Liv waits for her turn to be judged by the Kings. Her life depends on the choices of the 7 kings. Whether she would live. Or die.


47. Chapter Forty Seven

It was being held in the Throne room. Well, partly the throne room and mostly a large room that connected to the throne room. A room that was empty, large and had some pillars. There were two rows of tables across the room and there were people bustling everywhere. I hadn't realized that many people lived in the castle. That that many people helped out. Working to help raise and keep that many families. I walked over to someone who seemed like they were in charge, with a clip board and everything.

"Hi." I said, the woman in charge looked up almost uninterestedly. "I'd like to help." 

"Who are you?" She asked and looked down at her clipboard. 

"I'm Liv." 

"Your names not on the list." She said, looking up at me again. Her dark brown eyes shone with slight interest, humor and annoyance.  I looked at her blankly. "My master list of everyone who is supposed to be working and what they are to do."

"I'm one of the new body guards for the Kings." I explained. "And I'd really like to help."

"You're not getting ready?" She asked. I shook my head. 

"I don't need..." I looked at a clock on the wall. "Half the day to prepare. I can do it in less than twenty minutes." She looked at me and then held out her hand. I shook it. 

"I'm Roxanne." She said, then pulled her hand away to skim her paper and flip to the one below it. "And you can..." She thought for a moment, "Help carry things or set things up on the tables." She paused, "If you want."

"Can I do both?" I asked, wanting- no yearning to be useful. I wanted something to distract me even more from all the things that went to shit around me in the past day, and working would give me a good chance to either forget about it or rant to myself. Again.  

"How about you start off with one, what was it- Lig?"

"Liv." I corrected apologetically. 

"Liv," Roxanne repeated, "Why don't you start off with carrying things." Roxanne pointed to an erasable board on the other side of the room. To be more accurate, there were four or five over there. "The one in the middle." Roxanne said. "Check off whatever you've completed." I walked over to the board, and looked at all of them. There were five. Each one was a checklist of sorts. One was for things that had to be carried into the room, another was for food that needed to be cooked, another was for things that tables had to have to be successfully set up, another was for cleaning, and the last was surrounded by people, so I couldn't see what was written.

I stood on my tip toes, but no luck. I sighed and looked back to the carrying check list. About half of the things had been carried. One of the things on the list was to carry one of the painting of King Isaac. I had walked past it. I had seen it. I took a step closer to cross it off, but someone else- the man from the first day, Culus intercepted me and checked it off. I scowled at his back and as if he could sense it, he turned around to face me and grinned greasily. I looked away, trying to ignore him. On the list there was carry some crates of cups from a docking station.  I didn't know where the docking station was. My shoulders slumped forwards in defeat.

Someone lightly touched my back, making the hair on the back of my neck stand. I whirled around and saw Roxanne. "Docking station is that hallway between the kitchen and the...whats it called..Oh! Training room!"

"Thanks." I said and then checked it off. I knew where it was. I had slumped there yesterday after the meeting. I had eaten my sandwich there. I speedily walked off to the general area of the kitchens- or where I thought they would be. Scowling, I turned into a corner and was somehow in  the library. I cursed aloud. The library was close to Bo's room and I was still very angry at him. But at least I knew how to get to the kitchens from there. I pushed open the door, peeked into the hallway to make sure no obvious persons were there, then I left. I walked to the Dining Hall, which was empty, and then through the kitchens. Out of the kitchens. Made a turn and I was in the lousy little hallway where there were wooden crates of cups. Around seven of them. Seven. What an odd imperfect number. It didn't have a perfect match to fit into it twice perfectly, no extras or not full numbers. It seemed to be just doomed for life to be imperfect and flawed.   I picked one up, which barely fit the circumference of my arms.

I looked around the side of the box as I walked back. Every single time I walked into a wall or stumbled, it brought my mind back to the reason I was there. I was helping. It was Bo. And Finn had helped ease somethings but I was still quite angry at him. He hadn't backed me up. They hadn't asked my opinion. If I had been asked then I might've done it. If I had a guarantee life span lasting longer than tonight. I made it back to the party rooms and was directed to the tables that so far, only had white tables cloths on them. I dropped the crate on one, then retraced my steps to the Docking stations. How dare he? How dare they? Those beasts. Purely uncivilized. Careless. I was just a pawn. The thoughts circulated my head. 

I continued  carrying crates back, rambling to myself angrily until, as I passed through the kitchen, I walked into Pietra. He looked at me. I was empty handed and was coming back for the seventh and final crate. "You've got a lot of anger in you." He said. 

"I am very angry." I responded angrily, unable to bite my tongue.

"You know what I do when I'm angry?" He asked and before I could respond he spoke, "I think about it from the other persons perspective." Then he stepped aside and let me stomp past him. I stormed to the docking station and then as  right beforeI picked up the final crate, his words sunk in and suddenly I couldn't think about my being angry. I could only think about being inside his head. I paced the length of the room. 

If I had been apparently planning to fix something for years (even if it didn't show), than a small sacrifice of one person-even if I seemed to care about that person, didn't matter. In retrospect, it was an easy way without having more die. One for hundreds. But, I would've been torn over it.  Forever. I remembered last night, Bo did seem pretty torn up. His eyes had seemed to droop with tiredness and sadness.  I sighed. I had agreed to help take down the King. I picked up the last box. And for once, thoughtless, I walked back to the Party rooms, feeling slightly resolved. We would never be the same, never the same easiness or trust. I sighed and set the crate on the table. 

