The Four Lands Of Arravan: Birthright

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Chapter Six: Do You Expect Me To Simply Give Up?

Rowan and Zack sat inside the cell block opposite a guard that had been a part of Bregan’s ambush during the trial.

Alexandra Fernsby, her father had been one of the other guards although he hadn’t been so lucky and failed to escape the hall with his life having been slain during the outbreak of battle.

She was a sad sight to behold clearly not having fallen too graciously from her podium, she sat in the light, material clothes worn beneath the golden armour of the guard, her blonde hair spilt over her slumped shoulders in knotted bunches.

Seeing as their leader, Bregan, or otherwise known as the Mati was dead along with every persona and version of himself he’d dished out to people, many of his followers seemed to have lost hope.

It made it easier for Rowan to gather information seeing as the traitors had nothing to fear and with the chance of earlier freedom Rowan promised, some were more talkative.

Alexandra had told them about Braylen’s child, at least what she knew.

According to her, Bregan had gifted Braylen with a home where she and her child would be safe, he also had entrusted Horatio Moore with the task of protective detail should anyone go looking for her.

It wasn’t much help in all honesty and was something they could have pieced together, Zack was ready to leave and he would have had it been his choice, but Rowan seemed to have other plans.

The older fae seemed to be having a staring contest with Alexandra, hazel gazing into hazel, hers more on the greener side.

It’d been silent like it for a little over ten minutes and Zack was gradually becoming restless, that was until Rowan stood up with no warning and left the room.

Zack and his quick reflexes followed suit, closing the cell door behind him.

Rowan was already marching across the hall by the time he’d exited the room leaving him to try and catch up, as he did so with large strides he called out to Rowan “Rowan” he said, his feet picking up to a jog until he had fallen into step beside him. “Who do you plan to ask now? We’re not really getting anywhere” Zack continued.

“Andrew Monin” Rowan replied simply as if the man he spoke of didn’t reside in Salatia.

“We’ll have to travel” Zack noted “But there is no way Xenia or Ida would agree to send us”

Clearly having thought ahead Rowan stated “I plan to use your vehicle”

“Rowan I don’t doubt you, but what exactly are you hoping to hear from him? None of the others has known anything about Braylen’s child, what makes you think Andrew ill be any different?”

“Do you expect me to simply give up? That child is the only form of the family I have left, you of all people should understand”

Retaliating with a shard voice Zack said “Of course I understand Rowan! But how do you expect Andrew to know anything different? He wasn’t in Bregan’s inner circle and the only one who was if in the wind”

“I have nothing else to lose. You are welcome to remain behind and inform the King of my absence,” he grumbled out already on the move again.

“I am coming with you Rowan, I just don’t want us both wasting our time travelling to Salatia only to find out the same things we already know”

Stopping in his tracks and leaning his head back, Rowan sighed “Well, I do not know about you, however, I have nothing planned for weeks to come. Perhaps a road trip could aid us both” he suggested.

“Maybe you’re right” Zack responded having calmed down a little “Do you plan to tell Solon?” he added as an afterthought.

A little hesitantly to begin with Rowan gave his reply “I do not. It is my own business and he has already told me to do what I needed to find the child.”

Stepping over to him, their feet once again falling into time Zack dramatically signed “I guess we should get going then” a slight whine attached to the end of his sentence “Who knows what Andrew Monin might try doing in the meantime, he could try to escape the capital.”

“I doubt that theory, he would have nowhere to run to. Besides, there are others within Salatia’s city walls that have been tasked with keeping a closer eye on them for Nerina and the council.”

“Even so, we still shouldn’t waste time, the sooner we can get the information we need, the sooner we can find the baby”

Reaching the split in the corridor that lead towards the accommodation and the rest of Evangelis Rowan spoke up as he turned to face Zack “I suggest you pack generously, there is no telling how long we may be. I can simply say, pack as though you do not expect to return here”

“Do you plan to come back here? If it all goes well” Zack asked him curiously.

“I do not know, there is no knowing what may happen. If we do find the child then there is a high chance I will not return to Evangelis, I would very much like to retire to Crestfold and fix it as best as I can as I raise my son.”

“Will you be ready for something like that? It is a lot to shoulder by yourself”

A hint of a smile made its way to Rowan’s lips, he would have proudly called Zack, Helena and Everette his children, they were all in their own way loving and affectionate, passionate and strong too.

“As I see it, It will be a way for me to make up for everything that went wrong” Rowan explained.

“Just, don’t be harsh on the baby as he grows up. He won’t be Braylen, or Jeanove so don’t try to fix him. You have to let everything go and start fresh, raise the child as if it weren’t Braylen’s. Maybe don’t even go back to Crestfold, start a new life somewhere away from it all.”

“Very inspiring advice, I will miss you and the others when this is all over” Rowan began only for Zack to swiftly reply.

“I wasn’t finished yet”

His smile growing bigger, Rowan nodded for him to continue.

And so he did “Put the child first, Crestfold will have new leaders, better one’s. Everything happens for a reason afterall, we’ll have to see where fate takes us”

* * *

Wondering through the woods next to Stavros had felt more like a dream than a memory to Everette, the way the light had cast down beneath the leaves of the trees and set shimmering shadows onto the forest floors.

The way the horses galloped and interacted with one another and the unforgettable way it felt to be next to him, not quite close enough to touch but close enough to be comfortable.

She had tried hiding her deflated mind around Stavros after hearing he was already in love, but even so, she would have done anything and everything to support him and his relationship.

Afterall, she had no right being anything but a friend to him despite what he’d said, she wasn’t the kind of person to step in the way of a relationship even if her mind did enjoy taunting her with the idea.

They’d parted ways at the main hall, Stavros had been requested to meet Rowan, she wished they could have stayed near each other for longer.

Everette could remember so vividly as she had slipped her hand from his calloused yet soothing grasp, they’d held hands like it from Heaven’s Decent to the main hall, neither opposing the gesture until Rowan, Zack and Aveline’s backs came into view and Stavros was called away.

Something about it had felt right, but of course, it was anything but right and she would not fall into the trap of becoming an affair.

Hand-holding would be the start, she already wanted him back with her so she couldn’t let it go any further if she could spare them both then she needed to be strong and hold her will.

Deciding to clear her head as nothing but Stavros revolved in her mind she headed for her room.

After losing Helena, Everette found she had no one to talk to besides Stavros but she couldn’t talk to him about himself.

She felt alone, just like back in the military training programme.

Everette had been the youngest there, she was let in under the conditions that she would have to remain within the programme no matter her rank until she reached 18, she was a special cause, a child in the military that couldn’t graduate with the people around her.

And yet she had agreed to the deal having nowhere else to live after being separated from her father before being found by a high ranking military personnel who’d managed to sweet-talk the others running the programme into letting her join.

She thanked the man that had saved her, not only for giving her a place to live but ultimately introducing her to the woman she’d get to know as Helena.

It hurt missing people, missing her parents made her feel empty and lost for so many years but meeting Helena had helped, now she was left missing her too.

Everette hadn’t cried, she refused to because Helena had ruined everything and she kept telling herself that she wasn’t worth the tears.

But the one’s falling down her face couldn’t be ignored or sugar-coated.

Being alone in her room with so many things to talk about and yet no one to share them with was suffocating.

As much as she denied it to herself and everyone around her, she missed Helena, she missed her beyond anything else, more so than her own parents.

But there was no going back, no changing the past.

She’d just have to keep missing them until she too would leave behind mourners and grievers.

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