PREVIOUSLY: Prince Shun succeeded, while Paige rescued Blake! Here’s the aftermath.
[Instead of the dimly lit hallway, the doorway leads back to the central room with the hosts. Wildfire greets them with a slow clap.]
Wildfire: Well, well, look who defeated the big bad dragon and rescued her lad in distress. Bravo.
[Blake takes a step towards her, getting awfully sick of being labelled a helpless weakling. However, Paige wraps an arm around his neck and pulls him back. He starts to tell her to let go, but he sees she shares his anger and stops.]
Night: Oh, we should have let Princess Charming do that on her side.
Wildfire: I say we should’ve let them all do that. But why Charming specifically? You sweet on her after your date?
Night: There’s no special reason. I just think it suits her.
[With hands clasped together, Ambrosia runs an eye over the returned pair before moving to approach them.]
[The place where Wildfire had elbowed her before is still tender, if not bruised, and as Ambrosia walks, she partially favors one side. When she reaches the two, she dips into a deep bow, bending from the waist as low as reasonably possibly. At this display, a frown crosses Arsenik’s face.
Blake and Paige are both surprised. Blake turns his eyes away in embarrassment, and Paige reaches out a hand as if wanting to stop her.]
Paige: Ah, you don’t have to…
Ambrosia: I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lady Paige, Sir Blake – no, from you both and the rest of your team. No threat should have come upon any of you, and for that, I cannot apologize enough.
[Arsenik crosses his arms and quirks a brow at Wind, who glares back at him before snapping at Ambrosia.]
Wind: Don’t apologize for me. They knew what they were involving themselves with when they came here.
Ambrosia: This isn’t on your behalf. You are always free to do as you please, Sir Wind, or you wouldn’t be yourself. I’m only sorry they were troubled and that I was not able to help them.
[Wind’s hand clenches into a fist. Ambrosia’s lips turn up in a smile. A soft one, the kind that has led others to call her the gentle flower of the island.]
Ambrosia: But I can now. I know it won’t make up for what you experienced, but please allow me to treat your injuries. And if there is any anger left in you – towards Sir Wind or the circumstances in general…I ask that you direct it at me. I will accept responsibility for what never should have happened.
[Paige rubs the back of her neck nervously.]
Paige: Please, it’s fine, don’t worry about it. Blake’s okay, so I’m really not upset anymore.
Blake: It’s not your fault anyway. You can’t control what that short-sighted psychopath does.
[Paige presses a hand against her face and sighs at Blake’s big mouth. Talk about being short-sighted.]
Paige: Anyway, the healing would be much appreciated, but just for Blake. Don’t waste your energy on me.
[Blake tosses his glare onto Paige.]
Blake: You’ve gotta be kidding me. I’m the one who should be saying that. You’re covered with cuts; stop being such a tough girl.
Ambrosia: Yes, every brave heart must rest before their next great battle. Surely, it is the same for hockey players? So, please accept it as a just reward for a job well done. I would be more than happy to tend to Sir Blake afterwards as well.
[Arsenik steps up beside her and leans down to address her in a faintly lowered voice.]
Arsenik: Miss Ambrosia, ought you to rest? It hasn’t been that long since you’ve seen to one of the others. And this is, in fact, the second time you’re treating one of their members.
Ambrosia: Sir Arsenik, you’re being silly! I would be ashamed to call myself a healer if I tired half as quickly. Really, this is no different than how it is back at home. Not only that but, why, I have so much energy I could dance. Another patient or two will not hurt, least of all when it is my duty.
[Arsenik suppresses a sigh with a half-hearted smile.]
Arsenik: How well I know it…
[Ambrosia turns towards an empty room.]
Ambrosia: Please follow me, Lady Paige.
Paige: Well, I suppose if you insist.
Ambrosia: Indeed, I do! Once I saw those injuries, I wasn’t about to let you go.
[She lets out a small chuckle, nearly as if it were a jest. Although, she meant every word.
Paige tepidly follows her to the room, glancing back briefly at Blake. He’s slightly irritated to be separated from her so soon after being reunited, but he doesn’t let it show.
