10 One More Stop

A/N: It's been so long, I really have no words other than that it seems like the universe hates us authors for gazing into the multiverse and bringing their secrets to this realm... Alas, I am back and will start dropping chaps every now and then.

So now, enjoy.


A carriage was traveling on a gravel road at moderate speed, it was a common horse-drawn carriage, but not so common, this showed that the owners were well-off to say, the lush vegetation at the side of the road was vibrant and serene.

But it was not all solitude and nature as there were carriages that would drive by, all varied in sizes, shapes, and purposes, to those being used by the common people and those being used by the nobility.

There was the unicycle and bicycle as well as the vintage or at this period of time, 'modern vehicles', that would be driven by as they would kick up large clouds of dust and fumes.

Yet even so the air was surprisingly clean and clear thanks to the large and lush forests at the sides of the road.

Anyway, it was not long before this carriage reached a point that seemed like a toll, this one was not a mere toll as it seemed more like a city gate for it had a large wall made of large gray stones and a large gate. That and it had a large squadron of fully armed soldiers that acted as guardsmen.

There were many vehicles of all sorts being inspected, regulated, and checked.

As the carriage drew closer a short, slightly obese soldier came running towards it seeming to have recognized it somehow, or at least tried as he was in his armor and helmet, which made it a little harder for him to perform the act with great dexterity.

"Haah! G-good afternoon my lady!" He wheezed as he stood near the carriage that has also stopped at that time.

"Mmm" A calm and cold hum of acknowledgment came from it, before it, or more specifically, she continued.

"Is he around?"

"Ah? Oh, him? I am sorry my lady but the captain is back in town, his shift will be starting this evening" The short soldier having recovered surprisingly quickly answered swiftly.

"I see, perfect then." The lady spoke with a hint of joy, but for some reason it only made the soldier shiver slightly making his armor rattle a little.

"Well in that case, that this to him and tell him that he can have the little rabbit I have been keeping also do warn him that the little rabbit now has a... guardian wolf." The voice trailed at the end as if unsure what words would be the best description.

With that an aged pale hand reached out from the window and dropped a pouch that the short and chubby soldier fumbled to catch making it noisy enough to indicate its contents as being coins, clearly being money nonetheless.

As he finally managed to catch it, he breathed a sigh of relief, he gave a salute along with a stutter, "A-ah, yes! Will let him know my lady!"

"Good." As if that was the signal the driver ushered the horse to move onwards to the gate and soon enough was out of sight.

The short, chubby soldier then ran to the others and informed them of his current task, there wasn't much of a reaction, but one could tell that they disdained their superior but nevertheless didn't want to entangle themselves with him.

And so the chubby soldier rushed to give his captain, as well as friend, albeit it was one-sided, his message from the one and only Lady Tremaine.

And there was one place he could be found at this time.

The Tavern.


Dominic felt the surging tide of emotions recedes within the future glass-slipper princess in his arm, the instinctive feelings of possessing her grew with each second that passed as she was within his presence.

'In my past life, I turned thieves into cripples for breaking her figurine form, now I dare not imagine what I would do should anyone or anything so much as harm a single hair on her beautiful head… I don't even want to think of something like that happening to her!'

As this passed through his mind his icy blue eyes had human-shaped pupils gained their silted state for a split second before they become normal again, and the air around him radiated dangerously at such a time as well, making the future princess or more specifically the fated princess to slightly tense and moan?

Dominic sensed this and calmed his emotions after which he proceeded to remove her from his embrace and let her stand on her own, though she had her head down at this moment, he could see that her ears were a cute pink.

As he was about to speak he heard her take a deep breath and clench the edge of her dress with both hands still with her head down.

"P-please…" She uttered.

"Hmm?" Dominic enquired with a tilt of his head, her sudden behavior true to say, startled him a little.

"Please, I apologize for my family's actions a-and beg you to forgive my family for how they behaved before you." Cinderella finally said having taken a deep breath, even so, she didn't look up to meet his gaze.

This time he was really startled for a moment before he regained his composure.

'This girl' He sighed within his heart, as much as he was saddened by this result he couldn't help but feel elated at this.

This was one of the many reasons she was a princess, her heart!

Cinderella like the other princesses had kindness as one of the many traits that made them princesses, and in her case, she was one that believed that with just a little kindness the world would be a better place, this kind of thinking was what drove her to have a smile each day no matter what she faced by the hands of her family.

Dominic couldn't hold back the gentle smile that crept to his face when he thought of what made her so precious to him, but if one looked at his eyes they would see a frigid ice age hidden behind them.

'This side of you I will help with my entire being to keep, even if it means bathing in the blood of enemies that fall beneath my teeth and claws and creating heaps of ashes of those that die by my dragon fire.'

