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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH66
Royalty and the Beast CH66
Warm, bright fires popped and crackled, inviting everyone near. It seemed like every ten feet, a new fire was lit. All around the camp, humans and nagas sat together, sharing the food that was not only brought, but also hunted. The tense air had vanished when the two races had come back with enough food for everyone. Now they spoke and laughed, sitting together around the fires. There were still some solitary groups around the borders, unwilling to come close. But that was anticipated.
Evan couldn’t help but feel a bit of pride as he looked over the camp. This was the first record of humans and nagas sitting beside each other. He took a moment more to observe, shivering. There was still much to do and he had been denying himself the luxury of warmth. He rubbed his arm, walking into the dark, near the horses.
He felt like he had been trying to hold a mountain. His legs were hardly holding him. his exhaustion was nearly drowning him. it was hard to see st
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH65
Royalty and the Beast CH65
Evan watched as his unconscious father was dragged away and tied up to the post with the horses. This all still seemed like a dream. He turned around, finally having a moment to speak to Joel. “what are you doing here?” he asked, walking up to the other man.
“a few days after you had left, your father had returned in search of you. He demanded that I join his army, and though I have a lot of command- even I cant refuse a direct order from a king. Plus I knew there was little chance you would be home anytime soon. I figured perhaps I would get a chance to see you on the road, though even I didn’t predict this.”
Evan had to laugh. He pulled his helmet off, looking around. The nagas were mostly still a good distance away, but just their presence was enough to make the humans uncomfortable. Evan motioned to Joel, walking away. “Come, there are others I would like you to meet.”
Joel followed, standing just as tall as Evan.
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH64
Royalty and the Beast CH64
It was obvious that the open area was manmade. All of the trees had been cut down, making enough room for many men. There were hundreds of tents, and even more rolls on the ground because there could never be enough room for everyone. Golden banners with black wolf heads hung everywhere. Evan had almost forgot what they had looked like. The noises got louder and louder as Evan approached. His heart was in his throat as he saw the humans. Again he had to find humor at how uncomfortable he was stepping into a human camp.
As he neared a group of men, he was finally spotted. All of their laughter silenced as they looked at him with confused eyes. The men were not wearing armor, nor did they have swords at their sides.
“Where is Edward?” he demanded.
One of the men stood up, narrowing his eyes. “And just who are you?” the man questioned.
“and what are you wearing?” another laughed.
Evan held his head high, glaring at the standin
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH63
Royalty and the Beast CH63
Rain poured down from the sky in buckets. The wind howled and tore around Evan, making him deaf to any other sound. He grabbed his sword, pulling it out of the sheath. The trees groaned as the wind tore at them, trying to pull them to the ground. A flash of lightning struck across the sky, lighting up the area. A man stood across from Evan. With bright eyes and a wicked smile, he came storming confidently down.
Evan shuddered, opening his eyes. He was sitting on a bench in the palace, watching the sun slowly peak over the horizon. The window was made with colored glass, depicting some picture that Evan was sure had some meaning. He looked back down at his hand. He played with the purple gem, listening to the light clinking of the chain as he moved the stone around his fingers. A dark spot caught his eye and he turned his hand, looking at the tattoo on the back of it.
He had been up for hours. He had been unable to sleep after that dream. Shale had come early
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH62
Royalty and the Beast CH62
The empty halls clicked with the echo of Evans boots as he walked. The palace seemed eerily vacant. Evan had slept as long as he could, but he was restless. It was early in the morning. The sun still had not risen yet. The castle seemed peaceful during this time. Perhaps this is what his father spoke of. The calm before the storm.
In Evans had was a hot cup of the terrible tea. He had made it just after he had drank Shales terrible potions. One disgusting taste after another. But they were all working. Today he hurt less. He stood straighter. He could actually walk without having to take breaks. He was truly feeling better. But how much better could he be by tomorrow? He took a large swallow of the boiling tea. He was just going to have to find out.
Evan slowed his walk as he started to head past the Kings memorial room. He stopped at the door and opened it, glancing inside. The room light up from the candles in the hall. Evan walked into the dark room, headi
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH61
Royalty and the Beast CH61
Evan sat on the cold floor of the kings memorial room, a bottle of wine in his hand. He had found it in the kitchen, needing something to calm himself. The wine didn’t just numb the physical pain, it also helped with the stress he was feeling. He took another sip, propping his arm up on his knee. In the center of the room Kadeem was glaring at him with unimpressed eyes. Xeon was right. That portrait didn’t seem to fit the naga. But at least it wasn’t covered in blood. It was a lot easier to look at but it still made him feel guilty.
“this wasn’t my fault,” he muttered to the picture. “stop blaming me.”
The portrait remained silent. the unaproving eyes still looked directly at Evan. Evan sighed and took another sip of the wine, wishing he had something stronger. “what do you want me to say? I cant promise you anything. I probably am going to die as well. Then we will both be stuck.”
Again, the portrai
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH60
Royalty and the Beast CH60
“you left me there.”
Evan groaned, sitting up. his head was pounding and the rest of his body was pulsing with a sore pain. He rubbed his eyes, reaching for a glass near by. He jumped in shock when he finally noticed the body standing next to him. “Kadeem?” he gasped.
Kadeem seemed hardly able to support himself. He had his clawed hand over the wound in his side, like he usually did. His yellow eyes burned into Evan, almost bringing pain. He drew a wheezy breath. “you left me.”
Evan sat up straighter, shaking his head. “no, Xeon rescued me. I didn’t leave you.”
“you left me!” he yelled. “you were right there. You were right under me. You. Were. Right. There!”
“They couldn’t waste anymore time, Kadeem,” Evan tried to explain, realizing the naga was speaking of his body. “they had to get out of there.”
“I was not a waste of time!” Kadeem yelle
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH59
Royalty and the Beast CH59
The dark room should have been comforting to Evan, but the quiet only made his thoughts that much louder. He had finally gotten a chance to excuse himself, unable to stay standing any longer. He had hardly made it to his bed, collapsing onto it and unable to rise again. All he wanted to do in the world was sleep, but after what he had just sat through, he couldn’t even close his eyes.
Fear made him cold. but it was not like the cold outside. This was very different. This was a cold that was inside his bones, pulsing through his veins like a poison. Xeons last few words still rang in his ears like the echoes of a loud bell.
Evan groaned loudly, pushing himself up. it took a moment of struggling but finally he was sitting against the headboard of his bed. He weakly rubbed his eyes with his good hand, nearly shaking now. Tomorrow night Xeon would once again address the council, and Evan would again be at his side. But what would they say to the nagas plan?
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH58
Royalty and the Beast CH58
Xeon was quiet as he and Evan headed back to the prison. It made Evan nervous when the naga was this silent. it made him feel like he had done something wrong. It made him anxious. It didn’t help that he was weaker than a baby bird right now. When Xeon had beckoned him to follow, Evan had taken longer than he had hoped to gather the strength required to get out of his seat. He was holding himself tall for Xeon, but all he wanted to do in the world was sleep.
Each step was like trying to move a rusty hinge. His legs seemed to hesitate, grind and squeak every time he lifted them to walk. But even through his exhaustion Evan was putting on a strong mask. Xeon never once addressed it.
When they finally had reached the cells, they were met by a very impatient Vasson. He ushered them inside, getting the guards to hold their positions by the door once again. “lets get this over with,” he muttered. “this has carried on far too long.”
Xeo
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH57
Royalty and the Beast CH57
Xeon rubbed his face. His shoulders were slumped, his eyes were dull. He kept his hand on his face, giving a deep sigh. “do you believe he has any reliable information?”
Evan shifted from foot to foot, feeling like a child caught doing something wrong. “I believe that its worth listening to.”
“The human knows he is going to die soon,” Vasson hissed. “he is saying anything he can to extend his time. Don’t fall for this tales.”
“but what if he’s not?” Evan demanded. “what if he actually knows something important?!”
Xeon uncovered his face, his eyes now dull with exhaustion. He looked at Evan. “what do you suspect the information is about?”
“I don’t know,” Evan shrugged.
“your best guess?” he pressed.
Evan bit his lip, leaning against the wall. He rubbed the bandage on his arm. “maybe my father is looking for me. maybe they are near
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH56
Royalty and the Beast CH56
Vasson lead Evan down the hall, moving at a fast pace. Evan struggled to keep up, nearly tripping over his own feet. Finally he was forced to catch himself on a wall. “Vasson,” he called. “wait.”
The naga turned to him, looking him over. He slithered back to Evans side. “should I call a doctor?”
Evan shook his head, pushing the hair from his eyes. “just give me a moment,” he insisted.
“what's wrong?”
Evan shook his head, feeling a bit of shame. “I’m just really weak.”
Vasson didn’t snap an answer back. He didn’t have a mocking smile. Instead he pressed against the wall next to Evan, crossing his arms once more. A very low sigh escaped from the nagas nose. Evan tried to copy his stance, still struggling to stay standing. The two of them fell into uncomfortable silence. Finally Evan looked at the floor, shifting feet. “I feel like a child,” Evan admitted quietl
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH55
Evan limped slowly down the hall, resting for a moment against the wall. His legs were still weak and he was putting on a good mask for Xeon, but there were moments when he was glad to be alone. It was hard work to keep up this lie. All he wanted to do was go back to bed and sleep, but there were things he had to attend.
After a moment of rest, he pushed himself from the wall and continued walking down the hall. It had not taken long before he could hear voices. He could tell they were angry. He stopped a small distance away, listening.
“-enough of a risk,” one voice snapped. “let us end all of this. We have already endangered everything we have worked to protect for your pet. Let’s not risk anymore.”
“you would do well to watch your tongue Vale,” Xeons voice warned loudly. “I have allowed you in this room, and I can send you away just as quickly.”
“Xeon-“
“he told you to shut it,” Vassons voice stopped him.
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH54
Royalty and the Beast CH54
“Just for a moment-“
“no. leave.”
“Xeon, we just need to know-“
“I said leave.”
There was a harsh sigh, followed by a door closing. Evan shifted, now awake from the noise. His whole body was stiff with pain. It would be another day of this. Another day of pain. Another day of…
Something wasn’t right.
Evan tried to open his eyes, but just couldn’t yet. He was warm, comfortable. It felt as though he was laying on a cloud, or a pile of feathers. How could anything feel so soft? How could he had forgotten what it felt like to be warm?
Evan struggled a bit more, finally getting control and opening his eyes. It took him a moment to focus and he still couldn’t move. The room was dark, but comfortable. He couldn’t tell where he was. where did Howard put him now?
A memory flashed through his head. Xeon.
Evan sat up, gasping with pain from the action. He gripped his arm, finding it bound. In
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH53
Royalty and the Beast CH53
Evan was quivering, tears running down his face. He looked at the man in front of him, his eyes pleading. His left arm was tied to a wall in front of him, slipped through the spool of a metal wheel. The man had a malicious smile as he gripped a chain above his head. when the chain was pulled, the wheel would spin. The speed of the spin was determined by the weight on the chain.
The man holding the chain was not a light man.
“what do you think now?” the man mused. “are you ready to talk yet?”
“Please no,” Evan begged. “please don’t do it.” He tried to weakly pull at his shackle, but it held him in place.
“all you have to do is complete this little sentence. Are you ready? The nagas are located…?”
Evan sobbed, closing his eyes and turning his head.
“one more time. The nagas are located…?”
Again, Evan didn’t answer. He whined, shaking his head. the man sighed, grippin
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH52
Royalty and the Beast CH52
“so, lets try this again,” a calm voice cooed. “Where are the nagas hiding away?”
Evan quivered as he picked up his head. his arms were tied above him, making his shoulders feel as though they were going to pop. He was covered in lumps and bruises. The man in front of him held a long whip, the end of it having bits of metal. Evan looked into the man’s eyes, taking a long breath. “Piss off,” he answered.
The man pulled his arm back, snapping the whip onto Evans chest. Evan cried out, unable to pull away. The bits of metal on the ends of the whip left cuts and bruises as it slapped onto his skin. “This would be easier if you just answered,” the man reminded him. “You could save a lot of lives, including your own, if you just told us what we want to know.”
Evan didn’t answer. The man sighed, raising his arm and again snapping the whip across Evans torso. Evan limply yelled, unable to turn aw
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Literature
Royalty and the Beast CH51
Royalty and the Beast CH 51
It had taken over an hour to ride to the castle. Evan was now nauseous with fear, but he didn’t show it. If there was one thing he had learned from his father, it was how to hide emotions. He sat tall on the horse, awkwardly having to hang on with his legs because his hands were still tied. When the horses started to slow, the capped man rode up next to him. “and there is the destination,” he pointed in the distance. Evan squinted, able to just see the grey walls of the kingdom. He felt his mouth go dry.
It really was far too late to turn back.
The horses were eagerly trotting down the cobblestone path. They must have been just as sick of the cold as Evan was. as they approached the city, the massive gates were lowered and several other men came out to meet them. They roughly ripped Evan off of his horse, cutting his binds and instead putting heavy shackles on  his wrists and ankles. Evan kept his eyes forward as they stated the march
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Activity


