Chapter Forty Two: The Warning

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Anya

I walked along the gloomy corridor stained by the deaths of innocent men and women

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I walked along the gloomy corridor stained by the deaths of innocent men and women. Their lives would never be forgotten, and the fear of a second attack heavily lingered in the air - a smell that even posies couldn't cover. Although I was grateful for being released from the ward, I'd much preferred to be escorted back to my room than to walk alone. The darkness warned of impending doom.

I rounded a corner and saw my bedroom door come into view. Sighing in relief that I'd made it, I picked up speed.

A hand grabbed at my arm.

With a holler, I spun around, ready to attack whoever stood behind me. To my surprise, I found Cora's worried expression. She lifted a finger to her mouth and looked around.

"Be quiet," she warned. "We can't be heard."

"What is it?" I asked her. "Is someone hurt?"

"Not yet, anyway," she whispered, looking around once more before continuing. "Listen. Before I tell you this, I need you to promise that you will not act irrationally."

"Why would I do that?"

"Because what I'm going to tell you is big," she told me. "Can I have your word?"

"You have my word," I responded. "Now, what is it?"

Cora sighed and looked away. I'd never seen her so troubled. "I know who took the Winter stone..."

She then dived into the story of Titus' plans to kill the King and become the ruler of the four Ice tribes. I had to admit, I would have never guessed that Titus would've been the traitor, but I was ever more surprised that Cora had told me his plans. Why would she defy him to help me? Could I even trust her after she'd proven herself untrustworthy on different occasions?

"Why are you telling me all of this?" I asked her. "You are loyal to Titus. Why would you turn against him? If what you say is true, then going against Titus would mean that the Fire Clan will attack."

"Listen. I've only come to warn you. Get out of the castle tonight. Go North, where it's the safest. And take the Prince with you. If not, you may both die with the King."

"Why me? What have I done to Titus?"

"Nothing," she told me. "But you're in love with his enemy, which makes you an enemy by association."

"I am not in love with P-"

"Now isn't the time to argue," she interrupted. "Get out of the castle tonight."

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