|Series||The Journey by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||Logan's Journey: Chapter Six|
|Next||Logan's Journey: Chapter Eight|
|← Logan's Journey: Chapter Six||Chapter Chronology||Logan's Journey: Chapter Eight →|
WRITTEN: 7 December 2012
Chapter Seven: The Masquerade PartyEdit
After helping and allowing a man named Saul to study the Reliquary, dealing with Max and Sam Spade’s mischief in death - just like his father did when they were living, finding an engagement ring -, leading a woman to her husband’s grave, and leading a trader safely to Brightwall, Logan finally returned to the Resistance Headquarters.
When he was almost at Page's quarters, he surprisingly bumped into Major Swift.
'Ah, if it isn't the rebel Prince,' Swift greeted.
'Major Swift,' Logan greeted. 'Where are you off to?'
'I’m heading to the castle to report to your sister, and to try to find out what I can about her troop movements while I'm there.'
'Well good luck,' said Logan, ‘and be careful.’
‘I will, young Prince.’
‘Come on, I’m not that young!’
‘You are to me.’
With a smile, Major Swift walked away allowing Logan to continue on his way. As he was about to enter, Ben Finn’s voice met his ears. It sounded as though he was trying to impress Page, and for some reason, Logan did not like it.
'I'm telling you, I downed three hollow men with one shot, it’s true!' Ben argued.
'I've never trusted a soldier in my life,' Page said coldly. 'I'm not going to start now.'
'Wh - will you tell her, Walter?' Ben asked, turning to Walter for help.
'Hey, I'm not getting involved,' Walter said wisely.
Ben looked desperately around and his eyes landed on Logan.
'Look, look, there he is! Asked him yourself!' said Ben, pointing at Logan.
'Oh, give it a rest,' Page groaned, turning to face Logan.
'Fine,' Ben pouted. 'I'll just stand here quietly then, shall I?'
Page shook her head.
'You know, for a prince, you're a pretty decent person,' she informed him with a smile. ‘The people are starting to believe in you. But at the moment we have a serious problem.’
‘What?’ asked Logan.
'Reaver,' Walter answered promptly.
‘What about him?'
‘For years Reaver used to try to convince your father into taking more money off the people, it was like an obsession, but when Sparrow died, his influence in stopping Reaver from ripping people off disappeared,’ Walter explained.
'He's been bleeding the city dry for years now, but it's never been this bad,' Page added. 'We decided it was time to hit back.'
'A small group of fighters managed to get into his mansion, but they never made it out,' said Walter.
'I believe they're alive,' Page said forcefully. 'You're going to help me find them.'
‘Okay, do you have a plan to get in?’ asked Logan.
'Reaver hosts some sort of fancy secret society party every week,' replied Page, immediately. 'We don't know what goes on, but we do know what the guests look like. It's the perfect chance to sneak in. Here, you'll have to wear this,' she added, handing Logan a dress box. Inside was a man’s masquerade suit. Logan didn’t look too thrilled about wearing it.
'Great. Where's my costume?' Ben asked eagerly.
Page just looked at him.
Ben's smile disappeared.
'What? I still can't come?' he said, sounding disappointed. 'Even after the three hollow men story? Honestly, this is as bad as the army!'
Logan couldn’t help but feel some satisfaction that it was only Page and him going.
Page shook her head and rolled her eyes again.
'Now everyone out!' she ordered. 'I have a party to dress for.'
'I'll stay and make sure no one spies on you,' Ben said innocently
Page glared at him.
'Everyone out,' she said clearly.
'You know, I'm starting to have serious doubts about our relationship,' Ben told her as Logan pulled him out of the room.
Once Ben was safely away from Page, and under Walter’s watchful eye, Logan returned to the Sanctuary’s dressing room.
‘What costume are you going to wear now?’ Jasper asked innocently.
‘I’m actually going to a masquerade party at Uncle Reaver’s,’ Logan replied, pulling his blue suit out of its box. ‘I suppose this outfit could have been worse,’ he sighed, going behind the screen to change.
Minutes later he reappeared.
‘What’d you think?’ he asked Jasper.
‘You look handsome as always,’ he replied. ‘Now go and have a good time.’
‘I’ll try,’ Logan laughed, returning to the Resistance Headquarters.
‘Looking good, Logan,’ Ben said when the Prince re-appeared.
