Chapter One Hundred: The Sixth Clause

 “Hey Belle, you're not gonna…why are you reading?” Charlie
climbed out of his window and into the tree one Saturday afternoon.

“I'm relaxing! YOU
try putting up with Demon trying to turn you evil every day!” Belle
fired back, her nose firmly in her book.

Charlie looked at the large book incredulously. “That looks like a
full workout!”

“Ha. Ha. Ha.” Belle
snapped. “It's actually the story of how our families became

“Why would you need
to read that? Everyone knows the story!” Charlie asked.

“Because when stories
get passed down verbally, things tend to get missed. I think I'm the
first person who's bothered reading this in three generations!”
Belle pointed out.

“And how does the
full story aid us now?” Charlie asked.

“I TOLD you, I'm
RELAXING!” Belle groaned. “Not everything I read is for research

“Hmph.” Charlie
settled down next to her. “Anything interesting in there?”

500 years ago

The Warring Nation, led
by the evil Masters Family, had taken over most of the Great Nations.
Only a few provinces remained, and the Peridot Isle, ruled by the
Begly Family was one of them.

“The Warring Army is
huge. We have no chance if we tackle them head-on.” Count Arnold
told the small war council assembled in the Begly Castle.

“They haven't shown
any signs that they're interested in us yet. Maybe we should ignore
them for the time being.” Captain Fern of the Peridot Army

“No. I think we need
to strike before they have a chance to even think of us.” Steven
Begly, ruler of the Peridot Isle, pored over his maps. “Our
intelligence suggests that the Warring Army isn't very loyal to the
Masters Family anyway, and are ruled by fear. If we could somehow get
in there and remove the family, we could very well liberate the Great
Nations from the Warring Nation grasp.”

“Which would be
highly beneficial for us in the long term. Gratitude makes people
more likely to be agreeable.” Count Arnold mused.

“Can you NOT make
everything about profits?” Fern snapped.

“Enough.” Steven
barked. The two stopped bickering. “Fern, I'm going to task you
with getting rid of the entire Masters family. Cut the head of the
fish off, and the rest of the body will rot. Once the Masters are
gone, we can start to put things right.”

“Yes sir!” Fern

“Take my son with
you. Especially as you're pregnant.” Steven continued.

“Wha-?!” Fern
gasped as Arnold choked.

“I'm not blind my
dear. I know you and John are very, VERY close, especially by how he
talks about you. Congratulations by the way, and I look forward to
meeting my grandchild.” Steven peered at his maps. “You're

It took Fern five
seconds to process everything. “Y-yes Sir! Good day Sir!” She
bolted from the meeting room.

She headed straight to
her quarters, where she knew John would be waiting for her.

“We're busted. Your
Dad sends his blessings.” Fern said flatly as she walked in, seeing
her lover sitting by the door.

“How'd he find out?!”
John jumped up, horrified.

“I'm going to take a
guess and say you goofed. Again.” Fern raised an eyebrow at him.
“Talk to your father about me much?”

John opened his mouth,
then stopped. He blinked. “Whoops?”

Fern groaned.

The plan had been put
in motion, and the Masters family died in agony, the victims of a
mass poisoning. There was mass confusion, anger, terror and wonder at
who had dared to assassinate the rules of the Warring Nation.

Of course, in the
confusion, no one noticed that the baby Masters had gone missing.

“John. I love you. I
am going to have ONE child with you. Please tell me why you’re now
stealing a second baby, and the child of our enemies at that?!”
Fern cried when she found her lover in a covered wagon headed back
for the Peridot Isle nursing the unfortunate child.

“He’s cute, and
innocent, and sweet, and yes he might have just bitten me but he’s
just a baby!” John pleaded, shaking his now sore fingers.

“He's a MASTERS, he's
probably born evil!” Fern groaned.

“Well, it's too late
now. We're on our way home and now we have two sons.” John smiled.

“You don't know what
I'm having. I could have a neutral for all you know.” Fern snapped.

“I'm certain it will
be a son.” John grinned at her.

Fern was furious when
it was proven John was right, and a son was born. Together, they
named their son Montague, and they gave the Masters baby the name of
Maurice. They hoped the boys would become friends, thus ending the
violent history of the Masters and creating a new future for the

They had thought only
problem would be trying to keep the Masters child under control. The
boy was far too smart for his own good, and could nearly always talk
himself out of trouble, but at least he wasn't nearly as bad as
Montague. Montague manged to get a bad idea into his head at least
thrice a week and was always in trouble, compared to his more
reserved best friend.

Somehow Maurice and
Montague were great friends, although completely different. Maurice
often sat in his room reading up everything he could, while Montague
got himself into trouble at every opportunity. Many of his plans came
close to working, but just lacked the polish needed to get away with
it. It was never malicious, and was often just childish pranks, but
it was indeed most unbecoming for a future ruler.

It was while Montague
was being scolded for another misdemenour that Maurice found out the
truth – that the Begly family had poisoned his parents to stop them
from causing war. Maurice was furious, and stormed in just as John
was about to give Montague a good walloping.

Maurice cried, holding the book in front of him that had the details
of the plot. “You're the reason I'm an orphan!”

