For Who Could Ever Love A Beauty? ((BEAUTY AND THE BEAST OPEN STARTER))
Long, long, ago in a land far, far, away, there was a kingdom long forgotten as time passed by. Once, it was ruled by a kind king and queen loved by their subjects. That is, until the Queen died in a sickbed and the king in the battlefield. There was only one heir to the throne. The king and queen’s daughter. But at that time, the young princess was too young to rule the kingdom. So, they found the nearest relative. The king’s power hungry brother, the Duke. The Duke was the complete opposite of the King. He was cruel, especially to his subjects. He never once gave a second glance to the poorer subjects, and instead focused on helping those who already had too much. Nobility. Then, the day came when the princess Scarlettina Darkholme was to accept the crown. She’d grown from a girl to a beautiful young woman. A great ball was to be held in honor of this grand celebration. Only the nobility were allowed to come. The commoners were not even allowed a mile from the castle. It was the way the Duke ruled. Music echoed throughout the ballroom as the festivities began. Dancing, drinking, and laughing were being enjoyed by all who were invited to come. All except one. “Your majesty, what’s wrong?” A servant maid asked the young princess “Do you really think my uncle held these festivities for me?” Scarlett said as she sat on the Rome set in front of the ballroom “He’s devastated to give up the crown.” The servant maid stayed silent. Anything she said against the king will be held against her. The Duke wasn’t just a cruel leader, was also a feared one, even amongst his so called friends. They just never said a word. “My dear niece!” The Duke called, walking towards the throne “Excuse me, mi lady.” The maid said, and quickly left before the Duke could’ve seen her. “Yes, uncle?” Scarlett said, looking over to her uncle just as the first song of the night ended “It’s a party held for you, and here you are sulking in the corner. Why?” The Duke said “Come and dance. Many young men here would like to have a chance to take you dancing.” “But-” “No buts.” Said the Duke, and he grabbed her arm and walked over towards the dance floor “Ladies and gentlemen!” He said loudly that made Scarlett flinch “I present to you, the heiress to the throne of the kingdom of Nievello, Scarlettina Atalanta Duerre Darkholme!” There was clapping that only made the young princess cower more, as if wanting to hide herself from behind her uncle. “Would anyone care to dance with my young niece?” The Duke said “Uncle, please…” Scarlett said quietly. The only response she got was a glare from her uncle. Suddenly, the large ballroom doors opened, letting in a huge gust of wind that blew out almost every candle and startled every guest. There stood a figure of a man in dusty robes. The crowd, bewildered, parted as the figure walked towards the Duke and the princess. Once they got closer, Scarlett could see under the man’s cloak. He looked scrawny, with stringy black hair and pale. “My lord, my lady,” the man kneeled in front of the two “I only ask for shelter from the storm. And, if you would be so kind, a dance with the princess. Only one.” “Dance?” The Duke laughed like it was an absurd idea. Unsure, the crowd hesitantly laughed along with him “You, a filthy commoner, to dance with the princess?” He barked “Uncle-” Scarlett tried, but he would not listened “Please, your majesty.” The stranger said “I’m exchange, I only have a rose.” From his coat, he took out a beautiful red rose and offered it to the Duke. But the Duke only slapped it away from him and the Rose fell to the ground “Guards! Take this man away!” He yelled But the guards never came close. Instead, the stranger glared at both of them. The guards went flying time the wall. The crowd gasped. Underneath the cloak, beggar turned into a handsome young man. A warlock, no less. “You will pay for your recompense.” The warlock told the Duke Immediately, the Duke cowered and kneeled in front of the warlock “Please, I’m begging you, I did not know-!” “You base your opinions solely on a man’s looks. You are not fit to rule this kingdom.” Said the warlock “For that, you must be punished!” He raised his hand to smite the Duke, until a voice called “Stop!” The warlock paused and turned to face the princess. Taking the advantage, the crowd ran through the doors and out the castle. “Please, spare him,” Scarlett said “This man has no right to-” “I know.” She said “I know… But he is family, despite his wrongs. Please… Just take me instead.” “What?” The warlock was startled “Please… Spare my uncle and-” she bit her lip “-take me instead.” The warlock hesitated “Yes, listen to the girl!” The Duke said Scarlett glared at him. As much as she hated that man, he was the only family she had left… Sadly. Was she naive? Maybe. “Fine.” The Warlock said. He turned back to the a Duke with a murderous glare “Away with you.” The Duke disappeared in a cloud of black smoke “Now, princess…” The warlock said, turning to face her “You have no fault in this, and yet you took your wretched uncle’s punishment. For that, I lessen the punishment. But you will still bare a curse. A curse that can only be broken by true love.” “True love?” She repeated confused. That sounded like a storybook. “Yes. If someone learns to love you truly, and not just in appearances.” The warlock said. He picked up the fallen rose “Until the last petal falls…” He cast a spell on the princess, on the castle, and everyone in it. Nobody knew what had happened to them. Soon, their tale was long forgotten. That is… Until someone had come upon the castle.