As they leave, Wind finally notices the way Ambrosia favors one side when she moves. He hadn’t seen what happened after he had whisked Blake away to his room, but now, he had to wonder.]
[They enter a quaint chamber, crafted from hard stone and cold marble like everything else. A round table with three chairs is all that is there to welcome any guests. As Ambrosia slides the door shut behind Paige, she smiles.]
Ambrosia: Please make yourself comfortable. And if there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to tell me.
[Paige returns her smile. She sits down in one of the chairs with her hands folded in her lap and tries not to fidget. She feels like she’s taken a trip to a strange doctor’s office.
Ambrosia begins to walk towards the cabinet set against the far wall.]
Ambrosia: I am glad that you and Sir Blake are no longer at odds with each other. I couldn’t help but notice there was some tension among your team after the last challenge. Though, I could be mistaken. All of you seem to have a close bond that allows for such bold expressions of feeling.
Paige: Oh, yeah, sorry about that. Blake tends to spew the first thing that comes to his mind. I’m usually pretty good with dealing with it, but I was already a bit stressed out.
[She picks at her nails, hoping she hadn’t made anyone feel uncomfortable. She hated doing that.]
Paige: We don’t really consider where we’re at and who’s around us when we go off on each other. We’re not the most courteous house guests, huh?
Ambrosia: Mm…well, if you ask me, the best kinds of guests are the ones who can feel right at home with you. To be honest, I rather admire your confidence.
[She begins to move through the contents of the cabinet. There’s the clatter of a hard object and the swishing of fabric. She glances back at Paige.]
Ambrosia: Please let me see where all your injuries are.
Paige: Sure, no problem.
[Paige slips her shirt over her head to reveal the numerous thorn marks on her back and even a few that have crept around to her abdomen.]
Ambrosia: Ah, if only the pain had been as illusory as the thorns themselves…
[She moves forward. Again, the scarlet handkerchief is in her hand, and she begins to dab at the wounds on Paige’s back first. Like before, the soft silk is faintly moist and a single touch makes the injuries disappear without a trace.]
Ambrosia: it’s good to see that Sir Viktor did not make you bleed, though.
[Paige chuckles at the memory of the fight.]
Paige: Ah, yeah. He was too nice to me. I’d hate it if someone with bad intentions ever took advantage of such a sweet guy.
Ambrosia: I can hardly imagine anyone who would! All the same, he is fortunate that it was you he was facing.
[Smiling, Ambrosia continues to work her way around Paige’s back. Whenever the handkerchief starts to run dry, she draws it back, touches at something inside her left sleeve, and then brings it out damp once more. Her movements carry a natural swiftness and precision born only from routine.]
Ambrosia: Speaking of which, congratulations on your victory against him. I must say…if you were to win this game show, I’m curious as to what you and your friends would ask to receive from the prince.
Paige: Oh yeah, I completely forget about that. I was so excited about the competition.
[Paige tilts her head and looks contemplative.]
Paige: Hmm, I’m not sure if there’s anything I really want. I could say a billion dollars, but that’s kind of cliche, isn’t it? Ooo, how about a lifetime supply of cheese!
[As Ambrosia give a soft chuckle, Paige lights up at the thought but then shakes her head.]
Paige: No, wait, Blake will never go for that. I guess I don’t know what I would ask for. Maybe one of the guys has an idea.
Ambrosia: I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone with such a passion for a cheese before. But I like your attitude, Lady Paige. It’ll be sad when we have to part ways.
[She works her way around to Paige’s abdomen, finishing up the last remaining injuries there.]
Ambrosia: I would have liked to have been friends.
Paige: Don’t be silly! We can still be friends even if we don’t get a chance to see one another that often. Actually, it might be better since I’m better in small doses. I usually end up doing something stupid to scare people off.
[With one final dab of her handkerchief and a smile, Ambrosia draws back.]
Ambrosia: There we are. You should be all better now. Please tell me if you’re still in any pain.
