Chapter 38

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LILY was walking to practice the next day when she was intercepted by Madela Yath.

"Yes, Madela?" She said, raising her eyebrows. Were the Gongjensu finally going to summon her?

Madela pressed her lips together. "Come to the meeting place tonight. Midnight. Bring no one."

She nodded quickly as Madela walked away, back in the direction of her shop. So, they were calling her. But for what?

Was it something to do with Hosun? She hoped not. She would never be able to betray him, never.

Lost in her thoughts, she hardly noticed when she reached the training fields. It took Vena waving her hand in front of Lily's eyes for her to snap out of it.

"Are you alright?" Vena asked. "You seem preoccupied."

Lily shook her head. "Just...thinking about last night. Where's Iri?"

Vena shrugged. "Late, I guess. So's Ada."

"And Venix?" Lily asked, glancing around. She didn't see Vena's twin anywhere.

Vena snorted. "He overslept, so I left without him. He should be here anytime soon."

Sure enough, a few moments later, Venix came running in, his hair disheveled and face bright red.

"I made it...on time!" He panted, leaning over and placing his hands on his knees.

"Congratulations," Vena said dryly.

"Oh, hush," Venix said, putting his lunch box down, under a nearby tree. "As long as the Colonel knows I'm not late, I'm fine."

"Ada and Iri might not be, though," Lily murmured, watching as the Colonel began roll call.

Venix's face became worried. "Where are they?"

"Late," Lily said, glancing at Vena. "I hope they're alright."

Vena bit her lip, glancing in the direction of their houses. "I'm sure they just overslept—just like you, Ven."

Venix huffed, though his face still held traces of concern. "It was a one-time thing, Vena."

Vena scoffed. "I can count about a hundred times you've overslept—"

The Colonel's voice, which had gradually been increasing, but her off with a "Venix Mendiaz!" Then came Vena's name.

Ada's name passed. Lily answered her own, and then Iressa's came. The Colonel was not happy to see them missing. Lily shivered to think of the shouting the two would receive. If they showed up.

"Should one of us go and check on them?" Venix asked.

"No, they're right there," Vena said, her eyes fixed on two rapidly-approaching figures.

Lily breathed a sigh of relief as Ada and Iressa ran up, both breathing hard.

"What happened?" She and Venix asked in unison.

Ada bit her lip. "I didn't sleep well, so I didn't get up early enough."

"Ha! You see, Vena!" Venix exclaimed, turning to his twin.

Lily watched as Ada glanced up, and saw the dark smudges under her eyes. "Why didn't you sleep well?"

Ada gave her a small shrug. "Nightmares."

Lily bit her lip, nodding. She could understand. "Iri, you?"

Iressa shook her head. "Same."

Lily grimaced in sympathy, about to say something, when a booming voice interrupted them.

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