Serial Saturday: Flicker Part 8

Here's part eight for you all! I hope you enjoy this one!


Chapter 8

   Asha swallowed hard as she and Rowen walked through the woods. She hadn’t run away, but because a member of the Young Rebellion had found her and Rogen and his sister had offered to take her to Aden, everyone thought that she had. Was she shamed among her friends?

   She shook that feeling off and followed Rowen and Rogen to an old house. So Aden was here? Why had he come here? She took a deep breath and started running as footsteps crunched behind her. Was Seth coming back?

   She bolted at her full speed and ran past Rowen. The archer whirled around and looked back. “Asha, it’s Sale.” She said. Asha didn’t slow down, not until she could see Aden. Actually, that might be sooner than later, there were clashes coming from the side of the house.
   Rowen walked ahead of her and looked around at the noises, nodding. “You’re brother has red hair?” she asked. Asha shrugged.

   “Not my red, but it has some red in it.” She said. The four walked around to the side and Asha stopped at what she saw. Aden swiped at someone with a knife and ducked the returning, incoming swing. His foot shot out and connected with the man’s foot, causing him to drop his knife. Aden straightened, but as he looked around, he caught sight of Asha and took a deep breath.

   “Asha.” He nodded. Asha ran forward and hugged him, crying and choking on her tears.
   “Where were you?” she asked. “You just disappeared!”

   Aden pulled away. “I came here because you were always talking of finding me a better home.” He said. Asha shook her head and hugged him again. This time he let her.

   “You scared me so badly.” She said. “Are you ok here?” she asked, pulling away and looking at him.

   “Yes, I assume you saw my practice round?” he asked. Rowen nodded and stepped forward.

   “You’re pretty good.” She nodded. He shrugged.
   “I’m decent.” He said. “Give it six more weeks and I’ll be ready.” He said. Rowen nodded.
   “I think that this six week program has really helped you guys.” She said. Asha turned around.
   “You mean that you guys are training kids for the rebellion?” she demanded. Rowen turned around.
   “Asha, he’s almost fourteen, he can make his own decisions. You have to let him go sometime.” She said.

   “I am still his sister!” Asha shouted at her. Rowen took a deep breath.

   “Actually Asha, I was going to ask you about being a spy for us in the palace.” she said. Asha stared.

   “Are you joking?” she asked. “The King hasn’t done anything wrong!” Sale cut himself while sharpening.

   “Asha, are you being naive or are you serious?” he asked. Asha looked around.

   “Fine, what has he done?” she asked. Rowen sat on the ground and everyone else followed.
   “Sale, you begin.” She instructed. He nodded and took a deep breath.

   “It all began when I was eleven. I was listening to father’s meeting, I did it all the time, but what I heard this time made me leave.” He looked around at everyone. “The, uh, the taxes were getting heavier, and I couldn’t figure out why. It was almost as if my father was adding to them. That’s when I listened in on the meeting. My father told his men to keep raising the taxes. One of the new people my father had hired asked why, and my father said that he wanted the townspeople to have no power so that he would have it all. The young representative was shocked, but he didn’t say anything, smart, he probably would have gotten killed.

   “I left my hiding place and went to my room, pretty much freaking out. I mean, I loved my dad, but how could I stay here and just go along with all of this? The next day my father chose me as the heir to the throne, and I had pretty much figured out what would happen if I changed those laws. I would be assassinated and then the kingdom would set my psycho brother up and we would be even worse off. I knew the only thing I could do was stir up rebellion. You guys have seen how good Seth is right?” he looked around again and everyone nodded. “Yeah, I’m better. He never listened to our trainer until I literally dominated the competition and won all of the categories. It was pretty fun; the contest went a lot faster than it usually does. I took out half of my competitors in less than five seconds. Occasionally one of them put their swords up at the right time and I had to choose a different strategy.”

   Rowen glanced at Rogen. “Um, which year was this?” she asked. Sale glanced over.

   “Uh, the thirty second I believe.” He answered. Rowen exchanged another look with Rogen and Sale frowned. “What?” he demanded. “Why are you guys doing the twin looking thing?”

   Rowen laughed. “It’s just that we competed in that one.” She said. “You were how old?”