Royalty and the Beast CH66

Warm, bright fires popped and crackled, inviting everyone near. It seemed like every ten feet, a new fire was lit. All around the camp, humans and nagas sat together, sharing the food that was not only brought, but also hunted. The tense air had vanished when the two races had come back with enough food for everyone. Now they spoke and laughed, sitting together around the fires. There were still some solitary groups around the borders, unwilling to come close. But that was anticipated.
Evan couldn’t help but feel a bit of pride as he looked over the camp. This was the first record of humans and nagas sitting beside each other. He took a moment more to observe, shivering. There was still much to do and he had been denying himself the luxury of warmth. He rubbed his arm, walking into the dark, near the horses.
He felt like he had been trying to hold a mountain. His legs were hardly holding him. his exhaustion was nearly drowning him. it was hard to see straight, but he didn’t let anyone else know. He somehow managed to keep his head up and his shoulders back. Even though the armor he was wearing was made of light leather, he felt like it was made of solid iron. He didn’t know how he continued to move his feet, but somehow he shuffled along.
The horses were clearly unnerved with the nagas. They were prey animals. It was expected. Evan gave one of them a reassuring pat on the neck as he walked by, stopping just before the final post. He could just hardly make out his father’s shape in the darkness.
“you are a fool,” he said in a worn voice. “more than a fool. You are an idiot. A traitor.”
Evan leaned his back on a post, jumping and hauling himself up so he was sitting perched onto it. his legs swung freely, kicking the post quietly. “you would have killed them. I had to stop you.”
Evan heard the ropes that held Edward creak, as though he was trying to move or even break out of them. “you are nothing bu-“
“do you see all of that?” Evan asked, motioning to the camp. “the nagas are there, as well as the humans. Hear that? They are all laughing. They are all talking. They are eating and drinking together.
“oh I hear it,” Edward hissed.
“Why does that disgust you so?” Evan asked very quietly.
“because you are making treaties with snakes,” he spat. “snakes don’t make treaties. They only bite you when your back is turned.”
“They are not snakes. They are not monsters. They are just like us.” Evan looked at the bodies moving around the camp. “I wish you could have seen that.”
“listen to yourself,” Edward hissed in disgust. “you are a child Evan. A wet eared brat. You don’t know how to run a country. And do you think the other kingdoms will follow you now? Do you think you will retain any of the allies that we have? Once they see this,” he gestured to the nagas and humans, “you will lose all respect. You will be shunned like a disease. Our cities will die- starve without the help of the others. You have doomed us. You have doomed them. you have killed them all.”
“Not everyone is as shallow as you are,” Evan shook his head. “it wont be easy, but we will keep our place. And I will never let my people die. we will make it.”
“how?” Edward demanded. “tell me- when you fields are empty, when not a drop of rain falls, when the livestock starve, when there is not a moldy roll or crumb of wheat left and you have no one to call for help- how will you make it?”
Evan stopped kicking his feet, letting the silence fall on them.
“you cannot run a kingdom alone,” Edward stated quietly. “no one can.”
Evan looked down at his hand, a smile breaking on his lips. He held it up slightly, showing the mark tattooed on his skin. “I am not alone.”
Edward looked at the mark, his eyes becoming dark. “you truly believe that they will save you? even if they come to your aid, they are one city. a city of reptiles. How will they feed all of those that are starving in your walls?”
“Do you know something about the weather patterns that I do not?” Evan finally huffed. “you are so sure that we are going to die within the year.”
“perhaps not within the year, but a dry year will come. Your grandfathers and great grandfathers have spilled much blood to insure our connections to our allies stayed strong. You have never had to lead a city of starving people through a drought Evan. Without our allies, we couldn’t have survived.”
“what I do now is not up to you,” Evan answered quietly. “I will not rule the way you had. I have made that very clear.”
“you will destroy what we have fought so hard to build,” Edward spat.
Evan lightly continued kicking the post. “why do you hate them so?” he asked quietly. “they have never harmed us.”
“they are beasts,” Edward spat. “you can see that just as well as I can. Monsters.”
“a monster isn’t determined by the size of your teeth or how sharp your nails are,” Evan said, still speaking quietly.
“you are not four, Evan,” Edward spat. “you are not in some book meant for children. Just look at them. you know as well as I do that they are monsters.”
“monsters wouldn’t have risked their lives to save someone so different from themselves,” Evan raised his chin. “that’s what they had done. Xeon and his men risked everything to rescue me. a monster would have left me there to die.”
Edwards eyes darkened. “I thought maybe he could teach you a lesson.”
“oh I learned my lesson,” Evan muttered, sliding off of the post and landing lightly on his feet. “Now enough. I have nothing left to say to you. I am sending you back to the castle. it will be a bit more than a week or two if rushed, but once there, you will be placed in the cells under the castle until I return.”
“Then what?” he demanded. “do I live the rest of my life down there?”
“I will decide later,” Evan answered.
“you should have just killed me, boy.”
“perhaps,” Evan shrugged quietly. “now, if you will excuse me there are still many I need to speak to tonight. I will send someone to feed you.” When his father didn’t answer, Evan took that as his time to leave. He turned and walked back into the camp, passing by all of the humans and nagas. Everyone that he walked by bowed to him, even the nagas. It was strange. He held himself taller, looking around the bodies for a familiar face.
“Joel,” he called when he finally spotted the man. He was sitting on the ground with a naga and another human. At the call of his name, he looked up. he quickly set his plate of food to the side, getting to his feet and walking over to Evan. “your highness?” he bowed when he got near.
“come,” Evan motioned with his head. Joel did not question. He followed Evan through camp. Evan finally reached his fathers tent, pushing passed the entrance and walking over to the table that was back in its spot.
“what is it?” Joel asked, allowing the flaps to close behind him.
“I have a job for you,” Evan stated, leaning back against the table.
“oh? And what is that?”
“I need you to bring my father back to the castle,” Evan answered quietly. “you may pick any two horses you will need-“
“wait-“ Joel stopped him. “you want me to leave you? when we are just about to head into a battle? Have you gone daft?”
“I need you doing this more then I need you here,” Evan said sternly.
“why not send one of the grunts? Why not just-“
“there are a lot of people between here and home,” Evan said slowly. “people that are looking to hurt. My father would be a prime target for a ransom. He is a former king after all.”
“so you want me to be his babysitter?”
“I know you can protect him,” Evan shook his head. “just get him home and locked up.”
Joel leaned on the table as well, tapping his finger on his arm. “if you take him along for a while, then I can still fight with you. Just leave him here when we go to Howards caste.”
Evan shook his head. “I don’t want him here.”
“Evan,” Joel seemed to force his patients. “I have known you for a very long time, and I respect your decision that you had made, but you don’t want him here and you cant trust him to be alone. why didn’t you just kill him?”
Evan glanced back at Edward, a shallow breath escaping between his lips. “I don’t know,” he finally admitted.
The two of them became silent. Joel was looking him over, studying him closely. Finally he shifted, breaking the spell. “If I had been talking to the boy you were months ago, I would never even consider leaving. If I were talking to that child, I might smack him in the head and sent him into a tent so I could protect him. But I am not talking to that child.” He sat more on the table. “you have shown that you can handle yourself. That is a very proud moment for me.”