‘I bet Page will look even better than me,’ replied Logan, sitting on a nearby barrel.
Moments later, Page appeared. She was wearing a dark redy-pink dress with a high white wig and had a mask that resembled a fox on. Logan thought that was fitting. She was, after all, cunning and intelligent like a fox. She had a red and black fox mask in her hand.
‘You look beautiful,’ Logan commented before he could stop himself.
‘Thanks,’ replied Page with a slight blush. ‘You look alright too. Your outfit really does suit you. It brings out the colour in your eyes. Oh, here’s your mask. I thought it would suit you.’
‘Thanks,’ Logan replied, putting on the mask.
Walter watched the exchange looking amused while Ben looked jealous.
‘We should be going,’ said Logan, looking at a nearby clock.
Page nodded her head, smiled at Ben and Walter, before following Logan out of the sewer.
At first they walked in silence, before slowly conversing with each other, and by the time they reached Reaver’s mansion in Millfields, previously known as Bower Lake, they were laughing and joking like old friends. They just found that they were comfortable in each other’s presence.
‘Shall we?’ Logan asked, offering Page his arm when they were about to enter the mansion’s grounds.
‘Of course,’ she replied, accepting his arm and following him through the grounds and inside the mansion.
'Bit late, aren't cha?' said Reaver's door attendant, Barry Hatch, rudely. 'You've missed half the rituals and all the drinking. All we've got left is fizzy pop.'
'We apologise,' replied Page. Logan and Page had agreed that it would be best if she did most of the talking.
'Oh yeah? Well, just give me the password and we'll forget about it, alright?' he said.
'Er... the password?' Page repeated, glancing over at Logan.
‘There is no password,’ replied Logan.
‘Oh, aren’t you a tough one to trick.' The door attendant winked. 'Come on in. Master Reaver'll be happy to have a few more conscious people around for the final ceremony,' he said, leading them up a flight of stairs and through the mansion. 'I wasn't kidding about the fizzy pop, though. These lightweights drank the lot. There's probably some cooking sherry left in the kitchen if you're desperate.'
‘I think we can manage,’ replied Logan.
'No? Don't blame you,' Barry continued. 'I’ve never touched the stuff myself, except in the mornings. I can sort you out a nice orgy later on should the mood take you. What do you say?’ He looked expectantly at Page and Logan.
'Just keep walking, you strangle little man,’ said Page. By the tone of her voice, Logan could tell that she disapproved of orgies as much as he did.
'Of course, of course,' said Barry. 'You'll have to pardon me, miss. I do have a habit of spouting the odd vulgarity. Master Reaver has often brought out his whip to rectify that very flaw in my character. It's just this way,' he added, motioning to a pair of doors ahead of us. 'Oh, you'll have such fun. Not "drinks and orgies" fun, you know, but it'll be a real laugh. I'm sure.'
Logan hardly believed that for a moment.
'Now, there are some ground rules,' he continued. 'Master Reaver insists that nobody carries weapons into the ballroom. There have been some accidents.'
'I'm afraid I need to keep mine. I'm here to find some friends,' Page said firmly.
'Oh, you're the brave, noble rebels. Why didn't you say so? I'm an oppressed proletarian myself, you know. We're practically comrades.' He opened the door and motioned for them to continue to the next door, before closing it behind them.
Logan and Page ended up in a ball room with a huge cage in the middle of the room with a man inside.
'There's one of my men!' Page exclaimed, hurrying over to the man in the cage. 'Kidd, are you alright?'
‘Get out! Now!' Kidd told them urgently.
'Where are the others?' Page asked ignoring him.
'All dead,' Kidd replied sadly. 'Reaver knew you'd come. He's been waiting for you!'
Next minute the cage began to move upwards, startling all three of them; Titan was with Gail Walter.
'I'll get him out,' said Logan, grabbing hold of the cage and trying to pull himself up to free Kidd.
As he did so, Reaver's voice floated out across the room.
'My, my, my,' Reaver chuckled. 'More busy little bees here to steal Reaver's honey. So industrious… so committed… so bloody annoying,' he added, now sounding annoyed. 'When will you people learn to enjoy life?'
The cage came to a halt and Logan struggled to hold on, due to his silk gloves. Glancing through the bars, he could see Reaver standing in the shadows with a bunch of people. All of them, including Reaver, were wearing masks.
'I'll enjoy killing you! Does that count?' Page snapped.
