Chapter Two: An Untimely Exit

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I stomp through the swamp like paths between the closely packed houses. Shock still hits me hard, knocking the wind out of me. I huff in irritation. It was so unlike me to act so childishly, but once Nia’s name had been called I had immediately turned and stormed out of the crowded hall.

Many people had spotted my retreat, some snickered, others looked sympathetic. I had ignored the lot of them and continued on my path towards what was sure to be a delightful conversation with my mother, I groan internally.

My sarcastic thoughts are my only solace as I stumble forward, rain begins to fall and soak my clothes thoroughly. Nia’s name flows through my head accompanied by a rich jealousy over her passing Llorel’s tests. It was so rare that my jealousy was followed by another wave of shock, I had almost expected to fail but I had also expected those around me to meet the same judgement.

I shake my head in denial, how could little Nia have the gift yet I son of the great Warlord was as gifted as a chicken. Instead of turning the corner onto the street my home, if I could call it mine any longer, was situated I lean back against the side of a small cottage that faced my father’s grand design.

My head hits the wooden framework of the cottage, my rage slowly subsiding as I attempt to re-arrange a somewhat mature response to evaluate day’s events. Nothing seemed logical, and the more I considered it the more extraordinary the result seemed.

Rational thought abandoned me as I stood leant against a neighbour’s house in the worst downpour of the month.

After what seemed like an age I finally shift, my gaze taking in the looming figure of brickwork that separates me from my sure to be enraged mother.

With heavy steps I make my way towards the elegant building, my heels dragging on the sodden ground. I exhale a drawn-out sigh, dreading what lay behind the large wooden door less than a few feet away.

I swing the door open and step inside. My belongings are overflowing from a pack at the foot of the vast staircase. I see my mother has been busy, I think absentmindedly. I step forward and inspect her not-so-handy work, a scowl twisting my features.

“There you are. As you see I’ve packed you things, now leave”, my mother orders as she enters the hall. She waves her hand dismissively before turning away, her attempt at seeming mildly upset at the prospect of my departure causes a soft chuckle to slip free.

Her head swings back round, her glare a sharp as an assassin’s blade. “You think bringing dishonour to this family is a laughing matter?” She shrieks. Her lips are pursed into a tight line as she looks over me in disgust. She cares little of our families honour and we both know it, her priorities were few, gold and acknowledgement were all she needed in her life.

Acknowledgement for deeds she had no hand in, she lived of my father’s reputation and expected to be able to live off mine. Her disappointment was routed in the fact her gold stash finally had a limit.

“This families honour?” I ask with a raised brow. My tone daring her to respond, and of course she took the bait beautifully.

“Yes, an honour you have tarnished since birth”, she snarls. She throws her hands up in dramatic effect. “How could your father have given birth to such a useless bastard!” she screams, a vein in her narrow neck almost popping from her pale skin.

I laugh, unable to help myself. I needed to aggravate her one last time, for my own amusement. “You have lived your life on the back of my fathers fortune, you are no better than a parasite. Living and feeding off the funds my father left behind once he had died”. I throw back, my humour fading slightly at the discussion of my father.

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