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.


32. Chapter Thirty Two

When I awoke in the morning, I was alone. I yawned and reached my hand over to Bo's spot. It was still warm. He must of left a little while ago. It took me a few, aching moments to roll out of bed, since all my muscles seemed to hurt, even the muscles I hadn't even known existed. I sighed, I would have to do it again today. And tomorrow. And the day after that. I sighed again. 5 days. I had been here five days. Five days knowing Bo. And yet he was my closest friend, the one I felt like I'd known the longest. I took a deep breath and threw my legs over the side of the bed and nearly robotically I walked towards the dresser and leisurely put back on my black clothes.

I then, walked out of the room and tried to walk to the dining hall, which after three wrong turns, I made it. The room quieted for a moment when I walked in, and I saw that all eyes were staring at me. After an very long second, everyone turned back and continued talking. Everyone else seemed to be already seated, except me,  and surprisingly, there was an empty seat next to Finn, who I didn't really expect to show up. I slid into it, and placed my hand on his shoulder. 

"How are you?" I whispered. Finn turned to me.

"I've been better." He whispered back, then paused for a moment: "Sis''.The word sent a shiver down my spine. No one had called me that in what felt like ages. I looked at Finn, but suddenly he was engulfed in a conversation with Eliza, who was sitting on his other side. I looked up, my eyes immediately searching for Bo. He was sitting on the other side, of the opposite end of the table. I sighed and looked at the girls at my end. All were ignoring me and I remembered the conversation last night. They though I was going to be one of the winners. That out of the 21 of us, 2/3 would be cut down, and I wouldn't be. Or so they thought, a dark part of my mind whispered. 

I looked down at my warm food, and started to eat, ravenous for unknown reasons. A little bit later, I looked at the clock, Maro was late. I leaned in towards Finn to ask him, but King Silas, who had excused himself a few moments before had re-entered which caused the room to go silent. 

"Maro is sick." He said, and I grinned across the table, to Bo, who was staring at me, doing the same. "No practice today, but she does send her condolences and hopes that you all will do something athletic today." 

"Not going to happen." I muttered under my breath at my sudden freedom. I saw the corner of Finn's mouth twitch up in a suppressed smile. Then, people slowly started to excuse themselves and leave, and as soon as the spot to my right opened, Bo was suddenly sitting in it. His leg bounced up and down in what seemed to be anticipation. Generally agonizingly, I turned around to face him. 

"We have a meeting today." he whispered, leaning in close to me, which sent my heart fluttering. "If you know what I mean." 

"I suppose I do." I whispered back at him.


"We're supposed to slowly "trickle" in within the half hour after lunch." 

"They're getting closer together" I said. "First one was a few days ago, second: yesterday, third, today. Why are they getting closer together?" I asked 

"You know why." He nudged me with his elbow. "We need time and thought, and last one ended on a rather... sour note." At that moment Finn leaned in. 

"You've got that bit right." I bit my lip, trying to suppress a smile. "Its not funny." Finn snapped, playfully. "I had to reconsider my life and embrace new things." 

"I had to" I said,  Bo stared at me, smirking and eyebrow raised. It took me a minute to correct myself, "I didn't mean it that way.." I said rushed, but stopped when Finn reached  over to me and squeezed my lips shut. I tried to push my tongue out of my mouth to lick him- in self defense and to get him away from me, but it failed. 

"I have grown with with 6 other talkative boys." Finn said and glared across the table to Izaiah, " I know how to get someone to not talk." From across the table, Izaiah rolled his eyes. I grinned.

"Boys, boys, settle down." Bo said, mockingly. I turned to him and lightly hit his shoulder, then when I turned back to Finn, he was gone. So were most of everyone else. 

"Lets go to the library." I suggested, as I stood up and pushed my chair in. Bo jumped up and did the same. As we walked out, the Old King walked in. Bo froze for a moment, listening. 

"Silas, I need to talk to you."  Bo then led me out into the hall, where he grabbed my hand and led into the hallway, and through some halls, and past a large red and black tapestry that hung on a wall. We passed some doors, and I recognized one. "That's your room!" I said, gleefully, pointing. 

