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9th June, 2019

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    bookworm87654321 posted an update in the group RP Level 1: Great Lawn 7 months, 1 week ago

    Chapter 12
    Here is the twelfth chapter of Girl Knight, constructive criticism welcomed, if you would like me to tag, just ask. Hope you enjoy Claire’s messed up perspective!:
    Claire DeCrowne’s first couple of days at SGE had not at all gone the way she had wanted them to.
    When she had first landed at SGE it had gone pretty well. She had in a matter of minutes become the most popular Evergirl in school. But then that beastly she-wolf Kayla had to go smashing into her life and ruin everything.
    It had all started at the Welcoming. She had sat sweetly on her pews, waiting patiently for her Destiny Prince (aka Xavier) to throw her his rose like any good princess ought to. However, that horrid Kayla decided to make a spectacle of herself and challenge Xavier to a duel. An Evergirl fighting in the Everboys’ Welcoming Duel? It was unthinkable! Unheard of!
    Then she had the nerve to go and defeat Xavier. And that’s when Claire knew she belonged to the School for Evil. Nevergirls were the ones who swaggered around fighting princes. Evergirls were supposed to watch from the sidelines and loyally cheer their prince on.
    Claire had clearly seen Kayla mumble a love spell under her breath. It was obviously a love spell, because why else would Xavier give Kayla the rose that was meant for her? However, when she tried to report this illegal love spell, Dean Kinjari told her to stop her “nefarious rumor mongering”. Nefarious?! How on earth could anyone describe a sweet, charming princess such as herself as “nefarious”?
    Then, when she politely tried to inform Kayla that she was behaving in a way unbefitting of an aspiring princess, and that perhaps her talents were better suited for evil, Kayla took what Claire considered to be unwarranted offense, and started yelling. Then Dean Kinjari got mad and threatened to put them both in detention, even though Claire had done nothing but try to be a good Evergirl! How on earth did that woman become a Dean of Good? She had made sure to inform her father as soon as possible that Good ought to have a new Dean that was actually fair and just and would roll back the so-called “reforms” to make SGE like it was pre-Agatha.
    So Claire had done the only other thing she could; alert every single student in the School for Good that a wicked witch was in their midst. However, love-spelled Xavier had clearly not gotten the message, and asked Kayla out for a walk. She had spied Kayla stalking back up to the Charity dorms, followed by a sulky Xavier, so thankfully, their walk hadn’t gone well.
    On the first day of school,Claire had woken up early, ready to become the number one student at SGE. However, Kayla was a witch, and witches aren’t content with ruining one day of your life. Of course, part of the blame did lie with that evil Lady Iris. What kind of teacher started the first lesson with “You’re all idiots.”?
    Etiquette and History went okay, but for some reason in Beautification Kayla had to quibble with Professor Anemone on the professor’s wise words on how an Evergirl’s only purpose at SGE was to get a prince. It was Animal Communication that had really stung.
    Even Claire, who hated animals (so *****!), couldn’t help but be excited for the first class, where she would get to compete in SGE’s most famous class challenge. She knew the wish in her heart, and when her turn came, did such an amazing job she was sure to get a first rank. The thought of the glittering ice ballroom she had created still brought a smile to her face. But just as they were getting really into the party Kayla managed to hex Dream-Xavier into falling in like with her. Claire was understandably upset and accidently destroyed the ballroom, shattering the ice as much as her heart was shattered. Then she reported Kayla’s wickedness to Princess Uma, who disciplined her. Yet instead of humbly accepting what had been coming to her, Kayla decided to be a total drama queen and turned the wish fish into a unicorn and escape SGE. Claire had hoped to be rid of Kayla forever, but no, they had to go and search for her. Now Claire was dreading the day when Kayla of Ginnymill would resume her reign of terror at the School for Good.
    These were the thoughts that filled her head as she pondered the sheer impossibility of what she’d just seen. Camelot Castle was leading the search for Kayla, and what kind of fool hangs out in the place that’s leading the search for them? Of course, Kayla was a fool, but even she wasn’t stupid enough to be in Camelot Castle. Or was she?
    And was that Xavier with her? Claire felt a pang of jealousy. The rubbis.h chute may not have been the most romantic setting, but it made her blood boil every time that witch made a move at her prince. Couldn’t Xavier see that the two of them were destined for each other? Obviously not, because he had called her a witch.
    It’s not his fault she reminded herself. You aren’t a witch. But just in case there was something in what Xavier had said on the Flowerground, she paused to examine her reflection in a mirror. She gazed at herself for several seconds, trying to see whether any part of her looked remotely evil, but evil wasn’t the word she’d use to describe the pretty princess staring back at her. The words she would use were stuff like ladylike, beautiful,charming,graceful,elegant,stylish,sweet and gorgeous. Of course, there was that whole concept of inner beauty that Claire simply didn’t get. After all, everyone knew that in the end, at midnight, in the last dance of the ball, all that mattered was outward appearances. Goodness was a concept ugl.y people invented to make themselves feel better. That’s what Mother had always said. And Mother was always right.
