I finally had my plan sorted out when we arrived at the school. I couldn't start it tonight, it was too late by the time we got there, but I could start planning. I reached out to my friends in the school, telling them I wanted to meet, somewhere safe.
All of the people from Bardic house agreed to meet me there tomorrow after classes. I just had to survive until then without suspicion from my sister. I couldn't let her find out what I was doing.
I suffered through classes, finding that with Max's tutelage had actually gotten me much further ahead in my classes. He had way overprepared me to keep up and I was grateful for it. I could spend all of my classtime working on what I was going to say that evening.
I had lunch with Willow, without Kat. She smiled nervously at me. She was hesitant, unsure if she could trust me. "Thanks for agreeing to meet with me later. I'm sorry we lost touch when everything happened with Kat. Everything just happened so quickly."
She gave me a true smile then. "It's hard to keep up friendships when life throws you as big of a curveball as a new identical twin sister who happens to be the Princess of the country," we both laughed at that and I was relieved that there were no hard feelings.
"I'm going to make it up to everyone now. I'm not letting them use me anymore," I told her softly, so we wouldn't be overheard. She nodded.
"How are you going to do that?" she asked me.
"You'll see tonight. I trust you, but I can't risk anyone overhearing right now,"
Time crawled until the meeting that night. I felt like I was never going to make it to the meeting. Or that I was never going to figure out what to say when it started.
I still had no clue what I was going to say when I walked into the basement of Bardic House. I had no clue as I took the teacher's podium in front of everyone gathered there. I had no clue until I opened my mouth and words came pouring out. "I know I have done the mages wrong. I know I have done you wrong. I apologize for that. I know apologies will not fix my mistakes, but it is only the first step of many. I asked you here tonight to discuss our future. The Emperor has agreed to allow mages again, with the condition that we enslave ourselves to his whim." I couldn't look at individual faces in the crowd, I was too afraid. They were going to hate my next words. "I ask that you allow this for now. Complete the registrations. Wear the bracelets. Come next semester, all of the registered mages will be enrolled in this school, properly learning magic. I ask you to trust me until then. I know it is a lot to ask, but together we can get through this. Together we can survive. Together, we can overthrow the Emperor. We need all of the mages working together to achieve this, and we need us all trained in magic.
The revolution starts here. Tonight."
End of book one