The Trial of the Prince

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"Kier Royle. We have reason to believe that you lie responsible for the murders of Lawrence Royle and the Cardinal, our beloved leader. Now, as vampires our definition of 'murder' is pretty relaxed, seeing as how humans are our primary food source and we can't get a decent meal without taking their lives. But murdering two of your own kind is an inexcusable and unforgivable offence. As such this jury has no choice but to take your existence as you unfairly took theirs." A lead-tipped arrow covered in crimson fire pointed itself at me. The voice from the darkness continued. "Do you have any last words?" I knew that if I had any chance of saving myself, it was to be taken now.

"Your Honour? Honours? My actions were based either in self-defence, or in the same way you're threatening me now. The Cardinal had attacked me first, and Lawrence had murdered my mother Christina just a day earlier. Neither of them had received any form of punishment for their actions, so I took matters into my own hands. Would any of you have done any different?"

"The Cardinal was a pacifist. He wouldn't have attacked you without prior motivation. And as for your fabrication that Lawrence murdered his wife, well that is just preposterous. It's common knowledge that Lawrence loved his wife very much, and that he was deeply saddened by her tragic but completely accidental demise. And is it not true that you formed an emotional attachment to Lawrence's new wife, Eliza?" I nodded but was interrupted before I could clarify things. "So you admit that you had feelings of jealousy towards Lawrence at that time?" I sighed.

"Yes, but it's a little more complicat-"

"I believe we've heard enough. We have a clear motive, you admit to being at the palace at the time of the fire, and Lawrence's lighter was found outside the palace, carelessly disposed of by you in your attempt to make his demise look like suicide." The lights turned on and I sighed. No wonder I hadn't been allowed to show my side of the story; all the jurors were associates of Lawrence or leaders of vampire councils across the country. I never stood a chance really. I closed my eyes slowly as the fiery arrow headed for my brain.

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