|Reaver's Helping Hand|
|Series||His True Destiny by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||His True Destiny: Chapter Nineteen|
|Next||His True Destiny: Chapter Twenty-One|
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Chapter Twenty: Reaver's Helping HandEdit
Two months after Reaver’s delightful encounter with the Princess, he received word that Logan had been removed from the throne. Dreading the rule that was about to come, Reaver made his way to Bowerstone Castle, where he watched Rosella’s coronation. He noticed that she looked very smug and triumphant. He assumed that she had wanted the throne for a very long time.
That night, Reaver stayed at the castle, in the room Sparrow had given him. After a restless night of reliving his mother’s death and his battles with Jack of Blades, Reaver was rudely awoken early the next morning by the Queen’s butler, Hobson.
‘You better have a good reason for waking me up!’ Reaver growled, sitting up to face the man.
‘Here is an agenda of requests for your presence,’ Hobson replied promptly.
Reaver stared coldly at him.
‘You woke me up just for that?’ His tone sent cold chills down Hobson’s spine. ‘Get out of here before I fill you with lead. And thank Avo that I’m feeling generous. Next time I will kill you.’
‘Yes, sir.’ Hobson immediately fled the room.
Groaning, Reaver grabbed the agenda and examined it.
|09.00||Throne Room||Prince Logan’s trial|
|Presence is optional|
|12.00||Reaver Industry factory||Fate of the Factory|
|Your presence is required to oppose Page’s request to close down your factories and eliminate child labour. Please note that the Queen wishes to fill the Treasury.|
|15.00||Throne Room||Proposed Rebuild|
|Your presence is required to oppose Page’s request to rebuild Bowerstone Old Quarter.|
With his curiosity slightly aroused at the Queen’s wish to fill the Treasury, Reaver forced himself out of bed and got ready for the day.
He didn’t end up going to Logan’s trial for he figured the boy would be pardoned. He doubted Rosella would sentence her own brother to death, as would be his punishment. Instead, he began to think of key points that would persuade Rosella to keep his factories open and to force children to work. He knew that all he had to do was to prove to her that by choosing his proposal, she would fill the Treasury.
When it was time to leave the castle and make his way to Bowerstone Industrial, Reaver headed out the front doors and began to walk down the front steps. He stopped abruptly when he saw Logan’s body lying in a pool of his own blood, full out bullets and eyes staring up at the sky, unseeing.
He was shocked. He could not believe that Rosella had sentenced her own brother to death. And there he was thinking that he and Theresa has sibling issues.
Tearing his eyes away from Logan’s body, knowing that he would miss the boy’s company and their insightful and intelligent conversations, Reaver continued on his way. He began to slowly realise what Rosella was truly capable of.
When Reaver arrived at the factory, he saw that all of Bowerstone Industrial had turned out. They all gamely booed at him as he walked past. He gritted his teeth and resisted the urge to shoot them, especially with all the guards present. They could only turn a blind eye to so much.
If only they knew that it was him who saved the world from Jack of Blades, giving them the chance to enjoy the petty lives they currently live. If only they knew what he had sacrificed to secretly protect them. If only they knew that he had helped Sparrow defeat Lucien Fairfax. If they did, they would have to treat him with more respect. They had no idea what he was capable of.
Glaring at those who continued to boo him, Reaver impatiently waited for Page and Rosella. Five minutes he had to wait until Page arrived. The people stopped booing when they saw her. Several even cheered.
‘Reaver,’ she acknowledged coldly.
‘Page,’ he replied, sounding amused by her tone of voice. ‘So tell me, I hear that you want to close my factories down.’
‘And I will!’ Page said confidently. ‘What you’re doing is monstrous! I will see to it that these factories are closed down.’
‘Over my dead body, my dear,’ Reaver chuckled.
‘Don’t tempt me, Reaver!’ Page warned. ‘I shot you once, I’ll do it again!’
‘My dear, I do not acknowledge empty threats,’ he informed her. ‘The last time you tried to shot me, you missed on both accounts. If you want, I can give you private lessons for I never miss my target.’
‘Why you -!’
