Lucas dreamt of the interrogation that night.

The room he was taken to was very light; white walls, ceiling, and floor. There were two chairs both hard and straight. A single table sat between he chairs, Lucas had marveled at the wrokmanship. It was low, flat, and rather simple but it was composed of a substance that he didn't think possible. The table had the dull sheen of many blades, a metallic gleam that he never expected to see on anything but a weapon or tool. But there it was a solid metal table. He had turned to his escort to ask about it, but the elf who had taken him from the group of guardians didn't reply. Instead he pointed at one of the chairs, indicating Lucas should sit.

After ensuring his compliance the elf left him in the room. Alone Lucas contemplated how to proceed, he had initially planned on leaving the guardians as soon as possible and even leaving the lands of the elves. But now that he was here, surrounded by wonders he never expected or even imagined he didn't want to go. Though older than the average recruit Lucas decided he would ask to join the guardians.

The door had banged open moments after he had reached this conclusion. A tall figure cloaked in crimson entered, behind him/her a woman followed, then a third elf this one cloaked in a vibrant blue. Lucas watched them open-mouthed, the first and third figure's features were completely obscured by the hoods they wore. The second, the woman was dressed in a long forest green dress with a royal purple trim. It was she who had spoken.

"You were accused by a guardian of murder, the same guardian found attempting to destroy you. Do you deny this?" Lucas shook his head, "No, I mean I was told that X accused me. But I had no idea." The woman waved her hand cutting him off, "This remains to be seen, I came here with Justice and Mercy. It is they who will decide your guilt and your fate." Lucas looked at the two figures, wondering which was which. When generally detailed in his explanation of the plan Istrali was not specific on this point. He had only promised to intervene to ensure he would be seen as inocent.

Silence descended over the room and Lucas looked around awkwardly, "Am I supposed to be doing anything?" As the last syllable left his tongue a hot pain stabbed into his mind. Lucas sucked in his breath and hunched over the table, he was vaguely aware of the woman siting don across from him. The two robed figures stood on either side of her each holding one of her hands. Seconds after the pain a second spike went through his mind, this one cool as water, healing as it progressed. Lucas wanted to relax into the comfort, but something stopped him. So he remained braced, waiting for the next attack.

It was not long in coming and again Lucas inhaled sharply, soon he settled into a pattern of sharp pains and gentle relief. Each time he wished to relax something stopped him, and held him up against the next attack. Blearily he could see the woman across from him, her face twisted in a strange expression. But Lucas didn't have long to reflect on it as yet another iron claw tore through his mind.

His memory grew hazy after that, the pain and relief intermixed so thoroughly that Lucas could no longer tell them apart and he simply existed. Waiting for the experience to end.

And it did, eventually. Lucas had no idea how long he had sat in the small chair but at some point he became aware of his surroundings again. There were many voices whispering to eachother. As he slowly swam up from the deep place in his mind he had retreated to Lucas discerned words in the voices. Snatches of conversation were captured as the bounced around the small room. "Amazing fortitude." "No question as to his innocence." "A fierce desire for justice, no matter the cost."

Lucas coughed dryly, his mind working to understand what he had heard. It felt raw, overused, but there was no residual pain. Someone handed him a glass of water and he drank greedily, gulping at the fresh cold liquid.

"Sorry about that," someone had said, "we had to be sure you desired justice for the crimes rather than mercy for your crimes." The words bounced around Lucas's skull, holding little meaning to him. He just knew that somehow Istrali had succeeded in his promise, the plan had been fulfilled, and he was free.

He was taken to another room after that, allowed to sleep in a bed, and recooperate.

The next morning a man was sitting by the bed, he had had mussed up black hair and grey-blue eyes just like Lucas. It was him who explained what the interrogation was, and how it worked. Both justice and mercy would probe his mind, connecting with his character and memories in different ways. Though they could not see the memories themselves how Lucas reacted to them is how his guilt or innocence was determined. If they struck a memory of guilt then the theory was that Lucas would long of the sweet feeling of mercy and immerse himself in that. However if there was no guilt he would remain true to justice, with no need for the mercy.

The whole idea seemed far-fetched to Lucas, but if it convinced the guardians of his innocence he wasn't going to complain, so he had simply nodded. Then the man spoke again, "You displayed amazing fortitude during the interrogation, and now that your innocence is know I was sent here to make an offer. Lucas had sat up straighter at that, wondering if he was to be given the chance he desired.

The elf did not disappoint him, "Do you wish to train as a guardian?" Lucas had grinned a slow grin before replying in as sober a tone he could manage. "My friend, I would be honored to learn here at the Academy."

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