We may have accepted the condition of being part of Brystagg's Honourable Thieves (a name the people in the group had penned themselves. They had even shortened this to BHT), but this didn't mean we were free to do as we pleased. Far from it. We slaved away within a zirconia mine pocket that the BHT had discovered when they had been incarcerated within Hell's Labyrinth.

The group members chipped away with intense focus and will. Everyone had a strong purpose for working the mines, but no one discussed on what their purpose was.

The facts that I was able to learn (mostly from accidental eavesdropping) was about the people of the group whom were petty thieves and fraudsters.

Aside from Brystagg and Lyra, everyone was unskilled or unable to use magic and from poor backgrounds; hardly the type that required maximum security incarceration. Only one man amongst them had been legally convicted with a serious crime, Brystagg.

"He be a scary man but keeps us safe," said Amos who worked the same vein as I did.

In the time I had been working the mines, we had assumed a cautious friendship.

Amos Dillen was the youngest person of BHT at the age of thirteen. He was as dangerous as a butterfly. I was impressed that he had somehow managed to escape Hombug's twisted attention. I suspected his common features with freckly cheeks, simple brown eyes and hair that was cropped short around his small ears, wasn't tacky moustache's type.

Death held the boy with high suspicion, but he understood that I needed to be onside with someone who could help us with information. Amos was the type who talked or seemed to want to talk. So he was the best person to stay close to for the time being.

"Is he someone high up?" I asked Amos.

He paused his chipping and stared at my face with jaw dropping disbelief.

"Seriously? What part of Sol have you been living in?" he said and wiped aside a part of his wispy fringe from his fine brows.

"Haha, well I've been isolated in a monastery all my life. Dunno much about things in other places of the world." I awkwardly scratched at my head.

"Oh, an orphan, that would make sense." Amos's expression had calmed.

I guess wearing similar outfits (minus the bow tie) and both of us having weathered boots with heavy scuff marks had made him assume that theory. Luckily.

"I don't understand much of the gossip, but I've heard that Sire was charged with treason when he fought his brother for the throne." Amos continued with his earlier conversation.

As Death had guessed, Brystagg was from royalty. He wasn't any small-time lord or prince but an apparent heir to the High King of Sol.

He had an older half-brother named Sirius who was born on the same day as himself but four hours earlier. So, although they had different mothers, they were raised together and formed a twin type of relationship. Rumours had it that they were inseparable until they had reached the age of consent at fifteen.

Their brotherhood began to unravel due to their differences on opinion about how the country should be ruled. Brystagg was focused on bringing in democracy and equality amongst the classes. This clashed with his Sirius's ideals on upholding autocracy, which favoured the wealthy.

"Sire was the voice of us poor and forsaken folk." Amos expanded on his, surprisingly, insightful opinions for a boy his age.

Brystagg had more of a rightful claim to the throne since his mother was the apparent heir for Caldera; a province that held a lot of political sway within Armia, whereas Sirius's mother was a distant cousin to a man who was third-in-line to be a Baron.

No one would have conspired against Brystagg if he had upheld royal traditions. Because of his radical views, many wealthy dukes and lords had voiced support and backing to Sirius's claim to the throne.

So, when the princes' father had passed away during a minor treaty battle between the Armia and Tempra, the kingdom fell into a two-year civil contention.

The contention ended when an influential group of Brystagg's supporters were caught and publicly executed. The common masses couldn't compete against the supreme firepower, magic and financial sway from the aristocrats. Brystagg's supporters were soon rounded up and either forced fealty to Prince Sirius, imprisoned or executed.

A coronation was held shortly afterwards to cement Sirius's right as High King. His first order, under the advice of their uncle, was to sentence his own brother for high treason and mass murder.

"Wow, that's brutal." I let out a deep breath.

"Isn't it?" Amos sighed as he rested his pick axe again to wipe off more the sweat from his brow.

His face tensed into an expression of fear when he caught sight of Brystagg staring back at him with his arms crossed.

"Gossiping again instead of working Amos?" Brystagg's icy voice stirred shivers down my spine.

"N-No S-Sire. Just bringing the newbie up to speed." Amos gulped.

I flinched when Brystagg's eyes turned my way.

"Did you get all that?"

I abruptly nodded that caused a head rush.

"Come with me Famine and bring Colin."

I didn't hesitate to hurry to the opposite end of where Colin picked stone and signed for him to follow me. Colin saw Brystagg and stopped his chipping.

ZaldizkoRead this story for FREE!