'Oh you're just full of spunk, aren't you? You’re a true heroine. You must be lightning under the bed sheets,' Reaver said casually, before addressing his guests. 'Now, as promised, the evening's piece de la resistance… another piece of the resistance. Voila!' he added, making the cage move even higher up.
Logan finally had to admit defeat and let go of the cage.
'Do try to put on a good show for my guests, won't you?' Reaver said mockingly to Logan and Page from above.
'Show?' Page snapped again. 'You expect us to entertain you?'
'But of course. It's just a game, my little sweet.' Reaver sounded as though he was thoroughly enjoying himself.
‘This will not be good,’ Logan sighed as he watched a wheel at the far end of the hall begin to spin, before its pin landed on a picture of a hobbe. The moment the wheel stopped, a side door opened with a picture of a hobbe above it.
‘Why do I get the feeling that we will be fighting hobbes?’ Logan asked Page as they enter the side room. It was a large arena with several bridges, leading across a canon, to a round stone fighting area.
She merely growled and looked up at the excited Reaver, who was standing, with his guests, on a podium above the arena.
‘You will laugh, you will cry, and you will have your sinews gnawed upon,’ he said. ‘Bring out the hobbes!’
Page and Logan drew their weapons and worked as one to defeat the ankle biters. Logan smashed them with his hammer, and sent them flying over the edge of the cannon, while Page slit their throats and stabbed them with her sword.
‘Want to see a trick for an easy defeat?’ Logan called over to Page.
‘Yeah, alright,’ she replied.
To the nearest hobbe, Logan pointed behind it and said, ‘What is that?’
It quickly turned around to see what Logan was pointing out, only to be sent flying into the cannon below.
‘That is so sixth grader!’ Page laughed.
‘It’s always the old tricks that work best,’ Logan replied as Page gutted to last hobbe.
‘One almost feels sorry for those repugnant beasts,’ Reaver said casually from above. ‘Then one shrugs and waits for the next piece of carnage.’
The door reopened allowing Page and Logan to exit the arena.
‘Reaver’s worse than I thought,’ Page steamed to Logan. ‘What kind of mind dreams up something like this?’
‘The same kind of mind that dreamt up the Arena in Witchwood and the Crucible in Westcliff,’ Logan replied. ‘He most likely got the idea from them,’ he added, looking back up at Reaver, who had started to speak again.
‘Like the tales of my greatest conquests, the wheel simply demands to be spun,’ he said. ‘What delicious fate will it deliver this time?’
Page and Logan turned to look at the wheel again and watched as it began to spin. This time it landed on a picture of what looked like a skull in a helmet.
‘What is that supposed to be?’ Page whispered.
‘Ah, it’s just not a real party without the elegant shuffles of these gentlemen,’ Reaver said enthusiastically before Logan could reply. ‘They are so hallowed and yet so hollow.’
‘Hollow men,’ Logan informed Page as they walked into the next arena.
‘Then you should be pretty good at this challenge then,’ Page said confidently. ‘Or was everything Ben Finn was saying just an exaggeration.’
‘That depends on what he was talking about,’ replied Logan, ‘but I can tell the three hollow men story he was telling you was true. He is a skilful marksman. He’s almost as skilled as Reaver.’
‘At least he doesn’t have the same arrogance,’ Page muttered, looking around the arena. This arena was decked out like the graveyards in Mourningwood.
‘Let the tearing of limbs commence!’ Reaver ordered. ‘Chop, chop!’
As the door closed behind Logan and Page, numerous wisps flew into the arena.
At first the hollow men were only the weak unarmoured ones, but they soon became the armoured warrior hollow men.
‘These creatures are putting up quite a fight,’ Page growled as one injured her shoulder.
‘Just be grateful you’re not fighting the huge one we had to fight in at the Mourningwood Fort,’ replied Logan. ‘If we have to fight one of them, we’ll be in trouble.’
‘The hollow man you speak of, can it summon other hollow men?’ Page asked timidly.
‘There’s one behind me, isn’t there?’ Logan asked, not wanting to turn around.
Groaning, Logan turned and began to engage it in battle, while Page took care of its minions. Both of them were grateful when the round was over.
‘What a heartbreaking performance,’ said Reaver, looking down at the panting pair. ‘The poetry of life and death was unmistakable, and you had to spoil it all by not dying.’
