I am very disappointed in myself...I told myself that I would post a chapter every Monday, but last week was an EPIC FAIL. *sigh* Oh well...I was surprised to find people could still find this though. School is just...I don't know...BLAH.

Well then....onto the story!


-----------

CHAPTER FOUR

...in which the dumped bodies have their revenge...

-----------

I had had just about enough of Robin staring holes through my head when Madame Faenia mangaged to stab herself with a pin, cursing like a sailor.

My mistress, Lady Maranda—she was Lord Vasari's second daughter—daintily, as it were even possible, stuffed her fingers in her ears and closed her eyes to drown out the many atrocities her delicate female ears were being bombarded with.

I'd personally heard worse. Robin, young as she was, merely rolled her innocent eyes at the Camerean immigrants choice of colorful words.

"AYIAYIAI!" And Madame Faenia ended her special profanity performance with a flourish of the usuals.

Lady Maranda rubbed her temple, "Faenia, if you weren't the best dressmaker around for miles, I would've had Papa hang you and sent back where you came from by now. Aren't you grateful? I'm so merciful, aren't I?"

"I am very grateful to you, Lady Maranda." Madame Faenia bowed her head, but I knew her well enough to notice the sarcastic lilt in her heavily-accented voice. "If you would please turn your beautiful self around, I will fit the cloth behind you."

"Very well. I'll do anything for me." Maranda, heinous cow that she was, eyed the Camerean condescendingly before doing her bidding.

Madame Faenia made a face at no one in particular and began to pantomime stabbing Maranda in the back, much everyone's silent amusement. No one dared laugh out out. We didn't all make the best dresses in the Three Kingdoms like Madame Faenia did. I'm sure Maranda wouldn't bat an eyelash when she asks our heads to be fashioned on a platter, steamed carrots and peas on the side.

And so, I bit back my laugh like everyone else who valued their life. In this room, we were all united under a deeper purpose: to live to see the day Maranda got what she had coming—whatever that was. No one cared as long as it was something bad. We all had several theories floating around in our heads. All of them involving blood and cake.

"Faenia?"

"Yes, your ladyship?"

"I want you to make me four dresses."

"As you wish, my ladyship."

"Faenia?"

"Yes, your ladyship?"

"I want you to show them to me all at once so I can choose which one the Prince will like on me."

Conceited much, your ladyship? It was a ball for John's-er-Cedric's sake. The 'prince' doesn't even know who this chunk of meat known as Lady Maranda Vasari was.

"Of course, your ladyship."

"Faenia?"

"Yes, your ladyship?" Now, I could hear Madame Faenia struggle to keep the annoyance out of her voice. It served her right, making me carry all those lifeless manikins yesterday and then telling me to get rid of them for the 'ladyship'. If I was the prince, I'd command her 'ladyship', Lady Maranda, to get on her ship and sail.

Away.

I felt more than happy to dump those things I'd been lugging around all of yesterday down the river.

Wait, no. Having to do that did help me manage to avoid Robin and her incessant ambushing after hearing the little conversation me and Daniele had the day before. Robin was like a flea. A cute little flea that pounces on you, then drinks all you blood at once until you were empty and dead. I changed my mind. Madame Faeni was an angel.

"I want them on those big dolls of yours you had around yesterday."

"Bu-b-but, your ladyship! You said you never wanted to see them again! You told me to get rid of them." she stammered.

"Did I?"

Yes, you did. I was a witness and said witness was the one who had to dispose of those bloody 'big dolls' in any way she wished.

Madame Faeni nodded vigorously.

"Well, then I want you to get them all back."

I paled, "They're in the river." I mouthed at Madame Faenia.

"Yes, your ladyship." Madame Faeni turned to me and issued the silent order with her green eye. Her other eye was a curious shade of lightning blue and never gave any orders. Only the green one did. "Would you excuse me, your ladyship?"

Lady Maranda pursed her lips, but gave her consent. "Just come back as soon as possible. The more time you spend on me, the more the Prince will like me. And I want him to like me. A lot."