    She hesitated at the entrance to the ballroom. Should she inform the authorities of what she had seen? On the one hand, reporting those two would bring Kayla back to SGE, which she didn’t want. On the other hand, if she didn’t tell King Tedros and Queen Agatha, then Xavier and Kayla could get a little too close for her tastes, which she also didn’t want. What was worse? Kayla going to a school she didn’t deserve at all or Kayla becoming the girlfriend of the Crown Prince of Camelot? She decided to be a model princess and snitch on Kayla. After all, at the School for Good Claire could expose Kayla for what she was and Kayla would get the detentions coming to he, not to mention get Failed if Claire had anything to do with it. Yes, Kayla would taint the halls of a school she wasn’t worthy of, but she wouldn’t do so for long. Claire sighed inwardly. Sometimes being Good was so difficult.
    She approached the dais, upon which were the giant blue and gold thrones that King Tedros and Queen Agatha sat upon. Also on the dais was a small pink and gold child’s throne that Princess Rose was sitting on, and a throne that was an exact replica of the King’s throne, but smaller and less grand, that was reserved for Xavier. And right next to Xavier’s throne, (Claire’s heart gave a flutter every time she saw it) was a matching, more feminine blue-and-gold throne, reserved for Xavier’s future princess. Claire had yearned to sit in it from the moment she set eyes on it. But unless she got her act together and steered Xavier down the right path, that throne would go to Kayla.
    “King Tedros. Queen Agatha.” said Claire urgently. “There’s something important I have to tell you.”
    The king and queen turned to her. “Yes, Princess Claire?” asked Queen Agatha evenly. “What is it?”
    “So, I was disposing of some lipsticks in a nearby ******* chute, and just as the flap swung closed I saw the faces of Xavier and Kayla. I think they were using the chute to escape Camelot Castle.”
    “Kayla, in Camelot Castle?!” said Queen Agatha in shock. “What was she wearing?”
    “A green silk gown and jade necklace.” said Claire.
    “But-but-that was Lady Catherine’s outfit. I don’t understand, unless-unless-” said Queen Agatha, struggling to comprehend. “She was just pretending! She was right under our noses all this time!
    “You mean that Kayla girl we agreed to help SGE find has been right under our noses all this time?” asked King Tedros, stunned.
    “Yes.” said Claire. She hoped that the king and queen would get mad at Kayla and declare her the villian that she was and demand that she stay away from their son. That way, there would be zero competition for the next Queen of Camelot. Claire amused herself for a moment by imagining a commoner fool like Kayla blundering around Camelot Castle as the queen of the most powerful kingdom in the Woods. Of course, that was not a laughing matter, as it was Claire who was meant to rule Camelot, but still…
    “We must arrange a search party.” said Queen Agatha, regaining her composure. “Starting with the royal dumpster. Hormona De Corone Hex will be complete in three hours, but now we can get a head start before Kayla manages to find a place that is impossible to track.”
    The king and queen stood up, to inform their troops and the SGE faculty of this latest development. As she passed Claire, Queen Agatha said, “Thank you, Claire, for your help. Now, why don’t you enjoy the rest of this ball?”
    But Claire wasn’t going to enjoy tonight’s ball. Now that it had become inevitable that Kayla would return to SGE, Claire spent the rest of the evening planning how to make sure that she got out again, hopefully forever. After all, it wouldn’t do to have some other, undeserving wretch be the next Queen of Camelot, and steal Claire’s destiny. Oh the challenges of being Good!

    “Can we take a bath?” asked an exhausted Xavier. It was 1 am in the morning.
    “Later.” said Kayla tersely. Exactly one hour ago the Homona De Corone Hex had been initiated. Which meant they had to get as far from Camelot and SGE as was possible. And fast, too. No doubt that snitch Claire had informed everyone within a five mile radius of Camelot Castle.
    “Look, maybe we can get to wherever you need to go on the Flowerground.” suggested Xavier. “It beats walking around anyway. There are a ton of perks to the Flowerground besides speed. Like, you know, food that isn’t raw, not being cold, a chance to sleep, and warm showers in the VIP section where we can wash of all this muck and slime from the ******* chute. There’s a station a mile away.”
    “Look, Xavier, as much as I would love the luxury of a warm shower and tasty food, the thing is, we’re probably the two most wanted people in the Endless Woods.” said Kayla impatiently.. “Now let’s get someplace where they can’t find us.”
    “But aren’t we going back to SGE?” asked Xavier in confusion. Kayla couldn’t believe his idiocy. Had it not gotten through to him that she wasn’t going back to that place?Kayla spared him one withering glance before plowing on.
    “Can we at least find a faster way of traveling?” burst out Xavier angirly. “Not only will we get a chance to relax a little, but we can get out of Camelot faster, which is what you want, right?”
