Book 2 of the Chainbreaker Series.
If you have not yet read Part 1, The Grey Ones, I highly recommend it. This is a continuation and not a stand-alone creation. The events that take place in this book is highly contextualised by the first instalment of the series.
You can find The Grey Ones on my profile.
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“You left without a vas-maasa, despite my warnings. Don’t take me for a fool, Vasaath.”
He searched his mind for something to say, for a lie to present—but he could not lie to this woman. He could not lie to the Great Mother. Defeated, he said, “I tried to resist her, I truly did, until I couldn’t fight it any longer.”
The Vasmenaan sighed and sat down as well. Her face softened, as did her voice. “I warned you this would happen, did I not?”
He huffed. “Not exactly.”
“I told you,” she said. “I said that sooner or later, your frustration would lead you to irresponsible choices. I don’t know what you were thinking, leaving without a vas-maasa.”
The Vasaath sighed deeply, irked by the suggestion that a maasa would have lessened his struggles. He might have believed it too, at first, but he knew now that it would never be enough. He huffed. “I never thought it would take this long. I never thought I would be stuck here the entire summer, but that girl… well, she eased my troubles.”
The woman sighed. “It’s always a risk being intimate with an ohkas. They often attach themselves, develop feelings of dependence… all it takes is one instance.”
The Vasaath’s chest tightened, but he said nothing.
“At least, you haven’t led the girl on, I hope?”
Thousands of thoughts rushed through his mind as he tried to decide whether to tell her the truth or to keep the true nature of his affair with Lady Juniper in the dark. He didn’t want to lie, but he knew what reprimands he could receive if he revealed his feelings—and his carelessness.
“Vasaath?” The Vasmenaan’s voice was suspicious, and the more she pressed him, the more difficult he found it to answer. Finally, she said, aghast, “what is the nature of your relationship with that woman?”
He glared at her, a retort at the tip of his tongue, but he remained silent.
“Is she your lover?”
The Vasaath looked away, ashamed.
“Are you out of your mind?”
He grunted and returned his gaze. “It has been out of my control.”
“Out of your—you are Vasaath!” she gasped. The Vasmenaan was seldom upset, her poise always calm and confident, but now, the woman was nearly fuming. “You are the embodiment of strength and perseverance! If you cannot control yourself, then how can you expect that from any of your soldiers?” She took a few deep breaths, gathered herself, before she said, “one instance of weakness and desire, I could have turned a blind eye to, but you do not take lovers!” Sighing deeply, she leaned back in the chair. “Whatever you have with that woman, you need to end it. It’s for your own good, and hers.”
“I’ve never felt more at ease than when I’m with her,” said he.
The Vasmenaan let out a singing sigh. “We are not meant for such relationships, my dear. It’s a great sacrifice, yes, but one we must be willing to make. It’s a difficult struggle, but one we must master. For some, it takes a lifetime, but we can only master it if we are vigilant.”
He sighed deeply, defeated and heavy-hearted. “You could make her a vas-maasa.” It was a stretch, a desperate attempt to cling to the little slip of happiness he had experienced, but he had to try.
The Vasmenaan looked at him, almost with pity in her gaze. “You know as well as I that I cannot do that.”
“Why not?” He leaned back, feeling his fighting spirit return to him. “Why is it that an ohkasenon can’t be a vas-maasa?”
“Ohkasenon aren’t apt for healing leaders,” said the Vasmenaan. “They cannot be trained for it.”
“Well, from my own experiences, I’m bound to disagree—I’ve trained her quite well,” drawled the Vasaath.
She glared at him. “Don’t be obscene.”
The Vasaath huffed. “Well, I’ve been content. More so than with any vas-maasa, and it doesn’t matter what you say or think about it.”
“She won’t be vas-maasa.” Her tone was final, stern. “You have to release her from the duties you’ve put on her. You left your vas-maasas in Kasarath, and that is your own fault. Frankly, I’m quite shocked at your selfishness, and not to mention the pressure you have put on the girl! I’ve known you all your life. I held you at my breast when you were just a small infant. I kissed your head and saw greatness in your future… don’t betray that great promise with selfish desires.”
He gritted his teeth and leaned forwards. “I have given everything to the People, to the Kasenon. Don’t call me selfish.”
The Vasmenaan seemed unimpressed by his statement. “Then don’t be selfish.” She sighed and rose. “I don’t even understand why we are discussing this. It should be self-explanatory. You will end your relationship with the girl, and I will hear no more if it.”
* * *
Noxborough has fallen and the Red Sun is rising, and the love between the young lady and the Grey Warlord is put to the test.
Lady Juniper has to adapt to a new regime and a new role while acting as peacekeeper between the Noxboroughers and the Kas. The resistance is massive, and such behaviour is not met with kindness from the stern Kas. Her hands are tied, but her heart is bleeding for her people and for her love and she knows that pleasing one means betraying the other.
The Vasaath is stuck between love and duty, knowing he cannot have both but fighting to retain them all the same. Slowly slipping into his dark descent, he tries desperately to keep himself above water.
Meanwhile, the bloodbath in the North has sent shockwaves across the continent. Everyone, from Noxborough to Sunport, knows that a storm is brewing. Even the Golden Emperor himself has been warned of the imminent war. The Demons have come.
THE RED SUN follows where THE GREY ONES left off, in a war-town city where faith, duty, and love are stressed to the breaking point. What shall prevail?
Rights and disclaimer:
This book is solely published on Inkitt under the pen name of L. E. Pearson (@LEPearson). If you have seen this book on another site, please inform me of this.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2020 by L. E. Pearson
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.