“I thought I was your
brother?” Montague asked as John sighed.

“You don't understand
what your family was doing Maurice.” John told the boy who was
fuming. “They were destroying everything.”

“Says you.” Maurice
looked equal parts livid and devastated. “I should kill you where
you stand.”

“You need to see what
your family did before you decide that.” John said.

“I thought we were
your family.” Montague looked hurt.

“I'm sending you and
Montague to the former Warring Nation. See how bad things still are
because your family insisted on war.” John said. Suddenly he had a
knife at his throat.

Montague cried, trying to pull Maurice away.

“Why should I let you
all live? Why?” Maurice was poised to strike, swatting Montague
away. He was about to slit Johns throat, when Montague grabbed his

“Mo-Mo! Please, let's
just go!” Montague had tears in his eyes. Maurice looked at his
best friend, before he dropped the knife.

“Fine.” He said

The boys left the next
day. John hoped it would have the desired effect.

Maurice was shocked. He
rode alongside Montague as they went through town after town of the
old Warring Nation and saw the scars still there. People looked up at
the two boys on horseback with scorn as they desperately scavenged
for food, water and shelter.

“These people…they
live in poverty…because of my family…” Maurice felt the worst
he ever had.

“Yeah. I'm sorry that
Father made you see this.” Montague looked at his best friend.

“No. This is what my
family has done. This violence still lives in me…I can't be
trusted.” Maurice choked back a sob. “I would have killed your
Father if you hadn't stopped me.”

“Mo-Mo…” Montague
looked sad.

After a few days they
went back home to the Peridot Isle, where Maurice stayed locked in
his room for two weeks.

“Is he even eating
anything?” Fern was worried about the boy as another nearly full
tray was returned from his room.

“I'm going to try and
speak to him again.” Montague got up and went to bang on the door
of his best friend. “MAURICE! GET OUT HERE!”


Montague felt irked. So
he opened the door (surprised to find it was still unlocked) to find
Maurice surrounded by books and carefully writing on a piece of

“What are you
writing?” Montague looked at the parchment. Maurice moved aside,
looking hollow.

“I, Maurice Masters,
swear the following: I will never kill another human being again. I
will always respect my elders, even if I don't agree with them. I
will endeavour to dress nicely and appropriately. I will never hold
back, and will fight forever for what is right.” Was written on the

“Wow. I don't think
you've ever actually killed anyone though.” Montague pointed out.

“My family did.”
Maurice said hollowly.

“And the line about
dressing nicely?”

“I'm vain Monty,
don't judge me.”

“Well, you're gonna
have to add an extra clause in there. You have to believe in yourself
again Mo-Mo, because if you don't, you're never going to be able to
be better.” Montague told his friend.

Maurice smiled wryly,
and added an extra line. “Most of all, I will always believe.
Signed, Maurice Masters.”

“Happy now?” He
showed Montague, who nodded.

“That's great.
Anyway, I'm going to go and steal some apples, so I'll catch you
later.” Montague headed out of the room.

fine!” Maurice suddenly tweaked up. His best friend was going to
get himself in trouble…AGAIN! Quickly, Maurice scribbled another
line on his vow.

“I will always keep
that idiot Begly from letting his plans get out of hand, no matter
how improbable it is that I OR the plan will succeed!”

Then he bolted after
Montague, who was already hiding under the stairs as the apples were
being brought in from the apple cart.

“Montague! Will you
think this through?!” Maurice cried in a hushed whisper.

“I have!” Montague
replied. “I just wait until they head back to the cart for more
apples then sneak in and steal a few!”

“You forgot that the
guards are literally standing right there.” Maurice said drily.

Montague blinked. “No
trouble!” He cried, as the delivery boy headed out for another
barrel of apples.

“MONTAGUE!” Maurice
bolted after his best friend…and was caught by the guards! He
looked around frantically, but couldn't see Montague anywhere.

“And what are YOU
doing young Masters?” The guard eyed him off.

“I was
just…nothing.” Maurice sighed.

“That's right. These
apples are for winter, NOT for now. Now go on, off you go!” The
guard gave the boy a good shake before casting him aside.

Still smarting, Maurice
headed back to his room, where he passed Montague…with several

“My plan worked!”
Montague cried in glee. “Because you ran out, you got caught and I
could hide!”

Maurice felt his eye
twitching as he stormed back up to his room and did his best to
remove the last clause, forever known as the Improbability Clause,
from his stupid list of vows.

“Bloody stupid

“Oh wow!” Charlie
cried. “THAT'S where the Improbability Clause comes from!”

“Of course it would
be a Masters invention.” Belle grinned. “Wonder what Dad will say
when he finds out.”

“Oh right! Speaking
of finding out, I have news!” Charlie remembered. “Sammy got
arrested last night!”

“WHAT?!” Belle

“Plus there's also-,”

ARRESTED?!” Belle screeched.

“I just found out!”
Charlie pouted. “Besides, that's only HALF the news!”

“And the other half
is?” Belle looked murderous.

“The PCC.” Charlie

Belle blinked. “What's
the PCC?”

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