The Royal Renegade #8

The Royal Renegade #8

A Chapter by Eogin
"

Surrounded by his dead father's enemies, Barnaby, the heir to an outlawed throne, is pulled into a dangerous game of power by the most feared man of a newly formed nation.

"
 Since most of the Iegbuend was already at work, the walk from the Brawling Mansion to the Government Tower went by far quicker that Barnaby expected. There weren't many people on the street to begin with, and even those few seemed to be heading to the same location, to the Government Tower, most likely to observe the Ceremony of the Proteges.
Barnaby and Augusta crossed the Capital Bridge only five minutes after leaving the Mansion. The Bridge, which looked endless when observed from the side, only took them a moment to cross.
That was due to old magic. Not much of it was used anymore, but there was still an overflow of it, as Barnaby knew, all through the Capital. That was the kind of magic that didn't leave over time but could be added upon.
The Capital served only as the governmental and commercial center of the Iegbuend. It wasn't a place anyone called a home. There were no residential areas, and after the workday's end, the only people left in the Capital were the merchants, setting up for the next day, and the staff of the four towers. The Health Tower, of course, wouldn't stop healing when night came, nor did the Security Tower stop guarding their land. It was hard to say whether the War Tower followed a regular work time, for their skills were rarely needed upon the Hills. But Barnaby's guess was that their timetable must have been more hectic than any other.
The Brawling Street took its passengers in a straight line right to the "hundred steps" rising to the Government Tower. The Tower was the tallest structure in Capital, but the other three towers weren't far behind. It was also the oldest, and from the looks of it, built least carefully. It had huge natural rocks reaching out of the gray and brown walls in a non-orderly fashion, and unlike the other towers, and the other fancy buildings in Capital, the Government Tower had never been changed or fixed. It stood as perhaps the only building in Iegbuend not modified since its creation.
It had five entrances, one for every Bridge and Street corresponding to a Hill, and all of those doorways were considered the main ones by the people who were using them.
Barnaby and August climbed the stairs, Barnaby as always trying to get out of sight of the numerous people eyeing him, but stopped as the crowd started to pool by the doorway. Augusta elbowed the both of them forward, getting some angry looks, and read the bold words that levitated in the air at the center of the high arched doorway.
"Access allowed only to the graduates and registered audience."
"What's this about?" Barnaby asked, surprised. Never before had there been restricted access to the Ceremony.
"No idea," Augusta kept inching forward, "Out of the way people, graduates coming through."
Now noticing Barnaby, people, who given the gate's name were all Brawlingers, cleared the path quickly, those closest by giving him light nods. That was not smart behavior in the Capital. So Barnaby rushed forward faster, through the barrier, trying to get out of sight.
The Tower, as Barnaby knew from his three previous visits, was a difficult place to navigate in. As soon as you passed the doorway, multiple long hallways started heading left and right. And when walking past them, all shot up the words describing the level of security clearance needed to enter. None had ever been low enough for Barnaby to visit. But what was mysterious about the hallways was that they seemed to go around the tower, just circling, not leading to any rooms what so ever. Of course, there had to be more to how they worked, for the only place you reached when not turning was the waiting area to the Great hall.
The waiting area was a spectacularly wide and high room. It's circular white wall went up as far as the ceiling in The Great Hall did, and it connected all the entrances around the tower. So, as Barnaby reached that spot, the voices got louder and the area more crowded. But there seemed to be a lot more room near the Brawling entrance than the others. The registering must have been easier for the people not associated with the Brawling Hill.
"Barnaby!" Madeline shouted, rushing to her nephew with her Brawling'ish dark hair flopping from left to right, to hug him. She, like every other woman, was wearing white. But her dress didn't have nearly as many trinkets as Augusta's.
They hugged for a long five seconds before Madeline backed away giving Barnaby a long head to toe look.
