A/N: I got a lot of complaints about the reviewing process when this story was posted as 'Change', so I deleted it, and re-posted it as something that would be obviously the remake. Thus, 'You Set Me Free: Reborn', was born. Haha, bad joke. ._.
Seriously, sorry for being a pain in the ass. I try to be simple.
Now, I should like to point out that I will try to be as detailed and realistic as possible to real world kidnappings and the psychological effects on both the victims and the kidnappers, so some parts might be dark-evil-ish but I promise HAPPY endings! Maybe. It just may take awhile to get there.
By the way, as I mentioned in the last chapter, at the ending note, I have a music playlist all set up for this. With this chapter, I had no idea what song it should be, so I used the shuffle deal-y on Itunes. Thus, the chapter is now called 'Be Prepared'. I can totally see Kuja dancing around with the Black Mages singing the song.
CHAPTER TWO: BE PREPARED
So prepare for the coup of the century
Be prepared for the murkiest scam
Decades of denial
Is simply why I'll
Be king undisputed
And seen for the wonder I am
Yes, my teeth and ambitions are bared
~ Be Prepared ~ The Lion King OST ~
Kuja wanted to kick himself.
He had acted merely on impulse when he snatched the young dancer, Sora Le Romania-Dragonheart, as she had introduced herself to that stupid monkey-boy. Knowing the nature of the Romani Clan, they could have very well left that day if he had not acted, and he would have lost his best chance at whisking her away. Had he the time to plan, he would have her quarters ready, clothes tailored, and a feast ready. He would have followed her, watched her to discover her likes and dislikes; he would have made everything perfect for her arrival. He may have even taken the time to woo her enough that she would willingly follow him to Hell and back.
It would take longer, but he had no doubts that she would soon love him as a pet should. He was rescuing her from a life of poverty, so why should she not love him? She was obviously on the verge of starvation, as one could see her bones, though only barely. And was certainly not fond of her color of choice when it came to her outfit. While the clothing style itself was perfect, revealing just enough skin to arouse interest from any sensible male, the material and color was simply horrendous. She would look far more lovely in pale purples and blues, or even greens.
From what he had observed thus far, she obviously loathed her own looks, from the color of her skin to the way her hair grew, preferring the same monotonous look her clan shared. Personally, he thought she was a breath of fresh air. The women of Gaia seemed too preoccupied with their looks, while Sora wish hers were the same as others, it was obvious she knew that it was not the main aspect of her life and did not dwell on the thought for long. Her dancing skills made up for any imperfections in her unique form of beauty.
The only true thing that bothered him about her was her irrational fear of the male gender. It had literately paralyzed her when he stroked her spine, and grazed her arms. She instantly became a stuttering fool who could not speak a proper sentence, trembling and crying as though he was traumatizing her. He had laughed at first, when she ran from the boy, but now that she was panicking about her soon-to-be master, well, the situation seemed more dire. How was he to fix such a phobia?
The girl stirred, bringing him to the present, lifting his eyes from the book he held in his hands, turning away from the towering bookshelf to eye her carefully. The moment they had entered his Desert Palace, he had brought her to his library, and placed her in one of the many overstuffed chairs surrounding a maple wood table until further preparations were made. He was actually quite excited to see her reaction to the delightful surprise that awaited her. Would she scream and cry once more? Would she be touched that one of finer ranks such as himself would extend to her such kindness? Would she remain silent and accept it without protest? Would she become angry and lash out? He was curious to know.
He tore his eyes away from her, returning his attention to the book in his hands, "All in due time."
Sora, on the other hand, was terrified. She had just awoke moments before, feeling the burning sensation of eyes on her the second she had moved in the slightest. It was as if he was expecting her to wake any minute now, and was merely waiting it out with barely contained impatience. She wished she never woke, that the Gods had graciously allowed her to die as she was dragged to where she was now; where this was, she feared she may never know. Whatever the man, that ungodly, beautiful man, had planned for her, it was certain to be an absolute disgrace to her honor. He had mentioned something about wanting to hear her voice more, but she was almost sure that it was a lie. She need to escape before his true intentions were revealed.
But he was a magic user! She was quite familiar with the paralysis technique he used on her, before he had cast a Sleep Spell upon her. Her fellow dancers often used the technique to freeze their bodies at impossible angles when necessary. She herself never managed to successfully use any form of magic, but if she could spot the warning signs of a Spellcaster, a Mage, she could place herself on high alert, and on the defensive. She could only think of a single, immediate cure to her situation, slowly forcing herself to open her eyes in a sleepy manner. She couldn't allow anymore dishonor to her family's name, nor to her clan.
