Chapter Two: The Dining Hall

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My maid watched me silently as I threw myself onto the lush, lavender comforter that decorated my new bed

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My maid watched me silently as I threw myself onto the lush, lavender comforter that decorated my new bed. I buried my head into the pillow and screamed, thankful that it tuned out the majority of my whimpers.

Images of my mother's face washed away my sorrow. Her loving smile and warm voice was all that I wanted near me. I wished I was home, back to a time before I discovered my power, before my secret was sold for scraps. It was all Mila's fault. She'd ran home and told her father about my gift the same night I'd confided in her. Three days later, guards where at my door, whisking me away from my mother's loving protection.

I had no choice but to obey the King's order's, to train as a warrior and fight alongside him. If I had said no, I'd be looked at as a traitor to the Clan and possibly killed. My mother needed me alive, not dead, even if being alive meant trying to survive in a castle hundreds of miles away from home.

The Queen said our lives were in the Prince's hand, and the Prince made it clear that I was his least favorite. That put me in a terrible position...

"Miss?" The maid's voice broke me away from my worried state. "Would you like a bath? I know travel must've made you sore. A nice, hot bath would do the trick."

"A bath would be lovely," I murmured through the pillow. She must've heard me properly, as I listened to her feet trod across the ice floor toward a bathroom I didn't even know I had.

I pulled away from the pillow and sat up, taking in my surroundings. The room was absolutely gorgeous and fit for a princess. A large, diamond-encrusted vanity dresser sat against a wall with a matching chair, a beautifully crafted ice cupboard was open with weapons of all sorts hanging from hooks, and a matching dresser I was guessing had to be filled with clothes, stood beside it.

The wallpaper was intriguing, a design of pastels swirling throughout, reminding me of the sky just before sunset. The maroon bed covering only added to the wonderful mix of colors, and for the first time since leaving home, I was pleased.

My bath was just right, and my maid, who told me her name was Mandy, gave me a back massage that had almost pulled me into a deep slumber.

I was once again dressed and laying on my bed, enjoying the softness of the mattress and pillows. I stared up at the chandelier hanging from the ceiling, wondering if the jewels silently dangling above were crystals or diamonds. I'd never had the luxury of being around either jewel long enough to know the difference.

"Would you like to take your tour now that you've rested a while? Afterward, I can take you to the dining hall to eat. It'll be time for supper soon, and the Queen always has her guest dine with the royal family on the first night."

"I'm guessing there's no way out of it, and I do need to learn my way around the castle. So yes, I'll go." I stood and stretched, trying to rid myself of the sleepiness that had taken over me. I looked down at the clothes Mandy had chosen for me wear. It was a beautiful royal blue gown that she said complimented my silver blue eyes.

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