"Yes." Bo said, "It's near the library. But I'm proud of you for recognizing it!" I gave me a quick high five. Then he muttered, "Took you long enough." I shouldered him and he pulled me closer to him, so he could walk, his arm draped across my shoulder. 

"All the doors look the same," I said defensively. "It's not my fault I happen to be particularly bad an navigating hallways that look all the same." 

"They do not." Bo said, leaning down some and kissing the top of my head quickly, "Theres a big taproots here." We walked to the short end of the hall and turned about 270 degrees and there was the large library doors, encased in a little alcove that wasn't very little but I hid from your sight at first glance. 

"Can't you go the other way?" I asked, " We came directly from the dining hall to the library last time, and didn't pass your room- or did we?" I asked. 

"I wanted us to go the long way." 

"Long as in?.." 

"We pretty much made half a figure eight, where normally it would be a 'c'." I rolled my eyes and pushed open the doors, the wonder filled me again, as I had no doubt that it would always. Bo grinned at my look of desire and compassion at all the books. 

"How can you not amazed, every single time you walk in here?" I asked Bo. 

"Aside from seeing it nearly everyday of my life?" He asked, I stared at him and he grinned. "I am very good at disguising thoughts." 

"Liar." I shot out and walked towards the shelves, my fingers touching each spine as I walked down. Bo smiled again, and I turned to see how many large, rectangular shelves there were, and how far they went back. 5. They went back 5 shelves, each lined up so one was in front of the other, each covered front and back with books. Practically 10 large bookcases. And then there were the ones on the walls.... It was paradise and the sight of the books calmed me. The lingering smell of the old and new books was relaxing. 

As soon as I was sure that I had touched all the books, arm length of me and I had stared at them lovingly for the appropriate amount of time, where Bo would probably just start to get bored, I walked out to where Bo had been standing, but wasn't anymore. My serene heart suddenly let out of my chest with  ferocious nerve and I looked around the library and then slowly, and carefully walked up to the alcove. Where, no surprise, he was.  He was lounging in a large, comfy chair that was set next to the table, his eyes closed. I walked over there, taking quiet and calming breaths, partly hating my self for freaking out. As soon as he felt my presence, his eyes shot open and he smiled lazily at me. 

I causally walked to the table, and jumped up a bit so I could sit on it. 

"Let me tell you a story, little Liv," he said, slouching in his chair a bit and propping on leg on top of another in a professional manner. I stifled a laugh. "No, seriously." He said, and I looked at him, eyes wide, mockingly. "Liv, I'm serious. Let me tell you a story. Listen." 

"Alright," I said, "I'll listen to your story." Bo exhaled for a few seconds before he started talking. 

"Once, there was a war." I looked at him, eyebrows perched on my forehead. "Relax, Liv. Please." I lay back on the table and felt exposed, but to whom I don't know. I rested my hands on my stomach and propped my knees up. 

"Continue." I waved him on.

"Once, there was a war," He repeated, "And that was was not a normal war. It was a war waged between everyone and no one at the same time." I recognized this story, it was the story of the States and how it all came to be, but the next thing he said made me doubt myself "It was a war of screens. Everyone had them. Everyone. Small and large, rectangular and square: electronic screens with lights, a universe's information at your fingertips . People would waste time on them and a side effect, was aggressiveness."

He said that word with such disappointment that it made my heart sag for him  ''But since everyone had them, no one realized. And suddenly one day, everyone was aggressive. Mean. Angry. And starting arguments with each other over silly things, like pillows and doors.  What would be normally small arguments turned into national battles, blood shed was everywhere In all the 7 continents, over five oceans, and then one day, everyone went to war. 

Leader verses leader, civilian verses civilian, weapon verses weapon. It seemed to never end until finally, there was a quarter of the ever-growing, large population left. The people turned to the people they saw to be fit, four of them, and the four of them met together in clandestine meetings for four days and nights. And the fifth morning, the four came out. They had decided to split their 7 continents and 5 seas and one sky, into four lands, each ruled by one of them fairly.

