3. Declan

Meanwhile, not far from the outskirts of the capital of Odairo two men were travelling towards the palace.

“Declan wait up!” a blond man in his early twenties shouted as he ran through the trees to reach the second man.

“You’re too slow,” Declan’s cold husky voice came, he didn’t once turn to look at his comrade as his dark eyes scanned the area ahead. The  colour of his eyes were not common in Ehlesaar who se people had lighter coloured eyes, with blond or brown hair and skin pleasantly tanned under the summer sun. Declan was the opposite of the warmth of the people of Ehlesaar, his pale skin and his dark black hair gave him a foreign look. He  stood at six foot four, and towered over most, with a lean yet muscular build. He would turn twenty this coming winter.

Declan was an orphan and despite  his traumatic past, he remained composed and strong. However, behind those dark grey eyes he  held secrets - pain  and nightmares of long ago. His frown deepened as he looked at the palace of the royals.

The time had come to face the man responsible for the death of his family. He had bided his time, keeping his pain inside him for years. No  matter how scared and confused he had been as a child, his father's words kept him strong. He had always been advanced for his age, but after that dreaded night he had changed even  more, shedding away his childish dreams and whims and focusing on revenge. To learn the truth and to bring justice to his House, Declan  had risen through the ranks in the army, excelling in every field and  if ever questioned about that night he would say he did not remember.

When he was a child and awoke screaming and crying from a haunting dream of the massacre, he would never divulge what his dreams contained. And with time, he learned to keep silent waking in a cold sweat. Till now those nightmares sometimes returned, haunting him and  filling him with regret that he had not been able to protect his family.

“Ah… can you stop with that frown,” Aren the blond spoke up, bringing Declan out of his dark thoughts. He  ignored him as he continued walking.

His black pants and black  tunic with his grey belt that held his twin swords held nothing to show off his status. Gloves  covered his hands despite the warm weather and a black cloak fell over his shoulders. He held the reins of a white stallion, that carried a few bags. A soft wind blew through the trees ruffling Declans’ black chin-length hair.

The city was getting ever closer, and Declan wanted to reach it as soon as possible.

“If you’re done talking, shall we continue?” he asked coldly. Aren sighed inwardly knowing this was not easy on his best friend and closest confidant. They were sent to the palace by the general of the western border. General Elian of House Halan, one of the five generals of the king.

“You know we were sent because general Elian trusts us more than most,” Aren said quietly,

Declan didn’t reply and from  the way he stood, emotionless and calm, one would not think Declan of House Storm was the only survivor left of the entire clan. A clan that was once said to be as powerful as the royals. A clan sacrificed for the betterment of the kingdom.

Aren pulled himself out of his dark thoughts despite the pain it bought to his chest, he was one of the few who would never forget  the gift of peace that cost Declan his entire family.

“Well do you think we’ll get to see those pretty little things?” Aren said suggestively a small smile playing on his lips.

Declan did not need to ask to know what he meant. The four princesses were said  to be the most gorgeous women in the land. Not that he cared, nor was he interested. He  would never feel anything but hate and disgust for the royals who sacrificed  others for their own selfish gains.

“I'm not interested, remember why we are going there, Aren,” he said curtly as he raised his hand, a ball of lightning crackled around it as Aren stepped back. Or I  won't mind reminding you,”

Aren winced “Ok, ok, I get it,” he said, “you’re no fun,”

“Good,” came the cold reply as the younger man walked ahead leaving his comrade behind once again.


The streets of Odairo were busy despite it being so early. The market square was full of hustle and bustle and the street vendors were already set up.  The air was filled with the many smells of everything available to purchase mixed with the smell of women’s fragrances. The fresh breeze was a reminder that despite being the capital, Ehlesaar was still nature’s haven Trees and bushes lined the cobbled streets that had fountains and small flower beds with benches scattered around.

Women in elegant yet often revealing gowns sashayed around, with nothing better to do than come to the market for some fun. There were young children running away from their parents, either to annoy them or to play with other kids. 

Middle-aged women stopped amid their shopping to gossip about the latest news of the neighbourhood. And men smoked their cigars or had  a cup of tea as they laughed jovially over the discussions of a hunt or an upcoming wrestling match.

Aren whistled softly as his eyes ran  over two women who walked by. They both cast  him a look, giggling as they whispered to one another admiring the warriors.

“The women of Ehlesaar are the most beautiful,” he murmured to his dark brooding companion. Declan did not reply, ignoring the looks that he got from passing women, he was not interested.

The crowds were filled with heads of brown or blond hair, and he did not miss the curious gazes that came his way. It was a shame that a clan that was once so famous had been forgotten so quickly. Did the people of this kingdom forget about the pale-skinned, dark-haired House of Storm completely?


They had decided to cross through the city as it was the fastest route to the palace. Aren rushed to buy some fruit for himself and hurried after his friend. Offering him a ripe mango which he refused. Aren shrugged tossing the horse an apple.

As they got closer to the palace they could see the guards spread around the outer walls of the palace and along the bridge . The guards at the first gate asked them their business, only to notice Aren of House Silver Mountains Crest. Allowing them entrance, a stable boy took Pedro's reigns from Declan stating that he would be fed and sheltered.

