Chapter Thirty Seven: Crystal

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The sun was bright enough to shine through my eyelids and I could tell from the orange hue that replaced the blackness of sleep that morning had come

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The sun was bright enough to shine through my eyelids and I could tell from the orange hue that replaced the blackness of sleep that morning had come. I didn't want to wake up. I didn't want to face reality. I didn't want to possibly die or watch my friends takes their last breath as well.

I entertained the idea of running away and heading North to find the Prince, but that ride would've taken a full day, and by the time I returned, the others would've possibly been dead. I climbed out of bed, accepting the worse.

A half an hour later, I was dressed and being escorted to a private hospital ward in which the procedure would take place. Mandy walked a foot ahead of me, trailing behind two guards that led the way. I carried along at a much slower pace, as if I was a prisoner headed to my own execution. It sure did feel that way.

Once we made it to the large doorway, the guards positioned themselves on either side of the door and waited for us to enter. Mandy turned toward me with a happy smile.

"You are going to be the strongest person to have ever lived!" she told me, gushing in joy. She had no idea how wrong she possibly was. I smiled back to satisfy her, when all I wanted to do was cry. Mandy pushed me forward, but I wasn't ready.

"Wait," I said, resisting her push. I turned toward her with a sad smile. "If anything goes wrong, know that you have been an amazing friend. Not maid, but friend."

"Well of course nothing is going to go wrong, silly girl, but I do understand your concern. Thank you for thinking of me as a friend, Lady Anya. Now go! Don't keep the King waiting! Remember your manners and keep your eyes low!"

Her direction made me smile as it had reminded me of my first day at the castle. If I was soon to die, I wanted to remember Mandy exactly how I'd met her. This was perfect.

I walked into the small hospital ward and found Cora, Luca, and Titus already sitting on a cot with needles hanging from their arms as nurses stood at their side, preparing them for the procedure.

The King stood next to an older man, one I'd never seen before with silver hair and a thick mustache. I was guessing him to be the doctor performing the operation.

They stood next to a machine - a large metal contraception that had a place for one to lay on. On top of the contraption lay a small, oval shaped tray the size of the winter stone. I had guessed it to be where they'd put the stone once they began the operation.

Something poked at my arm, and I winced as I looked to my right and found a nurse standing there. She had just stuck a needle in my arm and then she looked up at me with a stern expression.

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