Chapter Eleven: The Ward

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I heard hushed voices around me as I began to partake in the first stages of consciousness. First were the voices, then a tsunami of memories came crashing into existence, drowning out those voices. That was followed by the awareness of my body. All I had to do was open my eyes, and yet, I wasn't ready to do that. I still felt drained of energy.

"Will she be okay?" I knew that voice, but why was he here?

"She'll be okay. She'll wake when she's ready," a woman replied with a soft, mother-like tone that could soothe anyone. "You should really have some rest. You've been here for five hours."

"I'll leave when I very well feel like it." His voice was final. "If your job is done, then you shall be the one to leave."

Footsteps were all that I heard until a door opened and quietly shut. He then sighed, and I felt his hand touch mine. The coolness sent pleasure throughout my body, which was very confusing and new to me.

"Stupid girl," he shunned, but I heard no anger in his voice. If anything, he sounded tired. "What am I going to do with you?"

I smiled, but I was sure it hadn't made it to my face. I was too tired to do anything but lay there, and soon, I fell back into a stupor...

I finally opened my eyes with ease and found myself sitting up in bed, observing my surroundings. I was alone in what looked like a hospital ward with room for a hundred patients, however I was the only one to occupy a cot. No one else was in sight.

I lifted myself out of bed cautiously, afraid I'd be too weak to walk. Surprisingly, I felt great. I quickly reached down to feel for the stone at my chest and sighed in relief when I felt it dangling there.

How long had I been asleep? Judging by the fact that I still wore the same attire, I guessed that not even a day had passed.

"Look who's decided to wake up."

I had been too preoccupied to feel the static, but it was surely there. I turned around and saw the Prince standing in the doorway.

"Your Majesty," I bowed and then I rose with a frown. "What are you doing here? You were also here earlier. I'd felt you touch me."

The Prince looked at me with unease and then brushed past me. "Don't get the wrong idea. I was making sure that you weren't going to die. If you had, that would've been my head."

"How does watching me while I sleep help me?" I asked, turning toward where he stood looking out of a window. "Especially the 'touching me' part?"

The Prince whipped his head around and glared. "I was giving you my energy," he explained and then looked as if he regretted it. "It's a rare gift that you may not even possess, and if you do, you have to be taught it. But it is not on our curriculum, so do not become hopeful."

My mouth hung open in the most unladylike like way. "And why not? If there is a hidden gift that we can use during battle, why not teach us?"

"As I've stated, Lady Anya, not many can harness the gift of healing. We don't have enough time to experiment. The King was clear: train the new warriors on how to use white fire as a weapon."

"Teach me, Your Highness." It wasn't often when the Prince was taken by surprise, or at least from what I'd seen. But in that moment, he took a single step back, almost looking vulnerable while trying to process my words. "It can be a private lesson. I won't tell a soul, not even Cora, Luca, or Titus. Not even my maid. It'll be our secret."

Prince Sebastian suddenly closed the distance between us, and his electrifying eyes were ablaze as he gazed down at me. "I am not interested in giving you private lessons."

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