Aiden and the Scroll of No Man's Land

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Chapter 26

Ivor was not the kind of leader to beat around the bush. He was known to be direct with his point with no time to spare like he was always too busy to speak with the common men and women of the village. He did this when he had some matter to say, and he would do that without even some mush so as a greeting, like just now.
I suddenly sprang up now and my mind raced through all the scenarios and thinking if there was any other instance for which the leader had made a personal visit to our house, which up till now he had never done. In fact, he never visited our side of the village and rather restricted himself to his rundown palace and its ruined gardens.

So him visiting us now meant only one thing. I and my sister were in trouble but for what, seemed to be the problem.

Looking behind the leader I saw two faces barely visible because of the leader’s tall shoulders. Nonetheless, a quick glance made me go from cool and restraint to boiling anger within a second.

It was idiots three and four of the Gurzal gang and they wore smirks on their faces which only angered me even more.

I was terrified and I prayed to the gods that this was about the incident with us fighting them a few days earlier.

I now saw my sister fumble in the bedsheets in the bed next to me and so I got up and woke her up, she complained at first but suddenly seeing the leader, remained quiet.

Her face too instantly lit up in anger as she saw the Gurzal gang standing behind the leader waiting for him to break the bad news.

My mother was puzzled and now looked at us and gave us a look that terrified us.

Looking back at the leader, Ivor continued his tone casual as ever. “Of course Melina...Of course, they wouldn’t tell you....they are kids and they love hiding secret from their mother and that is totally acceptable.” he said as he seemed to savor the moment, as he looked at his nails admiring the manicure he had got earlier. “But..” he said and our house and the corridor were silent as everyone around us wanted to hear what the leader wanted to say “But...You CANNOT hide such stuff from me kids!” and with a gesture, he was presented a silver metal piece that was shaped like a diamond from one of the guards, who was out of sight, in the narrow corridor

The metal piece had jagged edges and seemed very badly melted and he now showed the piece to my mom who looked at both of us in horror, although the story was yet to come.

Suddenly I had a flashback to last evening where I remembered seeing it on the coffin.

I was unsure whether it had fallen off when we tried to move the coffin or if they had found the entire coffin and was using this metal piece as evidence but I was about to find out.

“Boy...I don’t know what you were thinking when you tried to hide that coffin from me, but I must say this has been the highest level of insult to my authority and to think you could get away with this,” he said as he threw his hands out in anger and at that point, I knew that we were totally exposed that he knew everything we had done yesterday.

Maybe we weren’t careful enough, maybe these two dumbheads actually got away with hiding quietly and observing us and maybe the leader easily followed the mud trail left behind by us as we pulled the makeshift sled towards the destroyed house. But it did not matter now as I knew a punishment was in store.

I opened my mouth to say that I wanted to hide the coffin from the idiots that were the Gurzal gang, but the Ivor signaled to me to be quiet “Boy, I do not want to hear your explanation, there is nothing to change in my mind, it was clear that the first thing you had to do in the case of something unusual happening was to inform me, which you failed to inform me which only insults me as a leader and for that I can only give you the highest form of punishment there is,” there was tension in the air as everyone from the whole building gathered around my house keen to know hat was happening.

“You, Aiden Yale, of central Voulder, is sentenced to fight in the Zelia event that will be held tonight at nine pm sharp! May the anguished find the peace they are seeking, in triumph or by doom.” the world seemed to stop and the room seemed to grow even quieter than before.

I seemed zoned out and my clear morning head was already in a mess and all I could do was watch as my sister jumped out of bed and rush after the leader my mom already in the hallway begging with him to not make me fight in the games but I seemed so zoned out I could not hear a thing she was saying.

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