‘That’s not all I’m going to spoil,’ Page growled as they left the arena. She moved her shoulder painfully.
‘Are you alright?’ Logan asked, evidently worried.
‘I’ll be fine,’ replied Page. ‘You know, I’d read about hollow men before, but I’m not sure that I ever believed in them.’
‘Well, you definitely do now, or do you think that you just had a terrible nightmare?’
‘I wish it was just a terrible nightmare. This had better end soon.’
Back in the main hall, they watched as the wheel was spun again, wondering what they were going to fight next. It landed on a strange symbol of a bird. While Logan stared at it blankly, Page relaxed.
‘Ah, yes,’ said Reaver. ‘I paid these bloodthirsty mercenaries out of my own pocket. Of course it was with the gold I took from the people, but still, they’d better not disappoint.’
Oh they will, thought Logan.
‘Mercenaries,’ Page said with a sigh as they once more headed for a new arena. ‘Finally something I know how to fight. Have you ever faced one before?’
‘Mercenaries and I know each other very well,’ Logan admitted. ‘We are always having run ins, just like Dad always did with bandits.’
‘Is there anything you can’t fight?’
‘Probably is,’ Logan shrugged as the mercenaries charged at them.
Logan was very impressed with Page’s skills with a sword as he watched he Page courageously take on several mercenaries at once.
During the round, Logan heard Reaver complaining about how he missed his Bloodstone pirates and how they were ten times better than the mercenaries.
‘As it happens, I was bending the truth about having paid them,’ Reaver admitted as the last mercenary fell. ‘It was strictly a no kill, no deal agreement. So you’ve saved me a small fortune. Bravo.’
‘Why doesn’t that surprise me?’ Logan sighed as he went to discover the next round of enemies he and Page would have to fight.
The next creature they were to fight was one that neither of them had ever seen before, and they were very nervous about facing.
‘Oh, now this is a very special round,’ Reaver said eagerly. ‘Wait until you see what treasures I have in store for you next.’
‘I really do not like the sound of that,’ Logan confessed to Page. ‘He sounds even more gleeful than the other rounds.’
‘Whatever it is, I’m sure we can beat it!’ Page replied confidently as they entered the room and looked up at Reaver.
‘I met these delightful creatures in a rather inhospitable land far from the turgent green of Albion,’ Reaver informed everyone. ‘I do love to bring two cultures together and see which one dies first.’
‘Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… the Sand Furies!’ Barry announced.
Out of the sand jumped the strangest looking creatures Page and Logan had ever seen. They seemed to be dressed in brown rags with horns on their heads. They were all carrying swords.
Without warning, they ran at Page and Logan with great agility and flexibility. Logan desperately swung his hammer at them, but they merely laughed and jumped out of the way, before hitting him with darts.
‘It’s not use, they are too fast for my hammer,’ Logan informed Page, who was doing much better than him, despite her injury.
‘Trying shooting them,’ she suggested.
‘Ben didn’t tell you about me and the mortar, did he?’
‘Let’s just say, I couldn’t hit water if I fell out of a boat.’
‘Can’t you do Will then?’
‘I can, but I’m not that good. Lillian got those geans.’
‘Of course she did,’ Page said bitterly, ‘but what other choice do you have? I can’t fight these things all by myself.’
Seeing her logic, Logan began to concentrate upon his Will before filling the room with as much electricity as he could. While the sand furies were being paralysed by the electricity coursing through their body, Page leaped forward and finished them off. The moment they were all gone, Logan collapsed to the ground.
‘I really need to start practicing my Will,’ he panted. He did not notice the suspicious, yet curious look Reaver was giving him. Not that anyone could due to the raven mask he was wearing.
‘Wasn’t that utterly enthralling?’ Reaver asked his guests, hiding his suspicion and curiosity. ‘Of course, you should be ashamed of yourselves,’ he added to Logan and Page, ‘treating foreign visitors in such an unsocial manner.’
‘I’ve really had enough of this,’ Page said as she helped Logan to his feet.
‘You and me both,’ Logan groaned, stretching his aching muscles as they headed back to the main chamber.
Reaver wasn’t very happen when they arrived.
‘You holier-than-thou idealists, always thinking in the simplest, most binary of ways,’ he said, ‘but I quite agree. This game grows tiresome, and my guests grow reckless.’
The wheel began to spin once more before stopping on a symbol meaning balverines.
