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marybethgriggs > The Other Side of the Mask > 14 Chapter 14: Emotionless
I soak into a warm bath that I usually would be elated about. The maids wash me. It was like they were washing a human-sized doll. They dry me and dress me in plain clothes. The clothing is definitely more comfortable than those elaborate dresses.

XiaoLong, or should I say, Prince Fu enters the room.

"Leave us," he demands.

I sit like a statue. Were all those fun times nothing? I gather my emotionless emotions and convert them to anger, even though I know it isn't his fault at all. I try to get angry, but I can't. Why? My heart's answer is simple. Because you like him. But I know I can never be with him. I tried to kill him. I don't even deserve to be alive.

XiaoLong takes a spoonful of soup and starts to feed me. I reluctantly eat in silence.

"Um… you see… I'm sorry QiLing. I… didn't tell you I was the prince because I was scared that you would distance yourself."

I don't respond. I just stared straight ahead.

"D-do you still want to participate in the trials?"

"Just kill me already," I finally am able to say my wish.

XiaoLong looks at me, shocked, "You'll regret that later, you know."

Tears stream down my face as I reminisce on what happened today. I was literally told that what happened in life this entire time was fake. I'm heartbroken to the core. I probably won't ever recover from this.

"I-i'll leave you be now."

He leaves the room. I still don't move from my position.

I could hear the conversation outside.

"Son! You should execute her already!"

"Mother, I told you she's innocent, besides Mayor Chun is dead already."

"Fine, but allowing her in trials again?! Even though she isn't the mastermind, she's still involved in the plan and carried it out!"

"She was blackmailed. She still deserves the chance…"

I couldn't hear the rest, since they moved away. I don't move from my position. A maid comes in and feeds me. She's a nice young girl working in the palace. I couldn't sense a hint of enmity as she talked to me.

"Hello, I'm JiangXue. I'll be the maid taking care of you," she smiles, "I feel really sorry that you were blackmailed. It's not your fault, you can start anew again."

Anew? I don't even have a family to return to.

"Here, eat up, you need the energy."

Once I finished eating, she started to massage me.

"You're a very lucky girl to be able to participate in the Trials of Fantasy, even as a commoner."

Lucky? Not at all. It was more, unlucky if anything.

"What's your favorite food? Mine is Mapo Tofu. Oh! I also love to eat eclairs and many types of sweets."

She babbles on and on until it's time to sleep.

"Sweet dreams!" she says as she tucks me in.

It reminded me of my childhood, when my mother did it. No, she's not my mother. Even if it was out of anger, they wouldn't say that, I know it. Which means, I'm from another family. But who? Did my parents die?

"...sweet dreams…"

A voice pops into my head, a delicate on

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