So here's another one about AkarixLuke. I recently went through my old fairy-tale books which I loved as a kid and got this inspiration to turn it into a kind of 'Cinderella' story. Maybe not the most novel idea but I'd like to give it a try ^^ I still keep writing my other story as well. Please read & review and let me know what you think! ^^ Thanks and I hope you'll enjoy!

Disclaimer: I neither own 'Harvest Moon' nor 'Cinderella' or any of the characters.

Chapter 1: Family Affairs

Akari's father Jack acquired an old farm on Waffle Island three years ago. With a lot of hard work it became the biggest and most successful one for miles around in a short time. When he passed away just a few months ago, she inherited the property while her stepmother Elaine took over the finances- spending it all for herself and her daughter Kelly. In all those years they had never lifted a finger to help with the farm, nor did they ever care about it. But for some reason, which Akari still couldn't work out to date, Jack trusted and loved Elaine and for his sake she never complained.
Akari is now the one to manage the farm all by herself, being left behind without earning any of the money but she would do anything to keep her beloved father's dream alive – and she never fails to find a way.

'Here you go, Yolanda, your delivery of fresh eggs.'

'Thanks so much, Akari!' The resolute pink-haired lady eyed the young farmer from head to toe. 'You know, you've become so slim and you look awfully tired. Are you alright, dear? I'm afraid you're working way too hard.'

'Please don't worry about me', Akari smiled, 'I am just fine! I love my work and this farm, it was my father's dream…and it's mine, too, after all.'

'But you have to manage it all by yourself while your stepmother just keeps spending all the money. It's like you have to start all over again every day, with nothing. It breaks my heart to know you're in this difficult situation!'

'Well, actually I earn some money for myself at "On the hook". Ozzie offered me a part-time job, I'm helping there four evenings per week. But please, we need to keep this a secret!'

'Y-yes, of course. But I really think you're working way too hard', Yolanda sighed. 'Here, take this and keep it for yourself.'

Ever since she came here, Akari instantly bonded with the Sundae Inn's cook who always cared for her; in the meantime they were almost as close as grandmother and granddaughter.

'Yolanda, I cannot acc-'

'Sssh! This is the price for the eggs, right?'

Akari knew it was useless to discuss with her. 'Well, I…thank you so much!'

'Not at all! Oh, by the way, can you bring some vegetables tomorrow? I need to prepare the food for Chase and Maya's engagement party.'

'Yes, sure! What would you like?'

'Some cabbage would be good as well as bread fruit and strawberries if you have?'

'Yeah, no problem. I'll bring it over tomorrow noon.'

'Great, dear! See you tomorrow then…and please take care.'

Akari winked at her as she went out and headed back to the farm.

'Elaine, I'm home!'

'Hello Akari! Did you deliver the eggs, honey?'

'Yeah, here.' She pulled a bundle of money out of her bag while she secretly kept Yolanda's little tip for herself.

'Is that all? Oh well, we should rather sell more mayonnaise, it brings in more money.'

'Sure', Akari sighed. 'Um, you know, tomorrow night is Chase and Maya's party-'

'Oh, yes of course! What a nice idea that they arrange a masked ball! I heard they will invite some guests from abroad, too, this is so exciting!'

'Yeah…um, could I get some money to buy a new dress? They offer some specials at the tailor shop and-'

'Wait, you wanna go, too?'

'Well, yes. Chase and Maya are my friends and they invited me.'

'But honey, I need you to bring Santana to Mineral Town tomorrow morning. Barley will be awaiting you at his ranch for the handover. I'm afraid you won't be back here in time for the ball, the passage will take all day.'

'What are you saying? You sold my horse?' Akari's eyes were glowing from anger while they started to fill with tears.

'Yes, of course. He's too untamed to be ridden or to use him for breeding, we cannot afford to keep him.'

'That's bullshit', Akari yelled. 'I'm very well able to ride him and if you wouldn't spend so much money-'

'That's enough! I know what I'm doing! Don't you ever dare to talk to me like that again! Or you want me to rather sell Santana to a slaughterhouse?'

'But he was a present from my father', Akari sobbed.

'I know…but Jack would understand.' Elaine cleared her throat. 'You should act like an adult and accept what's best for the farm. Now be a good girl and buy new chicken feed from Brownie Ranch, here's some money. And don't spend it for other things, I will find out.' She raised her index finger.

Akari stormed outside and right into the barn. She looked up at her black stallion and laid her head onto his. 'Oh Santana…I will never understand why my father ever married such a ruthless woman. And now she even takes you away from me.' Her tears dropped onto his nose and he nickered in response. 'I wish I could just run away with you but I could never leave dad's farm in her hands. Please forgive me', she whined. 'Come on, I want to ride out at least one last time'. After she saddled up, she drew in the reins and they rushed off to Praline Forest.

Thanks for reading!