

    "That's where we need to go," she explained. "At the end, one of the stones in the wall is loose, and there's a door to a passage. The problem is getting there. We'll be very exposed, and obviously I can't run. So, are we just going to make a break for it and hope for the best, or does anyone have any better ideas?"

    At least if she was planning and talking strategy, it was a distraction from how her heart was pounding with tension, being back in this city that had once been home, and where she had suffered so terribly.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #2
    Maleficent, Princess Aurora, & Prince Phillip



    Azure's Sonnet City was a place that Maleficent had never been. Until King Henry, she had spent her entire life in the Moors. After him and Stefan, she had spent her life in Perrault, plotting and waiting for revenge. It was odd to be somewhere else. It was odd for Aurora too. She had never been outside of Perrault. Her father had been so worried about the curse, she was barely allowed outside the castle walls. But here she was, in Azure, with her father's enemy. King Stefan would be so angry if he could see her now. Maleficent frowned as she listened to Isobel

    "I don't think hoping for the best is a good idea."

    She admitted, it sounded like a suicide mission to do that. Maleficent was confident in her abilities, but she had no idea how many soldiers served Blanche and she wasn't all powerful. Her power had limits and she wouldn't be able to guarantee she could hold off all their enemies and with Isobel not being able to run, she might not be able to protect her. Phillip nodded his head with Maleficent.

    "I agree. One wrong move and Dinah will be dead before we even reach her."

    "Phillip and I could distract Blanche, though."

    Aurora suggested and Maleficent looked at her.

    "What did you have in mind?"

    "Well, Perrault was under the Sleeping Curse when she got married. My kingdom never officially congratulated her on the union. He and I could go to her and her husband, saying we're here representing Perrault and offering belated congratulations and wedding presents."

    Both Phillip and Maleficent nodded their heads. Distracting the Queen could help in their rescue mission.

    "That could work."

    Phillip said, there were a few perks of being royalty. While Azure's new Queen was cruel, look what she had done to Isobel, surely Blanche's father had taught her some manners on how to treat other royals when they arrived in your kingdom as guests. Especially, when they brought you presents.

    "Is there anything in particular she likes?"

    Maleficent asked Isobel. She could conjure up nice clothes for the couple and a present or two for Blanche and Aden.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 06-14-2019 at 01:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Isobel

    "That's a very good idea," Isobel said.

    Any distraction would certainly help. She wasn't sure if Blanche and Aden were expecting them to attempt a rescue or not, but either way, it would smooth things along if the monarchs' attention was focused elsewhere. And while it would be naive to think they could misdirect every single guard, at least a "state visit" from Perrault would shift the bulk of the attention away from the alley.

    "Blanche is extremely easy to motivate," Isobel said with a wry smile, remembering how she had manipulated Blanche the same way three times in a row before the apple finally took the princess down. "She's essentially a magpie. Anything shiny, or bright, or flashy. It doesn't have to be expensive or even in good taste. Catch her attention with something pretty, and she won't be able to look away. Distracting her is the best way to distract Aden. I don't think there's anything he would want specifically - unless you happen to have a supply of beautiful corpses..."

    Isobel wrinkled her nose a bit at that. She found that aspect of how Blanche and Aden fell in love did not bear thinking about in any detail.

    "But if she's focused on something she likes, he'll be focused on her."

  4. #4
    Maleficent, Princess Aurora, & Prince Phillip



    "I'm glad you think so."

    Aurora said with a smile, happy that the others thought her idea was a good one. She wasn't much of a fighter, Phillip was teaching her self defense, but she had spent most of her life in her father's castle, under his watchful eye. Possibly having to fight enemies on the rescue mission was out of her wheelhouse. But providing a distraction, the princess was confident she could do that. She had been raised a princess and taught how to not only play the role of a hostess but to also know what was expected of a guest in another kingdom.

    Phillip smirked as Isobel wrinkled her nose about Aden.

    "I don't think beautiful corpses would be a suitable present."

    "Probably not. But I think this might do."

    Maleficent replied with a laugh. She used her magic to create a beautiful and very shiny vase full of crystal flowers for Blanche. She created a dagger for Aden that had intricate engravings on it, Perrault was known for their blacksmiths. Diaval had been one when he was still a human. Aurora said the gifts seemed fitting and Maleficent used her magic to wrap the presents and then waved her hand at Aurora and Phillip, using her magic to change their clothes. Aurora was wearing a very formal purple dress of Perrault's style, while Phillip was dressed in a formal dark blue outfit of Ulstead. They looked like they were here for official duty.

    For added measure, Maleficent created a scroll announcing their state visit to appear in Blanche's castle.

    "Let her get mad that someone forgot to tell her about your visit."

    Maleficent said with a wink. This plan would work better if one of Blanche's servants 'forgot' to tell their queen about the visit then Aurora and Phillip just randomly appearing.

