Chapter 0:

For the Good of the Empire

Gloria Regali

Prophecies abound in realms of curiosity, the fates of Kings, realms and princes ever enthralling the human mind. Rumors spread, shrouded in mystery – questions unanswered through generations, unknown to all, questioned by all at first, until they fall into forgetfulness.Bookmark here

The oblivion of prophecies is a lonely realm, traversed only by those who have the courage to attempt to understand them. Though understanding is often limited among mankind but is known, in fullness only to one.Bookmark here

Elyon.Bookmark here

A name.Bookmark here

A being outside us.Bookmark here

A concept we cannot fully comprehend so we ignore he exists.Bookmark here

But he has not forgotten us. Nor have the countless others which watch from their own places in the universe. Watching for both good and evil. Waiting.Bookmark here

And so Time ever ticks, humanity continuing on in its curiosity, meanings, doubts haunting thoughts of life, eyes look ever to the future.Bookmark here

Perhaps one day we'll be able to see what its all for. For some, it is to see the things which their ancestors foretold. They see a world beyond this one. They yearn for it –Bookmark here

Some see it.Bookmark here

Are you sitting comfortably?Bookmark here

Yes?Bookmark here

Good.Bookmark here

Then I'll begin.Bookmark here

                           -ˋˏ ༻✿༺ ˎˊ-Bookmark here

The large oak doors swung open, carrying a breeze with their movement, the great hall cloaked in shadows and reeking of blood. The Empress stepped in, the hollow clack clack clack of every step of her boots echoing in the massive cavern. At the dais, the group of men turned, eyes wide in surprise, and some with fear, at the sight of her form coming out of the shadows. The white mask on her face was splattered in red, and bloodied sword in her hand was a threatening presence which caused a few to take a step back. Bookmark here

She was not called "the Bear" for nothing. Bookmark here

The Empress stood before them, her aura far too casual for the blood soaked white cloak on her shoulders and the stains on her boots. Bookmark here

"Gentlemen." Bookmark here

Her voice was cold, and more than one man shivered. It was one thing to see anger in a person's eyes, it was another to see nothing. The dark orbs she possessed were hard to see in the candlelight, the mask giving the illusion of black holes where her eyes should be. A wraith with red hair, and cloaked in purples and gold.Bookmark here

She turned her head, and looked at the base of the stairs. There, lying in pools of blood, were two women and a man. Bookmark here

"It would appear you have been busy in my absence." Bookmark here

It was Chancellor Cray who spoke, a fake smile plastered on his face as he took a step forward. "Your Grace, you are alive! We believed you were dead."Bookmark here

"Unfortunate for you I'm not." She replied, tilting her head. "You gentlemen do know that killing a member of the royal family without the consent of the Emperor or Empress is treason... and you've killed three." Bookmark here

"We acted for the good of the Empire, Your Grace!" Another diplomat exclaimed. Bookmark here

There was silence from the Empress, and she stepped toward the bodies, kneeling to stroke the face of one of the women. She was beautiful, with golden hair and a face which a man might die for-- one could imagine rosy cheeks and a shy smile, her green eyes which were now open in cold death, sparking with warmth and life. Bookmark here

"The good of the Empire." The Empress repeated, quietly, but it unnerved the Chancellor, whose eyes darted to the door expecting to see a guard there. Bookmark here

The only guard he saw was her personal ones, elven and far more skilled than any other in the room. Nelyon Fearn, tall and imposing, his handsome face was schooled into the same neutrality of his mistress. Behind him were Findan Laird and Laure Goldwyn, both normally jovial men, they were solemn and dangerous looking themselves. Though all were neutral in their expressions, their eyes bore holes into the men upon the dais, pure disdain and fury in their gazes. Bookmark here

"Tell me, Chancellor, on what grounds have you executed these three?" The attention returned to the Empress, who was closing the eyes of the redheaded woman on the floor beside the blonde. Bookmark here

The Chancellor was quiet, unwilling to give her the information. Bookmark here

A muffled sound came from the other side of the room, where a man was bound and gagged, his eyes pleading that she would listen to him. With a jerk of her head, Findan moved, crossing the stone in a few long strides and cutting the ropes and gag with a dagger. Bookmark here

The man spluttered, coughed, and rubbed his sore wrist. "Witchcraft and treason, your Grace!" He spat in reply. "It was just them and your council that condemned them, accused them of trying to start a coup and assassinate you." Bookmark here

The Empress hummed, turning to face the Chancellor, a step taken toward him. "What a pity."Bookmark here

"But-but Your Grace! They were plotting to overthrow your realm! We did what we thought was right!"Bookmark here

"Of course, Chancellor. Now I shall follow your example and do what I think is right..." the sword glowed golden, and she raised it, watching him cower as she simply breathed.  Bookmark here

"...For the good of the Empire." Bookmark here

Joe Gold
Takahashi  Eien
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