Happy Friday everyone!
I hope you all had an amazing week and here is a little something to help you finish it out strong! Enjoyy! XD
Missed the first chapter? I gotchu~
Chapter Two - The Ball
Cinderella quickly ran back to her wicked family, holding all the garments she held in hand, and stopped in front, holding her head down.
"I do say Ella, could you be any slower?" Her recently widowed mother, Kang Sook stated.
"Did you drop our dresses?" The older sister Jessica whined.
"How dare you! You know how much mother paid for these!" Krystal, Jessica's younger sister yelled, staring deep into the head of Cinderella. She quickly did a small bow towards her family.
"I am sorry, mother and sisters. I shall clean them when we get home." Her voice quiet, one of her sisters scoffed. Normally, Cinderella would have cried at such harsh tones and words but she has grown immune to such, as her daily life is filled with them.
"You better." Krystal spat. Jessica linked arms with her joining in.
"I have to look beautiful tonight so make sure to make it spotless. Or do you want to go through what happened last night again?" Cinderella raised her head, and shook it quickly, her hands gripping tighter on the smooth gowns in her hands.
"Come now, my darlings. We must make it home to get you ready for the ball tonight. Carry on!" Kang sook, called out walking away without waiting for them. The two sisters gave one last look to Cinderella before they followed, snickering about her as they went on.
Tailing behind, she followed them to the end of the road, maintaining a fair distance as they reached their house.
She quickly ran up to her room above, bringing her sister's dresses with her as she scrubbed them clean. But what her family didn't know was that she had been working on one of her own.
Stitch by stitch, she fashioned a pink dress most beautiful. It was not yet complete tonight for the ball but after cleaning the dirt off of theirs she was determined to do so. She was sure that with all of her hard work that she had done for them lately that they would let her go. Since they were going, if they even let her come it would be a blessing, even if only to watch from afar.
Gently washing with care, she then hung the dresses in the front of the house, letting the sun doing the drying for her.
She proceeded to go back to her room and immediately pulled out her dress smiling at the thought of dancing in it at the ball. She held it with one hand against her as she held the other out in front of her, pretending to dance as she moved around her small space.
However, when she thought she was alone, little did she know that Krystal was watching her, silently laughing at the spectacle. She then ran to tell her sister, Jessica mortified at the thought of seeing her tonight on her night. They then vowed to do whatever they could do to make sure that she was never to dream of such a thing again : they had decided to destroy her gown.
"So," Jinwoon started trying to rake around everything I had told him. "You mean to tell me...that we are in France?" I nodded. We had decided to sit down at a local bar near the castle to talk things through and get something to eat before the ball began.
"At least that is where the story takes place." I added, taking a bit of the cheese in front of us and spreading it on the cracker in my hand. I then placed it in my mouth, completely satisfied at how it tasted. Jinwoon had ordered a beer and was sipping on it as we talked.
"So what happens at the end of the story?" He ponders, looking at me with his big curious eyes.
"Basically, the Prince goes to every house in the town and outside of the town to find the owner of the slipper. He eventually finds Cinderella and when the shoe fits, they get married, almost right away." Jinwoon choked on his drink, coughing as I told him that.
"Are you serious?" I gave him a look.
"Of course I am. Why would I be lying?" I retorted, taking another piece of the cheese and nibbling on it, savoring the taste.
"I mean...marriage right away? What kind of people do that?" He asks directed to no one in particular, taking another swig.
"These types of people." I responded and he turned to look at me as if to go on. "The characters in fairy tales aren't supposed to really make sense. I mean, they see each other for a couple hours like how Cinderella and Prince Charming do tonight at the ball and it's like love at first sight kind of thing. I guess that is all the confirmation they need before they marry someone." I snorted, thinking the idea ridiculous no matter how much I loved the stories.
"Do you believe in love at first sight?" I paused my gnawing at the cheese in my hand to look back over at Jinwoon, startled. He was looking at me seriously, as if the question was not at all to be interpreted as a joke. I swallowed lightly before continuing, embarrassed at his gaze.
"No. I don't." I answered bluntly. He seemed amused at my answer and finished the rest of his beer, quickly ordering another one. I looked down, hoping he would not pry further into my answer, but things don't always go the way you want them to.
"Why not?" He questioned, as if curious to why I would not believe in it. I sighed.
"I just...don't. Simple as that." I answered, glancing at him to see that he was looking at me like I was crazy. "What. You believe in it?" I diverted. He leaned back in his chair and paused before he answered.