Roxanne walked up next to me a group of four other people and told us to get the tables set up, that it was time for us to do so. We headed over to the board and the others-four of them, each checked off the things they would do before they turned to get to work. Someone touched my shoulder, I jumped and spun around to see who it was. It was one of the women in the group. She smiled kindly at me, her caramel colored skin wrinkling around her mouth in a friendly way. 

"Would you like to help me," She asked, "I have the plates and utensils." I blinked at her. "It's a big job for just one person." She said. I thought about it for a second. There were seven of us bodyguards and that meant seven of our families which who knew how many people were in those, plus the seven kings and anyone else who would join. My heart fluttered as I remembered that I would see my family. I smiled back at her. 

"I would love to help." I smiled.

"I'm Nonie," She said. 

"Liv." I replied. She-Nonie nodded at me amiably and we walked over to the tables and I unloaded the crates of the glasses I brought, dropping the empty carcasses of wood to the ground. Then we each took some and walked around the table, guessing where they would go. I smiled as I walked around the table. I would see Mom. Brothers. Gran. I bit my lip to his an even larger grin. 

"What are you so happy about, girl?" Nonie asked as we walked to the kitchen for plates and utensils. We walked through a hallway I had never seen before, and it seemed like a shortcut. We got to the kitchen quickly- much faster than it had taken me to carry the crates. 

"I'm going to see my family tonight." I smiled. Nonie didn't reply instead she walked over to the cabinet on one of the walls in the Dining Room and pulled out a stack of lovely ceramic plates and stuck the heavy stack into my hands. 

 On them, painted in blues and purples were painted images of some of the greatest moments from the rumors of Before. Painted on the plate on to top of my pile was a large four-legged statue. The legs-as the statue got taller, blended together until it was one large monument that ended in a pointy tip. Next to the statue was a very small person who was leaning against it, not even close to being the same size. It was microscopic compared to it.  Nonie took out another stack and held them. She turned to the kitchen doors and whistled. An incredibly annoyed someone stuck their head out of the swinging doors. 

"Utensils, please." Nonie shouted to the person, she then turned to me. "Do you know who painted these?" She asked. I shook my head. "The Queen." She said. I gasped. No one said her name, her title, aloud. No one thought about her, she was rarely mentioned anywhere and practically forgotten by all. No one exactly knew what had happened to her, no one knew if all the seven Kings were her children, or whether they were not just hers or not. Everyone was to scared to talk about her, so slowly, she had faded from everywhere. Except, I thought, these plates. 

"These are very talented." I said. Nonie nodded and glanced at the kitchen doors again, either annoyed or to check that no one was listening. 

"She was very talented. And she painted all of these by herself." Nonie said, "What a pity that she..." I never found out what she did or didn't do because a man, who seemed familiar came out with bags of forks, spoons and knives. I looked at the man. Where had I seen him? And then I remembered. He was the man who Silas had been kissing passionately two days before. As soon as he saw me, he blushed scarlet and dropped the bags lightly on the plates we were holding. They made everything so much heavier. Nonie grunted. I re-adjusted to hold the heavy plates better and slowly, Nonie and I trudged to the party room.

We both slowly walked up the Dining Hall steps and I kicked the door a few times with my foot, until I realized that opening the door with my foot was a horrible and stupid idea so I tried to open it with my elbow and hip by wriggling one and pressing against the other. Once more, it failed. I gave one last try and tried to use my hand, holding the heavy plates with only two arms and one hand instead of two, I pulled the door open and held the door for Nonie. "Thank you." She said. I let the door fall close behind us and as we were walking to the hallways, I heard footsteps as we walked by King Isaac. My stomach knotted and churled as he winked at me and his noxious perfume hit my nose. Nonie nodded her head. I didn't. Instead I walked straight on. A few second later, after he had left the hallway Nonie somehow and magically caught up with me. 

"You didn't pay your respects." She said almost amazed. 

"He's just a creep." I responded bitterly. Seeing him, as always, wiped away any joy I had. "A bastard and an asshole." 

"Many people have been killed for saying that." Nonie responded solemnly. 

"Which way do we go?" I asked as we reached some forked hallways.

"Right." Nonie said and waited for me to respond as we walked right. Nonie waited in obvious silence that she wanted me to talk, to re-buttle what she had just said. But it was true. He had killed many for less. 

"He deserves it. He has hurt my family for far too long." We heard footsteps hurrying towards us and before Nonie could respond, we were in the Party rooms. I turned around to see who was running towards me. Finn. "Keep walking." I murmured to Nonie and we walked to the tables and happily set down our plates and utensils. Nonie said nothing as we both took the utensil bags off of the plates and then each took some plates to set around the tables. Finn walked into the room and it felt like all the noise was gone. I could tell Finn noticed it but he said nothing as he walked towards me, nodding at everyone who nodded or bowed with respect. 

"Liv," he said, hovering at my shoulder as I walked around the table putting plates out. He paused when he saw the plates, obviously remembering or remising or sympathy, after a moment he spoke. "Liv," He repeated. "We have to talk." 

"We talked this morning I said as I reached the end of the table. I was one plate short. Finn handed me the plate to put down. "Thanks." I said. 

"We need to talk again." He said. 

"Alright."  I said and looked at him, my hands propped on my hips. 

"Not with that sassy look." Finn said, in a strange voice. He grinned. 

"Help me with the utensils and you can talk." I said. Determined, Finn picked up the bag of forks. 

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