The air was filled with a feeling of awkwardness. Aurora wanted to start the talk but the atmosphere would not allow her to.

Rita looked uncomfortable as well. So at least Aurora was not alone in her feelings.

“Hey, say something. I dont think I can take the silence anymore. We both know each other, right? Why are you keeping so silent?”

Rita finally decided to break the silence and Aurora could not help the small chuckle that escaped her lips.

Despite what had happened, it seemed as if this was the Rita of the second timeline. It reassured Aurora to see her friend again.

“Rita, calm down. This place is not real, but a temporary space created because of the trial. As long as we complete it, we should be free to go.”

Aurora was becoming more and more sure of this face. Ritas existence in this place could not be counted on anything else.

“But this place looks so much like the one in my memories from the last trail. Even the people here are the same. Its making me confused.”

Aurora snuck in a sharp breath at the confession. She had known that Rita had experienced something like this before and had regained some of her former memories. But Aurora had not known her to be affected.

If Rita could recognize this place as well, then whose memories was this palace borrowing from? Her or Rita?

Or was it Natasha who was the main supplier of memories?

“Rita, did you see Natasha anywhere? She should be here as well.”

Aurora tried to rack her brain for the answer to her question. She knew there was a reason the trail had chosen this memory but she could not connect why this was the memory being chosen.

“I dont know. Would she be here as well? After all, Northern Republic seemed to have their expedition team.”

Aurora paused in her thinking. Memories slammed into her brain all of a sudden at Ritas words.

“I see why the trial chose this setting. I cannot believe I forget about this encounter altogether.”

“What encounter?”

“We will need to sneak into the medical bay to see Natasha again. Im sure she is there.”

There had been one time when the tower had saved the Northern Princesss life. It had been a short encounter so Aurora had wiped it off her memory.

But it seemed as if that small encounter had become a catalyst for so much more inside the trail.

“Wait. I think I remember the rumor but I never paid any real attention to it. So this memory was chosen because all three of us are in it?”

“That seemed to be the only reason. But we cannot assume anything for sure. Magic doesnt always make logic and neither does the tower.”

Aurora had encountered her fair share of magic in her life. And she could confidently say that not everything made sense in this world.

Most of the time 2+2=4. But in the case of magic, it could very well be a 6 or even a 22. This was just the nature of magic.

“Lets break into the medical tower right now. It should not take long for us to get in.”

Aurora knew it should not take long for the pair to get in. But it was not going to be a smooth sail as well.

With Quinces presence overlooking the base, Aurora was sure she was going to face problems sooner or later.

“Lets go now. The more we wait around, the fewer chances we will have to influence this trial.”

Auroras emotions were all over the place. She had no idea why she was being faced with such a difficult choice.

But she also knew things would become clearer and clearer the more the trial unfolded.


“Princess, you are finally awake. Doctor, hurry up and check her over.”

Natasha felt her head ache as her maid yelled right in her ear. Her voice was too shrill and loud for Natashas liking.

“Get off.”

The maid quickly fell off to the ground with a frightened expression as soon as Natasha spoke those words. Her cold voice seemed to have that effect on people.

Natasha tried to think back on what had happened but all she remembered was walking into the tower and then being transported here.

The rest of Natashas memory was a little hazy and she could not make out what had happened.

“You had a nasty injury. We managed to find you in time or you would be dead. Rest for now and well contact your forces to take you out.”

Natasha nodded in agreement but her mind was somewhere else. She remembered the voice telling her to find theMystic Pearl if she wanted to get out of here.

So Natasha could only assume that it was the purpose of her trail.

But she was not sure if she was alone in her quest. What about Aurora and Rita? Where were they?

Did they have their trials or were they in here with Natasha as well?

“Princess, do you need something?”

Her maids question cut right through Natashas thoughts. It was irritating for her to hear the maid talk as if she cared about her.

What a bunch of hypocrites these people were. Talking like they knew and liked her but planning her downfall behind her back.

Natasha had no idea why she knew all this but her thoughts were quite foreign to her right now.

“Leave me alone for now. You all can go out if you want to.”

Natasha wanted to tear the maid apart when she left with a happy expression. It seemed as if she had been waiting to be dismissed all this while.

It also hurt Natasha but her emotions seemed to be used to such a response.

The door closed and Natasha got lost in her thoughts. But not for long as another knock interrupted Auroras thought process.

The door opened without her consent and Natasha got ready to chew the intruders out…

…only to fall silent when Aurora and Rita entered the room with sheepish expressions.

“Yo. Did you miss us? Were back.”

Ritas cheerful voice seemed to not have changed. She looked just as she had before.

But Aurora seemed to have aged quite a lot. Her long blue hair moved in the wind and framed her beautiful face.

Natasha felt a blush overcome her face as she tried not to look at Aurora. Who knew that the girl could turn out to be so beautiful.

“I..Aurora, you grew up. And…whats wrong with my voice?”

“Natasha, you are in an adult body as well. Do not panic right now.”

Adult body? Her?

Now that Natasha looked back at her situation, her body did feel different from her original. This one was longer and sturdier.

“What the hell? Did this trail age us both? Then why did Rita not age?”

Natasha felt a little confused but her emotions did not seem to be conveyed in her voice. At least this part of her had remained the same throughout.

“Age? Oh, its not quite like that. I just went back to my original body. You are the only one who had aged”

“What do you mean. Dont make it more confusing than it had to be. Just tell me the whole story.”

Aurora and Rita exchanged glances and Natasha already knew she was not going to get the whole story from them.

“I was cursed into a child before coming to the Northern Republic. My curse is supposed to last the next 5 days in real life. I can only assume that Im in my original form right now because of the trial.”

“As for you, I have no idea why you seemed to have aged as well. Maybe it is because of the trails setting. But I dont know what it wants us to do.”

Auroras explanation was simple and to the point. Natasha had a lot of questions to ask but it seemed as if there was no point in asking that right now.

Aurora seemed to have a tight mouth so she was not an ideal person to get information out of.

As for Rita, she was an even tougher cookie to crack. And just thinking about this topic gave Natasha a headache.

“Dont think too much about all this. This is just an illusion we have to overcome. Youll lose your way if you think too much.”

Aurora was trying to distract Natasha. And Natasha was sad to say that it was working just fine.

She did not want to think too much. And maybe Aurora was right, this was all an illusion without much substance.

“Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I might have an idea of what we need to do in this trial. When I first woke up here, my mind was filled up with images ofMystic Pearl. I think that is what our objective is this time.”

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