“its what you have been trying to teach me all along,” Evan shrugged, finally smiling a bit. “but just because you aren’t here, doesn’t mean I am alone.”
“I know,” Joel now looked at the camp, his eyes lingering on the nagas. “you have made powerful allies, and even more important, you have made loyal friends. I will admit that it does allow me to relax knowing that you have an army of nagas at your command- as strange as that sounds.”
Evan chuckled a bit, scratching the arm clipped to the armor. “as Vasson would put it; ‘would you rather have us behind you or in front?’”
Joel laughed, shaking his head. “Even they do not downplay their strengths.”
“I will have my army as well as theirs. Xeon will be by my side. We have nothing to fear. You can leave knowing we are in good hands.”
Slowly Joel lost his smile, becoming more solemn. He finally nodded. “alright, I will take your bastard father back home.”
“we can load you up with as much supplies as you will need,” Evan reassured him. “and I must ask one more thing.”
“another task?”
Evan grabbed an envelope that was set at the corner of the table. He looked it over, insuring it was sealed well. He handed it to Joel. “I need you to give this to my mother.”
“your mother?”
“yes. There is much I have been wanting to tell her. I had never even told her goodbye. I had just left without so much as a word to her. she needs to know I am safe. She needs to know everything. She needs to hear it from me.”
“alright, I will-“ he reached to take it, but Evan pulled it away, shaking his head.
“I need you to swear this letters safe delivery,” Evan warned. “it carries words meant for no one else. It is only to be given to my mother. Am I understood?”
Joel raised an eyebrow, looking at the letter. He finally nodded, carefully taking it as though it was made of glass. “I will hand it right to her,” he swore.
Evan felt as though a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. “thank you Joel. You have no idea how much this relieves me.”
“well, you are the king. And I might have a high rank, but I cannot refuse an order from a king.”
Evan smiled, walking to the door of the tent. he held it open for Joel. “gather everything you believe you will need. You may have my fathers horse.”
“oh that is going to royally piss him off,” Joel muttered with a grin.
“take something just as fast for him. take a tent if you need and-“
“Evan,” Joel put a hand on his shoulder. “I understand. Don’t worry. I will be heading out within the next hour or so.”
Evans brows raised in surprise. “I didn’t expect you to leave tonight.”
“I have no reason to linger,” Joel shrugged. “and besides, your mother needs to hear from you.” he gave one last bow, leaving even alone in the tent. Evan fell against the table with a heavy sigh. He had never been so tired in his life. All he wanted to do was sit down. he looked at his fathers cot across the tent. perhaps just a moment of rest would do him some good.
“may I enter?” a voice called.
Evans head shot around to the front of the tent. he drew a quick breath, trying to rebuild the mask he had been wearing. He patted his hair down, adjusting his seating. “come in,” he called.
Vasson pushed through the flaps of the tent, slithering inside. Evan allowed his shoulders to sink ever so slightly when the naga stopped in front of him. Vasson looked around the tent, then back at Evan. “you have been busy tonight,” he noted. “just as busy and Xeon and I.”
“there’s a lot to do,” Evan shrugged. “anyway, thank you for leading that hunting party. You and your nagas really made a big difference tonight.”
“as it was stated before; no man should go to war on an empty stomach. Even if they are human.”
Evan smiled, finally relaxing a bit. “well, thanks again. So did you need something?”
“I was just letting you know that I may head out sooner then we planned. I am anxious to get Howards camp secure.”
“when do you think you will leave?” Evan frowned.
“a few hours. Give my troops a chance to sit.”
“shouldn’t you let them get a night of rest?”
Vasson smiled, reviling his pointed teeth. He crossed his arms. “you have spent so much time with us, have you not learned a thing? We can go very long without a break. A large meal, a hot fire and an hour of rest is all we need. We will be fine.”
Evan rubbed his broken arm. “I am quite jealous of you nagas, I must admit.”
“there is much to be jealous of,” Vasson agreed with his smirk.
Evan rolled his eyes at that, shuffling further back onto the table. “alright, is that all you wanted to tell me?”
To his surprise, Vasson hesitated. He looked back at the door of the tent, flicking his tongue out. He moved closer to Evan, his green eyes lighting up the dark tent. “Xeon is worried about you.”
“Xeon is always worried about me. what's new?”
“this time he has reason to worry,” Vasson muttered. “I can see it in your form. You are tired. Are you sure you are up to taking a castle tomorrow?”
Evan frowned. “of course I am.”
“I can take you with me,” Vasson offered. “Xeon can take your troops and lead them through the sewers and-“
“Vasson, I am not abandoning my people. I am tired but with a bit of rest, I will be fine.”
“understand when I say I can not just take your word on the matter,” Vasson muttered. “Evan, you are a unique human. I will admit, I never pictured any of this when I had first drug you to the city. but everyone has their limits.”
“…where is this going?” Evan muttered.
Vasson hissed lightly, obviously not enjoying the conversation either. “I know your exhaustion is not your fault. I know you carry wounds that many would fall from. yet you march at the pace that we all do. it is more than impressive. But everyone has their limits.”
“I can still fight Vasson.”
“yes. But for how long?”
“long enough.”
Vasson tapped his claws on the table. “I am not confident in that.”
“why?”
“just look at yourself. It is obvious.”
Evan glanced down at himself, his annoyance now showing through. “you don’t need to be concerned about me.”
“it is not only you I am concerned about.” He crossed his arms. “what will happen when your strength fails? Who do you think will jump to your side?”
Evan thought about it, looking back at Vasson in realization. “you are worried about Xeon.”
“there have been very few points when I have been unable to be at Xeons side. And though he may downplay it, I have an extremely important roll. I am not only Xeons friend, I am his guard. His shadow. I am the one who has sworn to give my life if it only keeps him safe.”
“…were you there when Xeon was captured?” Evan asked quietly.
Vassons eyes flashed and he barred his teeth, looking away. “no,” he growled. “the fool had not told me he was going out. It was my job to always know where he was, and I failed in that. I will not do it again.”
“it wasn’t your fault, Vasson.”
Vasson glared at him, his teeth still barred. “do not try to patronize me.”
Evan held his hand up, trying to calm the naga. He waited a moment, thinking carefully. “I understand why you are worried,” he started. “but I can’t leave. I must go with them. you know that.”
Vasson sighed, looking at the ground. “I suppose I do. I had only hoped you would see my concern.”
Evan looked around his fathers tent, putting his arm behind him on the table for a bit of support. “I do see it. your words are not falling onto deaf ears. I just cannot let Xeon face Howard alone. This is my fight as well as his.”
The naga glanced over at Evan, his eyes resting on Evans broken arm. His shoulders relaxed ever so slightly. “ah, you seek vengeance.”
“redemption,” Evan shook his head. “Howard not only harmed, but also humiliated me. Tomorrow it will be his turn.”
For the first through the whole conversations Vassons lips pulled back in a pleased smile. “perhaps there is hope for you,” he muttered. He stood straight, moving to the exit. “then go. Go with Xeon. face Howard. But I warn you, if you allow Howard to have the same fate as your father, you had better not show your face to me.”
“This will be finished, I swear to you. Howard will die tomorrow.”
Vasson looked back with the same smile on his lips. “it is a pleasant change to hear confidence in your voice. I quite enjoy it.”
Evan slowly smiled, giving a little shrug. “I am confident in my abilities.”
“well, its about time,” Vasson muttered back as he exited the tent, letting the door soundlessly fall behind him.
Royalty and the Beast CH65