He took a step towards her, Cinderella heard his footsteps and even if she felt the world around her seem to darken, she didn't look up. It was only when a hand reached for her face and gently lifted it up did she dare to look up.

And there she beheld Dominic in his majesty, once more in such a short amount of time he took her breath away.

Never in her life had she seen such a look, even her stepmother's presence was like a fly compared to what her eyes and very being were seeing and sensing.

From her point of view, it was as if he blotted the very sky and sun with his body, making it seem gigantic, yet the gentle smile on his face was akin to a warm blanket in the middle of winter, right next to a cozy fire.

However, another contrast that made him more magnificent was his eyes, those icy blue orbs that stared into her dark blue seemed reminiscent of the harshest of winters!

But she didn't feel that cold as if it was not even directed at her at all, which was actually very true, because for some reason there was another intent that she couldn't fathom being directed at her instead, and it was so heavy!

'Ugh~ My lord~ Oh my lord~' It was so heavy that inner Cindy started to make strange and weird sounds, so much so that Cinderella believe that she would be squirming and quivering like a baby caterpillar.

"Ella." Dominic broke her internal musings as she focused on his words, to be honest, but call it instincts or whatever because the air she felt while hugging him just a while ago, promised something she feared.

Not fear towards him or for herself, she feared for those that were and would be his enemies. And in her kind heart she didn't wish to have her family get hurt because of her, nor would she want anyone else for that matter.

But even so, that didn't mean that she was one to stand and watch should anyone do something against her, even if she doesn't do much to Lady Tremaine, that woman was just diabolical in her ways.

"You have nothing to apologize for your family, I won't harm them... This time."

'But should they or anyone harm you then, may they ask their gods for mercy and forgiveness, because I won't!' He concluded mentally while his expression remained the same, if not a little bit darker.

Cinderella was elated at the beginning before her face morphed into one that was a little conflicted for a second, after which she relented with a nod.

She was not selfish to ask him to change his ways, he was his own person and she respected that.

But there was one thing that bothered her greatly, just way was this majestic, lordly, and divinely handsome man being like this towards her?

Just why? She was but a lowly orphan daughter of a long passed-on merchant, there was nothing to gain from her, her wealth? Her stepmother did a good job of devouring it all. Besides, he didn't even look like he needed the money just by the look of his outfit.

Her beauty? That was even laughable, with a mere wink of his eyes women would come flood, and she was no great beauty, just a young woman in a scullery maid uniform.

So why?

Just as she was about to open her mouth to ask this, Dominic removed his hand from her and was back to normal as he started to speak.

"Now how about we carry on with our tour?" He asked with a small smile.

"Uh, sure." Nodded Cinderella absentmindedly.

Dominic had a quick look of contemplation on his face as he looked at this beauty before him, he wanted to have a small day of fun and peace with her, but there was one problem.

Her current outfit.

Not that he was not a fan of maids or anything, hell, he would even love to see her dress up in a sexy maid outfit in their bedroom sometime in the near future and have her call him master.

But such plays were for the bedroom and for his eyes and pleasure only, so at the moment this look just wouldn't do.


It then struck him, magic.

His current level gave him access to draconic magic, albeit low level. But even so, dragon magic was very potent, so a little shape-shifting and transfiguration were not that hard.

"Come with me." He urged suddenly as he took her hand and instantly dashed into a nearby dark alley.

"Wha?!" Cinderella tried to instinctively resist or even muster an ounce of protest, but her body seemed to betray her as she felt all restraints become undone when her hand was held.

'Fufu~ Where is master taking us~?' Her inner voice cooed. But even before she could say or think anything Dominic suddenly stopped and was looking around.

"Here is good." He said as he let loose a breath while still trying to scope the surroundings.

The alley was somewhat dark and a little dirty but all in all not that bad, it wasn't smelly either. But with his sense it was irritating a little, however since it was perfect enough to allow a quick spell casting away from the prying eyes of anyone, he will tolerate it, not that he cared about being spied on, it was just less annoying.

However, the very thought of him going to dress up an actual princess made him giddy all of a sudden, though it was more spell casting and the other point being that she was not actually a princess, yet.

Still, that didn't stop his elation about doing a fantasy he had always dreamed about.

The moment Cinderella heard him as well as saw his behavior she went on guard as her heart leaped in her chest, there was fear, sadness, betrayal… as well as anticipation?

Okay, the last one didn't come from her and she will deny it!

But they came so fast that she couldn't think properly, yet before she could even focus Dominic turned towards her and gave her a small smile as he took a step back.

"Tell me, Ella, do you believe in magic?"

"Huh?" She blanked.

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