He’s planning something.

Quickly, I let go of his hand and shuffle closer to Lisbeth, away from him. I must stay away. He must never get hurt because of me. He deserves more.

“This battle will start in three days’ time,” dad announces.

My eyes widen instantly. Everyone around me protests at our limited time. Tomorrow is the day that will change the course of history.

“Silence!” Ziggy roars.

The protests quiet down. The only ones who do not voice out their protests in the crowd are the witches and warlocks. They do not look like they fear death.

Bibiana holds on to Wendy tighter.

Lisbeth puts her head on Caleb’s chest, seeking for comfort.

Ziggy has a determined look.

Dad’s jaws are locked.

Augustus clenches his fists by his sides.

“Victory will be ours!” someone cries out.

That sparks confidence and determination among warriors. One by one shouts out the phrase that seems to be floating above us.

Dad nods in approval. “Let’s win this!”

Ziggy starts training as usual. This time, he does not push us as hard as before since he knows we will need the energy for war. Three days from today is decision day for our fate.

We run around the perimeter with Ziggy leading us. Us shifters are much stronger in our guardian form but we are forbidden to shift unless we are commanded to. After the run, we are paired based on our heights.

I am paired with Lisbeth, who is a very skilful fighter. She is very good with her sword. Thanks to years of friendship, I know her weakness. It is her left leg which she broke when we were just kids. If you notice closely, she limps a little when she walks.

“Come at me,” she taunts on our fifth round, circling us.

I stare at her, waiting for any body signs. I do not intend to make the first move but the both of us are wasting time waiting for each other to strike.

As she wished, I launch myself towards her, my sword in my right hand aiming for her shoulder. She counters immediately. I try to go for her left leg but she sidestep and place her sword by my neck.

“I win,” she announces with a smirk.

When she was distracted being smug, I use my leg to kick her legs from behind and make her fall next to me. I jump to me feet and point my sword at the back of her neck, applying a little pressure.

She drops the sword. “I surrender.”

I help her up before she nods towards the barn so we can take a break. I nod in agreement. We sit close to a tent that provides food and beverage. Many who are taking a break like us are either watching the rest training or talking.

“I heard Nate knows about us,” Lisbeth tells me, taking a sip from her water bottle.

I shrug. “He found out all by himself.”

“Is he going to help us in the battle?”

A dark look appears on my face. I told Nate specific instructions and made him promise to do what I asked. He knows what to do.

I look at Lisbeth, wondering whether I should tell her too. She’s my best friend…

No, I cannot risk it. She’ll try to stop me. I have no idea how I’m going to die, but I hope that it’ll be worth it.

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