> Even to you, the words seem empty.
> You cannot even imagine how she must feel.
> Never had you imagined that she would somehow hold out that long, much less drive you to subject her to that kind of punishment...
> The bed creaks as you stand, but even so Corona says nothing - her muzzle buried in the pillow to mask the tears she continues to shed.
> Turning, you march from the room without any further word.
> "Corona was delivered to the medical clinic this morning, Your Highness."
> Your eyes squeeze tightly shut to hide the worry building in them.
> Of course she would be returned to you now - one day before your greatest test of leadership yet.
> Forcing your face down into a more neutral expression, you reopen them and issue a curt nod.
"Thank you for telling me. Would I be able to see her now, or-"
> The pony shakes her head, nurse's uniform swaying slightly.
> "More than anything right now, she needs time to rest. We're nearly done performing diagnostics-"
> That it had taken that long to do sends a new tremor through your body.
> Just how bad was the damage that had been done to her?!
> "-but even so, she will need plenty of time to recover. Not until tomorrow at the earliest, perhaps even a day or two after that."
> Turning to face the nurse, you're suddenly aware that the painting roller you'd been using was still clutched in your magical grip.
> ...trying to get out and do some 'everyday work' with other ponies had seemed like a good idea, especially since you were about to ask a great deal more of them.
> Setting it down on a nearby bucket, you sigh.
"I realize that patients' situations isn't something you can openly discuss anywhere, but if you can tell me-"
> After a glance around, the nurse approaches to put her muzzle to your ear.