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In another life

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You sit alone in Lady Dimitrescu's room for what feels like hours. You started by cleaning up her desk and putting everything in neat piles for her to sort through later. After that, you pace, and you give up pacing at about an hour in, and instead now wait with tense anticipation for what might happen next. Your heart is pounding in your chest at a million miles an hour, and you're trying to calm yourself down by talking to yourself.

"She'll be fine," you reassure yourself again. "She's going to be fine, she's way stronger than that man, that Ethan Winters. She'll be fine and you'll see her soon."

More time passes, and you feel the need to rip out your hair, or dissolve into panic, or something. It shouldn't have taken this long, it shouldn't be taking this long, something's wrong-

And that's when you hear it.

You hear a roar. It doesn't sound remotely human.

There's a crash like stone falling from a great height.

You bolt up from the bed, crossing to the curtained window and peeking out. You can hear the noises coming from outside, but from where, you don't know.

Your mind cycles through the options you have. Stay and wait, or go investigate. Both seem idiotic to you.

You slip the knife Lady Dimitrescu had given you into your pocket, and you open the door that leads into the halls.

You make your way through the halls as silently as you can, following the source of the noises. As you get to one of the main rooms, you step in something wet.

You look down and see blood staining the carpet. You gulp and follow the trail with your eyes.

There, slumped against the wall, is Daniela. She's been shot several times, and her eyes are glazed and lifeless.

She was never kind to you, and perhaps she deserved it for being as cruel as she was, but the sight still twists your stomach.

You avert your eyes, but you can feel yourself starting to gag. You hurry on before the sight and the smell makes you retch.

Making your way through the castle, you encounter the lifeless bodies of Lady Dimitrescu's other two daughters. With each subsequent body, your heart pounds louder in your chest until it's practically drowning out the sounds you're hearing.

You almost get to source before they suddenly stop.

Your blood chills in your veins and you hurry, finding your way through the rooms, trying to track where the sounds had been coming from--because now you're realizing that something is wrong, something is very wrong.

Shouting starts up after a few moments, and it's a man's voice.

You follow the sounds of the shouting to the courtyard. You open the door as quietly as possible. It creaks slightly despite your best efforts, and you freeze. But the shouting continues, and you open the door the rest of the way.

You peek around the doorframe to see that man, Ethan Winters, in the courtyard of the castle. It's dark, and you can't see much, but he appears to be yelling at something. The thing he's yelling at is obscured by the darkness, but it looks to be monstrous. Something with wings and multiple limbs.

"Where is she?!" he yells. "Where is my daughter?!"

The monstrous shape tries to rise, and the moonlight catches on the spilled blood on the ground beneath it. The beast struggles to stand, but falls back to the ground in a limp heap.

The beast shudders and shifts and suddenly-

"Lady Dimitrescu," you whisper, horrified.

Sure enough, it is her. She transforms back into herself before your eyes. Her dress is torn and bloody, her hair is nowhere near the perfect coif it usually is, and she has bruises all over her. Her chest heaves as she lays limp on the ground.

Fury ignites in your chest, but you stand helplessly in the doorway, watching the scene.

Lady Dimitrescu's eyes meet Ethan Winters'…but for a moment they look past him.

They look to you.

Her eyes meet yours and widen ever so slightly. In that moment, you can see the gold, dull now from the distance and pain. They're fixed on you. And for the first time, you can see that they're not asking you to stay, or inviting you to come closer.

They're begging you to leave.

It's a quick look, it passes in all of a second, and then her eyes are on Ethan Winters' again.

"Where is my daughter?!" Ethan yells again.

"You took my daughters from me in an attempt to get yours back. I'm not giving you anything. Burn in hell, Ethan Winters."

He takes a step towards her.

Your hands fumble in the pockets of your clothes, and you find the knife Lady Dimitrescu had given you.

Her words play over in your mind as you creep into the courtyard. "The neck and the inner thigh have the most easily accessible big blood vessels in the body…puncture one of those blood vessels in the right way, and your victim will bleed out in a matter of moments."

You quickly but quietly make your way across the space to where Ethan is.

Ethan is making a last approach towards Lady Dimitrescu, and he's talking to her. You aren't listening to what he has to say with how focused you are on making your way over without him noticing.

Lady Dimitrescu looks up and sees you approaching. Her mouth opens and her eyebrows slant with fear and concern-

Ethan sees this look and tries to turn, but not fast enough. You leap forward and drive the knife into his neck.

He bucks and drops, falling on his back with you underneath him. You wrap your legs around his middle to not get dislodged, and you yank the knife out with all your strength. He's screaming in pain, and you stab him in the neck again. And again, and again, and again.

Eventually, he falls still. You heave with all your might and push his limp body off of you. With hardly a care for the blood coating your dress and skin, you crawl over to Lady Dimitrescu. Your hands hover awkwardly, afraid of touching her and hurting her more-

"Alcina," you cry. "Alcina-?"

"Hello, my sweet," she wheezes. She lifts a hand and you catch it and hold it in yours. "I suppose I did end up biting off a bit more than I could chew, as it were."

You can't bring yourself to smile or laugh at the joke because there's a large wound in her side and it's bleeding, bleeding badly-

"What can I do?"

"I don't think there's anything to be done, my dear," she says. Her voice is weak, but she smiles up at you. "You're a fine young woman, you know that, right?"

"You're not saying goodbye," you growl. "This sounds like you're saying goodbye, and you're not. You're not doing it. You can't-"

Your voice breaks and you can't help a sob. Tears well in your eyes and roll down your cheeks.

"I've enjoyed our time together," she says. She's looking up at you fondly. "I simply wish there could've been more of it."

"Stop talking like that," you beg. "Stop it. You can't…I can't-"

You break down in sobs, and her hand that you hold in yours squeezes gently.

"Dearest, could you promise me something?"

You look at her, tears streaming down your face. "What?"

"Could you go somewhere warm?" she asks, and the question makes you cry harder. "Would you do that for me? You always wanted to go somewhere warm, and I think I'd like to know that you will."

"Not without you."

"My dear," she says, and it's that familiar tone of exasperation. "I don't have very long. Take whatever you need from my castle--it's yours."

"Stop it!" you cry.

You look around frantically for something that could help, anything-

You see the knife. And a plan forms in your mind.

"Hold on for just a little longer," you say.

You hurry over to the knife and retrieve it, bringing it back to Lady Dimitrescu. You hardly wince before you cut into your arm and press the wound to her mouth.