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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13. Building Fire

"Have you lost your mind girl? You come back without two of our best fighters and bring a group of ragged, flea infested children on my rebel base? They could be bloody spies for all you know!" Rascos face was so close to mine I could smell the eggs he'd eaten for breakfast. The moment we'd arrived back trailing the children behind us, his face had matched his hair and he's pulled me in to his tent. I'd expected him to be angry, but not this angry.

"They're not. Just give them a chance, Rasco. They could become great and they know the enemies ways better than any of us do. Just give them one chance."

"Why should I? Even since we rescued you from the fire, you've been nothing but a pain. Getting captured so easily by Guivers men, putting your brother before our cause and now this. You might as well of died. You might of been more use to us then."

"Just give them a chance. I'll take them and start my own band of rebels if I have to. Please, Rasco."

"You'll train them yourself and you make sure they have nothing to do with us until the war begins. There's a abandoned village not far from here. Train them there and start your own group for all I care. Don't let me see you, those bloody green eyes or the children until I say." With that, he stormed from the tent. I made my way over to my new teenage army and reached for the reins Cassia  was holding without speaking. He didn't have to read my mind to know what had just happened. The reins moved from my reach and he began to lead to horses away from the camp. He was coming with me.

The village was more like a ship wreck. All the buildings were old and falling apart, more of a death trap than actual buildings. Wild animals wandered around everywhere and the whole place stank. I exchanged a despairing look with Cassia and prepared myself to tell the kids why we were here. But I never did. They were hurrying around the place, picking up pieces of rotting wood and chucking them out in to the trees. Both me and Cassia smiled. Maybe we could make this work.

It took us one month to clean up the village. It was now more like Benlat than a ship wreck, with the buildings fully serviceable and arenas set up for training. Ozias had taken pity on us and had been helping to train the kids after the normal training hours, so they were getting more and more lethal by the day. He had also set us up with a blacksmith in Floek, providing us with better weapons than Rascos group, and Dashiell had taken to the life of a pirate, giving us a small navy of sorts. He had taken the Torguta for himself and some of the other boys had taken over some Black Wing vessels, under Dashiells command. Fawn was running a group of airborne wizards, so we could attack from the air during battles. Everyone also knew basic defensive spells, courtesy of Cassias Guild training, and I was teaching them how to use words to prevent or postpone bad events. The kids were lapping it all up. Every time we gave them a day off, they would come to either of us and ask for something to do. Rasco or anyone from the other camp had yet to visit us. Until one cold December night, halfway through dinner. A boy came racing up to the campfire, panting heavily and looking scared out of his mind.

"The Black Wings...they're attacking...the other...camp," he was doubled over with breathlessness but his eyes were still locked on mine. We all exchanged looks. Plates clattered to the ground and the team of flyer's were dashing off towards their leaves. Cassia kissed me hard on the lips and began to assemble his special team of wizards, just I began assembling my team of fighters and writers. He glanced over at me and nodded.

"Move out!" I yelled at the kids and we began to jog towards the rebel camp, mounted leaves soaring over our heads. The camp was unmissable before us. Fire rampaged around the ground, people battling everywhere. We stayed far enough back in the trees to avoid being spotted, Fawns group hovering just above us, and I turned to our force.

"Cassia, you and your group need to work on putting the fire out. Then get all of the young ones out and to our camp. Fawn, take as many of the Black Wings out from the air as you can and help Cassia with the evacuation. My group, we'll stay on the ground. Focus on picking off any Black Wings as you can and leave no survives. Everyone clear?" a wave of nods rippled around the kids and I looked back at my old camp, "Lets kick some Black Wing butt."

The Wizards ran in first, creating a pathway through the fire. My team ran through and began killing every non-rebel in our paths. Necks were broken, blood spilled everywhere and bones were shattered. A knife dug a hole for itself in my arm but I ripped it out and stabbed my assailant in the cheek, sending him to the floor. Later on, an arrow pieced my my thigh and that found it's way in to another's chest. Looking around, I took in the scene. Dead bodies lay strewn everywhere, some so badly injured I might not of guessed they were once human. I just hoped they were none of mine. Rascos tent loomed in to view from the fire, the door closed shut and smoke pouring out from underneath it. I sprinted over to it and ripped through the fabric. The smoke was so thick I couldn't see my feet, making me drop to the ground so I could see. Crawling in to the familiar tent, I just make out the shape of a body unconscious on the floor. Rasco. I grabbed him under the arms and dragged him out through the rip in the tent. He was covered in soot, his ginger hair blacker than coal. It was quite a way back to our camp, but Rasco was soon stretched out on a bed in our infirmary. The youngest of the kids worked here, since they were too young to battle, and they were rushed off their feet taking care of the injured. I began to help out, taking some of the children from the camp orphanage out to the cooking point and served them some food. Draping blankets across their shoulders, I served over two pots of stew to the people we'd taken in until the kids could be seen almost skipping back to camp. I ran over to Cassia and hugged him hard, wiping the soot from his face. He smiled and kissed me lingeringly.

"We've lost no one."

My heart leaped. We'd won and none of ours were dead. I hugged him again and he laughed slightly, lifted me off the ground. Similar celebrations were happening all around us with people hugged, kissing and laughing. The grief would come in the morning when we would count and bury the dead. The enemies that had dyed were to be set back to Death Canyon so they could be buried by their friends. We might be their enemies, but they should still be treated properly in death. I kissed him and he twirled some of my hair around his finger.

"Come on. Lets go back to the house."

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