Page broke off when she saw that Rosella had arrive, strutting her regal attire. Everyone was cheering for their new Queen, though Reaver wondered how long the love they had for the Queen would last. He figured that they would end up hating her more than they hated him and Logan combined.
‘Oh, happy day, her majesty, the Queen of Albion, graces us with her radiant presence,’ Reaver announced.
‘Hello, Reaver,’ Rosella said with a surprising hint of shyness in her tone. It was a shyness that Reaver did not like. It made him uncomfortable, but he did not allow anyone to see that he was.
‘I knew last time that we met that you would emerge victorious from such public sibling rivalry,’ he commented, which was true. Theresa had told him of the outcome. ‘And now here I am to assist you in filling your coffers till they are fit to burst.’
Rosella’s eyes lit up at his words and Reaver knew that she would agree with his every suggestion.
‘And what better way to begin your reign than by continuing with one of my most successful policies?’ he continued. ‘There is no greater waste than the idleness of our city’s youth, but my employment scheme guarantees children of all ages will have something to occupy them whilst ensuring our factories are properly manned.’
‘That sounds good,’ Rosella commented thoughtfully.
Page’s eyes widened and she became angry.
‘That’s –’ she began to yell, but when Rosella looked at her, she quickly remembered her place and took a more civil tone. ‘It’s just monstrous. Don’t listen to him. You promised you would end child labour. Remember that promise now.’
‘And what would you have us do with the snotty, little indigents, may I ask?’ Reaver inquired, turning to face her.
‘The only way Bowerstone is going to climb out of the gutter is through education,’ Page declared. ‘Nothing is more important to our future than that. Turn this factory into a school. Gove the children of this city the chance they never had.’
‘A school?’ Reaver scoffed. ‘That’s an original thought. If parents wanted their children to go to school they would send them to Bowerstone South’s school. I assume it is still there. However, it is not my place to say. If you want to be known as a pauper monarch, then by all means, listen to her. Reaver Industries will abide by your decision.’
‘The factories will continue as they are!’ Rosella declared. ‘We need all the workers we can get.’
‘A stupendous choice, your majesty,’ Reaver said with a bow of his head, hiding his smirk. ‘I will begin the necessary preparations at once.’
‘I will never forgive you for this,’ Page informed Rosella coldly. Reaver noticed that she had more venom in her tone now, than she did before when addressing him. ‘After all we’ve done! You’re no different to Logan!’
‘Save your breath for someone who cares,’ Rosella said self-importantly, before walking away.
The crowd was silent as the Queen walked off. They couldn’t believe she had just condemned their children to be work slaves! They agreed with Page – their children needed education and time to paly… time to be children.
Shaking with anger, Page turned to face the unconcerned Reaver.
‘How could you give her that idea?’ she demanded. ‘Why do you hate children so much?’
‘They remind me of what I lost years ago,’ came his bewildering reply, before he walked off to make the necessary provisions.
With the provisions complete, Reaver made his way to the throne room for the next item on the agenda. He found Page already there. She was still steaming over Rosella’s last decision. He was kind enough not to mock her. Instead, he briefly looked around and saw that citizens from Bowerstone Old Quarter had come. He also saw Sir Walter Beck standing beside the throne. He was to be running the court.
‘All stand for the Queen,’ Walter ordered as Rosella entered the room, looking pompous.
Reaver noticed that not many people looked happy to see her. Some were glaring at her, for they shared the same views as Page, while others looked severely worried about what would happen. Rosella didn’t seem to care, though. She ignored them as she took her seat on the throne.
‘Today you will decide what is to be done with the Bowerstone Old Quarter, site for the Battle for Albion,’ Walter continued once she was seated, reinforming every one of why they were here and what the court was about. ‘Page will offer her proposal and Reaver shall stand against her.’
‘You may speak,’ Rosella drawled.
‘Your majesty,’ Page began stiffly, ‘our victory cane at a great cost to the city. You vowed to fight poverty, but our actions have made the problem worse. You must act now. I ask that the Old Quarter be rebuilt and its former residents be homed.’
