Chapter 16:

Parade's Eve

A Terrible Evil Villain And Their Destiny

Lila Frost was sitting in her dining room eating her morning bowl of porridge rather glumly. With her sat her younger sister Lottie Frost who very clearly noticed Lila’s current mood.

“What’s wrong?” Lottie prodded.

“Oh, it’s nothing.” Lila replied, pushing around her food.

“Lila lying is bad.” Lottie said sternly.

Lila gave a small sigh, she did want to talk to something about her knowledge, why not her sister?

“It’s just, I discovered something about the Coldwaters.” She began to say.

“Ugh, those bullies? What did they do?” Lottie said, her face had a look of disdain.

“Well, I think that something really bad is going to happen to them.” Lila explained.

“Really?” Lottie said in surprise, “What?”

“Something that could get someone hurt. Really badly.” Was all Lila said.

Lottie eyes grew wide at this information and fell silent for a moment. Lila regretted telling her this, feeling that it probably would have been better keeping it a secret.

“I think you should do something.” Lottie said.

“Huh?” This time it was Lila to be surprised.

“I mean, the Coldwaters suck, but if something bad is going to happen then you should try to stop it!” Lottie said.

“That’s surprising to hear from you.” Lila said.

“Why? It’s the right thing to do!” Lottie said.

Lila smiled at that, no matter the situation, Lottie would always be her kind little self. Lila also agreed with her sentiment of at least mentioning it to someone. It didn’t sit right with her if something went wrong, and she could have done something about it.

“Don’t worry I will.” Lila said with a smile, “Now hurry up and finish your breakfast.”


Bryson was currently out on the streets wandering around the route of the parade as a guide showed him the area. Corporal Nico Reese and another guard had joined him as for his protection. Bryson as he was being shown around was half zoned out, completely bored by this tour. For whatever reason his parents had insisted that he take a tour around the place before the parade.

Bryson wasn’t sure what this would achieve, but nevertheless, here he was taking the tour.

“And this area if you were to look to your left, is a popular plaza where people often gather. The parade will be going through this area and…” As the tour guide droned on, Bryson droned him out.

Looking around the place, Bryson noted how he had never actually been here before. Which made sense he supposed, this was a common place for commoners, and his family weren’t too fond of them.

As his eyes drifted about, he noticed a comic bookstore sitting in between two other stores. Oh sweet, the newest issue of Ash Torr is being sold here. Bryson approached the store’s window display and browsed what was being advertised.

“Oh- um, sir?” The guide stuttered as they saw Bryson walked away.

Bryson ignored the guide, still lost in thought. Oh, they sell trading cards and action figures here too. Bryson decided that it would be a good idea to browse and purchase a few things. Bryson still had enough money to purchase some small knickknacks even after his donation to that maid.

Bryson was about to go in when the guide spoke.

“Sorry, you can’t be doing that.” He said.

Bryson paused and stared at the tour guide in silence for a moment, the locked eyes for a moment.

“What?” Bryson asked.

The tour guide looked away, and hesitantly spoke again, “Your- your parents told me to show you around in a timely manner. Wandering around and taking detours was frowned upon.”

“Well then, this is part of the tour now.” Bryson said simply. He then turned to Nico, “Keep watch. You two come with me.”

“Yes sir.” Nico said, standing at attention. The guide still hesitated for a moment, before he decided that it was best to just agree and followed Bryson inside.

Now let’s see what I should buy. Bryson thought as the bell to the door rang.


Lila Frost was walking down the street still pondering on how she should even try and warn the Coldwaters. She really didn’t want to meet them again. Perhaps she could talk to one of the servants, that might work.

Lila then noticed a figure as she walked down the street. It was Coldwater guard standing before a… comic bookstore. Lila assumed that this meant that there was a Coldwater inside there.

Perhaps this was a good thing however, she could warn the guard without needing to meet any of the Coldwaters. As she approached the guard who wasn’t paying her much regard she then came into a dilemma.

How was she going to warn them and have them take it seriously? She would sound like an insane person, or worse someone threatening the Coldwaters. Either way it wouldn’t achieve anything, with the latter putting her in prison.

Just as she was about to turn away and ignore the guard when she realized that all this time pondering, she had just walked right in front of the guard.

Uh oh. She thought as the guard looked at her. Then to her surprise a look of fear flashed in the guard’s eyes for a moment. Huh? She wondered. Now curious, she approached the guard.

“Oh! Um, hello ma’am.” The man said awkwardly, trying to play of his initial reaction.

