Chapter 41: A Discovery of a Lifetime

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"Let me out!" Libro slammed his fist against the stone wall. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to yell at you! It was an accident!" No answer came from beyond. The study was hauntingly silent save for the crackling fire nearby. Libro's heart fluttered in his chest, his thoughts nibbling away at him.

He really was trapped in here. The Empress had truly left him to rot. He pounded his fist against the stone wall uselessly once more, before finally succumbing to the bitter realization. He slid down, feet scraping as he tucked himself against the floor, hands wrapped around his legs. Tears kissing down his cheeks. His body shook as he fought back against the hiccuping sobs.

And then the levy burst, and Libro began to weep. He wailed into the open air, the chilling sound echoing in the snug room. He balled his fists up till the knuckles popped, till the pain became almost too much to bare.

"Damn it!" Libro screamed. "Damn it all!" It wasn't fair. None of it was. His entire life had been nothing but one bad deal after the other. His father's scorn. His fecked life as an orphan. Elena. Magus. The Empress.

Thinking about her only made the needles in his head dig deeper. For years he'd suffered through the worst atrocities the Milita Orphanarium threw at him believing that one day it would be worth it. To join the Vangen. To prove to everyone the might of the Keevan Ras still coursed through his veins. That the only reason the Empire still existed was because his people stood with them against the Vostoch horde when no one else would.

Libro bit his lip until he tasted blood. And what had the Empress given him for all his hard work? Nothing, save for lies and broken promises. All his hard work, all his suffering, dashed upon the rocks like a ship in a storm.

He looked past his tears at the immaculate bookshelves before him, and a terrible thought crossed his mind. So the Empress wanted to lock him away for bad behavior? Fine then, best to give her a damn good reason then.

Libro pulled himself up off the floor and grabbed hold of the desk chair with both hands. He lifted it up off the ground and smashed it against the wall in one swift motion. The wood cracked, splintering down the end. He swung again and broke the chair in two, throwing the pieces away in triumph.

He scooped up the quills and ink on the table next, hurdling the jars against the wall, the glass exploding brilliantly, leaving behind black smears dribbling to the floor. He stabbed the quills into the plush leather of the broken chair, carved lines into the immaculate mahogany desk before tossing the broken metal nibs into the fireplace.

But he wasn't satisfied yet. Picking up a chair leg, he clubbed the desk, swinging through the tears, screaming bloody murder as he envisioned the Empress's mask cracking with every blow. Damn her then! Damn her for rooting through his mind and plucking at his failures! For lying to him! For forcing Dux to arrest Magus! For all the trouble she'd caused them! Damn her to Gehenna!

The desk split against his assault, crumpling to the ground. He threw the chair leg into the air, careening into a chandelier. The crystal exploded showering the room in glittering glass shards that tinkled down.

Libro turned on the bookcases next. He grabbed one and pushed. The whole thing came careening down, scattering books and other baubles across the floor. He moved in a whirl, his thoughts hot and red, burning in his mind. Reason and logic gave way to his anger as he ripped, grabbed, pulled, yanked. One by one the bookcases were toppled over. Glass broke. Metal screamed. Leather bound tomes thumped and bounced, scattering this way and that. Ink dripped from the mantle of the fireplace, hissing into the flames.

Libro grabbed the last bookcase and yanked. It didn't budge. He pulled and pulled with all his might, his frustration mounting against the damnable thing. Giving up, he turned to the books instead. He grabbed one and pulled. The book only came out half way. From behind the door there came a soft click.

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