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.


39. Chapter Thirty Nine

The room's floor was a mess, different exercise machines, weights and packets of paper littered the floor. At first she told us to run around the room four times. Grudgingly, I ran, the only thing running through my head was the thought to breathe evenly. When we all finished, she gave us a one minute break to catch our breaths, were most of the other girls lay down on the ground and panted. She then explained to us what we were going to do. 

"There are different stations around the room," She said and walked over to the nearest stuff on the ground. "There are 15 different stations, 14 of you. You have to go through each station twice before being excused for the day. At each station you will be there for five minutes, repeating the exercise, or if you haven't done it within the time, you will stay there until you do. The first station, here." She said pointing to the ground where a small packet of paper was, "Is sit-ups. There's a packet in case you forget what one is." She said sarcastically. She moved on to the one next to it and explained it. It was a machine. She explained it and took a few steps over towards the next one. There were five columns of three exercises. Each one, apparently spaced out evenly from each other, even though it just looked like a mess on the ground. 

After she explained each of them to us, we were told to go stand at one. I stood at the sit up station, the first one. Maro leaned on one of the walls of the room and screamed. "Start!" And she began to time us. I sat on the ground, my knees pointed towards the ceiling, feet on the ground, arms behind my head and sat up, until my stomach muscles ached and I was out of breath, but even then I still had more time to go. What felt like an aching eternity later, the five minutes was up, and I moved on to the next one. The machine. You just pretty much ran on it, but it somehow had inclines and hills for you to run up.

I took a step onto the machine, Maro yelled go and I clicked the go button as Maro had instructed and the bottom- what seemed to be a conveyer belt, moved. I ran on it to stay on. My abdomen hurt from the sit-ups, but it seemed to go quicker than the last one. The next one was standing, then barely sitting on a very small stool, to standing again. It hurt my thighs. 

Five minutes later I moved on to the next station, another machine where you picked up weights with your arms. The next station was a large bouncy ball with instructions, the one after that was another weight machine, this one was for your legs and they seemed to never end. 

By the end of the first loop around, I was ready to give up. Sweat seemed to be everywhere and it felt disgusting. I was achey and shaking. But, instead of giving up, I pulled the strands of hair that escaped behind my ears, rolled the sleeves up on the shirt and took a deep breath as I walked towards the first one again. 

Compared to some of the other "activities" Maro had us do, sit ups seemed relieving. Though every single muscle in my body ached, I sucked it up and waited for the five minutes to pass. Then I moved on to the next one and the next one and 70 painful minutes later I was done. I felt like passing out, drinking anything I could manage to get my hands on. My stomach rumbled, as if I hadn't eaten anything today at all. I followed the girl who I had met a few days ago- Florence outside and to the Dining Hall. She stood outside of the door, staring at it uselessly, then turned and looked at my apologetically.  My arms shaking and feeling numb like they didn't really exist, I pulled the door open and walked inside. 

The seven Kings were either sitting in a chair or lounging on the table. I dragged my feet towards Bo, who was smiling at me. When I came close to his lazy perch on the table, I slumped and leaned onto his shoulder. 

"Ew. You feel disgusting." Bo said, a moment later and he sloppily tried to push me away. Instead of moving, my eyes drifted shut. "Liv," He said a moment later, patiently. "I have a feeling your probably very uncomfortable the way you're standing right now. Why don't you sit down?" I groaned and pulled a chair towards me, then I fell into it. "Much better." Bo said. "How was your training?" 

"Miserable. Over 140 minutes of exercise."

"What kind of exercise?" Bo asked generally interested. 

"All of it." I slurred, even my lips were strangely sore and they didn't want to move. It felt like my entire body was drooping like wax on a melting candle. 

"Is everyone here?" Silas asked, his voice loud and echoed through out the dining hall. I picked my head up and rested it on one of my heads. Silas was standing up next to his usual seat at the table. He silently counted all the heads in the room, his mouth moving emptily as he counted. "Good." He said a minute later. "Our Competition is coming towards an end." Several girls gasped and I wasn't exactly sure how they managed to have enough energy to gasp. I looked at  Jasper and he grinned. He followed my idea. 

"It is true," Silas said, "That our Competition went much quicker than past Competitions, and we didn't have as many small and trivial competitions and races, but we still have our winners and we will have to ask half of you to leave."  The group gasped. Silas took a deep breath as if to announce the winner but he passed mid-breath, his mouth open as he turned to his brothers. "Should we do this after or before lunch?" 

"Just do it now." Soren said. 

"Okay," Silas said. "Our seven winners are, then he listed off five names then Eliza's then mine." Though I somehow knew I was going to be one of the winners, it was still shocking and suddenly I felt self conscious of myself and winning like I had yesterday. The seven girls who didn't make it, all tried to put on a happy face as they were escorted out of the room by Culus, who had somehow magically and scarily appeared. Though, we did hear one angry scream echo from one of the hallways.  Silas sighed, somehow relieved. 

"We will talk to you all at dinner tonight, help explain some things and tomorrow, Maro will do the rest." Then, some of the Kings left, amiably talking to some of the winners. Bo and I once more were left alone in the room. 

"You should really bathe." Bo said, breaking the silence. I sighed and it took me a moment to force myself out of the chair and I started to drag my feet to my room, the room I guess I would be in forever. There was no going back now. I was here and probably here forever. Bo followed me. 

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