The Princess Is A Villainess
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Everyone knew Cinderella and her story. She lived a vicious life when her divorced parents needed to work in the Royal Palace and left her alone. Her stepmother and her two stepsisters did nothing but mistreat her, not until that party happened. A fairy grandmother, a dance, and a fallen shoe. Cinderella and the prince were married and lived happily ever after. Or... did they? What would happen if the princess everyone adored throughout their life was the antagonist everyone would hate if they only knew? What if the beloved princess... is the true villainess?
I'm catching my breath while running anywhere. What place is this, anyway? How did I end up here? As far as I know, I was just cleaning the house earlier, and now I'm in the woods.
Running is exhausting, damn it. I feel like my heart is about to burst out of my chest. But I can't stop! It's as if something will grab me if I stop moving!
I feel like someone’s chasing me, but I can't see anyone near me. Am I going crazy?
"Help me!" I shout. I don't care if I look crazy!
I shout several times, but only the loud, cold wind responds to me. The faint moon, partially obscured by clouds, is the only source of light in my current location.
The view is actually beautiful, to be honest. It's peaceful, unlike at home, where all I hear is my stepmother and my siblings yelling. I wish I could stay here.
It’s so peaceful here. No one is watching my every move. The only downside is that no one will help me if I make a mistake… or clumsiness.
And this is what I'm saying now. I gasped when I tripped over a small rock. I looked at my knee and winced when I saw the scrape and a little blood there.
"Damn it!" I quickly stood up and ran when I heard faint footsteps coming in my direction.
I can't be sure if it's a ghost or something else chasing me. I don't want to look at it. Most of the time, people die when they do that. I don't want to die!
But it seems like that's my destination now. I winced badly when I saw that I was already at the edge of a cliff. I thought that was the most surprising thing that happened today, but suddenly, walls appeared on both sides of me.
This wasn't here earlier! Did I accidentally hit my head?
"Damn it," I cursed and clutched my chest, trying to calm myself.
When my nerves kick in, it's even harder for me to think of a way to get out of here.
I'm not a princess, so I don't know why I turned around. When I did, a tall man in fancy clothes greeted me.
The first thing I noticed was how handsome he was. His blue eyes were as beautiful as they almost drowned me. His voice was deep too, perhaps deeper than the abyss behind me.
But my attention was immediately drawn away from him when he pointed his sword at my neck. There were traces of blood on it. I quickly jumped in fear but had nowhere to run.
"Stop!" I stammered out of nowhere. I didn't even know why I said that, and I couldn't understand my fear.
It was as if I were tired of these events. Has this happened to me before?
"Why are you crying?" he asked in a judgmental tone. His left hand rested on my cheek, and I gasped when I saw it was wet with my tears. "I haven't done anything to you, but you're already scared?"
I felt even more afraid of those words.
In an instant, I found myself leaning against the wall. He stared at me with his sword, ready to plunge it into me.
"No!" I pleaded, but he didn't stop.
I just closed my eyes and waited for the pain, but why was it like this? His sword was aimed at my chest, but it seemed like my back was the one that hurt.
"Cinderella! Damn it!"
Oh, I get it now. That's why my back hurts. Someone pushed me to the ground.
I winced and opened my eyes. I wasn't surprised to see Anastasia, one of my sisters, in front of me. She's the one who likes to shout.
I looked at her face. She seemed to be losing patience, judging by the way her eyebrows were furrowed. I wanted to laugh because she looked like a tiger when she got angry, but I held back.
"Why?" I asked. Why was she in my room?
"Why? Did you forget to check the time while you were daydreaming?" She pointed at the wall clock, and I glanced at it. "It's already six, stupid! You haven't cooked anything, and you didn't even clean up! You're not a princess to act like that!"
Suddenly, I remembered the strange dream I had earlier. If Anastasia hadn't woken me up, I might be dead by now.
"Oh, the idiot is daydreaming again. Hey, get moving!"
I snapped back to reality when a pair of shoes were thrown at me.