Evan watched as his unconscious father was dragged away and tied up to the post with the horses. This all still seemed like a dream. He turned around, finally having a moment to speak to Joel. “what are you doing here?” he asked, walking up to the other man.
“a few days after you had left, your father had returned in search of you. He demanded that I join his army, and though I have a lot of command- even I cant refuse a direct order from a king. Plus I knew there was little chance you would be home anytime soon. I figured perhaps I would get a chance to see you on the road, though even I didn’t predict this.”
Evan had to laugh. He pulled his helmet off, looking around. The nagas were mostly still a good distance away, but just their presence was enough to make the humans uncomfortable. Evan motioned to Joel, walking away. “Come, there are others I would like you to meet.”
Joel followed, standing just as tall as Evan. “You fought very well. I must admit that when I saw you challenge him with a broken arm, I nearly had a heart attack. It takes a lot of skill to do what you had done.”
“I was trained by the best,” Evan shrugged.
“Yes, you were.”
Xeon and Vasson were just a ways ahead, speaking to each other. When Evan drew closer, they both turned their attention to face Evan. “Xeon, you remember Joel,” Evan gestured.
“I do, and I must say it is a relief to see such a familiar face once again.”
“I have to agree, though I am not quite as comfortable with the army behind you.”
“Vasson, this is Joel. He is my blade master. He has been teaching me weapons for many years.”
Vasson nodded. “Your little human has quite some skill. It is something you should be very proud of.”
“coming from you, that is an honor,” Joel dipped his head. "I have only briefly had the chance to see Xeon spar with evan. You nagas have a skill I have never seen before."
"We are given a sword at our first breath," Vasson crossed his arms. "I understand things are different for you humans."
"very," Joel agreed.
"well, even with this handicap, Evan seems to hold a blade fairly well. I can only assume that you are the reason for that."
"He is very thick headed," Joel explained. "it was not an easy job." Vassons lips twitched in response. Joel had almost gotten Vasson to smile. Almost. Joel turned back to Evan. “So what is going on? What are you doing here?”
“I will explain in a bit. I must speak to the Generals as well. Who are they?”
“I will have them summoned to the tent,” Joel nodded.
“Not the tent. There isn’t enough room. Have them meet me at the field over there,” Evan pointed behind him.
“Right away King Evan,” Joel gave a smug smile and bowed his head.
King Evan. That was going to take time to get use to.
Evan had the large table in his fathers tent hauled out into the field. Vasson called his generals over and all of Evans showed up as well. Evan knew a few of their names, but not all. He was going to have to change that. Slowly the two races filled around the table, all of them quite uncomfortable. Evan rolled out the map that had been drawn on, pushing it down so the humans could look at it.
“No one is here to cause harm,” Evan started, looking at both the humans and nagas. “The nagas came to help. you can trust them. Now, nearly a week ago, Vasson and Xeon had captured one of Howards men,” Evan started, looking at each of them. “They used him to get me out of danger. After that, he traded his freedom for information.” Evan leaned to the sheet, running his finger over a worn line. “From what I understand, my father was having you follow this path, is that correct?”
The men all leaned down and one looked at Evan and nodded. “Yes sir. Through the forgotten trails we had found.”
“those trails were not forgotten,” Xeon shook his head. “Howard was making a path for you to follow.”
“you were picking at his trail of crumbs,” Vasson crossed his arms.
“Howard would have led you through here, following the path up to the edge of the canyons,” Evan showed them all. “Because of the gases there, you would have followed this trail, leading you into this canyon where you would have been killed with rocks and debris.”
“I see,” a gruff man muttered. “we wouldn’t have known about a damn thing if you hadn’t come around.”
“so now that the kings have changed and we share the grounds with snakes, what is our next move? Do we go home and play games with the children?”
Evan glared at the large man. “The nagas are loaning their support. King Xeon and warlord Vasson have taken great lengths to give us the help we need. Tomorrow, after everyone else is settled and has a job, Vasson will talk half of the nagas and head in the direction that you all should have. He already has a small group around Howards men. When Vasson arrives they will surround them and force a surrender.”
“a surrender?” one demanded. “You have an army of nagas. Just kill the bastards.”
“all of that army consists of humans who were drafted,” Xeon explained. “They are farmers, bakers, leather workers. None of them have any skill for battle. If we show up, they will give in and we can avoid any unnecessary bloodshed.”
“you know, for heartless monsters that kidnap and kill children, you nagas are shocking reasonable.”
“Give us a few days,” Vasson muttered, looking at the map. “we will go back to pillaging your cities and eating your women.”
“while Vasson takes his nagas up to the cliffs,” Evan continued. “I am taking all of you and the remaining nagas straight into Howards city.”
“should we knock on the door before we enter?” one man demanded. “A frontal assault is the last thing you can do to a castle. They are built to stand against armies ten times the size of ours.”
“we know of a way under the city,” Xeon explained. “we can lead you though the sewers. We can get into the castle, seize hold of it all and kill Howard. Once he is dead, a message will be sent to all cities and this useless war will be over.”
“just like that?” one drummed his fingers. “Just lop the bastards head off and flowers start sprouting?”
“His humans fight because they believe they have to,” Vasson glanced around the table. “They all know he is mad. If you kill him then the shop keepers and farmers will lay down their swords. They are fighting a battle that they want no part in.”
“as comforting as it is to see that you do in fact have a plan, I have to ask; do you expect our two races to work side by side?”
Evan glared around at the table. He could see both human and naga were uncomfortable. He straightened and looked at each of them. “The nagas are not here to harm. They are here to support me. without them, you would have been dead by lunch tomorrow. I know it will not be easy. But I am proof that two races that are so different can in fact work alongside each other.”
“how do we tell all of them that?” one man jabbed his thumb over his shoulder.  
Evan drummed his fingers on the table. “You have been out here for a very long time. You are all tired and I know tension was already high. But I am not leading an army of toddlers. I am not yanking a pack of dogs across the country side. You are all grown men, adults. And if they truly can not see the benefits that the nagas bring, then they will have to face us as enemies.”
“you would throw them to the snakes?” one man hissed.
“we do not have time for bickering,” Evan snapped. “we are going to stop a war. If your soldiers are going to act like a flock of spoiled hens, then I am not spending my time or energy converting them. They follow beside us, or they stand against us.”
“how can we trust them?” one muttered under his breath.
“I am not asking you to trust them,” Evan glared. “I am asking you to work with them. You all do not have to be best friends, but without them this plan will not go as smoothly. I need every head I can count to take this castle.”
The human glanced at each other then one of the older men sighed. “we will follow your orders, your highness.
“Your father was apparently willing to walk us right into a trap,” another looked at Evan. “You and your snakes are the reason we are alive. We can not forget this.”
“it will not be an easy transition, but we will work with the nagas.”