    Now Kayla was listening. “What do you propose?” she asked. Xavier smiled and pointed at a stable up ahead.
    Twenty minutes later the two of them were racing ahead on stolen horses. They had made sure to leave some gold for the stable owner, but they also had themselves to think about. Kayla grudgingly had to admit his thief skills were impressive, to say the least.
    “You know, you’re a bit too good at stealing, for a son of King Tedros and Queen Agatha.” she told him.
    Xavier grinned in that way that was starting to make Kayla’s heart flutter, and Kayla felt a strange feeling that wasn’t total annoyance. “The Coven gave me a few tips. So, what’s the plan?”
    “Well,” said Kayla, pleased that he wasn’t one of those boys who got upset when a girl took charge, “I suppose we should first grab something to eat. I didn’t grab any money, so I suppose we’ll just have to-”
    “I have money.” said Xavier. He set down his enormous antique Putsian leather bag and opened it to withdraw a blue Neverland silk sack with gold fleur-de-lis patterns bulging with at least five hundred glittering gold coins and a few silver pieces as well. “You know,’ he offered, “with my celebrity and money, we could go to a nice five-star hotel. And disguise ourselves in Von Zarachin outfits. There’s no need to live like travelers.”
    “Xavier, we’re the two most wanted people in the Endless Woods. We can’t just go strutting into five-star hotels and designer boutiques.”
    “Well, I have a couple of prince friends who wouldn’t turn us in. Should I get in touch with one of them? Kayla, we’re cold, we’re hungry, we’re tired and need a nice place to rest up. And why not get the best that we can afford; a luxurious shower, quality dining, a pair of swan-feather and unicorn hair beds, queen-sized at the very least, a comfortable coach, and a roaring stone fireplace. You know,” added Xavier, “the basic necessities for life. Why condemn ourselves to peasant living until we get wherever you want to go when we could travel in style? I’m sick of just walking on and on like this, with nothing to look forward to but sleeping in caves and berries.”
    Kayla was fed up with his rich-boy pampered prince act, the strange emotion that she had been feeling draining away quickly to be replaced by irritation. Did this guy have any idea how lucky he was? While he had been living the life in Camelot Castle, she had been slaving away at an orphanage. At the Ginnymill Orphanage, you were lucky to get a clump of straw, let alone a mattress. The food was the same watered down gruel, day after day, and while kids who were lucky enough to escape the orphanage got to go to their local schoolhouses, or private academies, or get tutors, depending on their wealth and social status, at the Ginnymill Orphanage, they took a “hands-on, apprenticeship-style, career centric approach” to education that was “specially designed” to “prepare students for a future as productive workers for the Kingdom of Ginnymill”. That basically meant working from the moment you entered the place, either as servants in the director, Mrs.Huxley’s, 22-bedroom mansion or as laborers in the mines, farms, mills, and factories. If you were lucky you might get a chance to become an apprentice, and escape from Mrs.Huxley when you turned fifteen. For most kids, all they had to look forward to was being given a fake crime record and carted off to a private labor prison when they turned fifteen, doomed to spend the rest of their life doing backbreaking labor when they turned fifteen, or being in servitude. Of course, she couldn’t expect Xavier to understand what that life was like, since while Kayla had been hard at work scrubbing the marble floors, or else attending to the every whim of Mrs,Huxley’s spoiled and pampered daughter Mariette, Xavier had probably been eating fancy seven course meals and having fun in his parents’ gigantic castle and lounging on a king-sized bed in his luxury royal suite. While school at the orphanage meant supervisors pretending to be teachers and kids scratching what they hoped looked like letters onto slates on the few days the inspector came, Xavier probably had fifty tutors that graduated from the Endless Woods’ best universities and taught him all the subjects Kayla had dreamed of studying.
    “Look, Your Highness,” she said, putting as much venom as she could into the last three syllables, “You might be used to fancy palaces and twelve-course luncheons and expensive suits and a private nose-blower and a bed the size of a house, but the rest of us can survive without a team of servants to do our bidding. And I know you’re used to bubble-brained lovestruck prissy princesses who adore you and well let you do whatever you want just cause their too busy ogling your way too large muscles, but just to be clear, I am not one of them and I never will be. So please stop trying. Now if you shut up and stop complaining for five seconds, then maybe we can go over the plan. We’ll pick up dinner at a take-out place and eat quickly, and then get back on these horses and go as fast as we can towards a certain special place that’s magically shielded from tracking charms, where we’ll stay for the rest of our lives. Or at least I will. You can go back to Camelot Castle after those idiots figure out that you’re innocent. Am I clear?”
    Xavier, who stood there with a stupid stunned expression on his face, shut his gaping mouth and nodded.
    “Good.” said Kayla roughly, and the pair rode on in silence, stopping only to eat a cheap meal of dry bread and water with boiled potatoes, and not talking to each other once.

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Cover Art copyright © 2013, 2014,2015 by Iacopo Bruno