The Legend

The Legend by Melissa Delport Read Free Book Online

Book: The Legend by Melissa Delport Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melissa Delport
Jonathan continued in his deep melodic voice and I flushed in embarrassment. I hated it when they talked about me like this – as if I was an incompetent child. “You need to look out for her – keep her safe. Can I trust you to do that?”
    Aidan looked at me then, as though seeing me for the first time. Then he nodded slowly.
    The day my cast came off, I raced to the orchard to find Aidan.
    â€œWhen are we going to try again?” I whispered, keeping a close eye on our parents.
    â€œWe’re not,” he answered firmly.
    â€œBut . . .”
    â€œBut nothing, Bex. We’re not doing it again. It was a stupid idea.” He stalked off, and I sat down on the soft grass, scratching my arm and sulking. I was so caught up in my dour mood that I didn’t notice Jonathan’s small satisfied smile.
    My room has fallen dark and I push the memories away. I had forgotten Aidan’s recklessness. He had been the trouble-seeker, the daredevil, until that night. After that, he had steered us clear of danger, keeping me out of mischief. I goaded him incessantly, missing our adventures, but eventually I had simply let it be and followed his lead.
    The evening is balmy, and a sheen of sweat covers my body. I lift my dark hair off my shoulders and then I tug on my pants and my shoes and head outside, desperate to escape the hot, stifling quiet. I don’t want to think. I make my way to the dining hall. Only Veronica and Jethro are there, Veronica tidying up in that quiet, contented way of hers. Jethro is sitting with his feet up on one of the tables, chatting amiably to her. He is so like Mason with his olive skin and his dark hair. It is only the birthmark on the left side of Mason’s face that sets them apart.
    â€œRebecca,” Veronica smiles shyly when she catches sight of me. “Are you hungry?”
    â€œA bit,” I admit, taking a seat opposite Jethro. He doesn’t look at me at first, keeping his eyes fixed on the table. I refuse to apologise for what I said earlier about Mason. It is the truth – Mason did those terrible things to me and he is going to be punished.
    Veronica returns with a bowl of steaming stew and I eat quickly, desperate to be gone. The scalding liquid burns my mouth as I scoop up spoonful after spoonful. Veronica tries to make conversation but gives up after only a few moments, sensing the tension in the air.
    â€œThank you.” Picking up my bowl, I get to my feet but she waves me away.
    â€œI’ll get that,” she offers kindly. I hesitate, wondering if I should speak now, if I should explain to Jethro exactly what happened back at the prison, but I don’t.
    I creep into the gymnasium, making as little noise as possible. I need to be away from prying eyes to do this. There are only a few lights on at the far end of the room and I make my way to the shelf where Kwan keeps his weapons. Ignoring my beloved Bo staff, I select a Hanbo. The Hanbo is only half the length of the Bo and is much lighter, making it easier to manoeuvre. Confident of my decision, I move away from the shelves into the centre of the gymnasium. Taking a deep breath, I lift the Hanbo and test the weight in my hand, bouncing it up and down. The smooth wood feels at once both strange and familiar. I take hold of it in both hands, gripping it firmly, and I jab it forward, throwing all my weight onto my front leg. The movement is fluid enough, but it lacks the strength behind it to be effective if I were actually attacking someone. I try again, and again, feeling more frustrated at each weak attempt. I lift it above my head and start to spin it, one hand crossing the other. I have trained extensively with these weapons and, again, my technique is flawless but the movements are slow and unimpressive. Disgusted with myself, I drop the staff in a loud clatter to the floor.
    â€œYou need to train your primary weapon before you move on to others,” Kwan’s voice

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