The oldest, a man, took the top half of the circular world that they had divided on a map, the youngest, took the bottom half of the circular world, and  the two middle aged ones split the large middle portion in half and each took one." He cleared his throat, " The ruler of the east half, decided that no one ruler should rule such a large land by themselves so, he adopted 7 children to raise, to be the rulers of the new land in which all electronic square and rectangular devices were destroyed and never to be used again. The lands lived in peace, each taking up some form or another of the East's council. They formed the states, 15 of them, a state for those with similarities in enjoyment and recreation."

"At first no one knew how to live, they had been so sucks onto their electronics that they had forgotten. And at first they worked in peace to regrow their lives and houses and families, and to rebuild the house the old ruler of the East had lived, but it would be to small, and fires worked much better than fake heating in a stone castle, so they rebuilt it, space for all and then some. It had worked, the rulers, which they had called the Kings, and the Old King, with the adopted seven sons, when the oldest turned 25, he sent out a notice for a competition for all girls, (ages 16-21,)" He rushed that bit, " To come and compete, he thought it would bring them all closer, and it did at first, and the Old King, had told the remaining 7 that they would become the new King's bodyguards, to help guide and protect them, for who would be better than the strong females of the East section. They took on the job with pride." 

"They protected all the Kings, when it came for the 4 nationwide meetings with the first Lady of the West, the Man of the East, and Man of the South." And when the oldest King married and had children- seven to be precise,"Bo said, interrupting himself "They went on and on and one until there was a young King, who wanted it all, so he murdered his 6 older brothers and ruled tyrannically." He finished bitterly, glaring at the floor. "The end."  I sat up and looked at him, 

"I didn't know that whole story." I said , 

"I know," Bo said, uncharacteristically bitter and glum, "No one really does." I opened my mouth to respond but nothing came out. A few silent minutes later, Finn walked in, throwing the doors open. 

"Thought I'd find you here!" He said, then he stop and looked at me, then Bo, then me again. "Lovers quarrel?" He asked. I instantly wanted to take my shoe off and throw it at him. 

"No." I said. Finn raised his eyebrows canonically.

"Oh shut up." Bo finally said, back to his normal, generally happy Bo. 

"Lunch it pretty soon." Finn said. 

"Has it been that long?" I asked.

"You spent a long time touching the books." Bo said. 

"Did not, It was only a few minutes." I said. Bo raised his eyebrows as if to say 'really?' I gasped. "Was it longer?" 

"Much." Bo said. 

"I'm so sorry! I didn't realize, it all seemed so quick!"

"It's easy to get lost in a library." Finn said, "Especially one filled with mazes of words and solutions, trying to be found" 

"Lets go to lunch." Bo said, hopping up, he extended his hand to me, and I grabbed it and he pulled me off the table onto my feet. I looped my arm through his and we walked out of the mystical, enchanting and apparently time-less library. 

We walked out of the library, Bo whispered something to Finn at the doorway, and Finn shoved Bo into the door, them pushed me and sprinted off, screaming for me to follow him, which I did, grinning, and rolling him along the maze corridors. I heard Bo, roaring from behind me. I angled myself closer to the walls, and looked back at one point to see where he was: just behind me, and then I ran into something. 

I hit the thing, and then someone else ran into me. Bo. I half moaned, half laughed, as I peeled myself off of Finn who looked a bit goofy, his mouth twisted into a grimace-laugh. I opened my mouth to ask why we'd stopped, and then I looked at where we were. The doors to the dining hall. Finn looked at a clock on the wall. 

"We'll be a bit early, but thats alright." He said, and opened the doors. Inside was Silas and the Old King, the Old King had obviously just stood up to leave the room when we came in, breathless and panting. He raised his ancient eyebrows, and quickly turned to Silas.

"You need to marry." He said to Silas, then turned to us. "Bo, may I talk to you?" Though it was phrased as a question, it was more of a command. The Old King walked towards us and out, beckoning Bo to follow. I looked at Finn for a moment, then we looked at Silas. His was looking at us. His face was red and flushed, and not knowing Silas very well, I thought it was with anger as that seemed to be his main emotion, so I took a step closer to Finn,  until it faded away a few moments later and he smiled, a very alien expression to me.  

"Just wait until he finds out that we are planning to destroy him." Finn grinned back. 

"He's going to be so pissed."

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