Chapter Twenty Nine: Again

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Cora and I rushed toward the dungeon stairs, knowing we only had a few minutes to spare before the guards returned. My head spun from the newfound knowledge of the war and the traitor. I needed to tell the Prince, but then I remembered everything I had said to him and a sense of guilt washed over me...

"That dragon we saw, it had to have a rider," Cora began, pulling me away from my growing thoughts of guilt. "Somehow, they had to have snuck past the border to attack the castle. If we killed the dragon, it means the rider is still somewhere out there."

"Then I definitely need to tell the Prince," I told her. "The war is closer than what we think."

"What if the traitor is the Prince?"

I stopped walking and stared at her. "It is true that the Prince hates his father and that he is known for his wickedness, but he is misunderstood and certainly not the traitor."

"How would you know if he is misunderstood or not?" Cora had stopped walking and watched me with suspicious eyes. "Is it true, then?"

"Is what true?" I was flabbergasted.

"Is it true that you are his mistress?" she asked, causing my heart to stop. "I didn't lie earlier when I said that word traveled fast in this castle. It's true, isn't it? I see it in your eyes!"

"I am not his mistress," I said, walking past her. The flickering of the torch guided me to the first step.

"Then how are you certain that he's misunderstood?" she asked as we both began climbing the stairs.

"I just know." My voice was final. I didn't want to have to relive the reason why the Prince and I had to lie about me being his mistress.

We reached the top of the staircase and made a right down the passageway. Neither of us said a word as we walked side by side; we both needed the space to think. Unfortunately, the Prince invaded my thoughts.

"Lady Anya." The malice in his voice caused me to come to a halt. Had I imagined him calling to me? I looked to my left just in time to see Lady Cora begin running, leaving me behind. I wanted to run after her, but instead, I turned toward the Prince and lowered my hood. It made no sense to wear it if I'd already been caught.

His eyes were dark and distant, similar to how they use to look before we had our truce. It absolutely petrified me, and when he began to storm toward me with clenched fist, I turned and ran away.

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