The War Of No Hope

Every tyrant has to start somewhere. Especially the most terrifying and violent ones. This is the story of how one became one, and fell from grace at the same time...

Book 1 in the Chalson Chronicles. All rights reserved. Cover designed by Literia Lia.

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11. Royal Friends

Our boat left the next day. I was kind of sad as I watched my hometown sinking in to the distance as we crossed the Sonaw and reached Chalson mainland. You could see the towers of Thorne Palace reflecting off the water. Raven led us through the crowed streets of Tadley and to a small cottage, Rose Cottage, on the outskirts of town. It was a harsh contrast between the exotic buildings and hustle & bustle of the port town, so small and ordinary that it seemed better suited to Benlat. The girl had to pull us away from the rare and gorgeous goods of the market and the delicious smells of the restaurant. None of us had eaten since the crowning. The cottage itself was covered in eclips' and roses, all the way up to the thatched roof, and a small flower garden, full to the brim of golarks and foves', surrounded it. Raven pushed open the door and led us in to a small living room. She fixed us some food and the others disappeared to bed. Me and Rasco slept on the sofa together. Guiver found that hilarious the next mourning. We were all sat round a small wooden table, eating silently. It was Raven who broke the silence.

"Where should we start?"

"I've still got some friends left here from the palace. I'll talk to them and rope them in to help out," I mumbled through a mouthful of food. Guivers head flew up, his eyes meeting mine.

"Palace?"

"I used to live there and I was Manipolts niece. Got a problem with that?"

"No," he smirked at me over his breakfast, "your Majesty."

I bristled, Rascos arm restraining me from throwing the kids breakfast into his face. Raven sensed this and hurriedly cleaned away all the plates. She stood over us, eying us all.

"Get dressed, all of you. We'll head in to town as soon as we can." we all stood up and began to get ready, except for Guiver.

"Who put you in charge Raven? I think th-"

"No one asked your opinion Guiver," I snarled, "I put her in charge, for the record."

"Yes, Mum," he snarled back as I turned my back to him. I whipped around again and fixed him with a stare that made even him flinch.

"What did you just call me?"

"I called you mum. Problem?"

"Just get dressed." I grabbed a pile of clothes and chucked them at his head. Everyones eyes followed me as I stormed upstairs. Yanking a dress off a chair, I slipped behind a screen and pulled the clothes away from my body. I could hear someone moved upstairs, coming to a stop on the otherside of my screen.

"You ok, Opeh?" I sighed and walked in to Rascos arms, letting him hold me and sit me down on a chair, "You sort of freaked out just now."

"It was just Guiver calling me mum. It made me remember," I rested my head on his shoulder and drew a shaky breathe, "Remember her."

"That wasn't your fault. You did all you could for your girl and what happened wasn't up to you, in the end."

"I'm her mum Rasco. It's my fault for what I did to her father, mine that she's growing up without me and mine that I couldn't be her mum. It's my fault," I twisted around, looking directly at him,"It always have been and always will be."

With that, I got up and joined the other downstairs. Rasco was soon there aswell and we made our way back in to town. My hand was clasped around Rascos the whole time and I didn't even look at Guiver. By the time we reached Tadley, the tension between us could be felt in the air. Raven picked up on it and spilt up our little group, with me and Rasco chasing up my old contacts and the others raiding the docks for weapons and supplies. The sun was just coming up as we made our way to the town center. We didn't talk the whole way there, the memory of the conversation earlier still fresh. He could never understand what I'd done. He could never understand the pain of knowing you've screwed up some elses life before they can even walk. He never could and never would. No one would.

I led the way in to a pub, Rasco trailing behind me. It was full to brimming, per normal on a Friday night, and the smell of alchol & sweat made me gag. I've never liked pubs. I soon spotted the people we were looking for and headed over there, fending off wondering hands as I did so. Perching myself on their table, I collared a poor girl carrying drinks.

"One round for me and my friends."

The group looked up at me in surpise and a round of smiles broke out. All three of the boys on the table clapped me on the back, smiling stupidly. I could tell Rasco was on guard, both as a warior and as a boyfriend. He's too protective sometimes.

"We'd thought we'd lost ya, Opeh!" the blonde one, Lar, smiled across at me. If I remeber rightly, he's always had a bit of a thing for me. That would interest Rasco. He was wearing his normal glasses and plain clothes, with his hair in random tufts all over his head.

"We can try, but we never will," Azizi, the one with long black hair, said, clapping me on the back.

"Unfornately," Supest eyed me with caution from under his greasy brown fringe and I threw a glare back. We'd never really got along, especially after the well incident. I could sense Rasco getting antsy behind me, so I turned, grabbed his hand and pulled him down on to the seat next to me.

"Boys, this is Rasco. You can probably guess why he's here," I smiled slightly at their shocked faces.

"You've-"

"Yep."

"You haven't-"

"Nope."

"Am I-"

"Nope.

It wouldn't of been suprising if they actually fell of their chairs. They did have a reason I suppose. It wasn't often I didn't try and kill any guy that came close to me in that way.

"What do you want, Opeh?" Supest sighed, drinking his cider.

"I've got a small problem up with the Wizards. A by a small problem, I mean I need a bloody army. Fancy helping me out?"

"Now you sound like yourself," Azizi smiled and winked, "Yeah, I think we can help. How big does the army have to be?

"Big enough to take Winterbrook."

"Easy," he leant back in his chair, cracking his knuckles.

"We didn't include a army in the plan," Rasco whispered in my ear and gave me a almost deadly look.

"How else do you expect we would get in to the place? We can't really go and knock on the door," I whispered back and turned to face the guys.

"When do you reckon you'll have a army sorted?"

"Give us a week." Lar answered, already beginning to scribble down plans on a piece of parchment. I nodded and we got up to go.

"I don't know what you've done this time, but if you need a army I'm guessing it's not a good thing. Be careful."

"I'm never careful," I winked at Azizi, "Just always prepared.

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