Continuing on after the fall of Lydia in the Maze of Greed, there is a new Princess of Greed.
Mariela looked at Scar, realizing how much taller he was than her. “You’re taller now.” she stated with a small smile. She had always thought Scar was a charmer – but now he actually looked it. But she didn’t state this out loud, and instead bit the corner of her lip and gave a smile, before turning to Tessa and her brothers.
As they walked through the maze, Mariela took time to look around and notice how truly beautiful it was. Certainly much different than what it looked like before. It was a nice change, and Mariela admired how beautiful the maze was. Made her actually want to walk through it this time. Mariela looked down when Scar squeezed her hand, entwining their fingers together as he did so. She then looked up when Scar spoke.
“The castle is quite grand. It has everything you can imagine, and certainly fits for a perfect castle for Greed.” she said with a small laugh, looking at Tessa and her brothers again. “There was a… incident at the ball. We weren’t there to see what happened, but my guess is none of it was good. And if we walk and it’s completely destroyed, I apologize.” she spoke, turning to look ahead again.
“I didn’t think you could do it. Kill the Princess of Greed.” Tessa spoke, and Mariela turned to look at her. “I’ve killed once before, you know. That’s why I ended up in Hell.” she spoke. “That was different.” Sean spoke up. “You did it to protect us.” he spoke again, and Mariela looked at him. “And I killed Lydia to protect myself, and everybody else. The same exact reason I killed that man years ago. To protect the one’s I love.”
“Lydia was so… powerful. Yet you managed to kill her.” Tessa spoke, still not believing that little Mariela defeated the “powerful” Princess of Greed. Mariela just sighed, looking forward again. “Lydia may have been powerful, but that power caused her death. She may have been Princess of Greed, but there is such a thing as being too greedy.” she started.“Her Greed and ambition and desire to be the most powerful person in Hell caused her demise.” she said, then looked at the trio. “That, and the fact she had a really bad habit of underestimating people who were “lower” than her.” she said with a smile.
“So, you’re the new Princess of Greed. What are you going to do now?” Sam asked and Mariela shrugged. “Guess we’ll have to wait and see. But I know one thing. I’ll do a hell of a better job running this place than Lydia ever did.” she spoke.
Kingdom of Greed – Castle
While the group had been trapped within the maze, the main part of the castle – aka the ballroom looked like it had been blitzed. Clean up crews were already working on the damage, and one of the worst parts being the grand chandelier. Broken scattered crystals were simply everywhere. Blooded bodies were being piled up onto special trolleys by men in white suits, which was funny since their suits were now splattered with the blood remains of many a ball attendee. Scar had gotten Mariela out of the ballroom just in time it seems, but even he didn’t realize the state of destruction that awaited them. They had heard it, but to see it would be a shock, especially for the likes of Tessa and Mariela’s brothers – Sean and Sam.
Thank goodness the rest of the castle had been untouched, save for the courtyard, which was a battle ground for two unlikely guests, one being a Prince no less. Fancy bringing their dramas to a social event. Then again…it was Lydia who hosted it, so it was going to be drama packed no matter who she invited. The stairs that led back up to the Ballroom were at the start of the Maze, so when the group had walked out, they could hear the sound of workmen and cleaners hard at it. News of Lydia’s passing had already started to spread and so when the faithful and servants of the former Princess saw the return of Mariela with Scar at her side, they all dropped tools and started to bow in reverence of the new Princess of Greed. Mariela, was already Duchess and well liked by practically all of Greed’s servants and staff. There were many a happy face, some waving, others began to cheer. Such a difference to the times before, when Lydia ruled with a cruel and unpredictable hand.
“Long live the Princess of Greed…Mariela. Three cheers!”
The gathered all began to cheer loudly and clap. Such happiness in the midst of the chaos that the Ball had brought. With a new leader, the people of greed had reason to rejoice. May this time be different. May the wars end and the sons come home. Enough blood had been spilt in the name of Greed. It was time for change. Radical change. And Mariela was the one to bring it to them.
Scar looked a little sheepish when Mariela had told him that he was taller. Even he wasn’t sure as to why, but took the smile and the compliment of sorts in his stride. He was more than proud to be on her arm. The alp knew that in the coming days that she might need someone to lean on.
Hearing Mariela explain to her family, and Tessa about how she had killed Lydia out of defense and to protect her family, Scar could not have been prouder. She had needed to step up if she was going to rule, that was for sure. Hell was no place for the weak, and seeing her in this new light – the strength she had came not from wanting more or being greedy and ambitious, but being there to save them all. The Alp glanced back at the now beautiful maze and smirked.
“Lydia got what was coming to her….simple as that.” He always believed in Mariela, but there was the side of him that wanted to be the one to protect her, come what may. It’s what any man that was in love with a woman would do.
Right now however, it was time for that long awaited reunion. Scar knew that Mariela probably had much she wished to talk about with her family, now that the danger had passed. He gave Mariela’s hand a light squeeze and winked before pulling his hand away.
“I shall leave you to enjoy your family and go organize a meal for everyone. Once I see if we have any plates left.”
He chuckled and then danced off inside the building as many workers picked up their tools again and went back to work.
Dessy: Mariela walked with Scar up to the stairs that led back to the ballroom, Tessa on her other side with her brothers next to her. They walked up the stairs, and right before heading into the ballroom, they stopped as servants and workers began bowing. Mariela smiled and curtsied, looking around at all of them. She had been well liked by everyone, even as a Dutchess. So of course they’d take her being Princess quite well. As they cheered, she began laughing, turning her head to give a small smile to all of them. “Thank you.” she said with a bow of her head, continuing to smile at them.