‘And why should I do that?’ asked Rosella.
‘You wouldn’t just be helping those in great need,’ Page replied earnestly. ‘You’d be sending a message to your people. They’re scared, your majesty. Let them know they can count on you.’
That’s something I would have said when I was a teenager, Reaver thought, before addressing Rosella with his solution.
‘Your majesty, the Old Quarter was indeed devastated by your glorious triumph,’ he began, ‘but as its name subtly implies, it was old. The cost of rebuilding the area would be a colossal waste of money, and the people who called its decrepit shambles of streets and houses their home are better off without it. Besides, why rebuild something that will likely house the arrival of our friend the Crawler?’ he added, sending the hidden message that it would probably be destroyed anyway with the invasion. ‘I recommend you reject Page’s proposal and keep the money for more deserving endeavours like… defence.’
‘It was our actions that caused the devastation,’ Walter told Rosella quietly, ‘but the final decision rests with you.’
Rosella nodded her head and sat there thinking before announcing, ‘The Old Quarter shall not be touched. There are currently more important issues at hand that require the money.’
‘But the people –‘ Page began, before Rosella interrupted her.
‘Will have to find somewhere else to live,’ she said indifferently, before leaving the throne room.
Page stamped her foot angrily.
‘Stamping your foot won’t get you anywhere, my dear,’ Reaver calmly informed her.
‘Reaver, I’m not in the mood to hear you gloat,’ she growled.
‘I was actually going to suggest that after the Crawler has paid us a visit, to propose rebuilding Old Quarter to her,’ said Reaver.
‘Why? So you and her can say no to us again?’ she demanded.
‘Next time, I will not be involved. I am merely here to help her raise funds for the upcoming invasion. After that, you can have the pleasure of shutting down my factories and whatever else floats your particular boat.’
Reaver then walked away, leaving the stunned rebel leader behind. She didn’t believe Reaver would ever give her advice.
-----HIS TRUE DESTINY-----
Reaver was not surprised that as the days, weeks and months rolled by that he was constantly being summoned to help with preparation for the Crawler’s invasion. Through his help, the Treasury was struggling to hold its contents, but it wasn’t the only one struggling.
In order to accumulate this fortune, Rosella sacrificed the trust and alliance she had with Page, Sabine and Kalin. All of them had angrily stormed away, and after a petty attempt to order them to return, Rosella merely shrugged them off as bad rubbish. That was until Page and Sabine returned to the throne room a month before the Crawler’s invasion.
‘So what are you doing here?’ Rosella asked them coldly, during allocated court time.
‘We may not agree with your decisions, but we will not stand by as Albion is invaded,’ Page informed her. ‘We shall help you rid this land of the enemy, but then we are gone, unless you find it in your heart to give us want you promised.’
‘I shall think about it,’ Rosella informed them, ‘but of as now, money is my main concern for the invasion.’
‘I believe you should be concentrating on something of greater importance,’ Theresa declared as she appeared in the room.
‘Theresa, what are you doing here?’ asked Rosella.
‘Money is the least of your concerns, Rosella,’ Theresa informed her, not answering the question directly. ‘You must learn how to fight the Crawler, if Albion is to survive.’
‘I know how to fight,’ Rosella declared arrogantly. ‘I’m the best warrior in Albion. Even ask Walter. He was the one who trained me.’
‘If that is so, you will not have any arguments against fighting Reaver to show off these skills,’ Theresa said innocently.
‘Reaver is an easy victim!’ Rosella scoffed. ‘He is only a threat when he has a gun in his hand.’
‘Just draw your weapon, your majesty,’ Reaver ordered, taking off his long top hat and walking to the middle of the room with his cane in hand. ‘Let’s just show your subjects how talented you really are.’
While most people thought that Reaver was complementing her, saying she was a talented warrior, Theresa knew otherwise. She could hear the sarcasm in her brother’s voice and knew that he was making fun of the Queen.
Rosella confidently walked into the middle of the room, while the other occupants moved up against the walls so they wouldn’t get hurt. They were all looking forward to seeing Reaver being beaten. Even Page was grudgingly hoping that Rosella would get him good.
