Chapter Twenty Five

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Unexpected Visitors

When they finished training for the day, Ava told them to clean up and dress nicely for their meeting with the council after dinner. After bathing, Victoria rifled through the wardrobe. She could not find anything formal except dresses. There was no way she was wearing a dress. Not only would she feel awkward in a dress, but also she would look awkward. Finally giving up she slipped on a simple grey dress with sliver stitching.

When Ryhan saw her, she laughed. "You aren't really going to let them stuff you into a dress are you?"

Victoria was not in the mood to deal with her snarky remarks and ignored her.

Ryhan sighed heavily and took her by the hand. "Come on, I have an idea."

They left the room and rounded several corners before stopping in front of a door that looked vaguely familiar. Ryhan knocked loudly and Ayden answered. He took one look at Ryhan and shut the door again.

"Very funny." She said loudly. "Victoria here needs a favor."

He cracked the door slightly. "You can come in, so long as you keep your hands and your powers to yourself."

Ryhan raised her hands in the air mocking him. "No touchy. I got it."

Ayden's room was about half the size of theirs and decorated much more simply. There was a single bed, a wardrobe, and a stand with a washbasin and pitcher. There were no pretty drapes or lovely paintings, just stone walls and floors. She wondered why he resided in such poor accommodations. He was a prince after all. Perhaps he had lost his favor with the council by showing up alive and clearly not dead or imprisoned.

It did beg to question the stories involving his death. Everyone believed he was poisoned, imprisoned, or even killed by Axiom in his brother's quest for power. Undoubtedly, he was alive and not poisoned to death. She was about to ask him to clarify, when he spoke.

"So, what is it that I can do for you ladies?" He asked as he leaned against the wall.

"She needs something nice to wear." Ryhan said.

He stared at her, uncertain of the point.

"You know. Something that's not a dress." Ryhan explained with a smirk.

Ayden studied Victoria, eyeing the silver dress that draped awkwardly over her figure. "It's not that bad."

"Are you kidding?" Victoria asked.

"Alright, I see your point. But why did you come to me? Nothing meant for me will fit you. You barely reach my shoulder." He said apologetically.

He was right, why would Ryhan take her there, his clothes would hang off her.

"So, tell me Ayden, why haven't we seen you on the training grounds?" Ryhan asked him.

Victoria realized why Ryhan brought her there. He would not have let Ryhan in alone. She needed Victoria.

He stared at them blankly.

Ryhan continued. "It would stand to reason, that if you are supposed to take back your throne then you would be fighting along with us right?"

"Look, I don't know what your problem is with me. I helped you with the wendigo and I brought you here. What more do you want?" He asked, pushing off the wall and opening the door in annoyance.

Ryhan ignored his not so subtle suggestion that they leave and raised her voice. "I want you to start telling the truth!"

Victoria did not like where the conversation was going, it was never good when Ryhan got angry. She grabbed her arm and tried to get her to leave, but Ryhan brushed her off.

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