Evan nodded, looking over at the nagas on the other side of the table. “do you have any concerns? Questions? Speak now, so that we may address everything.”
“So long as the humans do not cause problems, then neither shall we,” a naga flicked his tongue out to taste the air. “my concerns lie more on the weather. Tonight will be cold. we will have to have many fires so we may keep up our strength.”
“if it is fire you need, we can oblige,” the man next to Evan shifted on his feet. “but if you search for food, you will not find anything.”
“what do you mean?” Evan frowned. “are you unwilling to share rations?”
“our willingness has nothing to do with it,” the man turned to Evan. “we are physically unable. We don’t even have enough food for ourselves tonight. We are down to only stale bread and stagnant water.”
“did you not prepare well?” Vasson muttered.
“we were caught by the storms. They dragged us down and took us off the paths. We have been traveling much longer then we should have been.”
“your father promised us that there would be camps to raid in these woods. So far, we have seen none.”
Evan looked at Xeon. the naga in turn looked at Vasson. With a small jerk of his head, Xeon had his answer. He turned back to the table. “we will share our rations with you,” Xeon decided.
“what do you even eat?” one man pulled back his nose in disgust.
“we have meat,” Xeon explained patiently. “deer, rabbits, bird. We also have breads and clean water.”
“I will send others out as well to catch whatever they can,” Vasson muttered. “no man should have to go to war with an empty stomach.”
The humans seemed hesitant. “what are your concerns?” Evan finally snapped.
“I will be blunt,” one answered. “there is no point in speaking in whispers. How do we know that the nagas will not taint our food?”
Evan was beginning to feel the strain of annoyance bleed through, but Xeon was as calm as ever. “why would I bring my entire army out of hiding to protect you from a trap if we were just going to kill you with poisoned meat? If you want my opinion, that seems like a massive waste of resources and time.”
They humans glanced at each other and Evan could finally see their shield chipping away. “We will have large fires built and we will also send our hunters out.”
“You would be draining your energy for no reason,” Vasson shook his head. “you humans are all but useless in hunts.”
“we might not be snakes, but we can help hold our share,” the man answered back just as stubborn. “we will not sit in the warmth while you are gathering for us. If you work, so will we.”
Finally, Xeon gave a true smile. “that is all I ask. Then so be it. gather your humans, say what needs to be said, and let us prepare for the long day tomorrow.”
“Send all of your hunters to the east side of the camp,” Vasson instructed. “we will be waiting with ours for you.”
“just give us a few moments. We will also get the fires going strong.”
Xeon nodded, and the human did the same in return. They all turned to Evan, who crossed his arms. “if everything has been settled, then you may leave. Let me know how many men you are sending into the woods.”
“I will give you the final number when I can,” one agreed. He bowed deeply. “and let me be the first to welcome you back, king Evan. May your rule be long and prosperous.”
“I just wish to didn’t have to begin with bloodshed,” Evan smiled a bit.
“It didn’t,” the man said sternly. “be proud of that.”
Evan stepped back, allowing them to all pass him and head into the waiting soldiers in the camp. Vasson waved his hand and the nagas did the same, heading to the rim of the clearing. “that went better than I had expected,” Evan admitted.
“you had said it perfectly,” Xeon shrugged. “you are not talking to children. You were direct with them and told them exactly what you needed to say. You did not baby them and promise safety. They appreciated that.”
“there shouldn’t be too much of a problem,” Vasson muttered quietly. “they all seem very level headed. But I will keep a close watch.”
“when will you head to Howards camp?” Evan wondered.
“we will get your humans situated,” Vasson crossed his arms. “once everyone has a meal in their lap, we will leave.” He looked at Xeon, then Evan. “will you both be alright with that many of us missing?”
Xeon smiled. “are you perhaps worried for us Vasson?”
“I have a right to be concerned,” he snapped. “If seeing to Howards excuse for a trap wasn’t so important, I would be beside you.”
“we will be fine,” Evan assured him. “Xeon knows the way through the sewers. We will find our way through the castle.”
Vasson looked like he wanted to bicker and argue, but instead he only turned away, arms still crossed. He looked over the camp of humans, letting out a disgusted noise. “after all we have been through, we are now siding with the humans,” he shook his head. “all those years of taking such careful steps to hide away, and then we just go marching to join them.”
“It was long overdue,” Xeon moved next to him. his yellow eyes landed on one target. Evan looked over, feeling his stomach sink. Xeon was looking at Edward, who was still unconscious and tied to one of the posts. “what are you going to do with him?” he asked lowly.
Evan didn’t answer immediately. “I'm not sure.”
“you should have killed him,” Vasson hissed. “he would not have spared you. why give him that courtesy?”
Evan drummed his fingers on his arm, still looking at the unconscious man. “It wasn’t right.”
Vasson sighed, rolling his eyes. “he will return and stab you in the back. Mark my words.”
“You will have to figure out what you want done with him soon,” Xeon looked at Evan. “he can not linger here. It is a danger for both us and him.”
Evan nodded. “I will have something done.”
“good. Vasson, head to-“
“yeah, yeah,” Vasson waved him away. “I'm on it.” he started slithering to where the other nagas had left. Xeon and Evan stood alone together.
“do you think I did the right thing?” Evan asked quietly.
Xeon hesitated before answering. “I don’t exactly know what was running though your head when you made the decision, but your humans now know that you are not your father. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is yet to be decided.”
“what would you have done?”
“You are not me,” Xeon answered simply.
Evan grimaced. Xeon would have killed the former king. Evan felt a hard squeeze on his shoulder and he looked up, seeing Xeon grabbing him tightly. “but I am proud of you. you held your own when you were severely outweighed. I have not felt more pride in my whole life then I had when I watched you stand over him. I can not say this enough. I am so proud of you. you have impressed all of us once again.”
“I couldn’t have done it without you,” Evan shrugged. He looked at the camp. “any of this.”
“I believe you could have,” Xeon said in a matter of fact tone.
Evan leaned against the heavy table. He picked at a flaw in the wood, looking over the bodies moving around. “Xeon. I'm a king.”
“it has all moved almost too fast, hasn’t it?” Xeon agreed.
Evan crossed his arms. “I don’t know how to run a kingdom.”
“you are not alone. Don’t forget that.”
Evan looked at the tattoo on his hand and nodded. He let out a long breath. “what do we do once this is all done?”
Xeon didn’t answer. He leaned against the table as well, crossing his arms just like Evan. “I suppose that is when we will part. You will return to your home, and I will mine.”
“We just separate? just like that?”
“no,” Xeons lips pulled back in a tired smile. “I don’t suppose it will be that easy. but there is no sense in lingering on a goodbye that has not come. Lets instead go investigate just how terrible these humans food supply really is.”
“I have to admit,” Evan muttered lowly. “I am much more comfortable standing in a group of nagas then with a group of humans now.”
Xeon laughed, moving ahead with him. “our teeth and claws aren’t so intimidating, are they?”
“well,” Evan glanced to the side, seeing Vasson moving with a small herd of nagas. “not yours at least.”
Royalty and the Beast CH65
IM ONLY *checks watch* 2 WEEKS LATE.
I am so sorry, but reptile shows come first.

