“Why must we be subjected to such peasantry?” Alice cursed as she brushed aside low branches and stepped over large gnarling roots.
“It’s a request,” Entri replied, knowing full well it would annoy her.
“It is not a request! A request would be presented with a suitable reward, but all they have offered were empty words!” Alice screamed. “Empty words, I might add, by beasts! If this were truly a request with the correct compensation, then-”
“Quiet, Alice,” Talia said. “If they could have afforded such luxuries, then they would not have left their homes.”
“Are we truly listening to their unreasonable request?” Alice asked, after making sure the rest of the demihumans had left.
“Is there any reason we should not?” Talia asked.
“Endless reasons, master,” Alice grumbled. “It is even more unreasonable that we should even lend our ears.”
“So we should just leave them to their fate? Why Alice, how noble of you,” Entri teased.
Alice opened her mouth, but no words came out. She knew Entri wanted to back her into a corner. It’s how he plays his games. He makes people desperate and make mistakes. That’s why she lost every single board game she ever introduced to him, so she remained silent.
“You are a noble, aren’t you?” Entri prodded. As Entri has said, Alice, much like the way she dresses, is a noble. Her dresses were, according to Talia since Alice would not answer, a gift from her father before she left to learn magic. He expected her to travel with Talia for some time, so several dresses were tailored for her alongside dresses to fit her for years to come. “So show us how nobles of the kingdom, nay, your family, acts in the face of suffering. Show them exactly how much you and the rest of your kind honors your prestigious noblesse oblige.,” Entri said, knowing full well Alice didn’t know the immoral term nobility used to justify their own grandeur and spending. This world didn’t have a need to justify the existence of nobles. Yet. So to Alice, who has just heard this belligerent provocation, put two and two together with Entri’s constant disdain for her vanity and thought, but we shouldn’t, we don’t even need to, it is just suicide! Her mind was debating excuse after excuse, but each argument continued to come up like a selfish argument from a child, so she remained silent.
“Go on, tell us what you’re really thin-”
“Entri, stop!” Talia screamed.
Entri was taken aback. Talia hardly ever scolded him before. He was always silent when it came to their arguments, only to offer advice after careful thinking. This time however, he was lost in his passion for the demihumans. He had suddenly found himself in a world of fantasy, and to his disappointment, the fantasy was nothing more than a backwards pit of infrastructural development. At best, it was everyone around him who got to benefit from the delusional fantasy that he had always wished for. Now that he finally had something he could love. He sent his mind to overdrive to come up with solutions for this impossible task.
Alice meanwhile, had tears in the corners of her eyes, and her face had a shade of red that would put tomatoes to shame. But she remained silent nonetheless. She was in a corner, and if she knew that if she was to answer now, she’d just be playing into Entri’s hands to further make her believe that her feelings of superiority was unfounded and selfish at best.
“And what shall we do? Charge forth to our early deaths and meet our maker?” Alice asked. Her tears now streaming down her cheeks.
“Alice, calm down,” Talia said in an attempt to soothe her. “Entri didn’t mean anything by it, didn’t you, Entri?
“Why of course. I would never dream of making her unable to sleep at night,” Entri dismissed. “And trust me, these nights are going to be long.” Entri then left the tent as quietly as possible. The only sound to notify his departure was the sound of air rushing in for shelter.
“Alice?” Talia asked, now that Entri had left.
Alice closed her eyes for a moment, and after a few calming breaths, she finally answered, “as you wish, master.”