"Ah! Turtledove!" Kuja snapped his book shut, tossing it carelessly aside, mindless of where it landed, and moved towards her. She was on her feet quickly, putting the circle of chairs between them, "Why must you be so defensive? I mean you no harm, unless you are disobedient."
Swallowing thickly, she forced her body into a calmer state of mind, the subtle rise in panic making her anxious, but she would not allow herself to show more fear, "I don't understand."
"You see, I was not thorough in my explanation yesterday." He could see the cogs in her mind, going into overdrive to keep from acting on her rising fear, "I brought you here to my palace. Far from the rest of the world, secluded," He ran a finger along the tops of the chairs as he walked, attempting to go to her, but she mirrored his moves, keeping on the opposite side, "Hidden. I only have a single request of you, and if you comply, your life here will be most pleasant."
"And if I don't?" She examined the room, seeing a single window, and a single door in the room of books, "You will force what you want?"
"Precisely. I do suggest the happy alternative, for my methods can be most..." He rubbed his forefinger and thumb together thoughtfully, "Persuasive."
Kuja stopped walking, placing himself in front of the very door she was eying, "Your loyalty. I shall be your master, and you shall be my pet."
Sora could feel a hysteric laugh bubble up, "I have no desire to claim any my master, save for the winds of freedom."
He nodded thoughtfully, "Poetic, I suppose. But altogether, they are meaningless words. You have no choice in the matter."
Her face contorted in pure dismay, and she drew her hands to her chest, turning her back to him – foolish! He shot forward, using a burst of magic to increase his speed, and landed next to her, preparing to place a hand on her shoulder to subdue her. She was too simple minded, allowing herself to leave her flank open for an attack from an enemy as she considered him? How naïve of -
The cold feel of steel against his abdomen made him laugh.
"I-I won't stand for this. Return me to my people."
Lifting his hands so that she could see them, he curiously stared at the dagger she held to him, "Wherever did you hide that, my sweet?"
"M-my belt. I-I'll kill y-you if you d-don't take me home." She stammered, pressing it to his gut a bit more sharply, but he could feel the blade tremble as her shaking hands tried to hold it firm.
He could see the terrified look in her eyes.
Her soul was far to gentle.
"Why must we resort to violence?" He sighed dramatically, and let his hand fall on top of hers, and as expected, she jerked away, but much to her surprise, the blade slid out of her grasp as she did, hovering in the air, "You could not harm a fly, could you?"
She clenched her fists tightly, ignoring the pain in her cut hand as she backed away, "I-I want n-nothing to do with y-you."
Tossing the blade aside, he could feel his lips curve upwards; oh how he enjoyed her game of mock bravery! "My dear, sweet Gypsy, I only ask for your word to obey my every command, in return for everything you could ever want."
"Your commands would be what? Clean after you and cook for you? I am no slave."
"If I should desire you to do so. You will bend to my every whim." His eyes flashed dark, and he repeated the last three words with more emphasis, "My every whim."
Sora could feel the sobs claw out of her chest as her lips shook and cheeks flushed, shaking her head as he moved closer. Her heart was pounding away in her throat, and she felt her rump hit the bookcase behind her, placing her hands behind her for support as he drew closer, his pace painstakingly slow. She couldn't kill him. She was a weak, weak coward, unable to do what was required to get to safety. To return to her family. The only thing she could do was stammer like an idiot and freeze at his touch. Her cowardice would be the end of her.
"Be a doll and just say yes." He coaxed, stopping several feet away.
Closing her eyes, she began to pant and speak rapidly, her distress reaching its peak, "Toate ființele umane se nasc libere și egale în demnitate și în drepturi. Ele sunt înzestrate cu rațiune și conștiință și trebuie să se comporte unele față de altele în spiritul fraternității.*"
She had repeated the phrase several times as he edged close enough to cup her face in his hand, "And these words mean what to me?"
The girl became rigid her eyes locking on him, wide and full of unfiltered fears and tears, "I-I refuse."
He barely saw her right fist as it collided with his cheek, making him stumble back, though more in shock than in pain. She shoved him harshly, forcing him back even more, and ran for the discarded dagger, lunging for it. With a growl, he whirled, thrusting out his palm and quickly closed his hand, releasing a burst of energy from his body to capture her in mid-air. In turn, she began to writhe, fighting to free herself from the spell that kept her hovering just out of reach of her weapon, becoming more and more desperate by the second.
"That was stupid of you to do, my pet!" Kuja hissed through clenched teeth, rubbing his jaw with his free hand, "It will not go unpunished."
