Emerald Eyes *FIRST DRAFT*

A tale has long been told of the girl with emerald eyes. But this is more than just a story. Its a destiny...

Book 2 in the Chalson Chronicles. All rights reserved. Cover designed by Alicia Keyes.

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20. Any Different

Tadley loomed up infront of the ship, smoke billowing up from the buildings. I could see swarms of Black Wings surrounding the town and they were all armed to the teeth. I fitted a fresh arrow on to my bow. You can never be too safe around your enemies.

Dashiell came and stood beside me at the edge of the ship, taking in the scene with a expressionless face.

"Do you think we'll win?"

"I don't know, Dash. I really don't know."

He sighed and looked down at the River Star.

"What will happen if we don't?"

"Don't think about that."

"Why?"

"Thinking of the bad things makes them come true," I looked him the eye, "Just focus on winning."

He turned to go, but I caught his arm on a impulse.

"Do you know what a Nightmare Man is?" I don't know why I said it. It came streaming out before I could stop it. The boy moved back to where he had been standing and kept his eyes fixed on the water.

"A Nightmare Man is the oldest form of Dark Magic. The caster curses the victim, usally after they wronged them or something like that, and from then on the Nightmare Man haunts them. They make the worst things that could happen to their person happen, going against their Life Branch," he caught my confused look at that and explained, "A persons Life Branch is their destiny or fate, pretty much. They all are part of the Tree of Destiny and together they make up life as they know it. Nightmare Men can change these, adding in things like death and heartbreak, that weren't there in the first place but there is a limit to the things they can change. They can't ulimately change a persons decisions, for example."

"Do the victims know they have them?"

"They can do. Sometimes they enter their victims dreams, but this is risky. They risk leaving behind a footprint of themselves and this can let the victim see them, know their name and other things."

"Can you get them without being cursed?"

"Only in rare cases. Sometimes they're passed on from people parents if they didn't complete their job, they can just be part of the persons Life Branch or a powerful Wizard gets involved. All of these are tricky."

He threw me a wondering look at this point. "Why do you want to know all of this, Mother Saviour?"

I shook myself from the daydream his words had put me into and smiled slightly at him.

"Just something I read when I was a kid. Good luck in the battle, Dash," he smiled back at and wandered back into the rebel crowd. I leant over the side of the boat, suddenly feeling sick. If my Mightmare Man made everything bad for me happen, surely that would include death? I knew that I had to kill Opeh in the end and that, I'm guessing, is a good thing. He could stop that from happening. Stop us from winning. Stop Opehs cruel rule. Stop everything bad in the world. He probably stopped me from getting back with Cassia aswell. Maybe I shouldn't be here. My curse would bring the end of us all.

Taking the arrow from my bow, I began to slip through the crowd and down the gangplank off the ship. Right before I was about to step on to the ground again, someone grabbed my arm and span me around. It was Zeirso.

"Where are you going?"

"I don't think I should take part in the battle. I've been having a few issues lately."

"Issues, pissues. We need you here, with us. You're our only chance of winning."

"Zeirso, you don-"

"I don't care. You belong here, with us and you belong in this fight. We couldn't save the world without you."

"You can and I-"

"Get back on the ship, otherwise I swear I'll kick your ass." He meant it jokingly, but I knew him well enough to know he would actually kick my butt. Defeated, we both climbed back up the gangplank and Rasco immediately pulled us over to him. To say he looked nervous was a understatement.

"It's time. We have to win today, otherwise Saulaf knows what might happen," he took a deep breath and continued, "Xanthe and Alessio, you're to go to Winterbrook. Help the Wizards and keep the Black Wings away. Azelia and Zeriso, you're going to hold the fort here and keep the newbies out of trouble. No Black Wings get across the water from now on. Eve, you're with me. We're in charge of a full assualt on Thorne Palace and we both get Opeh. I catch her, you kill her. Clear?"

We all nodded and exchanged scared glances. This really was it.

My friends all headed off to their posts after we'd all said goodbye and hugged. I swear Azelia had been crying slightly. To be honest, I was fighting back tears. By the end of the day, we could all be dead or captured. I sat in my cabin the whole way to Thorne Palace, replaying every good memory in my head. So much had happened over the past year and a bit. I'd learnt alot, made friends, killed, made enemies, fallen so hard, had everything shattered and endured more pain than I thought I ever would.

Today wouldn't be any different.

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