“Duke Declan of House Storm, Lord Aren of House Silver Mountain, I welcome you on behalf of his royal majesty - come  I will escort you to his office,” A man in a smart grey tunic spoke, the Ehlesaar Crest of a White Wolf howling at a silver moon with three claw marks tearing through the moon was embroidered on his left shoulder. He bowed his head politely to the duo.

He had never accepted the dukedom of his house… how dare the king call him by a title he did not earn… He clenched his free hand that was not resting on the hilt of his sword under his cloak.

Rage blazed  inside him, licking his insides and consuming  him, inch by inch… his hands crackled with electricity, but he closed his eyes controlling that inferno of fury within him .


They made their way through the palace and were led to the king's private wing. Not looking where he was going he knocked into someone. Hearing  a soft gasp, he automatically grabbed on to the woman before she fell to the floor as his  eyes widened in shock. His breath hitching in his throat,  as he found himself staring into the most beautiful set of eyes he had seen. Gold and red, rimmed with thick lashes.

“Sorry,” she said her voice was soft, her plump lips slightly parted.

Layana looked into the dark stormy eyes of the handsome man who had knocked into her. He reminded her of the night, a sense of mystery and danger seemed to envelop him. He was an extremely handsome man, she thought surprising herself. His long black silky hair brushed back, a very light beard peppered his jaw, and his thick brows were set in a deep frown.

He let go suddenly  as if touching her burned, trying not to notice her ample breasts slightly bigger than average. Her creamy skin and pouty plump lips looked as if she had been carved by the gods to perfection. She looked ethereal, too beautiful for this world, he thought.

“Watch where you’re going,” he said coldly realising what he had just thought

“My Lord, this is Princess Layana, third daughter of the king,” the servant said thinking did the man not know she was royalty

Aren was staring as if he had never seen a more beautiful woman and Declan had to agree, neither had he… the rumours had indeed been true. Despite her not wearing a tiara, and with minimal jewellery,  there was something ethereal about this woman.

“It’s fine, excuse me,” Layana said shaking her tumbling blond hair.

“Forgive my friend your highness, he’s a bit of a broody jerk,” Aren said bowing, suddenly remembering his manners, Layana smiled gently,

“It’s nice to not always be bowed to…” she said softly although it seemed she was talking more to herself.

Her eyes met Declan's for a moment, her heart hammering under his intense cold glare. Curtsying she hurried away, Declan turned slightly watching her walk off, his eyes skimming over her tiny waist, and pert behind.

Layana paused, curiosity overcoming her, she glanced over her shoulder blushing lightly when she realised the man was still watching her. He looked away as Aren smirked at his friend's reaction as he turned and continued walking.

The men arrived at the  king's office shortly, and the two guards exchanged a word with the servant.

“The king is expecting you,” one of them said stepping aside.

Declan looked at the door as it opened as if in slow motion, this was it, the moment to meet the king he had only ever seen from afar… Maybe he should just seize the moment and behead him right now. He clenched his jaw. No, he needed answers first. He needed to know if there was even an ounce of remorse in the king for the decision taken fifteen years ago. A decision that had made him an orphan…

The burning anger raged through him like molten lava and if it were not for his strong self-control, he would have killed the king right there. He cared not if he was apprehended after. Even with no weapon, he would have been able to take him on with ease. He still had his ability to bend and control lightning to his will and even the weather, something that was rare even for those with the ability of the Storm bloodline.

The door closed behind them as the king motioned for his men to leave, a clear indicator he trusted the men before him. A foolish mistake on the kings’ part, Declan thought.

A hand on his shoulder bought him out of his dark thoughts as Aren gave it an encouraging squeeze motioning at him to bow. He  himself enclosed his right hand over his left hand that was curled into a fist and bowed to their sovereign who stood at his desk observing the dark-haired man.

A stabbing jolt of guilt ran through the king as their eyes met. Declan did not bow; he did not care if it branded him insolent or classed it as treason. He would never bow to filth.

Aren looked up at his friend in alarm, did he have a death wish?

“Declan of House Storm,” Evaan said quietly looking at the handsome young man who did not even show him respect.

Memories of long ago flashed in his mind and the burning flame of buried guilt only grew stronger.

“House Storm is long forgotten; Declan alone is fine,” Declan said his voice so cold it could cut through stone.

“My apologies… Declan...” he said quietly

Aren looked between the two men confused at their exchange. It was clear Declan's dislike and contempt for the king was barely hidden. Yet the king was ignoring it, and was speaking calmly…

Declan stepped forward placing the sealed scroll onto the table for the king to view.

Both Aren and Declan exchanged looks wondering what exactly was in that scroll. They had only been told to get it to the king at all costs.

Evaan sat down as he broke the seal and opened it, scanning the slanted scrawl of the general. His eyes widening as his heart raced, no… this could not be possible, he looked at the two men before him.

“Is this… is this true?” he said.

Declan did not speak as Aren stepped forward,

“We do not actually know the contents of the message, sire,” he said,

Evaan stood up, his brows furrowed, clasping his hands behind his back as he went to the window.

Declan stepped forward taking the scroll from the table as he scanned it. His eyes widened in shock as he read it…

Comments (1)
goodnovel comment avatar
yay the evil guy isnt Declan

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