They all turned back around and went back to work, and that’s when Mariela had finished explaining everything to the trio. Hearing Scar’s comment, she looked at him and nodded before turning to look at the others. “If Lydia didn’t have such a bad habit of underestimating people, or letting her ambition get in the way, she might not be dead right now.” she spoke. Feeling Scar squeeze her hand, she looked at him and nodded at his response, giving him another small smile before watching him walk away.
She gestured for Tessa and her brothers to follow, turning and now walking into the ballroom. She cringed at the gasps that came from behind her from the trio at the sight: broken pieces of chandelier everywhere, bloodied bodies being carried away by workers. She turned around, giving a sheepish smile to the trio. “As I said, it was quite an eventful night. Scar got me out for most of it, so I didn’t think it was this bad, but… I apologize for having to see this.” she spoke.“Let’s go somewhere else that’s a little less… destroyed.” she said, smiling and turning to walk around.
She carefully stepped over the glass and bodies, the trip doing the same, before she lead them out to the hallway and away from the ballroom. “Seems like one wild party…” Sam commented, causing Tessa to hit him. Mariela just laughed.“It was interesting, to say the least.” she spoke, stopping to look at them. “How’s mom and dad?” she asked, looking at her brothers. “Good, now. Mom went into a bit of a depressed state after your death, and it took everything dad had to bring her back. She still gets upset at the mention of your name.” Sean spoke, and Mariela frowned.
“We had to move somewhere else. The entire town thought all of us were dead, and we wanted to keep it that way, so we left.” Sam finished. “I was the only one who knew. I moved with them, and I still keep in touch with all of them on a daily basis. I think it makes your mother feel better still having me around.” she then said. “I miss them. And you guys. But, hey. I did what I had to do.” she said. “At least you guys know I’m okay. Sorta…” she said, furrowing her eyebrows, but then shaking her head.
Kingdom of Greed – Castle
The Kitchens thankfully had not been hit by the ballroom blitz. The crockery for the most part had been spared from the blooded onslaught, and Scar breathed a sigh of relief. There was nothing worse than having nothing to eat off. With cooks and maids ready to serve. The alp coughed loudly enough to be heard by all, and many a head turned towards him.
“The Princess has her family staying and I think they are in need of a good feed. So, bring out the best silver and crockery, lets show them what the greed kitchens have to offer.” He clapped his hands for them all to get started and the kitchen crew took to the orders with gusto. To see them all working in such a busy fashion, but with smiles and happy chatter was worth its weight in gold. With that underway, the Alp could return to Mariela’s side and get a glimpse of what family life was like with Mariela and her brothers. In the back of his mind however, he knew a time would come when the new Princess would need to make a choice about whether they stayed or returned to the world inside his hat. Scar reached up and gave his beloved hat a pat. He was so glad to have gotten it back, along with his head. Being headless in Wonderland was not the place he wanted to be….no, Scar wanted more than anything to be at Mariela’s side, and watch her bring new order to Greed.
Re-entering the ruined ball room, the first thing to catch Scar’s attention was the blacksmith dwarf; Suda. He had come running up from the lower caverns of the castle, his face was etched with fright. What on earth was it that had the dwarf reacting this way. Was it the sight of the carnage that was still being cleaned up?
“Scar!…SCAR! Someone stole Beserker!”
The Alp blinked and then stared at the tiny dwarf like he was crazy. “What? Who on earth would want to steal that evil sack of steel?’ No one liked Beserker, in particular Scar. The two had a run in in the days long before the ball, but after the death of Mammon. The dwarf whined and then he handed Scar what looked to be like giant silvery webbing.
“I found this on the podium where I kept the suit. Like its from some giant spider.” The Dwarf was sure that this was evidence in some way, but couldn’t imagine a giant spider being down in his work shop. Small ones, yes….and thousands of them. “I seen cobwebs before, Scar….but nothing this big.”
Scar ran his finger over the silken threads, that were a little bit too sticky for his liking. He tried to shake it off his hand, but it appeared to be well and truly stuck. “Gah…revolting thing.” Scar grimaced. So…Beserker was gone. In one way, Scar was pleased, since he didn’t think he ever wanted Mariela to be tricked into wearing the thing. It was nothing more than just another curse at Greed. A temptation that led to the downfall of Mammon.
The Alp then raised his head and looked at all the corners of the roof, to see if there was a big spider lurking. What if it was still here? Scar whistled for some guards, who all came over – a group of six. “Search the grounds. We may have an arachnid infestation…..a big one.” He tried to smear the webbing on one of the guards armor chest plates, and then his own hand got stuck. “Ugh…worse than some old slag’s undies.” He finally got it off his hand and shuddered, before looking back at Suda. “You go lock down the blacksmith shop and weapons store. I need to go and speak to Mariela.”He really didn’t want to be the bearer of bad tidings, but he felt that she should know.
Suda bowed and then scuttled off, while the guards broke formation and went spider hunting. Scar dragged his hand down his forehead then his face. “We’ve not even had tea yet and there is already something troubling.” The alp sighed, before going off to find Mariela.
Thankfully, Mariela was in another part of the castle, and he could overhear that they were all talking about what life was like back home. It was walking back in that he caught the end of the conversation. That she missed them and her brothers. She did what she had to do, to end up in Hell, and claimed to be okay…sorta. That furrowed brow, meant that she was conflicted. Scar cringed. Oh she didn’t need bad news now, so he put on his happy face and interjected.
“We have plates. Heh. Lunch anyone?”