Chapter Six: Get Your Filthy Hands Of My Boyfriend

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He led me down a long, dark corridor, talking to me. I learned he was a winner from the year before, that his name was Ranwon Thryst, and that he really didn't know what he was doing. I could hear a male voice sobbing from the door directly to the right of mine. Then the sobbing stopped and the screaming started. Spooky, right? I was frozen. The kid didn't sound more than 18; 19 at best. I stared at Ranwon, and he just sighed. "Alycea's enjoying herself. She always did like breaking them."

"Breaking them?" I asked, afraid of what he meant.

"Walk," he ordered, before answering my question. "She has a theory that if you break them, kill their spirit, and make them almost like slaves, then they'll do whatever it takes to win, because any mistake, even the tiniest, leads to torture. She excels at that. She thinks that if they're terrified, even past the point of death, then they must win, because she tells them that if they don't, then she'll find them in the afterlife and make them feel more pain then they can imagine."

"That's insane!"

"It's effective. None of her trainees have lost for twelve years, maybe more."

"Who's her trainee now?"

"A Narnian, I think."

"What?"

"A Narnian. They say he's blond, blue-eyed. High King Peter himself, according to gossip. I don't believe it, though."

He kept going, explaining the rules to me, and then he realized that I was no longer standing next to him.

I hadn't heard a word he said, except for "Peter."

Oh, dear, sweet Lion, please not Peter.

And then the door opened behind us, and the woman's shrill voice hit my ears.

"Well, boy? Come on."

Ranwon pulled me back around. "You don't need to see that."

"Don't need to see what?" I asked, fighting his grip, but he was too strong for me. What can I say? I'd just been taken captive, so my recuperation skills weren't really up to par.

He paused, looking me in the eyes.

"You don't need to see the victorious dead."