Fox shuffled backwards, almost not recognising the man stumbling into the throne room. Damon was but a shade of the cocky Earth Magician who had shaken up the last Mage Council meeting. His long grey hair hung sloppily over his bloodstained face, his eyes cast to the ground. The raggedy cloak he was wearing was more soil brown than the original grey and resembled patches of old blankets sewn together. Chains of air twirled around his arms, ankles, and neck.
Grandmaster Hawk and Prince Storm were trailing not far behind him. Silently and sparing no one a glance, she moved the Queen's left. Storm brought the prisoner to the King's feet, after which he moved to the right, his gaze locked onto Damon, who was sitting on his knees, muttering to himself in a low voice.
A smell worse than Felix's pool of vomit wafted from the man. Fox held his breath for as long as he could. Not even the bubbling pits of the Seven Hells could smell this bad.
King Ariel was leaning on his longsword, staring down, his cold blue eyes resembling fire instead of ice. "Can't hear you, Greenlander. Did my guards finally knock all snappy remarks out of you? No excuses or accusations this time?"
Damon spoke up, "... not a sin of Greed, forgive me, oh, Lord of Patience, I only listened to your divine sisters..."
"Forgiveness—where you're going there shall be no forgiveness." The King's voice was laced with scorn. "I took you into my country, gave you the opportunity to serve in the Mage's Council, and this is how you thank me? Conspiring against me, planting the poisonous leaves that killed my daughter and left my son at the brink of death." He grabbed Damon's face and forced to look to the left. "Look at him—look at what you did to my son! All for a few silverlings and half a hard-baked bread."
For less than a heartbeat, Damon glanced at Felix, the boy freezing on the throne, growing a shade so pale he was almost whiter than snow. The man's eyes shifted back to the red carpet."Weigh my virtues and sins, and find the balance, oh dear Lords and Ladies of the skies..."
Pommel first, King Ariel slammed his sword into Damon's head. Before the scrawny man hit the ground, Storm clicked his fingers and just like that the Earth Magician snapped back onto his knees.
He continued his prayer as though nothing had happened. "I accept whatever punishment You deem fit. I..."
"That's right." The King turned his sword around, pointing it at Damon's throat. "I had a few nights' sleep to ponder over your punishment. Though you served others and provided me with useful information, it was still you who killed my Panthera. You shall die, right here and right now, at the hands of a fellow countryman so you'll know what it feels like to be betrayed."
Not fully understanding, Fox darted a look over his shoulder. No one else had entered the throne room. His company still Katla, Badger, Fawn, Leo, Phoenix, and Doe. Bear was the only guard. There were no other Greenlanders but Damon. But him, and he was a Knight of Silvermark now. Was he still a Greenlander too?
"Lord Fox Brandonson, step forward." King Ariel gesticulated, then as Fox reluctantly obeyed, he pushed the man's chin up, leaving a large cut across his throat that spewed blood onto his cloak and chest. "Yes, you heard that right, Greenlander. If you see your former prince rotting along with you in the Seven Hells, feel free to spread the news."
When Damon didn't halt his prayer, King Ariel lowered his sword, shifting his attention to Fox. "Young Lord, since today marks your birthday and your first execution, the choice on how to end this kinslayer's life is yours. Your sword, my sword, or..." the King searched for Hawk, Katla, then Storm. "... magic of any kind."
Fox puffed his cheeks in thought. His fox sword was too new to get dirty already, the King's sword so large and heavy. "I'll use magic," he said after a while.
YOU ARE READING
The Midnight Storm (A New Dawn #2)Fantasy
[Book 2] Growing up isn't easy, especially not when you're Crown Prince Sebastian, heir to the Greenlander throne. While the God of Wrath reigns at court, the prince only finds empty seats at the dinner table. His once so close friends, Alex and Nic...