Summary: Even though she was well liked, I don't think she was close to anyone. (OC involved) One Shot
Author's Note: Thank you for reading. All comments and criticism are loved and appreciated. Enjoy.
Author's Note 2: EDITS: Thanks to the first review, I've made some changes to correct my horrible grammar. Also, fixed a major plot hole. The story is the same, but I cleaned out repeated phrases, places where I typed the wrong word tense, etc. If you've read the story before the edits then there is no reason to reread it again unless you enjoyed it enough for a reread.
Thank you all for reading and especially to Arbiterai Knight for such excellent eagle eyes. :) Thank you.
When she arrived, she came with a suitcase. She was prim and ladylike in her behavior and speech. Every demon had its oddities though. I remember the king raving mad over something petty Kirby had done. Swearing up and down he would order the strongest demon, a demon better than any other, as usual. Then she came from the Holy NightMare Co. instead. I felt sure she would reveal her monstrous nature and easily be defeated, but nothing happened further that day. Whatever rage the king planned to act on died out. The woman chose a room down the hall near the apartment my companions and I shared. That's where she lived from then on. She called herself a "counselor" and became another of the king's lackeys.
Life went back to normal except in the early morning hours I would hear soft taps of her black, button up boots echoing off the stonewalls of the castle. The woman, she called herself Eliza, wore a military dress uniform daily. A crimson sash crossed her chest over the straight line of gleaming brass buttons on her dark black coat. She spoke gently winning the good graces of almost everyone. Fumu was polite, but her distrust of Eliza was evident. I veiled my own disdain for the woman with social tact as well.
I often would find her with the king. Eliza usually sat on the arm of the king's throne when he was scheming or shopping for new demons. She would lean on his shoulder gently whispering hushed advice or muttering aloud brief ideas. If the self-proclaimed king utilized the idea, he would applaud himself for "thinking of it all on his own". She would then give a second-long glance to Customer Service. Then the girl would flip her black licorice bob style hair and settle back into her usual disinterested mood. Her eyes glazed over and Eliza seemed as if she was farther away than any star I had ever visited.
Occasionally, during the first months after her arrival we would run into each other as I patrolled the castle. Each meeting held a stiff, rigged tension. Eliza was no taller than I was, yet her eye level rested above mine. Her deep pink eyes often caught the light in such a way I swore her eyes glowed when she glared me down. Eliza saw my true motives before we even exchanged a word. I swore loyalty to this pretend king and remained close to DeDeDe to keep a tab on Nightmare. She served the greatest evil of the Universe. We were enemies before even knowing one another.
The king showed her the castle the day after she arrived. I came across DeDeDe, Escargon, and Eliza by mistake and hid myself as they went out onto a balcony on the third floor.
"There! The pink thing playing with the children. That's Kirby!" The penguin seethed. He listed off every "crime" Kirby had committed. More than half of the accusations were egregiously false and the remaining offenses were exaggerated to the limits of believability. He bashed his fists against the railing childishly before storming off in a fit. Escargon trailed after him while attempting to calm his foul mood. Eliza remained on the terrace.
"An all-powerful lord of darkness is afraid of this? That poor thing is only a child." She grumbled in disgust.
I could almost respect her sentiment if it wasn't for the fact that any plan she concocted was so effective. Each Eliza's plans would almost succeed. From poison to trip traps in the hallway, it was hard to guess what the woman would think of next.
She and I clashed swords numerous times. She knew I would interfere and attempted to busy me. Each blow of the sword, though, was clumsy. Her fighting lacked technique and grace. I could tell head-to-head combat wasn't her style. Like her plans, Eliza was secretive and quite. Yet with every plan, she insistently sought me out to engage me in combat. It became a trademark flaw of her otherwise perfect plots. When we fought, I knew Kirby would stumble obliviously into a trap, yet our fighting alerted others to the danger. Fumu or another would race off to find Kirby to warn him when Eliza and I dueled. It was as if she tripped an alarm on herself every time.
However, she showed kindness to Kirby when she wasn't laying hidden traps or sending demons after him. Kirby willingly forgave her day after day. Sometimes I would see her secretly giving the boy a persimmon. She gave him gentle warnings to be safe and careful every time. Occasionally, Eliza and Kirby would have tea on a secluded balcony away from DeDeDe's eyes. I can't remember when, but one day I noticed she had begun to say to 'hello' to me in the hallway. It wasn't much, but overtime she started to tip her head in a polite gesture. I returned it in kind every time. Even after the bitterest fights, greeting her in the hallways was pleasant. I almost look forward to it.
