The faint clanging of swords could be heard as Rexy neared the front courtyard of the Flintlock Manor. As the grouping of trees next to the path cleared, she could make out the form of Vincent Flintlock himself, overseeing four of his mates as they sparred. Every now and then, he would snap at one of them for their sub-par technique. Boldly, Rexy approached the group and cleared her throat to get Vincent’s attention. He turned to face her and an arrogant smile flashed across his face.
“Ah, Miss Simmersaurus, what brings you here today? Did you come for the show? You can join the other maidens by the fountain if you’d like,” he said, gesturing across the courtyard to where two other ladies lounged, shaded from the sun by parasols.
Rexy shook her head. “Uhm, actually Vincent, I was hoping that maybe you’d…teach me too.”
The four men, previously immersed in their practice, stopped immediately to stare back at her. After a moment of silence, all of them, including Vincent, burst out laughing.
“You’re…you can’t be serious…ahahahaha!” Vincent managed to spit out through gasping breaths. “A woman…practicing swordplay?!? That’s the best joke I’ve heard all day!!”
Absolutely furious, Rexy threw her hat to the ground and stormed off, leaving the laughing group of swordsman behind. Rather than heading home, she turned the opposite direction and started along the path that led to the rainforest. She had no desire to return to her house right now and be told to do things she didn’t want to do. Needlepoint, piano, dining etiquette…it wasn’t in her interest to refine any of those skills. She’d always craved adventure – something much more than the destined-to-be-boring life of a lady.
After tromping through the tropical forest for quite some time, Rexy decided to stop and rest for a moment. As she took a seat on a large, mossy boulder, a sudden and terrifying realization washed over her.
She didn’t recognize this boulder. She didn’t recognize any of her surroundings, as a matter of fact. Rexy had always been very careful to take the path she knew when she took walks in the forest, but in her highly emotional state she must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.
Suddenly, before she could even take a second to figure out what to do, a large pair of arms lashed out from behind her and locked her in a tight grip. One hand closed over her mouth, stifling the scream she hadn’t even begun to let out. With great force, Rexy felt herself being pulled backward into the dense foliage.