18. You can't hide the truth

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After being persuaded into drinking last night, Athena was sure she wouldn't touch a drop more for a long while to come as she woke up with a splitting headache the next morning.

Oh heavens. And now I need to talk to Ryder about the second part of my plan. I am already dreading the outcome. But first, I need to head to the Healers Ring once more.

Getting off the bed, she walked into the adjoining bath to wash before putting on a shirt, a pair of leggings and strapping her sword onto her belt, and walking off to the Ring, head in her hands. Guiding herself through the maze of the mountain, she finally reached the Healers Ring only to find Ryder, like her, walking towards it groggily.

'You too?'

'Get out of my head Athena, it feels like a dragon danced in here.'

'How do you know what that feels like?'

'Get out!'

Smiling slightly, she pushed open the doors to the Ring, only to be greeted with the healers rushing at them with concern and news.

"Your Highness, Lord Ryder, what happened?" the head healer, Aurora asked

"Your Highness, your brother is recovering very well. He should awaken today." One of her assistants shouted out.

"YOUR HIGHNESS! YOUR BROTHER HAS AWOKEN!" A squeal erupted from inside the huge room that made Athena and Ryder want to dive under the pillows and stuff their ears with cotton to reduce the headache that followed the possible destruction of their eardrums.

"Aurora. Your best medicine in remedy for celebrations." Ryder demanded as politely as he could, but the grimace was evident on his face.

"Oh. Why didn't you say so sooner? You too, Your Highness?" she asked, grinning at her.

Athena replied with a meek nod and tried to tell off the assistant that was shaking her arm to drag her to see her brother.

"This is going to taste terrible, but a spoonful of it should do the trick." Aurora came back, holding a bottle full of disgusting green liquid and a spoon. Ryder gestured to Athena to go first. "I'd rather you went first, Lord Ryder."

"Don't be brash, my Queen, Ladies first, as the saying goes."

"Oh, then thank heavens I wasn't raised to be a lady. And, Ryder, please don't try to be a gentleman when you aren't one." She countered, smirking through the pain in her head that followed.

"Will you two stop squabbling like children?" Aurora interrupted and shoved a spoonful of the liquid into both their mouths. "Now swallow. Or should I strangle you to force it in?"

Both of them gulped it down, a little frightened of the Head Healer by now and grimaced as the liquid threatened to come back up as quick as it went down. "I don't even want to know what was in that liquid if it actually works" Athena murmured.

"Are you questioning my potions and healing?!" Thundered a very annoyed Aurora.

"No." Athena answered and looked towards the assistant that had informed them of her brother's recovery. "Miss, can you take me to my brother? If I can see him now, that is."

Nodding enthusiastically, she led the way deeper into the room, Athena and Ryder towing behind her. Opening the last door to one of the many alcoves in the healing room, the assistant beckoned them closer, briefing them on the precautions they needed to take while talking to the patient.

Athena thanked the assistant for her work and slowly walked into the room, to see her brother, Adam, lying down, staring at the ceiling. "Adam?"

"Athena? It is really you!" he said, trying to sit up.

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