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   Chapter 8 NO.8

The Rouges By Alzek16 Characters: 8707

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:39


THE TATTERED PAPER of my father's notebook crinkled beneath my fingers. I traced his writing with a heavy heart. I hated that I was giving away my father's last words, the words that had kept me safe for so many years. I had already shared too much, given the last part of my parents I had, to a stranger. A stranger I didn't even trust.

Arstid's pen tapped on the table, her impatience obvious. I ground my teeth thinking of Mouse again. I was doing this to protect the child, I reminded myself, to keep her from growing up alone and angry like I had. I took a deep breath before continuing.

"He wrote about what objects were good to trade. The basic necessities everyone needs to survive like food, water, shelter and clothing. This page is about seeking out other rogues in the city, possible locations they might hide." I stopped, closing my father's notebook. "That's it essentially. I don't know what else you thought you would find in his notes."

Arstid sat back pressing the pen to her mouth. "I have to admit it's not exactly what we had hoped for. The majority is just about survival skills. I had hoped there would be more about The Sanctuary or... I don't know... something more."

Disappointment etched her pointed face.

"Well I held up my end of the deal." I said, reminding her I had played by the rules.

She waved me off. "I can't believe you survived as long as you did on your own. I assumed your father's book held something we didn't know, but apparently you were just lucky." She spit the word at me, knowing my distaste for it.

My jaw tightened. "Yeah, lucky."

Because watching your parents get murdered was lucky. Growing up filled with hatred and distrust was lucky. I survived because I chose to, because I learned to take care of myself, because of my parents' words. To her they were nothing, but to me they were the difference between life and death. And it was my choice, not luck, to withhold things that I knew, things that I didn't write in the book. Fortunately, the book's tattered state had hidden the page I ripped out. It was the only page I had ever removed from the book. It was also the best advice my father gave me."Don't write everything down. Your thoughts and your knowledge are your own. If it is written down it can be stolen. The safest place in the world is in your own mind, no one can ever steal that from you."

He was right. If being callous had taught me anything, it was how to keep a straight face while lying. Whenever Arstid's keen eyes scrutinized me, I gave nothing away.

She knew how I moved from safe house to safe house a

Tartarus may be a horrific place, but at least the Tribes embrace it. They don't try to paint it as something it's not. Inside The Wall, the government covers up their terribleness. Instead of being forthright, the government disguises their horrific actions with things like laws and self-proclaimed morality. At least here, you know you can't trust anyone." She looked pointedly at me. "While your mother may not have been the one who betrayed us, she was the one who led us here. And I would be lying if I said I wasn't harboring a grudge. If we knew what it would cost us, no one would have come. I loathe both The Sanctuary and Tartarus. One city threatened to destroy my family and the other did. This city tore my life apart. It took my husband from me. And now both cities must pay." Arstid was right. You couldn't trust anyone here, but the fastest way to unite people was to give them a common enemy. Regardless of what she thought about my parents and despite our distaste for one another, we sought the same goal, to see someone suffer for the loss of our families. These cities had robbed us of the only things we cared about and someone deserved to pay.

"It is our goal to infiltrate The Wall and bring down The Sanctuary from within, but to do that we must first overpower the Tribes. Justice is not something this world has seen in hundreds of years, and it is time someone started administering it."

If destroying hell meant partnering with the devil, it was a risk I was willing to take. I wanted to see it burnt to the ground.

"I'm in."

******

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