Upon the guard speaking Lila found that she felt that she recognised the voice. Where did she hear that before?

“Oh sorry, do I know you?” Lila asked.

“Oh no, never saw you work in the mansion before.” The man quickly deflected.

“I never said I worked at the mansion.” Lila said pointedly.

“Uh…” The guard seemed to have blanked.

Lila stared at the very clearly lying guard and realized where she had heard his voice from.

“You were that merchant!” She exclaimed.

“What merchant? I don’t know any merchant.” The guard said.

“Don’t lie to me! I recognize that voice.” She demanded.

“Urk.” The guard began to avoid eye contact.

“Thank you for helping me, but why? How? Where did you get that money?” She asked a flurry of questions.

“Uh- well, you see…” The guard was trying to stammer out.

“Hey idiot what are doing?” Bryson asked, emerging from the building. He had seen Nico busy talking to some random lady. He had assumed that he was slacking off and flirting with some random girl.

Now that he had come outside of the store and saw who he was talking to, Bryson immediately regretted doing so. For in front of him was the same maid that his older sister had fired. The same former maid that he had given most of his own allowance to. The same former maid that he wanted to avoid. Lila Frost.

Bryson noted the shock and slight fear in her eyes upon seeing him and decided that it would be best for him to get out of this conversation. Silently he closed the door to the store again.

“Wait sir! She’s asking questions!” Nico said desperately, stopping him from closing the door.

“What are you talking about?” Bryson asked annoyed as he tried to close the door again. Annoyingly enough the adult guard was in fact stronger than him, and the door didn’t budge.

“Please sir I don’t know how to deal with her!” Nico cried.

“Shut up Reese.” Bryson said through gritted teeth.

“So you did help me!” Lila exclaimed, before looking down at Bryson, “Wait you’re also part of this.”

“Oh. Sorry sir.” Nico said realizing what he had just done.

“Okay Frost, goodbye. Never bother me again.” Bryson said curtly before turning away.

“No wait! I have important information about the parade!” She cried out.

Bryson turned back and stared at Lila for a moment. Taking a good look at her face, Bryson realized that she seemed very adamant about telling him something. It would be easier to humour her. He decided.

“Fine, get in here.” He grumbled.


Bryson, Lila and Nico all stood inside of a somewhat cramped storage room that the comic bookstore owner had so graciously lent to them after Bryson did some strong-arming.

“So, what do you want and how did you figure out we helped you?” Bryson hissed.

“I found out by hearing your guard. He sounded like the same person who gave me the money. Plus, his height and hair colour.” Lila explained.

“You never changed your voice?” Bryson demanded from Nico.

“I didn’t think I would need to!” Nico cried out.

“So why did you help me?” Lila asked.

“Are you questioning my gift?” Bryson snapped.

“No, no, I’m grateful. I’m just confused on why?” She said quickly.

“I don’t need to tell you anything.” He said pointedly, “Now are we done?”

“Wait, no about the parade.” Lila said before Bryson could leave.

“What about it?” Bryson asked with a groan of annoyance.

“I overheard a conversation that one of the servants had with a stranger. They’re planning to do something to your family.” She explained.

“Who and what?” Bryson asked, eyes narrowed.

Lila shifted uncomfortably at Bryson’s cold gaze, “I don’t know exactly, but Petr was talking about how he had tricked one a Coldwater into going somewhere.”

“That’s very vague. I don’t know if I believe you and I still don’t know who Petr is.” Bryson then recalled something, “Oh, right Gilles mentioned how that guy was going to bring him somewhere.” Bryson then realized something else, “Oh, they’re going to trick Gilles.”

“Then you have to stop them.” Lila urged.

“How? I can’t just accuse someone with nothing. Especially when that person’s worked at our place for…” Bryson paused before turning to Nico, “How long has he been working for us?”

“I don’t know.” Nico said with a shrug.

“Anyways, unless you are planning to speak up it won’t be happening. Gilles nor anyone else would listen to me.” Bryson said focusing back on Lila, “So are you going to speak?”

“No. They probably won’t even take my word in consideration.” Lila said dejectedly.

“Exactly.” Bryson said pointedly.

“So, what can be done?” She asked concerned.

“Relax, go back home. Never come back. I’ll have Nico watch them at the parade.” Bryson said simply. Nico gave a reassuring nod.

“Alright then. Thank you for helping me and good luck.” Lila said to them both before scooting her way out of the storage room and out of the building.

As Bryson watched her leave, he couldn’t help but feel like he was forgetting something.