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Royalty and the Beast CH64


It was obvious that the open area was manmade. All of the trees had been cut down, making enough room for many men. There were hundreds of tents, and even more rolls on the ground because there could never be enough room for everyone. Golden banners with black wolf heads hung everywhere. Evan had almost forgot what they had looked like. The noises got louder and louder as Evan approached. His heart was in his throat as he saw the humans. Again he had to find humor at how uncomfortable he was stepping into a human camp.
As he neared a group of men, he was finally spotted. All of their laughter silenced as they looked at him with confused eyes. The men were not wearing armor, nor did they have swords at their sides.
“Where is Edward?” he demanded.
One of the men stood up, narrowing his eyes. “And just who are you?” the man questioned.
“and what are you wearing?” another laughed.
Evan held his head high, glaring at the standing man. “I am prince Evan, Edwards son. And if you wish to keep your tongue, you will use it now. Where is my father?”
The mans brows narrowed now, anger showing. “The kings son? You bloody survived?”
“this is the brat who has caused all of this mess!” another man stood up. “I had heard the nagas had eaten him!”
“Where. Is. My father.” Evan repeated once more, slowly losing his patients.
“probably in his tent,” one of the men laughed. “Center of camp. You cant miss it.”
Evan glared at the group, then turned and started walking.
“hey, wait!” one of them called, but Evan ignored him. He continued moving deeper into the camp, more eyes seeing him and following him. No one stopped him. No one tried to grab him. As he made his way past the tents, more and more of the humans were following him.
“Prince Evan?” a familiar voice shouted. “what are you doing here?!”
Evan again ignored the voice, pushing past another group that was around a fire. Finally he spotted the tent he had been told about. He immediately recognized it as his fathers. It was larger than any other, with the mark of his city on the side of it. Evan stopped a ways away from it, slowly taking his helmet off. “Father!” he shouted. “I must speak to you!”
The entire camp fell into silences, but no movement came from the tent. Evan raised his chin once more. “Edward!” he yelled. “Come and speak to me!”
Finally the flap of the tent swished open with a rustle. He could feel everyone take a step back. King Edward came striding out of the tent. His boots fell heavily on the ground as he walked to Evan. His hair was tied back, just as it always was. He had the same glint in his eyes, just as Evan remembered. He glanced around, finally locking eyes with Evan. A smug smile appeared on his lips. “So, you lived.”
It took Evan a moment to remember why he was here. He kept his feet nailed to the ground. “Father I-“
“The last thing I had heard of you,” his father muttered as he walked up. “was Howard had captured you. The last time I had seen you? that was the night I had left you in a heap, crying on the floor.”
Evan felt his throat tighten. “Father-“
“and now, you have the nerve to come back, walk straight into my camp and demand for me?” he clenched his fist. “what the hell are you doing here? Where have you been hiding? What in gods name are you wearing?”
“I have come to warn you,” Evan tightened his grip on the helmet pressed to his side.
“warn me? warn me of what?”
“you are about to head into a trap father,” he explained. “Howards men have set up a-“
“where is the naga?”
Evan flinched a little in shock. “The naga? Why?”
Edwards hand pressed over the halt of the sword on his hip. “Because I want what's mine. I want what you stole from me.”
Evans eyes narrowed. “Father, this isn’t about the naga. I am trying to warn you-“
“that’s what this is, isn’t it?” he gestured to Evans armor. “That beast gave this to you, didn’t it?”
“I didn’t come here to talk about him father,” Evan snapped. “Now listen to me!”
Edward glanced Evan up and down. “How did you escape from Howard? Did you make a deal with him?”
Evan was gripping the helmet so tight that he wondered if it might break. “Xeon rescued me,” he said lowly.
“I see. You have been staying with it then?”
“I-“
“you are going to show me right where they are, understood?” Edward started walking to Evan.
“no!” Evan yelled, taking a step back. “Enough of this! I did not come to talk about the nagas!”
“I am not going to listen to whatever lies those things have filled your head with,” Edward snapped. “You are coming with me and-“
“No,” Evan planted his feet. “I am not.”
“oh? And what is stopping me from dragging you back home?”
“I didn’t come alone,” Evan answered lowly. “I brought friends.”
The trees all shuddered to life as nagas made themselves known. Every branch large enough had a naga tied to it, bows drawn. The humans yelled in a panic, shooting around. Edward straightened, his eyes turning dark. “DON’T MOVE!” he yelled.
Every human stood where they were, hardly even breathing. Below the trees, a circle of nagas appeared. They stayed at the base, swords out and ready to use. The humans were at a disadvantage, having no armor or weapons. The nagas on the ground moved closer, then stopped at a safe distance away. Only one moved close. Xeon slithered out, his sword at his side, his shoulders tall. He waved his hand and the humans complaied, making a path for him. Evan felt his courage returning, seeing all of the glowing eyes. He turned back to Edward as Xeon stood beside him.
“what is this?” Edward demanded lowly, disgust dripping from his voice. “Have you turned against your own kind, Evan? Sided with the snakes? Do you prefer the company of reptiles?”
“enough,” Evan snapped darkly. “Shut your mouth. I brought Xeon because I knew you would not listen to me. I knew you would cause issues. You are all in danger.”
“yes, you have surrounded us with an army of beasts,” Edward raised his chin.
Xeon hissed but Evan held his hand up. “we are here to help. we are here to save you. we don’t want any harm to come to anyone. Listen to what I have to tell you.”
He glanced around, his hand still on his sword. “It seems I am not in a position to deny. What have you gone so far out of your way to tell me?”
“you have been following a path so far,” Evan started. “You thought it was safe, but it wasn’t. Howard is leading you to where he wants you. He has an army ready with a trap that would kill most, if not all of you.”
“and just how do you know this?”
“we captured one of Howards men,” Evan explained. “He told us everything.”
“…and you believed him?”
“father-“
“you are telling me that you kidnapped a random man who just happened to know all of Howards plans? And he willingly told you what was going to happen?”
“Evan is telling the truth,” Xeons voice commanded the area. “We have a plan to stop all of this.”
“Do not speak, snake!” Edward yelled. “I will not listen to any lie that falls from your disgusting tongue! I made the mistake of not cutting your head off the first time. I will not do that again.”
“you so much as move for your sword and your entire army will be slaughtered,” Xeon warned. “I will not give you a second try.”
“enough father!” Evan stepped up. “I will not let blood be spilled here. I have come to warn you so we can avoid the loss of all of these lives,” he gestured around to the circle of humans. “Now allow me to speak!”
Edwards chin raised slightly. “Kill them.”
Xeon grabbed Evan, pulling him next to him and turned and looked at the humans. He held his hand up. “If you listen to him, you will all die!” he shouted. “Not just some of you, not just most of you. All of you!”
The few humans with swords that had stepped up froze. They glanced around at the army of nagas that had moved even closer now. Evan could see their barred teeth even at this distance. He took this chance to slip his helmet back onto his head. Xeon scanned over the crowed, seeing no other movement. “Your king will lead you into a trap. He might not value his life but that does not mean that you don’t have to value yours!”
“They will not go against their king! I gave a command! Kill them!”
“you only follow him,” Xeon shouted, still looking around. “You don’t have to die here.”
The few humans that had stepped forward glanced at each other, then one by one dropped their swords into the dirt. They slowly backed into the group. Even Evan was impressed that they had listened.
“fine,” Edward drew his sword. “I will do it myself!” he lunged and swung at Xeon.
“No father!” Evan yanked his sword free, catching his fathers in the air with a clang of metal just before it had hit Xeon. His father looked at him shocked and Evan threw him back. “Put your sword away!” Evan yelled.
“I will not have a naga lead my army!” he yelled.
“we are trying to save you! we are saving your army!” Evan again held him back, shoving him away. “why cant you see that?!”
Edward cried out as again he ran to Evan. Once again, Evan blocked him just as Joel had taught him. He could feel his arm struggling against the weight and power. He moved away, still standing between Xeon and his father. Xeon had his sword drawn, but he was holding back.
Evan looked at his father. He could see the rim of his eyes, the anger and bloodshot white. His hair was falling out of place a bit, he was grinding his teeth. He didn’t look anything like the man from his nightmares. It nearly clicked in Evans head. He straightened, lowering his sword. “This isn’t about keeping your men safe,” he said lowly. “This isn’t about ending some war, is it?”
“what the hell are you talking about?!” the king roared.
“this is about your pride!” Evan realized. “You never once cared about ending this war! You only wanted to take Xeon away! You wanted to reclaim your pet back!”
“How dare you accuse me-“
“that’s what all of this is about!” Evan stepped to him. “You don’t care about a single man here, do you?! you don’t care about your castle, or your city, or your lands! The only thing you care about is the fact that Xeon won!”
“he did not win anything!”
“you just cant stand the fact that he isn’t a monster! that he was more civil then you were! That a ‘reptile’ had more sense in its head then you had in your whole body!”
“watch your mouth boy, or I will cut it out!”
“no! because all you care about is being right! Even if it means the death of everyone here, including yourself!”
Edwards face was turning red with rage. The humans around were speaking lowly, but Evan paid them no mind. He straightened his shoulders. “This doesn’t have to end this way, father. Just listen to us and we can have this entire war ended.”
“I will see everyone here die first,” Edward snapped. “Kill them! by order if your king! Kill them!”
Evan looked back, seeing the confliction in the humans eyes. They wanted to obey, they needed to obey. Evan looked at Xeon. The naga would be right in the middle of all of this. He couldn’t let him be hurt. He couldn’t let this end like that.
“I conscript the right to the crown!” Evan yelled.
The entire area fell silent. Evans fathers face dropped. He blinked a few times. “Do you care to repeat that?”
“I conscript my right to the crown,” Evan repeated. “As the prince, as your son, I have the right to demand the crown when I see fit to take it.”
“You are a child,” Edward said lowly. “How can you even consider this?”