Madame Faeni chuckled nervously. "As you wish, your ladyship." She curtsied and then dragged me with her out the door. I had time to catch a glimpse of Robin's face fall at her lost chance of sucking the truth out of me with her adorable little fangs. As soon as we were out of earshot, she hissed. "I don't care if it's up your arse and around the corner. Get those manikins I told you to get rid of or I'll make sure you go down with me, understood?"

I nodded grudgingly. Unfortunately, I did understand.

"Now go forth and conquer! Veni, vidi, vici! Get yourself back here in an hour or I'll gut you with the tailor's needles! See you soon, love." She smiled wickedly and I instantly knew that she should ever meet Char, they'd conquer the world and, afterwards, start a war against each other.

Poor, helpless world.

-------

Before I knew it, I found myself standing on the edge of a the river, trying to catch sight of a body part. Anything really. Maybe a hand poking through the bottom or something.

No such luck, but then—there! there!

I took a deep breath and dived in the water before I could change my mind. My hair floated in the water, over my head and in my face. By John's! I lost sight of that blasted manikin foot! Now I couldn't see anything. Wait. There. I spotted the illusive foot at the bottom of the river bed, lodged between the rocks. Swimming to it was easy enough, until a hand grabbed me from behind and practically began to haul me to the surface.

I struggled and kicked until the hand suddenly let go. Immediately, I headed back to the location of the foot before I lost it for the second time. It would be almost impossible to find again. I almost thanked Cedric for teaching me how to swim well and last long underwater before I remembered that he was a traitor and that I hated him. Turning around when I reached the foot, I looked back at my aggressor with an underwater evil glare.

But of course, my evil glare fell off my face as soon as I saw that insufferable person who had tried to grab me was—of all things—drowning.

Wasn't that nice? I figured he deserved it, but I really didn't want a dead body on my hands and I reluctantly left the precious foot at the bottom of the riverbed.

Now, deciding to save a drowning man is one thing; actually doing the deed is another. He was heavy.

Heavy.

Imagine hauling five sacks of potatoes from the water while trying to keep from drowning yourself at the same bloody time. That's how heavy it was. What did this man eat?

Eventually, I managed to drag the man onto the banks, sputtering and spurting water out of my mouth. I hurriedly checked the man for a pulse...anything! He was hopefully still alive. I breathed a sigh of relief after I felt a small, faint heartbeat. The bad thing was that he wasn't breathing air. I panicked again.

Calm down. You know what you're supposed to do now, remember? Char taught you.

I took a deep breath, tilted his head up, opened his mouth, and pinched his nose closed. Here goes everything. I closed my eyes and leaned in.

"Ah, my Prince Charming," he croaked. "Come to awaken me from my deep slumber."

My eyes snapped open and I pulled away just in time.

"What? No Kiss of Life? After all I've done for you?"

I glared, too indignant to feel embarrassed. I had an urge to whack his face, which would probably be considered breathtakingly handsome in normal circumstances. With his dark, brown eyes, dark hair, strong jaw, he was perfect. His crooked nose only added a dash of mystery and mischief. Too bad he was stupid. Egotistical too, by the looks of it. "What did you think you were doing, you idiot? How dare you?"

"I was saving thee, o Fair Maiden!"

"From what?" It was all his fault I had to go look for the foot all over again.

"From Death's clutches, of course! You shouldn't waste a pretty face by drowning it in a river!" The poor delusional man looked so sure, I almost felt sorry for him.

Almost.

He needn't worry about my suicidal tendencies; what he should have been worried about was my homicidal ones.


Special Thanks to: Belle of the Brawl, Elber of Torou, and soprano-in-waiting for Fav-ing this story!!! To DeepSeaDragon, Elber of Torou (again!), and MarieCordell for REVIEWING! You are all awesome!!!...without you all, I might've already abandoned this story.

So, to those readers who haven't yet...please review! I don't care if it's a flame...I just want to improve. Every little thing helps.