‘Ready?’ Rosella asked with a mocking smile.
‘Ready when you are, your majesty,’ replied Reaver.
Rosella attacked, full strength, just as Reaver finished his sentence. He dodged her attack easily and snaked behind her, placing his cane on her back.
‘Dead,’ he stated calmly.
Rosella flung her heavy battle hammer at him. Reaver dodged again, and placed his cane on her.
Outrage, Rosella attacked with all her strength and effort, but Reaver just kept dodging and tapping her with his cane, saying “dead” every time. For fifteen minutes they kept this up, until Reaver decided that he was bored with their mini fight.
‘I have had enough of this,’ he announced.
He threw his cane away to the front of the room, next to his hat, and when Rosella attacked again, he managed to dodge and disarm her, before knocking her to the ground. He had her hammer resting on his shoulder, mimicking Hammer’s usual position. He stared down at the shocked Queen.
‘If you are the best fighter in Albion, I fear for this land,’ he said quietly, gently dropping the hammer next to him. He then went to the front of the room to collect his belongings.
At first everyone just stared silently at their Queen – who was still lying shocked on the floor – and then at Reaver. They couldn’t believe that Reaver had beaten their Queen. In that brief battle, they could see that Reaver was more deadly and powerful than he let on.
‘If you cannot defeat Reaver, than you have no chance of defeating the Crawler,’ Theresa stated as Rosella angrily got to her feet. She had never felt so humiliated.
‘Then why don’t I send Reaver to fight it!’ Rosella snapped.
‘True, Reaver is powerful and skilled enough to defeat the Crawler, but it is not his destiny to do so,’ Theresa replied calmly. ‘It is yours, even if your mother was convinced that it was Logan’s.’
‘Of course she would think that her precious Logan would be destined to be a mighty Hero,’ Rosella grumbled bitterly.
‘You’re fighting skills can easily be rectified with the proper training,’ Reaver informed the young Queen indifferently. ‘A great warrior knows that strength is only a small element of a fight. They need to be agile, strategic and observant too.’
‘Walter’s training was proper!’ Rosella snapped. ‘Your skill is unnatural. There is no way someone would be able to fight like that!’
‘Yet I just did,’ Reaver said calmly. ‘I am able to fight like that through proper training, discipline, a willingness to learn, critical assessments, and the ability to listen to others. Hundreds of years ago, back when the Heroes Guild was around, each Hero went through years of discipline and training each day, every waking hour, until the Guildmaster deemed them ready. But even then, the successful Heroes never stopped training. They knew that there was always room for improvement.’
‘So you’re saying I should train every day until the invasion?’ Rosella grumbled.
‘We are,’ replied Theresa. ‘Tomorrow you shall go with Reaver to his Millfields mansion and start your training.’
Reaver looked at her quickly.
‘You can’t be serious,’ he said. ‘I’m not a teacher. I don’t have the patience.’
‘If you had the ability to rid Albion of Sparrow’s princess attitude, you can teach her daughter how to fight,’ Theresa shrugged.
‘My firmness with Sparrow was completely by accident. I didn’t think she’d stop being a cry baby.’
‘Then find a way to repeat that accident.’
‘Soeurs,’ Reaver grumbled, changing language so no one would understand what he was grumbling about. ‘We leave at dawn tomorrow,’ he added to Rosella, before leaving the room, dreading the days ahead.
-----HIS TRUE DESTINY-----
The next morning, at dawn, Reaver and Rosella left the castle and headed for Millfields. During their journey, Reaver wondered why he had to be responsible for his descendant’s training. He didn’t know the first thing about training and teaching someone, consciously at least. He also had become very impatient as he got older and Rosella seemed to have the same talent as her mother for getting under his skin easily.
‘Tell me again, why we are walking?’ Rosella grumbled. ‘Why couldn’t we take the royal carriage?’
‘For one who does not like being treated like a petty princess, you certainly act like one,’ Reaver informed her.
‘I am not!’
Rosella’s eyes narrowed.
‘You didn’t answer my question,’ she accused.
