Chapter Thirty Nine: Slanathys Rebels

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Titus stood in his room, causally looking around to see what all damage had been done

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Titus stood in his room, causally looking around to see what all damage had been done. I wasn't stupid enough to leave evidence, but clearly, I wasn't fast enough to get out before he had found me. For the first time since I had become a thief, I was caught redhanded. Titus stood there as if we were simply meeting for lunch, and his nonchalance made me want to stand and punch him.

I couldn't believe that I wanted to hit the man I had fallen in love with. I'd trusted him! I'd told him every single detail about me and Anya's adventures and because of that, he was able to use the information to his advantage! It was my fault because I had unknowingly helped him.

"Why?" I asked, standing on shaky legs. "Why are you a traitor?"

"Why not?" he redirected the question, taking slow steps in my direction. "Most of the North are traitorous in spirit. You would be too if you spent your life being threatened by a King who secretly exterminates the royal families of the North. You'd rebel as well if you lost your entire family because of an envious King! Oh, wait. You have."

"What?" I asked, confused. He didn't know what he was talking about.

"Don't you know your history? Don't you know who you are, Cora? No? Well I do. Some of us will never forget the old stories passed down from father to son." Titus stopped walking, seemingly content with where he stood in the middle of the room. "I shall enlighten you, and when you are enlightened, you'll understand in full why things have to be the way that they are.

"This is a story about the men of Mountain Ire - as they called it back then. Thousands of years ago, when the freezing temperatures began to stabilize, man left the mountains. There were five families that ruled all of the mountain people. Those families were, Slanathys...Balgaris...Malcrovi...Elkewell...and of course your family - Valanthus.

"I am Titus Slanathys, son of Blain Slanathys. My father was one of the most powerful royals of the North. It was rumored that my family was once the rightful heir to the throne but due to a battle, the Balgaris family took the crown! The King knew this; he knew my family posed as a threat. He also knew other royal families had their claims to the throne as well. Because of this, he killed the heads of the most powerful royals to ensure that no one else posed as a threat. He killed our fathers and hid the truth, but some of us remember, especially the North." Titus looked away as if recalling a distant memory, and the first sign of emotion began to appear on his face.

That emotion was anger

"I was only eight when I watched a royal guard assassinate my family in their sleep! I was in that home for three days before someone found me clinging to my mother's rotting body, crying and scared for life. No matter what happened from there on, I'd never be that innocent little boy.

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