It was Dasha, one of my sisters. Anastasia and Dasha may look alike, but their personalities are entirely different. Anastasia is talkative, while Dasha can be quite spiteful. Also, Anastasia looked more beautiful than Dasha.
We're siblings, but I'm three years older than them. Yet, they treat me more like a servant. No matter how kind I am to them, they're always angry with me. I don't know why.
I winced from the pain of the shoes thrown at me, while the two of them laughed. Every day, my patience seems to be constantly tested, but I always endure it. I keep thinking about my father. Someday, he will come and take me away from here.
"I will cook now—"
"Of course, you are supposed to do that, dimwit!" Anastasia complained. "Come on, Dasha! My patience is running thin here!”
I bit my lip after that. She must be irritable due to hunger. After all, I'm the only one who knows how to cook in this house.
"Here we go again! Why do we have to go down here— Ahhh!" Dasha didn't finish her complaint when she suddenly screamed. She pointed at my old cabinet, the place where I keep the mice I take care of.
"A Rat! Oh my God! Ahhh!" Dasha irritatedly exclaimed, followed by Anastasia. They quickly left the room, which made me chuckle.
To others, it might seem crazy, but I take care of these mice. I feel like they love me more than my own family.
"Thank you, three musketeers," I said with a smile when they reappeared.
I touched one of them, causing them to create noise as if they were talking back to me. Sometimes, it drives me crazy that I only talk to mice.
Dad, when will you come back?
As I was cooking, my mind wandered. I still remember the dream I had earlier. It wasn't the first time I dreamt like that. It has happened to me several times.
It might be a warning.
"No. Maybe I'm just paranoid."
I brushed off my worries and focused on cleaning and preparing the clothes I would sell later. It was one of the tasks assigned to me by Elizabeth, my stepmother.
After finishing cooking, I served the meal on the table. My stomach rumbled immediately when I felt the temptation of tasting the dishes I had cooked.
When was the last time I had a proper meal in this house? I couldn't even remember.
"Just a little bit, okay?" I tried to convince myself. "Just a little bit—"
"What nonsense are you talking about?”
My whole body went cold when I heard a familiar voice behind me. When I turned around, I was correct. It was indeed Elizabeth.
"Did you forget that this isn't the kind of food for dogs like you?" she replied with a raised eyebrow.
I suddenly felt weak. I just realized that I hadn't eaten, and I hadn't even had a sip of water. The refrigerator was locked, and they only released the ingredients I needed for cooking.
I couldn't bear the thought of eating spoiled food again. I hoped she would show some mercy, even just this once.
"After what you've done, you're begging now?" She hit my head with the newspaper she was holding. "This is your punishment because you woke up late! Move aside!"
As Elizabeth pushed me, tears streamed down my face. Anastasia and Dasha, who were silently watching us, laughed and didn’t even bother to help me.
I kept quiet. It was another day, and my heart was crushed again.
While they were enjoying a delicious meal, I was in the basement, tolerating the spoiled vegetables I wasn't sure my mice could still eat.
My mind and stomach argued. I was really hungry, but I didn't know if I could eat this food. I wanted to explode and tell them that their lives wouldn't be this easy if I didn't take care of them.
I had to endure it, for my dad. But I was getting tired. Every day is always the same. Over and over.
Would this ever end?
Despite my stomach twisting in pain, I managed to go to the market. I was carrying the clothes I intended to sell. My stomach hurts from hunger. I couldn't bear to eat something spoiled, so I endured it.
I slapped myself to stay awake. Later, I would make sure to sneak in some food. If this continues, I'm sure my body will weaken miserably.
I turned when someone called my name. It was Albert, one of my old friends who sells goods in the Corohelia village.
"Good morning," I greeted, my voice weak.
He was often the one who provided me with food and medicine, just like now.
"Have some food," he said before handing me rice and chicken.
I didn't hesitate to take it. I was almost brought to tears as my stomach eased with the meal he gave me. I'm truly grateful that there are kind people like Albert in this world.
After I finished eating, I bowed my head. "Thank you very muc
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