Cinder heads out of the palace’s research wing. She knows she has to return home to fix Nainsi and to protect Iko, but she resolves to get away from Adri. When Cinder arrives at the apartment, Adri and Pearl are stunned to see her alive. Cinder comments that the research center didn’t want her and that she’ll go earn her living so that Adri won’t get rid of her as easily. When Adri tells Cinder that she doesn’t appreciate being spoken to in a disrespectful manner, Cinder counters that Adri betrayed her.
Adri’s is the person who is supposed to protect Cinder, yet she completely abandoned her in order to get revenge and receive payment for Cinder’s participating in the testing. Cinder knows that Adri is still motivated by selfishness and greed, which is why she feels that she has to protect Iko from being sold and work hard so that Adri won’t try to get rid of her again.
Cinder storms off, meeting up with a stunned Iko in the hall and heading down to the basement. She fills Iko in on everything that happened; Iko is excited that Cinder is getting paid for her time, because now she can buy a dress and go to the ball. Cinder, however, points out that Adri probably won’t let her go anyway. Just then, Cinder notices Peony’s dress in a corner of her workspace. It’s wrinkled and dirty, but it’s still beautiful. Cinder tells Iko that she’s going to use all her time and money to fix the gasoline car in the junkyard so that they can get out of New Beijing.
This exchange represents a major difference from the original “Cinderella” fairy tale that Cinder is based on. Rather than waiting around and hoping to go to the ball, like the original protagonist, Cinder takes matter into her own hands. She is even willing to forego the ball completely and work tirelessly to escape Adri’s wrath. This places an emphasis on hard work rather than magic and luck.