‘Please tell me that is not balverines,’ Logan grumbled. ‘The sand furies were bad enough. I don’t have enough energy to use my Will again.’
‘You’ll have to try,’ Page said, though she was looking worried.
They then jumped as Barry started screaming out to Reaver as he was attacked by a balverine, before their eyes widened as they watched Reaver’s guests all turn into black balverines.
‘I didn’t know they could do that!’ Page exclaimed.
‘I did,’ Logan said, dried mouthed. ‘Mum and Dad told me about their journey through Westcliff and they met two white balverines who tricked them in human form. They are always weak while in human form, but strong as their true selves.’
‘Of course they are,’ Page grumbled as she eyed the balverines surrounding them. ‘Try and gather your Will.’
Logan did as she asked and managed to use some before he was tackled to the ground. He then wrestled with the balverine on top of him. At the sound of a gunshot, it collapsed on him. Page had just saved him.
‘Thanks,’ he muttered as he fought his weariness to gather Will.
‘Thank me if we survive this!’
After a long and tiring battle, Page and Logan emerged victorious.
‘This is the last party I take you too,’ Logan joked, making Page laugh, though her laughter abruptly stopped when she saw Logan was in danger.
‘Look out!’ she screamed, before shooting the balverine in the face.
‘Thanks, again,’ said Logan.
‘Don’t mention it,’ Page replied before glaring up at Reaver.
‘Well, I must say, you’ve made me out to be a somewhat poor host,’ said the ex-pirate. ‘Rather rude of you to dispose of all my guests.’
‘Now it’s your turn, Reaver!’ Page growled, aiming her gun at him and firing.
Then, before their eyes, Reaver raised his cane and held it in front of him, knocking the bullet back towards the girl's feet.
‘How -?’ she gasped.
‘He’s the last remaining known Hero of Skill,’ Logan informed her quietly. ‘His agility can match that of a balverine.’
'My dear girl, why not stop all this bickering?’ Reaver suggested. ‘The three of us could go up to my quarters and have a private party.’
Only Reaver could think that way with an enemy, Logan thought, shaking his head. Some things never changed.
'Do you have any idea who this is?' Page demanded, nodding to Logan.
'Who? Your boyfriend?' asked a bored Reaver. 'Should I know him?'
'He's Lillian’s brother, Prince Logan,' said Page, taking off Logan’s mask.
Reaver removed his mask and looked down at Logan coldly. His eyes showed nothing but hatred. He clearly thought that Logan murdered Sparrow out of spite to get the throne.
‘Well, well, well, look who’s become a bona fide Hero...' he drawled, leaning against the railing. 'Well, I wouldn't dream of coming between siblings. Well, that's not strictly true... there was that time... Anyway,' he said, walking away, 'best of luck with this whole revolution lark. Perhaps we'll meet again one day. Tatty-bye.'
'Bloody coward,' Page muttered bitterly, before leaving to help Kidd. When they came back to find Logan, they saw that he was still standing in the same place they had left him.
'Are you alright?' asked Page.
‘Even Uncle Reaver thinks that I murdered my father just to take the throne,’ he sighed. ‘I was hoping that he at least wouldn’t be so blind.’
‘Forget about Reaver,’ Page said firmly. ‘As long as you know the truth as do those around you, you shouldn’t worry. In time everyone else will too.’
‘I guess,’ Logan replied glumly.
‘Come on,’ Page said, taking his hand in hers and leading him outside.
Once outside and away from Reaver's mansion, Page turned to him.
'I never thought I'd side with royal blood,' Page confessed, 'but you're definitely nothing like your sister. The Bowerstone Resistance will follow you without question as long as you promise to change things when you take the throne. Poverty, children forced to work, people living in fear... you have to make it stop.'
'I promise,' Logan vowed, ‘just as long as I have you helping me.’
‘Oh, you can count on that,’ Page replied, before gently kissing him briefly on the lips. 'Come on, we should get back. We've got a revolution to plan.'
As they walked through Millfields, they heard a town crier delivering a message for all to hear.
'All citizens gather at the castle for the Queen’s message!' the crier yelled.
'This is never good,' said Kidd.
'You should find to what it's about,' Page told Logan. 'I'd come with you, but there's a reason we stay underground. We'll see you at the base when it's over, alright?'
'Sure thing,' said Logan, before disappearing to the Sanctuary to get changed into his original outfit, thinking about the kissing he just shared with Page.