Paige: Thanks! Wow, this would come in real handy where I live. I get injured somehow at least once a week, ha ha.
Ambrosia: Ah, you must have a very active lifestyle! I would be happy to let you take some with you, but I’m afraid it wouldn’t work unless it was fresh.
Paige: That’s too bad.
[She gets back up and stretches her limbs.]
Paige: I hope I’m not asking too much, but could you take care of Blake, too? I don’t think he’s injured all that badly, just a little knick.
[She chuckles to herself.]
Paige: Unless you have something for a bruised ego.
Ambrosia: I would be more than happy to see to Sir Blake. Please ask him to come in, and I’ll take care of him.
She gives one of her customary bows before moving back towards the cabinet in the back. Paige takes her leave to retrieve Blake. Blake can’t hide his relieved expression when he sees her]
Paige: All done. It’s your turn, partner.
[Blake rolls his eyes]
Blake: I told you I don’t need it! It’s just a scratch. Can we just–
[Paige folds her arms and stares him down until Blake curses and relents]
Blake: Tch, fine. I’m going.
[He shakes his head as he enters the room Ambrosia is in, mumbling to himself]
Blake: Stupid, stubborn woman…
[He avoids eye contact with Ambrosia and sighs]
Blake: Alright, let’s get this over with.
Ambrosia: I like your enthusiasm.
[With a small chuckle, she gestures to the chair that Paige last occupied with a sweep of her arm.]
Ambrosia: Please, have a seat, Sir Blake, and let me see your injury. Ah, and I suppose it would be too much to ask for a great, big smile.
[Blake sits down, but he doesn’t comply with the smile request. He didn’t care if he was acting like a spoiled child, he didn’t want to be here.
As she recalls how Blake ended up hurt, Ambrosia’s own smile begins to falter.]
Ambrosia: Again, I do apologize for the trouble caused to you. I do wish I could make it up to you.
Blake: Like I said, it’s not your fault. You can’t control what your friends do.
[He casts his gaze towards the wall]
Blake: You’re just like Paige, getting worked up over nothing. I’m fine.
[Observing his seeming interest in the wall and overall grumpiness, Ambrosia knew exactly what kind of patient he was. Without even thinking, she adopts the sort of teasing smile that typically charmed stubborn warriors or, at the very least, softened them.]
Ambrosia: How strange! Most men would be happy about being so popular. Don’t you know that when a woman worries over you, it means she cares? So, just consider this our way of spoiling you.
[Blake tries in vain to suppress a blush when he thinks of Paige worrying over him. He curses inwardly at how easy it is to fluster him.
She already has the scarlet handkerchief ready in her hand, and she approaches him with it.]
Ambrosia: Now, please show me where you’re scratched?
[Blake chooses to keep his mouth shut for once, simply lifting up the end of his shirt to show off the scar on his chest.
With a single dab of her handkerchief, the tiny cut vanishes.]
Ambrosia: There we are! You know, I think that Lady Paige…
[She pauses as if catching herself before shaking her head.]
Ambrosia: Ah, never mind.
[Blake’s curiosity gets the better of him as he finally turns to make eye contact with her.]
Blake: What about Paige?
[She hides a small chuckle behind a hand.]
Ambrosia: It’s nothing, really. Only that I’m sure she’s proud of you for doing this. I would be surprised if some part of her doesn’t admire you for being able to face death so fearlessly.
[She reaches forward to give his nose a very gentle tap with her finger.]
Ambrosia: So, don’t lose hope, Sir Blake, and just keep being yourself. I’m wishing you both good luck.
[Blake’s eyes widen, and he quickly retreats from her, towards the door, to hide his expression.]
[After a beat he adds]
Blake: For healing Paige and me.
[Blake is startled to find Paige outside waiting for him.]
Paige: You okay? You look a bit red.
Blake: I’m fine. Just come on already. The string bean is probably worried sick.
[He avoids eye contact with her as they head back to rejoin their team.]
Next week is the grand finale! Find out who wins the game show then.
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NEXT: The Finale