"You look great Barney, dashing, just like your father."
Barnaby smiled awkwardly, not wishing to think about the Brawling's glory days.
"Thanks."
"And Augusta," Madeline skipped to her, staring in amazement, "You are truly the most beautiful woman in the whole Iegbuend."
Augusta blushed, and the two walked a couple of steps away, discussing things Barnaby must not have needed to hear.
"Looking good Barney," Theodore spoke, making himself visible in the sea of similar black tunics. He looked pale in his face as if he hadn't slept since Barnaby last saw him.
"Are you alright, you seem a bit tired?"
"Oh," Theodore shook it off with a smirk. "I'm fine. So, how was your night? Had fun?"
"Yeah... I guess."
Theodore moved a bit closer, voice more silent but mischievous.
"I heard you climbed the Bell Tower?"
Barnaby coughed uncomfortably.
"How do you know that?"
"Phh," Theodore stretched himself taller and more important, "I'm everywhere."
Barnaby smiled, feeling relieved that he didn't seem to be in trouble. Something he had wondered about popped into his head.
"You know, I ran into Huston last night."
Theodore's impression changed like he had smelled something bad.
"What did he want?"
"He told me you built a factory at the Low Lands? Did you really?"
Theodore bit his lip, nodding once and stepping closer to Barnaby, trying to hide from prying ears.
"Yeah, I was gonna tell you about that, but didn't want to put more stuff into your head, you got enough to worry about."
Barnaby's eyebrows raised.
"Worry? I think it's great, how did you manage that?" He paused, pulling his head back. "It's legal, right?"
Theodore smiled again, smile looking more tired than happy.
"Yeah, yeah, legal young king. Don't you worry about that. But you know... It's the low lands. You said I looked tired? Well... This isn't public knowledge, so it's best you keep it to yourself, okay?" he scanned the area once more, "There was another attack last night. They burnt down three factories, and the whole area is under quarantine now." He shook his head, sighing. "Just as I got the factory up and running, locked down. The luck of the Brawling's, huh?"
Barnaby listened carefully, nothing interested him more than the information he wasn't supposed to know.
"The Orcherr?" He whispered.
Theodore nodded.
"Who else? Attacks are more and more common. And I tell you what, I can see it in their eyes, the soldiers and guards, they don't know how to stop them."
"Guards? What are they afraid off, it's not like the Orcherr can get up here?"
"Well, I wouldn't put anything past them. You'd think that the Government could sniff them out, up here or down there, but they haven't, have they?"
Barnaby nodded, running over the little information about the Orcherr he had.
The first he heard about them was through whispers. The day was about a year ago, and the rumor was that an unknown group of terrorists had attacked a factory in the low lands, burning it to the ground, killing all seven of its employees. Of course, the government made no comment, so people could only guess if the story was true. Over time more stories came, and even the word Orcherr started to be occasionally written on walls of Capital and the Hills. The writers turned out to be kids. But as the Government arrested them, some reason for the act must have been needed. So the Government did make a statement about the mysterious Orcherr. What was said was that a small group of lowlanders had united to cause terror, but they were no danger to the hills. That simple fix had been enough for most of the people to move on, and as time went by, no one even brought the group up in a discussion. But to Barnaby, who had spoken to many people who visited the Lowlands regularly, it seemed like the Orcherr was only gaining strength and courage.
"But don't you worry about those guys," Theodore woke Barnaby from his mini daydream, "you have enough on your plate as it is"
"Barney!" Madeline's voice pierced through the general low hum, she was motioning him to start walking "You two better get going, the Ceremony will start soon."
Barnaby nodded and took a deep breath looking at Theodore.
He grabbed his hand for a goodbye shake, it was a strong one.
"You'll be fine, we'll watch from the third floor."
Barnaby nodded once more, gaining some strength from the handshake, and followed Augusta through a thin doorway covered in words "Graduates only". 


© 2018 Eogin


Author's Note

Eogin
Please check out my wattpad.

https://www.wattpad.com/story/132347172-the-royal-renegade

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