Sora grasped a book laying on a table that was barely in her reach, and hurled it in his direction, followed quickly by several others, "Bastard!" She screeched, her eyes becoming livid as she tried to get free, panic surging through her veins, "Filthy pig! You have no right! You have no right to do this!"
"It is my right, you stupid wench!" He snarled, "You should claim me as your God! I am a being of perfection that deserves worship!"
"You're nothing but a pitiful man, if one could call you such!" She screamed back, now out of things to throw. "Toate ființele umane se nasc libere și egale în demnitate și în drepturi. Ele sunt înzestrate cu rațiune și conștiință și trebuie să se comporte unele față de altele în spiritul fraternității!"
"ENOUGH!" Kuja roared out, his hand whipping out and striking her across the cheek, and he forced enough of his magic into her to constrict her breathing, forcing her to fall silent, "I will not have a peasant such as yourself belittle me! You will learn to respect and obey your master, or else you will suffer the consequences!"
He allowed her to drop painfully to the floor, watching her slowly grasp at her throat with her left hand, while she used her right to drag herself to her feet by using the oak wood desk she had landed by. Her body trembled with the effort, and she shoved several books off the desk as she leaned her body against it, followed by several papers. He could see sweat rolling down her back as she struggled to draw breaths, then watched her lower her hand from her throat when she turned to face him.
He did not like the hardened look in her eyes.
As if in slow motion, Kuja could see the first tears fall from her eyes, while her right hand seemed to magically appear at her neck, the glint of a ruby-encrusted letter opener clutched tightly in her grip. He was stunned, unable to move as she drug the item forcefully across her throat, a thin, red line blooming in its wake. She cut herself from ear to ear, crying as she did, and in mere seconds, the thin line of red became a spluttering artery, spewing her life's blood. He couldn't bring himself to move due to the shock, horror filling his face, at least, not until she fell to the floor, her eyes rolling to the back of her head as she near instantly lost all forms of consciousness.
Her lips smiled victoriously at him momentarily, before she succumbed into darkness.
He moved into action, an orb of magic wrapping around her throat, blocking anymore blood from escaping as he cursed loudly. His first concern was to stop the blood flow, then force the lost blood back into her body to avoid finding another method of replenishing her blood's supply. A river of spells roared through his mind, as he tried to quickly sort through them to find the proper ones. He couldn't get this wrong! How could she do such a thing? Did she truly value her freedom more than her life? What a foolish girl!
Though, he himself was a fool. The Romani Gypsies were well know for their strong beliefs, many stories being spread around of them taking their lives for the sake of honor and religion. He had assumed that since she was obviously young, no older than eighteen from his guesses, that she would hold some value upon her life, but perhaps that was more of a reason to be cautious. He wondered if she tried to plot an escape at all, before she tried to kill herself. They were many ways she could have done so. She could have pretended to comply with his wishes. She could have truly killed him. She could have refused to talk, neither agreeing nor diagreeing.
But she acted imediately upon seeing the letter opener, slicing her own throat without hesitation.
Oh, he would be sure that she lived.
She would become his slave.
He would be her master.
The Gypsy was an idiot to think that she had escaped his wrath.
"Sora Le Romania-Dragonheart..." He could feel his lips curl into a sneer, as he poured magic into her throat, watching the pool of blood recede and the wound stitch itself closed, "I, Kuja, hold the shears to clip your wings of freedom, my Cardinal."
She would love him.
A/N: I DO NOT SUPPORT ATTEMPTS AT SUICIDE FOR ANY REASON. IF YOU ARE FEELING SUICIDAL, OUT OF ANGER, DESPERATION OR DEPRESSION OR WHATEVER ELSE, THEN CONTACT A SUICIDE HOTLINE, CLOSE FRIEND, FAMILY MEMBER. HECK, SEND ME A MESSAGE, AND I'LL DO WHAT I CAN TO HELP. JUSTGET SOME FORM OF HELP. THERE ARE ALWAYS PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU, EVEN IF YOU DON'T KNOW IT. SUICIDE ISN'T THE ONLY OPTION, EVEN IF IT FEELS LIKE IT.
*Translation: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
This chapter may seem dark, but it totally isn't. It's to show things from mainly Kuja's point of view, and to give you all an idea as to what this version of Sora sees as strength and weaknesses. Ever seen a die-hard religious fanatic? Think of it like that. Willing to die for her beliefs and all that stuff. I don't condone that in real life, but hey, fiction isn't real life. O3O
I'm just using Romanian for Sora's language, because I'm basing her people roughly off of the Lovari Romani, which are all over Hungary, Romania, Poland, France, Germany, Italy and Greece.
And I'm using Google Translate, so if there's a wrong translation, blame it, not me. :D