Chapter Thirty Three: Written in Blood

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My eyes fluttered open and the morning sun momentarily blinded me as I sat up in bed

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My eyes fluttered open and the morning sun momentarily blinded me as I sat up in bed. Groggy, slightly weak and in need of water, I hazily remembered what had happened to me last. Once my eyes adjusted, I looked to my right and found pieces of dragon stone laying on a tray atop a table. I reached over and grabbed a piece, rubbing my fingers over the rugged edges while my memories began to slip past my mental barrier...

Firelanders had been set loose from the dungeon. I'd killed four of them simultaneously while enraged. I had also been attacked from behind...

Reaching a hand behind my back, I touched the spot where I had been burned and expected to feel charred tissue and blisters. My skin was surprisingly smooth as if I'd never been burned. I looked down at the dragon stone, silently thanking it for healing me.

Soft noises alerted me to the activity in the ward. Standing to my feet, I turned toward the rest of the room and took in my surroundings. Every single cot was occupied by guards and maids. Some of them rested while others moaned in pain, having not finished properly healing. I walked around the room, checking faces with urgency, hoping I didn't recognize a single person.

"Lady Anya?" I turned to the sound of my name and saw a girlish face. My heart almost sank.

"Mandy!" I ran to her side, taking in the sight of her. She looked in tact, aside from the bandage wrapped around her head and a few cuts on her arms. "What happened?"

"I was in the maiden's room when a female Firelander barged in, nearly burning down the entire room. I was closest to the door and escaped with only first degree burns and a few scrapes. Others weren't as fortunate," she told me.

"How many people have died?" I wasn't sure I wanted to know...

"I heard the nurses say about ten maids and fifteen guards that they know of. Thankfully only less than twenty Firelanders were set loose, and between the guards and the Prince, all of them were killed."

"Thank you, Mandy." I rubbed her arm affectionately and she smiled sadly with her head lowered.

"It's a terrible day, the kind of day that gets written in history. Just look around at all of the grim faces. We've all lost someone, a life we will never get back!" She paused, allowing a tear to fall from her eyes. "The guards will be honored, but the maids won't be given enough respect to be mentioned by the royals. Women, some who I actually knew, are dead and no one will remember them. If only I had the voice to speak."

I looked around the room, seeing men with grave expressions, women with eyes full of sorrow, and exhausted nurses who'd been up throughout the night, aiding the injured. If anyone felt last night's devastation, it was them. Who knew how long it would take for the castle to bounce back after such a tragedy. Maybe never...

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