Chapter 30 Summary
Book Four of Cinder begins back in the marketplace. Cinder sits in her shop, hiding her footless leg under a table, turning away all customers. Tonight is Prince Kai’s coronation and ball, and she is not going. The car is ready, and she is going to flee in it. She will drive all the way to Europe if she can. She has her own money now because Dr. Erland set up the bank account she had asked for. She is taking Peony’s ID chip and Iko’s personality chip. Cinder will never get Peony back, but she hopes she can find an android body somewhere and bring Iko back to life.
Cinder is startled out of her thoughts by Prince Kai. Grinning, he leans over the counter and says he has been having technical difficulties. Every time he sends a message to a certain girl, she does not reply. Cinder is glad to see him, but she knows she must send him away. She is tempted to show him her cyborg hand and missing foot to explain why. But she holds back. She has resolved to leave Kai behind, but she cannot bear to see him look at her in disgust.
One last time, Kai asks Cinder to the ball. When Cinder refuses, he asks her to lunch instead. She shifts her footless leg further under the table and tells him no. Then, finally, Kai gives up. He says glumly that it is stupid of him to have feelings for her anyway. He is going to make an announcement tonight: he and Queen Levana are going to get married. Dr. Erland cannot duplicate the antidote to the letumosis virus, and the Lunar queen will only deliver more if Kai does what she wants. He explains that he has been hoping, irrationally, that he will be able to change these facts if Cinder will only agree to come to the ball.
This conversation is interrupted by Pearl, who enters the shop carrying a stack of boxes. She does not notice Kai as she prissily orders Cinder to store the boxes “somewhere clean if such a place exists."
Kai interrupts Pearl to suggest that she be more polite. She whirls on him and starts to retort—but then she recognizes the prince....
(The entire section is 575 words.)