The Children of Eris
The royal wedding between Princess Raeanne Windsor and Duke Louis
Cavan was one of the largest and most expensive events in Aangapea’s history and it showed.
The decorations, the food, the dresses, the suits, the guard’s weapons and armour, the accommodations and the entertainment were all the finest in the north-east. It had cost ten million gold, almost a quarter of the Kingdom and Federation’s combined yearly budgets.
However, despite that expense, all those in attendance knew it was worth it.
After all, with their union, the Kingdom and the Federation would start a slow, but peaceful, transition into a single nation, making it one of the largest and strongest on the continent.
Tens of thousands had gathered to witness the event and the streets were filled with people from around the world, all hoping to catch even just a glimpse of the bride and groom.
The town was alive with energy, the security was in the thousands and the halls of the castle were filled with joy, laughter and well-wishing guests.
The grand hall where the throne of the king was would serve as their wedding hall and it was in this very hall that Mímir and his Ravens were lying in wait, hidden by their illusion magic.
Though they had only had a short time to infiltrate the wedding venue and thoroughly investigate it, Mímir had already been forming a basic plan since the idea first came to him back at Stonefall.
Even with just seven of them taking part, Mimir was very confident that it would succeed.
As the orchestra played a beautiful hymn to welcome in the bride, escorted by her father and guards, the attendants rose to their feet as she started her slow, elegant walk down towards her groom.
The crowd’s attention was firmly focused on them as were the guards. No one knew what Mímir and the Ravens were up to.
Each of them pulled eight vials with sharp needles from their pockets, filled with a burning red substance, and slowly approached the guards across the room, both Kingdom and Federation soldiers alike.
The potions were poisons that instilled within the victim the Curse of Madness which, when activated, would make the afflicted act and say what the mage wanted them to.
Once each of them stood behind a guard, Mímir did a silent countdown before injecting the man in the neck; the Ravens did the same.
Only one guard felt the prick on their skin and swatted at it as if bitten by a fly, before shrugging it off and returning to their duties.
With their first victims injected, Mímir and the Ravens moved onto the next lot of guards and repeated the same movements until all of their vials were gone.
Mímir had initially feared that someone might notice them or that someone might find it strange that seven guards all swatted at an invisible injection, but everyone’s attention was on the wedding.
By the time the princess reached the altar, Mímir and the Ravens had completed their task.
They withdrew to the shadows for the time being, positioning themselves against the exits on the groom’s side of the hall, and waited.
Once the bishop began his long speech about their love and marriage, Mímir and the Ravens drew their blades, slowly and quietly.
Then, Mímir reached into his pocket and took out a small scroll that he’d bought in Stonefall when he’d bought the potions.
It was a magical scroll that, when activated, would trigger the Curse of Madness in the injected victims, making them behave and act according to whatever the caster had written on the scroll.
It had cost Mímir a small fortune, a hundred-thousand Rhams, to buy, they were extremely rare items and, even worse, the victims would only behave that way for thirty minutes after the initial injection, meaning its uses were extremely limited.
Mimir had originally bought the vials and scrolls on the black market to determine the capabilities of the Holy Empire’s magical items; when he discovered how limited their uses were though, he thought he’d never find a chance to properly use them.
However, when he learned of the wedding, dots began connecting in his mind and he formed his plan for the royal wedding massacre.
If both the Kingdom and the Federation’s soldiers cut down Duke Cavan and his guests, then Mimir could twist the truth and make it appear like the Kingdom was behind the attack.
To those who didn’t know any better, they would think that the Kingdom had gone as far as to bride Federation soldiers into helping them, making the Kingdom the culprits of this crime.
This way, when the war did inevitably break out, the public would hold the Kingdom responsible for the entire thing.
Mímir’s orders on the scroll reflected that intention and he had written them in such a way that he wouldn’t leave any traces to the Dark Lord and his plans in the south-east.
Kill every last person on the Federation of Free City States side of the wedding hall. You will declare yourselves true believers in the Kingdom of the North-east and that the Federation is not fit to be a part of that Kingdom. You will NOT kill anyone from the Kingdom’s side and, if they try to capture you, kill yourself as you declare your intentions again.
Once Mímir activated the scroll, the massacre would begin, Then, Mímir and the Ravens would show themselves as disguised members of the Night’s Eye.
All Mímir had to do now was wait for the most perfect, dramatic, moment to strike and begin the horrible tale he was going to weave.
Duke Cavan had just finished his vows and the bishop turned to Raeanne for her to make hers.
That was the moment Mímir would use.
“Princess Raeanne, in the eyes of the Gods and with the blessings of your house and kin, do you take this man, Duke Louis Cavan, to be your husband? To be his equal and his partner, to shoulder his burdens and be his strength when he is weak, and to love him for the rest of your life?”
As Raeanne opened her mouth, Mímir activated the scroll.
Fifty-six guards instantly drew their swords.
The thirty-two on the Federation side of the hall then plunged them into the guests closest to them in a disgusting explosion of violence.
Blood splattered, heads were split open, and the whole hall descended into a moment of stunned, horrified silence.
