Chapter Thirty: Touché, Prince

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Due to the risk of danger, our training was moved to an open location within the parameters of the castle grounds

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Due to the risk of danger, our training was moved to an open location within the parameters of the castle grounds. There were two things that I tried ignoring as I stood in the snow. Number one was Prince Sebastian's smirk, which had only reminded me of the passionate kiss that kept me awake for hours. Number two was the sound of Cora's whispers as she tried to get my attention while the Ice Prince spoke. She was the last person I wanted to talk to, especially after she had abandoned me to save herself.

"I know you can hear me," she said, and I inhaled deeply to keep my cool. "Why didn't you run? I thought you would have followed me."

"I was already caught," I whispered as harshly as I could.

"Are you angry with me?" she sounded taken back, but my eyes were focused on the Prince as he slowly paced in front of us, explaining the competition.

"Shhh," I hushed at her, trying to focus on his words, but he had already finished telling us the rules. I had no idea what the challenge was because of Cora!

"First up, Luca versus Anya." My eyes widened as the Prince stared at me with a smirk. He'd chosen Luca and I to fight against each other on purpose! Was it out of spite, or to prove a point? Maybe both.

I sighed and began walking forward, meeting Luca in the middle as Prince Sebastian stood before us. He looked from me to Luca, and the silver specks in his eyes gleamed with mischief. He was up to something...

I looked behind him at two guards over thirty yards away, holding flags. It looked similar to the first round, and yet different. I was hoping that I could figure out the object of the competition by finding clues, but there were none.

"When I count to three, you'll begin," the Prince instructed, moving to the side to give us room. My heart was racing in fear as I braced myself for the worse. What was I supposed to do?

"It's the same as last time," Luca whispered, low enough that only I could hear him. "Except we don't fight each other, we just avoid the Prince's attacks. The first person to grab their flag, wins."

"Let us begin. Three..." I kneeled down low. "Two..." I dug my feet into the snow, positioning myself for a good takeoff. "One!"

As soon as the flags lowered, a huge piece of ice rose from the ground, inches from where Luca stood and he smacked into it, falling to the ground. Prince Sebastian continued to entrap Luca in a web of obstacles, and I used the time to gain as much distance as possible.

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