Chapter 11 - Hard Lessons, Easy Prey
"How dare you kidnap me! Do you have any idea who I am?!?!?"
Relena yelled at the insolent man who entered the room she considered her prison. The man merely left some clean clothing and towels at the little table by the door and left, giving no indication that he had heard her. That infuriated her more.
"My father and brother will kill you!!!! I'm not kidding!"
Only the echoes of her voice responded to her anger and frustration. Huffing, Relena punched her pillow as hard as she could several times. It helped a little, but she was still here. Once again, Relena looked around, trying to find a way out of this prison.
The pink walls glared at her pleasantly, just as they had the first time she looked at them. The quartz was lovely, but even she who loved the color was nauseated by it. Everything in the room was pink. Her walls were pink. Her furniture was bedecked in pink upholstery embroidered with silk pink threads. Her bed was fitted with pink sheets. Even the light coming through her windows reflected that ghastly pink color. To add to the disturbing pink décor, that man had just left her a pink dress and pink towels.
Relena walked to a window and pushed with all her might. It did not budge. She tried to break it by pounding on the glass with a pink footstool. It did not even scratch. She got desperate enough to command the Darkness damned window to open. It ignored her.
Finally, Relena gave up for the day. She did the same things every day. She woke up in pink. She yelled at the servants who brought her more pink things. She tried to break out of the room. Then she would give up and plot for the next day. It was all very tiring. Relena sat on her pink chair by the small table at the foot of her bed and lifted the pink coverlet off her tray of food. At least the food had other colors than pink.
"Okay.. Green turnip leaves seasoned with.." Relena tasted and chewed thoughtfully. "Seasoned with ginger and tarragon. Next.. Roast quail stuffed with rosemary bread pudding.. Not bad.."
Relena swallowed the bit of quail and then moved onto the next morsel of food.
"Apple gelatin with a.. red wine pear sauce.. Not my favorite.. Still tasty.. Stuffed tomato.. Ewww, I think I taste pine nuts.. Jellied cherries with mint.. Oooooh, chocolate mousse.. Exquisite.." Relena continued appraising her food. She described each item, commenting on the texture, the taste, and various other things that she'd seen food connoisseurs do at court. After all, she had nothing better to do.
"I hope I don't gain too much weight.. A princess should be slim, beautiful, and well accessorized.."
Relena had to keep talking to herself just to hear some sound. She didn't pay attention to the inanities that rolled off her tongue, but spoke just so that she could hear something. Anything. She had been here too long, since that dream when she had been told that she would be the Child of Light. She still didn't know how she ended up in the pink room or who had kidnapped her, but she didn't want to know. Somewhere deep inside, she knew that the culprit was that amazing man she had met in her dream, the one named Treize. But if he had kidnapped her, she would have no recourse but suicide to escape this terrifyingly pink dungeon. So it was not Treize. It was some fool who wanted to ransom her off. That was all. Besides, she didn't really believe that absurdity about her being the Child of Light. Gracious, if anything, she would have to be a Child of Darkness.
"Red wine spiced with honey and cloves.. Not bad.. Still, I would have liked some juice or something.. Mintberry juice would hit the spot.."
Because Relena kept rambling on about her sustenance, she did not see Treize materialize in the middle of her room. She did not hear him walk across the pink carpet towards her. She nearly choked on her food when he spoke.
"Ah, Princess, I hope your stay so far has been pleasant."
Relena coughed until the piece of offending quail dislodged itself from her throat. Then she whipped around, fork still in hand, to face the man.
"YOU! How can it be you?"
Treize smiled at Relena's amazement. She was a smart young lady, a bit spoiled, but she was still the best Child of Light this world had to offer. All he needed to do was open her eyes.
"Relena, you have the most amazing ability to deny the truth which can be seen plainly. You knew it was I who brought you here."
Bristling at his comment, Relena pointed at him with her fork.
"No, that's impossible. I saw you in a dream. Dreams don't mesh with reality. You are not that man from my dream. Reveal yourself!"
Still smiling, Treize gently brushed aside the fork poking him in the chest. It was quite amusing, really, to have a girl in a frilly pink nightgown threaten his life with a piece of silverware.
"I believe I already introduced myself. As for dreams and reality.. Princess, they are just a whisper's breadth apart. I cross the line often."
Relena eyed this man who called himself Treize. He wasn't lying, she could tell, but who could believe such a far fetched story about her kidnapping? Unless..
"You know magic, don't you."
Treize smiled grew bigger, showing his white teeth. "Yes, Relena. I know magic. Very well, in fact. There is no one in this world past or present who knows it like I do. And I want to teach you, bring you to fulfillment."
Puzzled but intrigued, Relena sat down on her bed and continued to listen.
"You see, my dear Child of Light, you have a great capacity. As much magic and power I have, you will be greater, more powerful. You will have power beyond anyone's imagination, the power of the Light to cleanse this world. You are the champion of purity."
The smooth voice was lulling her into complacency, Relena realized. She snapped herself out of the silken flow and stood.
"You are still going on about that dribble, are you? I told you, the Light is evil. And so are you, if you serve it. And I'm not the Child of Light. You're confusing me with someone, I'm sure of it."
Suddenly, the blue eyes which had held good humor and culture glinted to show ice.
"Stop being foolish, Relena. The Light is no more evil than the Darkness. They are the same thing, they can't exist without each other. You have been taught that the Light is evil because it opposes life. That is untrue. Light opposes corruption and when those who live become tainted beyond redemption by the Darkness, the Light must come and cleanse it away. Don't you see? This world is dirty, filled with malice that cannot be mended. Don't you want happiness for all your subjects? Don't you want to give them everlasting peace, the joy of truth?"
"Not if it means killing them."
Treize reached out a gloved hand and caressed Relena's hair gently. She was a caring girl, incapable of harming someone. Beneath her child like façade, beyond her petty wishes, there was a person with an infinitely gentle heart. He would make sure that she retained that beauty within. After all, the Child of Light had to be as pure as the Light itself.
"My dear Relena, it isn't death. It is a rebirth. You will see it soon."
Relena gazed steadily into the blue eyes that held sincerity. He was truly believing in his words; he had conviction that she had not seen in anyone else. "But the world isn't so corrupt. I see beautiful things and caring people everyday. Even my brother who can be a total jerk is caring. You are seeing things too harshly."
"Do you care to wager on that, Relena? Shall I show the world as it really is?"
Confusion stormed Relena. What did he mean?
"I shall show you. So you may learn."
Before Relena could protest, Treize waved his hands before her eyes and uttered a spell. For a while, there was silence. Then Relena's screams tore at the silence and her tears marred her face. She screamed until her voice and body gave out. Even then, the tears did not stop and neither did the horrible visions before her eyes.
Treize pulled the soft blankets around Relena's exhausted body. Her face was streaked in tears and she still whimpered like a hurt child. But she had seen what he had wanted her to see. She had seen all the terrible things people did to each other every day, all the horrors humanity could perpetrate on others. She had seen without having the power to stop any of it. Now, after this terrifying ordeal, she would understand. She had suffered, but it had been for her own good. She would no longer live in a dreamy illusion but would see things as they really were. People were terrible beings who tore at each other, betrayed on another and wallowed in selfish intent. She would fix all that, and in the process, grant him the one thing he wanted more than anything in the world. In the end, the Light and he would win because of the gentleness of this one, small girl.