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His footsteps stop outside a door labeled Conference Room, where the four other leaders are currently gathered. Despite Eric's promise that I am not in trouble, I am beyond nervous.

I mean, they could kick me out for being at the chasm when I should have been sleeping. Yeah, I did get attacked, but it would not have happened if I had stayed in the dormitory.

I should have known it wasn't Eric who wrote the note. If he wanted to meet me, he would have told me to meet him on the roof.

"Remember what we talked about," Eric says, his voice low.

I nod. His mouth morphs into a tight line and all emotion drains from his face. His posture is rigid as he turns the door handle and walks into the room. His cold exterior is back.

I push the door behind me and it shuts louder than I intended. All five sets of eyes are on me as I turn around and I gulp.

"Please have a seat, Rori," Magnus says, gesturing to the chair on the opposite side of them.

I sink into the chair, my heart pounding. I wipe my hands on my pants and meet their eyes.

"Hey, Rori," Brenna says. "How are you feeling?"

"Very nervous," I say.

She throws her head back laughing, and the others join in.

"No," she says. "Are you feeling better? Still in pain?"

"Oh, right." My cheeks tinge pink. "I am, uh, feeling better. My ribs still hurt, though."

"I'm glad to hear it," she says. "It could have been much worse. Just take it easy for the next few days and you'll be fine in no time."

"That's what the doctor told me," I say with a nod. "Take it easy."

"Okay, it's time to get down to business," Max says. "We would like to know why you were at the chasm in the first place."

"I found a note and a watch under my pillow," I say. "It said 'meet me at the chasm at twelve pm.' I shouldn't have gone but I was afraid somebody would get hurt if I didn't."

"I can understand that," Magnus chimes in. "You won't get punished this time, but you will next time if you are out after eleven. We don't really like for initiates to be out after ten, but eleven is curfew."

"Thank you," I say.

"You are aware of who your attackers were, correct?" Max says. I nod. "We need to discuss their punishment."

"You get to decide their punishment," Magnus says. "Make them Factionless if you want. Make them clean the training room. Anything."

"I want them at the bottom of the score board."

"That's it?" Eric says, his voice cold and his eyes narrowed. "They could have killed you. They deserve something much worse."

"I agree," Garrick says. "The three of them probably would have tossed you in the chasm. Don't have mercy."

"I want them at the bottom of the score board," I say, "and I want them out of the dormitory."

"The sleeping issue has already been dealt with," Magnus says. "Pick at least one more punishment."

"Five laps around the training room every morning," I say. "And they have to clean the dining hall every night."

"That's not as harsh as I would have done," Garrick says, "but they're not going to enjoy it, so it's fine."

"So, that's their punishment?" Max says. I nod. "Okay, it's settled."

"Am I free to go?"

"Yes." Brenna nods. "Just make sure to take it easy. We want you to heal so you continue training."

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