"Not really. Never really happened for me. But I can't say that for Aladdin. As soon as he saw Jasmine, he would do anything he could to marry her. After listening to you explaining how all this works, it makes sense." He leaned in closer to me as if to make sure no one around us could hear what he was about to say next. "We all are just part of a tale. Something someone wrote to amuse people in your world and therefore, the falling in love process is quick and the end is always a happy one." I stared at him, trying to read his face. He looked hurt to speak the truth but he also seemed...defeated in a way.
"I bet the story is continuing fine without me..." He muttered under his breath. It took everything I had not to throw the piece of cheese in my hand at him, hearing such nonsense coming out of his mouth.
"Jinwoon," I said, trying to get his attention back to me. "That world, your world, is not the same without you." I tried to console him and it looked as if it was having some type of effect on him as he glanced back to look at me. "You are the great and all-powerful genie who is best friends with the main lead - Aladdin. Without you, the story wouldn't be as funny or as interesting. To be honest, your character is my favorite in the story." I said, and his eyes light up immediately.
"Really?" I nodded, giving him a smile.
"Of course! Who doesn't love a blue, legless man who can grant you three wishes?" I asked, getting a deep laugh from Jinwoon. "Plus, if you weren't important, why would the Higher-Ups have let you switch worlds to find the person to save yours? You are probably the most important person right now." I stated, making his eyes fall again, at the mention. He glanced back over at me and leaned forward, taking another sip of his now third beer.
"No, I am not. The one who can save my world is you. They sent me to find you. You are the most important thing to me right now." My heart fluttered at his last words, probably just over analyzing things as usual. My face started to heat up and I could feel his stare on my face, smiling at my shy form.
"Anyways..." I quickly tried to change the topic, clearing my throat in hopes of saving myself from being embarrassed further. "We should get going. It is getting close to the start of the ball and we should be there in case anything happens." Jinwoon nodded, agreeing. He chugged the last of his beer as I quickly finished the cheese platter and we left.
The town was as crowded as it was before and to make sure we didn't get separated again, Jinwoon grabbed my hand and led us through the maze of people. After a couple of minutes we made it to the giant door, guarded by multiple guards, not willing to let us in until ordered to do so.
"Looks like we just wait now," I leaned in and whispered to Jinwoon, getting used to the proximity between us.
"So, what happens again at the ball tonight?" He asked.
"Cinderella is supposed to have the first dance with Prince Charming. They see each other in the room and he asks her to dance with him. That is when they fall in love so you could say." I explained. "Then as the time nears to 12, Cinderella suddenly leaves and the prince chases after her, only left with her shoe that she left behind as she disappears." He nodded his head, seeming as to understand but still slightly confused.
"Why 12? What, she can't stay out late?" I fake laughed at his remark as I rolled my eyes, making him laugh instead.
"No. The magic that is used on her disappears at midnight. I don't know why but that's why she has to leave. Or else the prince will see her in her tattered clothing and her carriage turns back into a pumpkin." He raised an eyebrow, looking as if he was going to ask me a question when he just turned away instead at the sound of the gates opening in front of us.
I glanced to watch as the doors opened, slowly moving away from the crowd as it inched away ever so slightly. I was in awe at the spectacle when Jinwoon pulled me along with him, making me snap out of my daze. We followed the crowd inside the castle and I couldn't help but be amazed by everything. Call me easily impressed but this castle was beautiful, from the engraved fireplaces to the chandeliers hanging above, everything felt exactly like a fairy tale.
We slowly walked up the stairs and when we made it to the top, overseeing the ballroom, I couldn't help but smile. Hundreds of people were talking and laughing down below us and echoes could be heard throughout the room.
"Drooling much?" Jinwoon whispered into my ear. I turned to face him and was instantly embarrassed at how I was acting. He laughed at me, making my cheeks burn even brighter than before.
"Shut it!" I said, hitting his arm to get him to stop. I looked back down at the ballroom and that is when I noticed the three wicked woman. I couldn't help but cringe at what they were wearing. It was beyond extravagant to the point where it hurt to just look at them. I started to glance around the room and I didn't see Cinderella quite yet.
I turned around, wondering what time she should be here, to find Jinwoon staring at me.
"W-What?" I stuttered.
"You are interesting, do you know that?" He flashed a huge smile and made my heart race. I quickly tried to cover it up with some stupid remark.