“Death to the Federation!” The maddened guards bellowed as they attacked again.
Chaos descended upon the hall.
With every strike, men, women and children of the Federation were cut down.
The members of the ‘Night’s Eye’ cut down all those who tried to flee whilst Mimir made his way towards the groom with great speed.
The Kingdom soldiers who weren’t affected didn’t know what to do at first.
However, once their king called them to action, they fought.
They helped protect and evacuate the guests and even cut down their own maddened comrades.
The Federation’s unafflicted soldiers all had different responses.
Some went for the Night’s Eye members, others fought and tried to disarm their brothers in arms, and others even battled against the Kingdom soldiers, even those who were unafflicted.
The soldiers unfortunate enough to challenge the Ravens were quickly dispatched.
“For the True Kingdom of the North-east!”
The maddened soldiers fought hard and kept killing everyone they could.
All the while, at the altar, Duke Cavan and Princess Raeanne were cowering, protected by the royal guards. Duke Cavan was demanding to know what was going on, but no one had any idea what was happening.
Raeanne was screaming and crying, covering her ears, waiting for the nightmare to be over.
However, Mímir wasn’t finished yet.
He emerged behind the group of six, his blade drawn, and struck.
With four lightning-fast slashes, the royal guards lost their heads and their bodies collapsed onto the ground.
Duke Cavan roared, drew his ceremonial sword, and attacked Mímir.
He swung the blunt blade at Mímir’s skull, but Mímir pushed the blade to one side, then kicked Duke Cavan in the ribs, breaking several of them, and sending the Duke flying across the room.
He collapsed onto all fours as he struggled to breathe; he coughed up blood and tried to stand back up.
Mímir threw three knives at Duke Cavan which embedded themselves in his shoulders, making him howl in agony and fall onto his stomach.
“The Night’s Eye doesn’t fail,” Mímir said loudly and cleared as he slowly approached Duke Cavan. A few guards tried to slow him down, but Mímir easily dispatched them. “We see all, we know all, and we can kill all, even the heir of the Federation.”
Duke Cavan tried to push himself up onto his knees, but Mímir pressed his boot hard onto Duke Cavan’s back, driving him into the ground. Then, Mímir leant down and roughly pulled Duke Cavan upwards by his hair.
Mímir placed his bloodied blade against Duke Cavan’s neck as Princess Raeanne looked their way, her eyes wide and her mouth agape.
“Know this, Duke Cavan,” Mímir whispered, leaning in close to his ear. “Your beloved won’t be harmed. After all, one day, she’ll be the property of my master.”
Mímir slit open Duke Cavan’s throat before Princess Raeanne’s eyes, then chucked his corpse towards her.
Duke Cavan’s body slid across the ground, painting it red, and came to a stop just before the Princess’s knees.
Her scream was so loud that it overshadowed the sounds of the battle.
“For the true Kingdom of the North-east,” Mímir said. “Our contract is complete. Men, withdraw!”
“At once!” The Ravens answered.
Mímir and the Ravens leapt up through the glass ceiling and then fled across the rooftops and out of the kingdom, just as a solemn chime from the castle’s bells rang throughout the city.
“I’m impressed, Mímir,” David congratulated with a small smile.
“Thank you, your majesty.”
“So? With Duke Cavan dead, I assume that war is definitely on the way as you promised it would be?”
“It is, your majesty,” Mímir replied. “The Ravens I sent to keep an eye on the situation have reported that the Federation have severed all diplomatic ties with the Kingdom, and that both sides are amassing their armies for war.”
After finishing his report, Mímir began to laugh.
“I wonder what it is you find so hilarious, Mímir,” David mused.
Mímir looked up at David and pulled down his scarf, revealing a joyful smile that David didn’t know his general could make.
“Even though everyone knows how much Princess Raeanne loved Duke Cavan and so many people must know that it wasn’t the Kingdom that ordered the attack, they’re all still going to go to war over it,” Mímir said giddily. “Your majesty, if that isn’t hilarious, then I’m afraid I don’t know what is.”
David forced a light chuckle from his lips and nodded his head. “…Yes, they are a foolish bunch, aren’t they?”
“Is something bothering you about this, your majesty?”
“It’s nothing important. I was just thinking that there will be a few capable people who will be able to trace this to us, I imagine,” David said with a resigned smile.
“Even if there are, your majesty, it’ll be almost impossible for them to stop us now.”
“Is everyone here?” Herakles asked.
“No, sir. We’re missing a few teams, sir,” the mercenary replied.
“Stuart’s, Karl’s, Penny’s and Oliver’s.”
“Because of the slaughter at the wedding?” The mercenary nodded, making Herakles click his tongue. “So, they did tighten the border security?”
“Should we go ahead without them?”
“Without some of our heaviest hitters? No, we’ll wait. Whoever we’re dealing with is strong and we need all the power we can get to make sure we finish them off for good.”
“It’ll take a few weeks, boss.”
“That’s fine. Once everyone’s here, then we’ll destroy the bastards who dragged our name through the dirt.”