Even so, I never was sure or trusting about her alignment. It became necessary to remain vigilant at all times Sword, Blade, and I took turns keeping watch at night for months. Eliza schemed into the late and deep hours of the night. One such night, I found Eliza in the throne room. I concealed myself close to the door to listen. Her voice, although hushed, yelled passionately.
"I am doing my best." She snapped. Customer Service chuckled and responded in a condescending tone.
"You haven't had victory yet Eliza. You were supposed to kill Kirby yourself. By your own hand. Why do you insist on sending in other demons to do your job?"
An uncomfortable silence held the air. I cracked the old doors a bit to glance into the room. Eliza's fierce, deep pink eyes burned at the large screen as if she could drill holes into the head of the one she spoke with. Customer Service gave a smug chuckle.
"Maybe I should report you've been trying to disobey and sabotage His Majesty."
"LIAR!" Roared the small figure. Her hands clenched into trembling fists. The blood boiled in her cheeks as the small woman quarreled, probably for her life, with Customer Service. I had never seen Eliza's anger so raw, so open, so pure before. She was afraid and fearless all mixed up in a knot. For the first time I saw the real Eliza.
The corners of those pink eyes caught mine. I backed away from the door and dashed down the hall. I could feel my cheeks burning from embarrassment. Stealth was something I prided myself on, but it was only a small portion of my shame. I left her all on her own. I couldn't do anything except stand in that doorway and watch. I leaned on a cold wall for support I couldn't give.
I never discovered what Customer Service ordered her specifically to do after I had left, but from then on Eliza stopped. She withdrew any kindness she normally showed to Kirby. She wouldn't even look at him if it could be helped. Her plans and schemes stopped too. DeDeDe became angry of course. After all, how could he think up any good plans if she wouldn't? For hours, she simply disappeared from the castle. Eliza would walk the field or coast alone away from the town and other people. Purple bags ringed her eyes and she slouched a little more. Of course, like a true lady, she would straighten herself up properly if speaking to someone, but it was rare if she spoke anymore.
One day, I was on a walk of my own by the beach. The tropical Pupupu Land never got cold in winter, but the weather did cool to a brisk 60 degrees during the day. There, on the beach, Eliza stood by herself. I considered turning back to give her privacy, but she caught me with her pink eyes and silently beckoned me over to her. She straitened herself to her full height, as a soft fluttery sigh told me of her sleepless nights and anxiety.
"What would you do?" she asked me. I didn't know what exactly to say in response. This woman was my enemy. Could I really call her that?
"He's just a child." She breathed out.
"You never aimed to succeed did you?" I asked. Eliza shook her head confirming my thought. I continued on, "You're not one of his creations are you? You've been captured and are under his influence."
There was no further response. We stood together on the beach watching the waves roll in and out. Small crabs side stepped along the ocean's edge. My gaze fixated on the horizon where the ocean met the sky. Looking at Eliza was painful. She slowly withered away day by day. The conflict chewed her up from the inside out. I knew what I would do in her place, but she wasn't me. Who was I to tell her how to act and live? Eliza had to make her own choices. Still, I had to answer her. Time came to a standstill as we stood on the sandy shoreline. At least, for me it did.
"I would do the right thing." I finally answered her. We didn't say anything further. I can't remember how long we were there or when she left, but I remember she left first.
A group of Waddle Dee roused me awake in the middle of that night. Each one frantic as they pulled my companions and me down the hall to Eliza's room.
We told everyone the next morning Eliza had left during the night. We couldn't offer an explanation as to why or to where, but everyone accepted the story willingly. DeDeDe threw a tantrum about how he wasn't paying her for any vacation time she took. Kirby wore downcast expression and I promised he would see her again someday. She had left him a whole bowl of persimmons as a token of goodbye.
Sword, Blade and I had buried Eliza outside on the south castle wall before morning's first light.
She had left me a letter lying on her old suitcase reading; "I couldn't do the right thing. So, I made sure I wouldn't do the wrong thing. Don't let anyone know please. With gratitude, Eliza."