"Well excuse me for breathing in the fairy tale world while I can." I stuck my tongue out at him and pouted. He then suddenly held his arm out towards me, motioning for me to grab it. I raised an eyebrow at him at first but when he motioned to the other people doing the same thing, I slowly linked my arm with his as we descended into the ballroom.
"Okay," I whispered to him. "Do you see those three woman?" He nodded. "That is Cinderella's Stepmother and Stepsisters. They try to get the prince's hand in marriage to one of the daughters so if anything goes wrong tonight, we have to make sure that they stay away from him or something bad could happen."
"So when does she show up?" He questioned, trying to study the surroundings around us.
"A little while after the prince is announced." We reached the bottom of the stairs and started to walk around the floor, getting comfortable with the space around us. "There are so many people here it is crazy." I said.
"It's making me kind of claustrophobic..." Jinwoon muttered under his breath.
"So says the guy who lived in a lamp." I laughed. Before he could hit me horns blazed into the ballroom. We both whipped our heads around to see the Prince standing at the top of the stairs.
"His Highness, Prince Xiumin Charming." The man announced, making people gasp all around and the room suddenly broke into whispers. He was pretty good-looking I have to admit. He slowly ascended the stairs and smiled at everyone down below. When he reached the bottom, people swarmed around him but he didn't falter. He remained friendly to everyone around him and greeted people he recognized.
"He seems fake," Jinwoon whispered behind me.
"Well he is known for being all smiles in the story so it makes sense for him to be the same here. He is probably actually a good person." I retorted, making Jinwoon snort behind me.
Minutes passed and I started to get nervous. Cinderella hasn't shown up yet. I started biting my nails out of habit and my foot started to tap impatiently.
"She isn't here yet. Why isn't she here?" I whispered.
"Do you think something happened?" Jinwoon asked, making me turn towards him.
"I don't know but if she doesn't make it here on time to meet the prince, the story won't turn out the way it should." I continued biting my nails furiously until Jinwoon grabbed my hand and pulled it away.
"Maybe this is why we are here," He suggests. "Maybe something is wrong and that is why she hasn't shown up yet. This could be the reason why we can't switch worlds." My eyes widened in surprise, connecting things together.
"One of us should go find her and see if-"
"I will," Jinwoon said, cutting me off. "You stay here and distract the prince until then." I nodded.
"But are you going to be able to find her?" I asked. He smiled at me.
"I have my ways." And like that he vanished, making me gasp a little. Jesus, him and his disappearing acts. I quickly glanced around to see if anyone witnessed what had just happened but no one seemed to bat an eye. I exhaled a little in relief until I heard what happened next.
"We will now begin the first dance. The prince will pick his partner." My heartbeat accelerated, knowing that this was the moment when Cinderella was supposed to be here to sweep him off his feet. I silently cursed at the situation. Many girls were swarmed around him asking to dance with him but he paid no attention. His eyes scanned the room and he froze when his eyes met with mine.
I was startled at first when we made eye contact, neither of us breaking it when he started to walk towards me, leaving the other girls in the dust. I was the first to break and quickly turned away. He isn't coming here is he? Oh heavens help me -
"Miss?" I heard a voice behind me. I slowly turned around to see him standing in front of me, flashing me a smile. I gave him a small one in return, feeling uncomfortable with the whole situation. He slowly brought his arm up and held his hand out in front of me.
"May I have this dance?" He asked. My eyes widened at the sudden question and he chuckled at my reaction. I pointed to myself mouthing the word 'Me?' and he quietly nodded. Baffled, I didn't know what to do but then I remembered that I need to make sure he didn't dance with other girls so that he ended up with Cinderella. Therefore, reluctantly, I placed my hand carefully in his.
He guided me to the center of the ballroom and the crowd dispersed as we moved. I could hear whispers all around us and the looks people were giving me were making me feel more self-conscious than before.
When we reached the center he turned to face me, still carefully holding my hand in his. He then suddenly grabbed me by the waist and pulled me a little closer to him, making me gasp. He smiled down at me and leaned in next to my ear.
"Just follow my lead okay?" I nodded, my cheeks turning a light shade of pink at how close we were to one another as he moved his head back. The music suddenly started and we started to dance. One foot in front of the other, I stared down at the ground to make sure I didn't step on his feet as we danced. As much as I enjoyed all the hateful glares and full attention on me, I really hoped that Jinwoon was fast at finding Cinderella and helps her to get here.
Before it was too late.
Ooo, Xiumin as Prince Charming?!
SIGN ME UP.
Well I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter and I will see you in the next one!! XD
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