She expected a sphinx, prepared herself for a riddle that only the wisest can solve. She thought she might end up in a labyrinth, and have to fight the Minotaur. She looked around carefully, fearing the petrifying gaze of Medusa. She was taught to be brave, strong, and confident, but now she was confused.
Maybe she read too many stories.
All she knew was that she was about to face her ultimate test. And by ultimate, they certainly didn’t mean expected. Nothing that can be found in stories. No Pegasus to ride.
She had been put to sleep. That’s how the test always starts, and the only thing about it that was known to all the students. Once they opened their eyes, their challenge would look back at them. Everything was supposed to become clear then. But she woke up in a forest, alone. The grass was cold and wet from the dew. Lying on it was not pleasant, but it was real and comforting. She got up, making sure she wasn’t missing anything. No, nothing was looking back at her.
She had spent ten years in the Mansion, preparing herself for her future role. Not once in those ten years did she set foot outside. The forest smelled of rain, dirt, and was filled with the soft murmur of leaves. She breathed it all in. No human voices, no shouting, no screams. Was this how freedom feels like?
She knew now what the test was. She was all alone in the outside world. Her training will never be finished. Every day would be a new test. Now all she had to do was survive.