“it is the only way to save everyone here,” Evan called lowly. “You have gone mad father. I will not let them suffer because you hold a grudge.”
The king glanced around. Every eye from both eyes was on him. Evan knew that once he claimed the right to the crown, a king could not refuse.
“you do know that you do not just get the crown, right?” Edward set the tip of his sword into the ground, leaning on it slightly. “You and you alone must best me at a challenge that I determine. No one may help you.”
“I am aware of the rules,” Evan raised his chin. “Chose your challenge.”
Edward again looked around, then back at Evan. He studied Evan closely. Evan did not falter under his fathers gaze. He did not show fear. He knew that was what his father was looking for. Finally he saw a smug smile spread across his face. “what is wrong with your left arm, boy?”
Evan gripped the sword in his other hand tighter.
“I see. Then we will make this easy. We will go with tradition. We shall duel. You and me. No companions, no nagas- just the two of us and our swords.”
Evan could feel Xeon stiffen beside him. The naga leaned down to him. “You don’t have to do this,” he whispered in Evans ear, far too low for any other human to hear. “If you and I kill him, these humans will follow you. They want to follow you.”
Evan only shook his head. “I have to do this,” he answered, just as quietly.
Xeon wanted to say more, Evan could see it. He wanted to pull Evan out of the danger, but instead Evan walked towards it. He swung his sword, testing it. “I accept. The winner will get the crown.”
“so be it,” Edward picked up his heavy sword as well. “Just remember, this is what you wanted. And just so you know, I wouldn’t have hurt you. But now its too late for you.”
“stay back,” Evan told Xeon. “No matter what happens, stay away.”
Xeon hissed lightly but did move back. The humans all took several paces back, leaving enough room for Evan and Edward. Evan slowly walked around the circle. He watched his father move, watched him breathe. He could see his fingers twitching on the blade. He couldn’t help but to feel unnerved. This was like every one of his nightmares.
Edward lunged out, swinging the heavy sword at Evan. Evan lifted his blade, feeling the rattle and hearing the clang of metal as they collided. His arm shook from the force and he stepped back, moving to the side so his fathers sword fell away from him. Before he had a chance to relax, his father swung again, nearly hitting him once again.
“I raised you,” Edward hissed, swinging the massive sword. “I am your father. How could you do this?!”
Evan again held his arm up, blocking yet another attack. His arm was quivering now as he struggled under the weight. His father shoved him back and Evan almost lost his footing. He quickly erected himself and jumped back, swinging his blade. His father blocked him, flicking the thin sword to the side like a child.
“I gave you everything!” he yelled. “I hired the best tutors, the finest crafters, the most well known cooks! I gave you everything you needed to succeed!”
Evan cried out as the large sword cut through the air, nearly hitting him. His arm hurt now. His father was using all of his strength to swing the great weapon. His sword was much heavier. Blow after blow, Evan blocked. He hardly had a chance to attack. It was getting hard to catch his breath. Another powerful hit sent him staggering back. Evan found his footing and again tried to stab. His father stepped to the side, avoiding the sharp metal. He was toying with Evan. That was frustrating.
“you were my son!” Edward yelled. “My only son! You would have ruled over everything one day!” he caught Evans sword once more, throwing his arm with a shocking amount of strength and forcing Evans sword from his hand. Evan fell back into the dirt from the action, looking up in terror as his father came pacing to him.
“and you gave it all away,” his father spat. “For a beast!” he brought his sword down. Evan grunted as he rolled to the side. The sword sunk into the wet ground. His broken arm ached from the action. Evan looked around. His father struggled to pull the sword back out of the ground. Time seemed to slow down as Evan got to his knees. All of the humans were watching with wide eyes. Some had swords, some had gotten bows. Xeons yellow eyes stuck out the most. They were wide and his white teeth were barred. Evan glanced through the humans. The nagas had moved very close now. Right in front, directly across from Evan was Vasson, leading the army.
His father grunted as he continued to try to free his sword. Evan couldn’t win this battle. Not against this man. He couldn’t keep blocking hits. He was getting far too tired to attack. His sword arm was already pulsing with pain. Edward was hitting much harder then Vasson, and Evan knew he couldn’t take another hit.
“don’t get hit.”
He glanced over, seeing Vasson through the crowed. A small smile flicked on Evans lips. Perhaps it was the best advice the naga could have given him.
Evan blinked, looking over to where his sword was thrown. There was a cry as his father finally released the sword from the ground. He came storming to Evan and Evan again rolled away, grabbing his sword and climbing nimbly back to his feet. His father looked at him in surprise and Evan only held his sword out, just as he had watched Vasson and Xeon do.
“I didn’t betray you,” Evan said lowly. “I didn’t give anything away. You did this, all of this.”
His father snorted, raising the large sword above his head. Evan watched it closely. Somehow now that he concentrated on it, it seemed slower. He easily stepped to the side, letting it again hit the ground.
“you knew Xeon was no monster. you knew he could talk. what did you think he would do? what did you think I would do? did you assume that he would never speak? That he would never communicate?”
Again he swung his arm and Evan took just two steps back and felt the air rush past his body as the sword missed him. “He was no beast, and when I found out that angered you. So you tried to take him away from me!”
“I was ending a war!” Edward shouted, slashing at Evan.
“No! you only wanted him away from me! you couldn’t stand the idea that I gave in and showed a bit of humility!”
“a king doesn’t show weakness!” he snapped.
Evan continued to step around his fathers sword. With each swing Evan could see it take its toll on Edward. He could see his arms straining under the weight. He could see his anger and frustration rising. This made him attack more often, tiring him out even more. And Evan had not raised his blade yet.  
“it was me who took him from you father. I followed you and took him back. We traveled all the way back to his city and he sheltered me.”
“stay still, you little rat!” his father commanded. “Fight back!”
Evan stepped to the side as his fathers sword fell to the ground. He could now see the hesitation to pick the blade back up. with a quick movement, Evan flicked his sword at Edward, cutting his upper arm. Edward cried out, grabbing the cut and looking at the blood in shock. He turned to Evan with wide eyes.
“I didn’t help Xeon to disobey you. I did it because it was the right thing to do,” Evan said quietly. “Then, Howard kidnapped me. He tortured me, father. He didn’t just rustle me up a bit. There were times that I was sure I was dead.”
“I didn’t know-“
Evan brought his sword down, but his father blocked it. with a good kick to the chest, Evan was shot back to the ground. He quickly scrambled up before his father could reach him. “You did know!” he yelled. “You cant lie to me! Howard contacted you, and you told him that you didn’t care! You left me there!”
“you were not worth the price he was asking,” he spat. He flicked his arm. Evan felt a line of warm on his cheek. The very tip of the sword had cut him. He had to be quicker.
“I was your son!” Evan screamed. “I am your son! It doesn’t matter what I had done, it doesn’t matter where I was- you should have came!”
“enough of this!” his father yelled, suddenly knocking Evans broken arm with the halt of his sword. Evan cried out in pain and his father threw him to the ground. “You did this to yourself. I will not clean up your messes! You should have grown up! you should have never spoken to the naga! You should have killed it instead of letting it into my castle! You should have delivered its head to Howard with me! instead you now lie on the ground like a wounded dog! You may be my son, but you are nothing like me!” he yelled as he threw the down onto Evan with all of his might.
Evan watched the blade fall, throwing himself forward into his fathers legs. He flipped to the side, spinning around so he was at his fathers back. His father could not stop his blow and the sword slung into the dirt. Evan slammed his shoulder into Edwards back with all the force and weight he had in his body. His father fell forward into the ground, forced to leave his sword where it stuck.
Evan held his sword to his fathers throat before he could stand. They both glared at each other and panted heavily. The king did not struggle. He did not try to get up. He stayed sitting in the mud, staring at Evan with hatred. The entire area fell silent.
“do it.”
Evan tightened his grip on his sword, his father clenched his fist and teeth. “Do it you little brat!”
Still Evan didn’t move. His fingers twitched on his blade, his heart was in his throat.
“come on!” the king screamed. “Kill me already!”
Evan took a step back. “No,” he answered.
“WHAT?!” Edward screamed.
“I am nothing like you.”
The kings eyes bulged with anger. He looked at his sword that was still stuck in the ground, then looked at Evan. “You cant become king until I am dead. Man up and kill me!”
“you and I both know that’s not true. Your grandfather did not kill his father. He banished him. Because your grandfather had won the duel, the rules were still followed. I don’t have to kill you Edward. You lose.”
Edwards face was turning red with rage. He glanced over at his sword. “Then I will finish this-“ he moved to get up but froze when movement flashed in front of him. Xeon now stood between Edward and his sword. His teeth were barred and his own sword had been drawn. “Enough. It is over. You have been bested.”
Edward glared back at Evan. “what will you do to me then? Banish me? should I just start walking?”
Evan stood straight, slowly sheathing his sword. “I will decide when I have spoken to my Generals. For now you will be tied up with the horses.”
“you cant do this to me,” he shook with anger. “Kill me and leave me with my dignity.”
Finally Evan smiled, looking around at every eye that was watching. “what dignity?”
Edward glanced around and for the first time in Evans life, he realized how small his father actually was. For the first time he saw the eyes of a scared old man, not a king.
“tie him up,” Evan commanded.
“They wont listen to you!” Edward yelled. “You are just a child! This whole thing is a joke! I will have you-“
A loud clang silenced Edward. Evan watched with shock as the mans eyes rolled into the back of his head and he fell forward into the mud. A heavy cooking pot fell to the ground behind him and a familiar face stepped up.
“well, I don’t know about all of you,” Joel started, wiping off his hands. “But I was getting extremely tired of listening to that.”
Royalty and the Beast CH64
LOOK I POSTED ON TIME THIS WEEK
~WHOOOOOOOO~

