They were a tenacious bunch, she had to admit; more-so than most, at the least.
How many before these had given up before they’d really even started? She’d lost count of all the so-called heroes she’d watched through her scrying pool that had been turned away by the man at the gate, who offered a handsome sum of gold to turn away and forget their mission. A fair few who got past him were often frightened off, if not eaten, by the various carnivorous pets that lived in her enormous garden. Some managed to make it past the great thorn hedge that surrounded the moat, enchanted to show whoever looked into it that which they most desired.
This group had made it past all those previous obstacles and actually inside the tower. She watched with a cat-like fascination as they crept past traps and battled her spiders, then turned away, bored, as they began scaling the webs.
“It looks like you finally have some heroes to rescue you, my dear.”
A young man lying across the couch looked up from his book. “Must I go back? It’s been so lovely here, and I don’t want to go back to being the princess.”
“Now now, you know it’s all part of the plan,” she said, extending a hand towards him and leading him towards a large, guilded cage. “When your parents become overbearing and try to make you wear dresses and court other young men again, you just slip this poison into their food at dinner. They’ll waste away, and when they’re gone, I’ll return to you and I will have the means to make you as you were always meant to be.”
“And you’re certain this will work?”
“Of course. You’re the royal heir to the throne, after all. Why would they suspect you of being in league with the ‘wicked sorceress’ who kidnapped you in the first place?”
The two smiled at each other, and then she vanished. The heroes came to free their lost ‘princess’ and never suspected a thing.
“And now we wait.”