  5. #5
    Isobel

    Isobel nodded her appreciation of every step of the process... until Maleficent suggested giving Blanche the impression that a servant "forgot" to give her the message, and then alarm bells started going off.

    "Please don't do that!" Isobel said desperately, her heart beating fast as she realized this was going to spiral out of control and it was all her fault. Just like it seemed she had her whole life, Isobel was taking a terrible situation and making it worse without even meaning to just by involving herself. "Blanche is not forgiving of that kind of mistake. Embarrassing her in front of foreign royalty... she would punish that harshly. Someone would be made an example of. Beaten or tortured - or even killed. I want to rescue Dinah, but not at the expense of someone else equally innocent. You could say it was just an impulse. That you happened to be near Azure and didn't want to go home without seeing her and giving her a gift. I promise she'll be so flattered that she won't care that she didn't know you were coming."

  6. #6
    Maleficent



    "Okay."

    Maleficent replied back to Isobel, biting her lip at the reaction she caused in her friend. Stefan was an enemy she knew, Blanche was not. From what she knew about Stefan, he didn't care much about his servants. He'd be angry if someone 'forgot' to tell him something, but his punishments would not be as severe as what Isobel said Blanche would do. In fact, he'd probably forget it quickly afterwards. She hadn't thought it through when she made the scroll and felt bad about it. Especially seeing Isobel's reaction to it.

    Just as quickly as she made the scroll appear, she made it disappear in a black flame.

    "It's gone. No harm, no foul."

    She turned to Isobel and told her.

    "I'm sorry, I didn't realize how cruel she was to everyone in her life."

    It had been a long time since Maleficent had a friend and she hoped she hadn't just messed things up between her and Isobel.

  7. #7
    Isobel

    Isobel's panic immediately subsided when Maleficent destroyed the scroll. For most of her life, Isobel had been powerless to change things. One snowballs started rolling downhill, there was nothing she could do. It was a new experience to have a friend who was willing to take Isobel's feelings and opinions into account and make adjustments if necessary. The world would seem like a much safer place for Isobel if that trend continued.

    "Thank you!" she said sincerely, taking a steadying breath. "I'm sorry I got so worked up. It's just that being here... it brings up a lot of old memories, and not exactly good ones. I really think this distraction will work. We'll be able to save Dinah and it will all turn out alright."

    At least, she hoped so.

    Once Aurora and Phillip were ready and had time to make it to the castle's main drawbridge, Isobel took a deep breath and led them to the loose stone and the passage, hugging the wall the whole way.

  8. #8
    Maleficent



    Maleficent smiled, seeing Isobel's panic disappear when she destroyed the scroll.

    "You're welcome and it's okay. I'm sure being here is hard, but you're right. We'll save Dinah and it'll be okay."

    At least Phillip and Aurora would be able to keep most people in the castle distracted. Which was good, the less people noticing their arrival, the better. Once everyone was ready, Maleficent told the royal couple good luck and followed Isobel to the passage.

  9. #9
    Princess Aurora & Prince Phillip



    With a plan in place, Phillip and Aurora told the others good luck as well. Both hoped the distraction would work long enough for the others to get Dinah to safety. Maleficent conjured up a horse and carriage for them, using a mouse and a discarded pumpkin that was in the alley. Another mouse was used to play the role of a servant that drove the carriage. To the servants of Azure, he'd be mute. It was important to keep up appearances and royalty did not just walk up to another kingdom's castle. The carriage wouldn't last past midnight, but that was fine. After all, they should be long gone by them. Maleficent had also used her magic so that Phillip and Aurora would appear at the border of Sonnet City and make their way through the city in style.

    One thing that both Phillip and Aurora had in common was that they didn't think they were better then everyone else just because they had been born into royal families. Phillip's parents and Aurora's mother had tried to raise them both to be humble and compassionate. Good rulers were compassionate to their people and didn't think they were better then others. From what they knew about Blanche, though, she'd probably appreciate the pomp and circumstance. The carriage stopped at castle's drawbridge and Phillip beckoned one of the guards to come to him.

    "Hello there, I am Prince Phillip of Ulstead and this is my fiancee, Princess Aurora of Perrault. We would like an audience with Queen Blanche and Prince Aden."

    Aurora motioned to the wrapped presents that were in the carriage with them.

    "We have belated wedding gifts for them."

  10. #10
    Queen Blanche

    Even more than the news of visiting royalty, the word 'gifts' got things moving quickly in the castle. Within moments of their arrival in the castle, Aurora and Phillip were ushered into the throne room, where Blanche was seated in the place of honor with Aden to her left. Blanche looked slightly red-faced, like she'd just run in from another room, and Aden's crown was mildly askew - it appeared that when they heard there were presents, they had decided there was no time to waste getting themselves seated.

    "Welcome, Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip," the queen said magnanimously. "Your kingdoms have long been friends of Azure, and we welcome you here."

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