DON'T EXPECT THE SAME THING NEXT WEEK


First >>> damein1234.deviantart.com/art/…

Previous >>> damein1234.deviantart.com/art/…
 
Next >>> damein1234.deviantart.com/art/…


also gunna sneak this in again since I mentioned the banners.
Evans city has bright golden banners with a black wolf head on them. Xeon's banners have an old symbol on them, the same symbol on Evans hand. This is a beautiful representation of them both that a lovely watcher had painted. Check it out!

kakurosu.deviantart.com/art/Ro…
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deviantID

damein1234
life sucks. so i have a pencil
Artist
United States
I say!

Current Residence: well... theres a tree down the street... does that help?
deviantWEAR sizing preference: ...
Print preference: ummm...
Favourite genre of music:...?
Favourite style of art: I mean, I really like dragons
Favourite cartoon character: pikachu. duh
Personal Quote: life sucks, deal with it.
Interests
So, I get an F. I failed this assignment.

There is so much going on right now, and with the loss of my account in my favorite website, I just have no motivation.

It doesnt help that I dont have a single blank sheet of paper left to draw on. guess whos getting a sketch book for christmas?

I'm sorry guys, I gave it my best attempt. But life always seems to have other plans for me. I just need to concentrate on keeping one of my fucking cats till christmas is over.

I made it 11 days. Not even half way ):


on a brighter note, We had found a bull snake in the near by park. It was very odd because of how cold it is right now.
we couldn't just leave him out there, so we have a new little pet for awhile!

He has an attitude of course, but he is tolerating handling. he has a problem that one of his eyes is cloudy because he needs a good shed, so we are soaking him and stuff. hes in good hands, don't worry.
Now, we are trying to find a good name for him. (I liked Aydin, because he acted much like a certain character from my stories, but my cousin rolled his eyes at me)


I'm so sorry guys. Events never turn out as planned. If I can't get on for awhile, I hope yu all have a Merry Christmas, and happy holidays.

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:iconstarkittens:
starkittens Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yooooo, merry birthday!
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:icontiakay:
TiaKay Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2015  Hobbyist
Happy Birthday!!!!:-)
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:iconkuddlykreatures:
KuddlyKreatures Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks so much for the fave! :happybounce:
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:iconcreature-cave:
Creature-Cave Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the watch! :D
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:iconstarkittens:
starkittens Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
(poof)
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:icondamein1234:
damein1234 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015
holy crap! how are you doing!? I havent talked to you in FOREVER!
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:iconstarkittens:
starkittens Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Tumblr, School stuff, and I kind of voided off of MS. And my deviantart. 
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:icondamein1234:
damein1234 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2015
Yeah, me as well. I still dont have a tumblr though. I REFUSE to get any more invested into social media. I already use facebook and unfollow all of the people who friended me. This means that we are still friends, they dont get butt hurt about it and I NEVER have to see any of their posts. ITS THE BEST THING EVER.
and then I liked a TON of reptile pages, so now my FB is just full of lizard lizard snake lizard snake snake lizard snake.

I always get so happy going on facebook now XD

I've just recently starting posting on DA again. I've been writing another story in my spare time (which is so little anymore) and posting a few chapters up here every now and then.
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(1 Reply)
:icontiakay:
TiaKay Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015  Hobbyist
Hi:)
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:icondamein1234:
damein1234 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015
Crap sorry! I totally thought I had responded to this lol
Hey! Whats up? how have you been?
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