My Ranking Points
Here is the fourteenth chapter of Girl Knight, constructive criticism welcome, if you want me to tag, just ask. It feels a bit artificial, but maybe that’s because of the twists I’ve got coming up. Soooo sorry it took so long. Chapters might be getting shorter from now on. Also, if you want to be tagged for The Tale of a Palace Servant, just mention it:
She woke up in a glass coach. Judging by the hot glass pressed against her face in the fact that the carriage was flooded with sunlight, she judged it to be about midday. Directly opposite her was her father, King Fredrick, who was writing some important scroll, and her mother, whose golden needles were stitching away at some useless piece of embroidery.
“Ah, you’re awake!” said Queen Diane, with a slight smile. “Arielle, darling, would you care to join me in some embroidery?”
Arielle gaped at her mother, dumbfounded. Was there to be no discussion of what had happened last night?
“Oh, look, we’re here.” she said calmly, and the carriage rolled to a stop. A pair of guards assisted her out as she tentatively stepped onto the springy emerald-green grass. Arielle breathed in the crisp autumn air, taking in her surroundings. All around her there were towering birches and black walnut trees. The birches were painted black halfway up, and the black walnuts were painted white in the same way. She supposed it was to symbolise a balance between light and dark, and wondered what kind of place this was. Her mother and father seemed to recognize this place, for they walked along the path that alternated between black and white marble, as though they had tread it many times. Finally, they reached a lakeshore.
It looked as though it was made of ground up diamonds, and to the left was an archway of gleaming onyx leading to a slimy moat, to the right, an archway of glistening mother of pearl, leading to a shimmering lake. Suddenly, Arielle finally realized where she was. The School for Good and Evil.
On one side was a castle with three gleaming black towers looking as though they were made of obsidian. Red vines crawled up the tower walls in decorative patterns, and the roofs were crowned with statues made in the likeness of Dean Sophie of the Woods Beyond. The sky around the castle looked stormy and downcast, and an enormous stymph landing pad jutted out of the tower to the right. Clearly, it was evil.
To the right was a shimmering castle of frosted glass. Pink sun-mist hung around it, and colorful glass Breezeways sparkled high above the beautiful lake. In contrast to Evil’s dark grey pebbles, the Good Shore was made of soft white sand. Beautiful hanging gardens, along with the golden early morning light, gave the school a peaceful, soothing atmosphere.
Two fairies fluttered up to her and grabbed each of her shoulders. She glanced to the right to see that her parents had been grabbed too. The three of them cruised along the Lake, and were dropped gently onto the Good Shore, where a student was waiting.
She looked fairly beautiful, had perfect posture, and judging by the golden swan crest stitched over her heart, was a top student as well, presumably in her third year. With a bright smile she had probably practiced in her Beautification class for hours on end, she curtsied to Arielle’s parents, who curtsied right back.
“Hi!” said the Evergirl cheerfully. “I’m Lily of Rainbow Gales, and it is an honor to have you back at SGE. If you’ll just follow me, I’ll take you straight to the Dean.”
They followed her into the castle, and Arielle’s jaws dropped open as they stepped into Good Hall. With its marble floors, semi-precious stone mosaics depicting fairytale scenes, and soaring crystal obelisk adorned with the portraits of every single student to walk the school’s halls, it made Oceancrest look like a cheap, low-class inn. There were four glass staircases, one, royal blue and with HONOR inscribed above it in solid gold cursive lettering, was decorated with frescoes and murals of dashing princes and noble kings doing various acts of chivalry. The next staircase, labeled CHARITY, was made of pink glass, and its artwork displayed sweet forest maidens and kindly looking animals. Next to it was a staircase labeled VALOR, made of blue glass, which showed rugged, handsome looking huntsmen and noble knights, riding through the forest and mountains on horseback. The final staircase, a pink one, labeled PURITY, had images of beautiful princesses and regal queens. Above each staircase hung a single solid gold block letter which together spelled out the word EVER. Lily smiled at Arielle’s obvious astonishment.
“You know, even after three years at this school, the decor never fails to amaze me.” she said conversationally, as they ascended Honor. “The entrance exam will be held at Merlin’s Menagerie.” she informed the king and queen. When they entered Hansel’s Haven, Arielle did her best not to gasp.
The classrooms were made out of candy.
Creampuff doorknobs, towering chocolate statues of Good’s greatest and most glorious achievements, gummy fountains that gushed seventeen different soda flavors, sugar-crystal chandeliers, licorice-woven carpets, gumdrop mosaics, and gingerbread walls, the combination of Arielle’s sweet tooth and utter lack of breakfast made her stomach ache with hunger. As they passed various classrooms, Arielle caught glimpses of what was going on inside. In one, a gentlemanly looking professor lectured the class on the principles of Good leadership. In another, twenty girls were trying on Arabian-style makeup, while a blonde professor dressed head-to-toe in Pasha Dunes garments boomed instructions in a ridiculous accent.