‘Another element of a good warrior is being in shape, hence why we are walking,’ replied Reaver. ‘Just be grateful I’m not making you run. My trainer had me running to and fro Bowerstone twice a day, no matter what the weather was like.’
‘What was your trainer like?’ Rosella asked curiously.
‘He was a wise and kind hearted man,’ Reaver replied quietly. ‘He treated me as though I was his own son.’
‘What happened to him?’
‘He was killed in an Arena.’
‘What was his name?’
‘Huh, what a coincidence that your names are similar,’ Rosella commented. ‘But I’ve never heard of anyone called Weaver.’
‘I doubt you would have. Not many people knew him by his real name. Only a handful of us did.’
‘What was he known by then?’
‘I can’t remember,’ Reaver lied. ‘Come on, pick up the pace. The sooner we get there the sooner we can start the joys of the real training.’
‘How will you be training me?’
‘You will have the joy of competing in my Arena,’ Reaver informed her. ‘That was how I judged your fighting ability last time.’
‘Joy,’ Rosella said sarcastically.
‘You don’t have to like it, but you have to do it, unless you wish to die. I can’t be there to hold your hand when it comes,’ Reaver said firmly, before running off.
Rosella grudgingly followed.
When they arrived at Reaver’s mansion, Rosella ungracefully collapsed to the ground, trying to catch her breath. She had a massive stich on her side and she felt as though she was going to vomit. Reaver, however, was still standing, panting with a smile on his face. He had forgotten how enjoyable it was to run.
When he saw Rosella on the ground, he immediately helped her to her feet.
‘Put your hands on your head and slowly walk inside,’ he said gently. ‘Take good deep breaths and try to relax. Once you are breathing properly, we’ll do some stretches and I will introduce you to your training program.’
Rosella groaned, but didn’t say anything on the matter.
Once she had caught her breath, Reaver showed her how to stretch before handing her a chart. Depictured upon to chart was her training program. Every morning, she was to go for a run with Reaver, before having a health breakfast. They would then make their way to Reaver’s Arena for the main training. They would then cool down and have lunch. From there, she was to spar with Reaver and go on another run before dinner. After dinner she was free to do as she liked.
When Rosella saw that most of these activities involved Reaver exercising too, she figured that he wouldn’t in force half of the training, but she was wrong. Reaver was strict, monitoring her performance at all times. At times she even heard him muttering to criticism about himself.
Over the month Reaver trained Rosella, there had been many arguments and tears. Rosella had called her ancestor every insulting name known to man, stating that he was unfair and mean. He merely rolled his eyes and lost his patience with her. But at the end of the day, Rosella admittedly could see that Reaver had helped her. She could see that while he appeared harsh, he was honest and helpful.
By the end of the month, Rosella had improved greatly, but if Reaver had it his way, he would not send her off to face the Crawler yet. He knew she still had much to learn and still needed a lot of improvement. Alas, time would not allow it. He only hoped that the little training he was able to give her was enough.
It was the day before the invasion that Theresa appeared before the training pair to inform them of the Crawler’s arrival.
‘The day has come,’ she informed Rosella calmly. ‘Tomorrow the Crawler will attack and you will have to face the darkness. Do what you were born and destined to do, Rosella. We all believe in you.’
‘Thank you, to both of you,’ Rosella said quietly, looking nervous. ‘Without you guiding me, I’m sure the Crawler would take Albion. At least now we have a fighting chance. But why did you help me?’
‘For Albion, of course,’ replied Theresa. ‘We vowed that for as long as we lived we would protect her. And that we have tried to do. The rest is up to you.’
‘Why did you swear to protect Albion?’ Rosella asked curiously.
‘Because we are the only ones that could,’ Reaver replied mysteriously. ‘You should go and protect your kingdom.’
‘Aren’t you coming with me?’
‘No. It is not my destiny to be involved in the actual war. This is where our paths go our separate ways, though knowing my luck we will likely see each other again. Now if you excuse me, I have an errand I have to run. I wish you luck, Rosella, and I hope I don’t come back to a dead city.’
Written: 14 May 2013