Chapter Thirty Five: The Speech

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An ice blizzard kept everyone trapped within the castle walls for three days

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An ice blizzard kept everyone trapped within the castle walls for three days. We couldn't even step out for fresh air due to the harsh winds and oversized pieces of hail that relentlessly beat down on the roof. That wasn't all. The winds from the storm would shake the castle walls, triggering a mental flashback of being shaken up by the fireball that had almost burned through me. The pain had been absolutely agonizing.

Due to the storm and the recent attacks, the King had decided to keep the castle on lockdown. The only people allowed to roam the passageways were assigned guards and working maids being escorted by these guards. The lockdown also meant that I hadn't spoken to the other trainees in days.

Staying tucked away in my room gave me a lot of time to think about everything. Mostly, I found myself thinking about the Prince. Why had he rushed off so quickly after the attack? What was so important in the North that made him leave a castle in shambles? The fact that he hadn't yet returned caused me to worry, and that helped me none.

When my thoughts of him became too consuming, I pondered on Luca. After kissing him twice, I had begun to feel horrible and regretted it. I had lied to him and led him on due to my own agenda. The more I thought about it, the more upset I became with myself. Thoughts of Luca did me no good, either.

On the third day, the blizzard ceased. The King decided to have everyone gather in the courtyard to give a speech on the recent attacks. Standing in the courtyard brought back memories of the first time I'd ever laid eyes on the Prince. Back then, I thought him to be a cruel Prince who hated me but time revealed his hatred to be far from the truth.

His mother, Queen Eliza, sat on her throne and watched the crowd with warm eyes. Her motherly presence helped ease my anxiety while I waited for the King to speak. I was very glad to see that she'd been unharmed in the attack. If she'd been hurt...I didn't even want to think about what I would've done.

I returned my attention on the King. His throne sat on a platform overlooking the observers, and from his high position, he looked mighty and invincible. It was always rumored that he had eyes everywhere, which would explain how he found the books, discovered who Luca was, and most likely knew that Cora and I had snuck into the dungeon.

"Good morning royals, warriors and common folk alike," he began. "It is a sad day in which we gather on. As you all know, the castle was attacked, resulting in countless casualties and injuries. Most of you know at least one victim, and the pain of your loss is felt. As your King, I am sorry that such an attack wasn't properly prevented from happening. I must be truthful to my people about how it even happened. It's because we have a traitor in our midst!" the King shouted and the crowd began to whisper in speculation.

"This traitor opened multiple cells and let those prisoners free to wreak havoc on us all! This traitor lives within this castle and speaks against me, wanting to make my own people believe that I am a tyrant King! I will find out who this person is and make them regret ever crossing me.

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