After that there were sea-themed dormitories complete with mother-of-pearl pillars and abalone tile, and then a solid gold library five times the size of the one at the Glass Palace. Finally, they arrived at an open-air, rooftop garden with hedges depicting scenes from King Arthur and the Tale of Sophie and Agatha. In the center, a desk of polished oak and a chair with rose-gold upholstery awaited her. Atop the desk were some peacock-feather quills, an inkwell of ground griffon-claw ink, and a silver SGE entrance exam booklet with the school crest stamped across it. Waiting at the side was an elegant woman with a high necked cyan colored gown trimmed with beetle wings.
“Here they are, Dean Kinjari!” said Lily with the same irritating cheerfulness.
“Wonderful job, Lily.” said the Dean warmly. “Now, I suggest you return to class.”
Lily exited the roof, and the Dean turned to the DeCrown family with a smile. “Welcome, Princess Arielle, and welcome back, King Fredrick and Queen Diane.” she said with a slight bow that they returned.
“Well, princess, how old are you?” asked the Dean.
“Wonderful. I’m afraid I must ask the king and queen to leave. Now, I’ll just leave you to take the test, and you’ll have as much time as you need. At noon, a nymph will come in with some lunch, and you’ll eat dinner with the students while we grade it. There’s a bed in Room #51, and you’ll spend the night here. As for your parents, they’ll be here tomorrow morning, after breakfast, to hear your results. Is that clear?”
“Lovely. Do you need to go to the bathroom?”
She shook her head.
“Well then, I’ll just leave you to take your test.”
Arielle nodded again, and took a seat at the desk while her parents and the Dean left. Before the door shut, Queen Diane gave Arielle a parting glare, and Arielle simply glared back. She then set to work on her test, and finished just in time for lunch.
“That was quite fast.” commented the Dean as she walked up to her. “Well,” she said to her parents, “I’ll get to grading it straightaway. You,” she said to Arielle, “Can head down to the Clearing for lunch.”
When she arrived at the clearing, everyone whispered at the entrance of a slightly disheveled princess. Lily stood up.
“Somebody aced their exam.” she said with a smile. “Hey everyone, it’s a delight to introduce you to Princess Arielle of Glass Mountain.”
The Evers in the Clearing politely applauded. Lily beamed, once again showing off her perfect pearly whites. “It is just so fabulous to have you at SGE!” she exclaimed, blowing her an air kiss. “Let me introduce you to my love, Sebastian.” she fluttered. “He’s a total sweetheart. And there’s Lyvia, Mariette, Fiona…”
This chipper Evergirl was getting on Arielle’s nerves, but she smiled politely and endured it. “So,” she said, over their rampion salads, smoked trout sandwiches, and strawberry souffle, “What’s the best subject around here?”
“Well, it really depends, but my favorite is Good Deeds:Lead the Way. After all, when Sebbie and I get married, I’m going to have to be a good princess and future queen, you know?”
“Married? Aren’t you thinking a bit too far ahead?”
“Actually, no, I’m not. By the end of our first year, we knew we were meant to be, which is why we convinced our parents to arrange a betrothal. After our fourth-year quest, we’ll have a grand wedding and move into one of his family’s vacation castles! Seb and I have already decorated the banquet hall, and hired the wedding planner! I’ll call my fiance over. Sebatian, have you got a minute?”
A strapping prince of fifteen jogged up to the two of them. He swept Lily up, and the pair shared a passionate French kiss. “Lily, my darling,” he said with a wink, “If it’s being with you, then I have a lifetime.”
Lily giggled. “I’d like to introduce you to Arielle, a new student.”
Prince Sebastian bowed. “A pleasure to make your acquaintance.” he said.
“Same to you,” Arielle replied.
“Attention students!” said Dean Kinjari. “We at the School for Good are pleased to admit a new Evergirl. Princess Arielle of Glass Mountain, please come forward.”
Arielle stood up shakily. “Excellent job, dear.” said the Dean. Behind her, the king and queen smiled coldly. Her mother smirked as though having achieved victory. “All you have to do is sign this, and you are officially an Ever.”
“Go on, Ari-ella,” said Queen Diane with fake warmth. “Sign it.”
Arielle felt a hot surge of anger. Didn’t they understand that she didn’t want to grow up as some submissive, obedient queen? Didn’t they understand she didn’t want to be a part of her mother’s world ********** plan? She looked up at the Dean’s smiling face.
“I’m sorry,” said Arielle calmly, “But I don’t want to attend the School for Good and Evil.”
There was a gasp from both Ever and Never alike. “Princess Arielle, I-er-didn’t quite catch that.”
“I said, I don’t want to attend SGE.” repeated Arielle, shocked and pleased with the calmness of her voice. “While I mean no disrespect towards your school, I feel this institution is not the right place for me.”
“Well,” said the Dean, trying to regain her composure. “I suppose the decision is yours to make. However, just know that our gates are always open to you. If you ever reconsider-”
“Thank you for your generosity.” said Arielle, “But I don’t think I will.”
“Very well,” said the Dean, “Have a wonderful day.”
As she and her parents exited, Arielle felt a sense of pride at triumphing against her mother without needing her fists. She stole a glance at Queen Diane, who gave her a rather special kind of look. Suddenly, Arielle got the troubling feeling that she had just made the worst decision of her life.
Hi I don’t have time to read this right now, ugh but I do want to be tagged fo servant girl! Your awesome bye