   “I was thirteen.” He said. Rowen raised her eyebrows. “Woah, so you were the kid in first?” Sale nodded.

   “Why? Did you lose to me?” he asked. Rowen shook her head.
   “No, I didn’t lose, I was, um, dishonorably escorted off of the field.” She said.
   “What? What did you do?” he asked.
   Rowen laughed. “I might have beaten a guy too fast.” She said. Sale shook his head.

   “You wouldn’t get escorted off of the field; I beat a guy in two seconds, many of them actually. Why did you get escorted off?”

   “I told you, a guy came at me and I ducked, he hit my shoulder and he got a concussion. Because I was the only girl in the competition, they thought I had cheated. I didn’t get escorted off for beating that guy, I did get disqualified. I got into a fight with one of the other competitors who pretty much rubbed it in my face.”  

   “I see.” Sale said. “Anyways, so I started the original rebellion group, but there were a few people who weren’t accepted, so they created what we call the Young Rebellion. What my rebellion does is we watch the tax collectors and make sure they are only charging what they have to, what is it that you guys do?” he glanced at Rogen.

   “Well, the last thing we did was stop a bunch of soldiers from taking food from a building where the people had hidden it.” Rogen said.
   Rowen stood and looked around. “You still haven’t explained to Asha what we did here.” She prompted. Sale nodded.

   “Right, right, uh, we found someone who worked in the palace, he actually gets paid, but he agreed to train these guys for six weeks. Rogen told me about your brother and I came to see him here. He’s doing really well.”
   Asha jumped up and buried her hand in her hair. “I don’t want him to do well! I want him to come home and get a normal life!” she shouted. Aden jumped up as well.
   “Asha, I want to do this, please calm down!” he pleaded. Asha took a deep breath and nodded.
   “Ok, ok yeah.” She said. “Go ahead, why do I even…you wouldn’t listen.”

   Aden hugged his sister. “Asha, please, I want to do this because I want to make a difference!”

   His sister shook her head. “But it isn’t. There are dozens of boys your age that would do this. If you left, they would come and everything would be fine.” She insisted. Aden shook his head and glared at his sister.
   “That’s not true, I’m almost finished, just a few more weeks.” He insisted. “Watch.” He jumped up and glanced around. “Rogen, come against me.” He said. Rogen stood up.

   “Alright, but we need to use something other than knives.” He said. “Like wooden ones.”
   Aden rolled his eyes. “I didn’t begin training with knives, are you insane? Here.” He tossed a wooden stick at Rogen and crouched in an attacking position.

   Rogen hesitated and Aden seized that opportunity. Swiping at Rogen, he spun with one knives aimed at his neck and the other knives coming around to slit the back of his neck. Rogen blocked his first move and threw himself forward to miss the second blow. Aden jammed on into his stomach and received a slice in the ribs for it. He grunted as the wood connected with his rib, but he didn’t groan.

   They stepped back and Rogen looked around. “On a scale of one to ten, I would give him a seven.” He said. “And me a seven, that was pitiful. I wasn’t expecting him to be as good as he was, underestimating, and that’s exactly what could get me killed.”
   Rowen stood up. “I’ve got this.” She accepted a longer wooden stick and twirled it in her hand, jumping up and down to ready herself.
   Aden aimed low, for the ribs, and his other knife went for her neck. She swung and blocked the one targeting her throat, and then as she had his knife and hand in her grip, she pulled them to the side, throwing him off balance. He stumbled, but recovered.
   His next move was to throw a knife at her. It hit her arm and she grabbed it, wincing. She swung her sword at him and even though he dodged most of it, the tip hit his back. Rowen swung again and he jumped over this one, but she had been expecting it. She slammed the edge into his side and he hit the ground groaning.
   Asha jumped up. “Rowen!” she cried. Rowen waved her off.
   “He’ll be fine, just a bruise. He did a good job, but Taysin needs to work on his sword training.” She said. “Good job, you’re doing much better.”

  

Comments

  1. I haven't been reading your serial story. *ashamed look* Once I find the time, I shall read it through and then comment! :D It looks awesome!

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    1. No need to be ashamed! :D Thanks! There are links to all of the parts on the Serial Story page!

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