Things get worse for Princess Sanzo.
Chapter Four: On thy cold grey stones*
By Princess X-S Moonshyne
Calling out your name
Your face is everywhere
I'm reaching out to you
To find that you're not there
I wake up every night
To see the state I'm in
It's like an endless fight
I never seem to win.
She sang in the moonlight, played the piano through the day, sang in the shower and cursed all the way, playing melancholy songs of loss and parting on the piano until the servants all believed that the poor princess had been driven mad by sorrow, and finally even the mellow Queen Koumyo could bear it no longer.
"Dear child," said the Queen gently, puffing thoughtfully on her pipe and smiling abstractedly into the air as the smoke rings she blew dissolved. "Would you like me to engage you a music teacher, or perhaps, a voice coach? You've been practising so hard, but I'm sure you will sound a lot better with a little training. It's hard on the servants, you know, having to sweep up so much crystal everyday. And the steward would tear his hair out over the cost of replacing them, if only he had hair to tear." She blinked and smiled at a new thought. "Or, if you really don't want lessons, I'm sure we can find some record company willing to sign you up, and you can do your singing in a soundproof studio. We might even make a profit off it."
Princess Sanzo ignored her, and squeezed her eyes shut as she hit the keyboard with all her strength. "I can't go on as long as I believe... Can't let go when I keep wondering..."
Where are you now, what have you found
Where is your heart, when I'm not around
Where are you now, you gotta let me know
Oh baby, so I can let you go
Queen Koumyo pursed her lips thoughtfully. Ever since Sanzo's misadventure on that ill-starred ride in the country, the demon hordes ravaging their pretty countryside had either been very much subdued, or perhaps reduced, and she was able to correspond with her good friend King Goku once more via the slow but always reliable E(lephant) Mail instead of using telegraphs, which were such a waste of paper and ink, and it was truly a pain having to draw pictures big enough for Goku to see from his mountain castle. Also, he had the unfortunate tendency to misinterpret everything as having to do with food, like that time she had complained about the cloudy weather making her joints ache, which he responded to by sending her an enormous stick of cotton candy and a box of candy canes.
Obviously what Goku needed was a sensible wife to run the kingdom for him, and since Sanzo (now wailing /I should let it out, it's time to let you go!/) seemed about ready to let go of her most unsuitable suitor... The Queen smiled, and thought it was time for her to expand her kingdom.
Thus was the poor princess betrothed unwittingly and unwillingly to the unsuspecting King Goku, bringing us back to where we started.
Princess Sanzo wished very much that she wasn't a princess, trying to hold in her tears as she paced her room. If only she hadn't tried so hard to be sensible and asked Hakkai to bring her back. If only she had thought of trying out a simple life as an ordinary peasant, growing vegetables and tending chickens with Hakkai. If only, if only, if only. Her stomach twisted in sudden agony at the renewed pain, and Sanzo leaned over the window sill and heaved in shock, dimly thinking that it should be her heart aching, not her gut, as she swooned and fortunately fell to the ground rather than over the railing.
Someone yelled "WTF?!" below, and another cried, "It's the princess!" The stone floor was cold and uncaring, and Sanzo knew no more.
To be continued...
/Where are you now/, from Britney Spears' album /Oops, I did it again/.
* From Break, Break, Break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.