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Blakkr Nótt

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The throne room was roaring with sound. People were talking left and right. Anteron sat on the Glass Throne, listening to anything and everything that was being spoken, or at least he tried to. There was a conversation going on discussing the finances of the throne, another involving simplistic woman gossip. All the conversations suddenly stopped and the hall went silent when the two grand, wooden doors at the entrance slowly opened. In the darkness of the night came Anteron’s personal guard forcibly escorting a man through the length of the room. His hands were shackled and clothes were tattered.

Anteron turned his head and looked at his wife, Deila, awaiting the reaction he expected. Deila turned her head in disgust, confirming what Anteron was feeling. He stood from the Glass Throne and waited for the criminal to be brought before the steps leading up to Anteron’s place. The torches resting in the sconces on the wall made the crown resting upon Anteron’s head seem as though it were ablaze.

Anteron was a tall man. He towered over everyone else at an astounding six feet tall, above average for people of Delsera. His hair was jet black, and when observed under torch light, appeared to wave with the flames. His eyes were an ice cold blue, people usually found themselves uncomfortable when making eye contact with Anteron for more than ten seconds. Everything about his face was definitive, his cheekbones, his nose, even his chin. It is commonly speculated that the gods chiseled that face of Anteron themselves, but there was no one to either confirm or deny. His beard was the same color of his menacing hair, yet found itself being the messiest thing about Anteron. Anteron frequently had to stroke and comb his beard with his fingers in order to keep it tended and look elegant.

The criminal was now at the foot of the steps leading up to the Glass Throne, yet he did not kneel, as expected when one is due to be judged by the King himself. Anteron looked to one of the personal guards that was standing next to the criminal, gave him a nod and the man drove the butt of his spear into the back of the criminal’s knee. He fell to his knees and refused to look up from the ground.

“You are presented before the King to be tried for murder. How do you plead?” asked the Hand of the King, whom stood next to the Glass Throne.

The convict did not respond, and continued to stare at the foot of the stairs, as though he knew he were guilty but refused to believe it. The guard that had once brought him to his knees rose his spear and was about to strike the butt into the man again when Anteron lifted his hand. The guard lowered his arms, along with the spear and returned to his stance. The King made his way down the stairs, his hair waving with the flames and his crown ablaze atop his head. The dimly lit hall made Anteron appear all the more menacing. He finally reached the bottom of the steps and looked down upon the man who knelt before him, but not by choice.

Anteron took his hand and lifted the man’s face to look into his eyes. The criminal was evidently becoming more and more uncomfortable as the time continued to go on.

“What is your name, scum?” asked Anteron.

The man appeared to become hypnotized while staring into the King’s eyes.

He replied, “Darvo Linard, Your Grace.”

It was then that Anteron knew “Darvo” was guilty as charged. The man hadn’t even told his true name. The King released his grasp on the convict’s chin and looked back up to beside the Glass Throne to the Hand of the King. Anteron need not say anything when the Hand nodded, disappeared through a door and returned with a greatsword sheathed in its scabbard. The Hand scurried down the stairs and handed the sword to Anteron. He took it from the hands of the Hand and slid the scabbard into his belt. Anteron took the criminal by the neck, brought him to his feet and escorted him back to outside. As he and the guilty man walked the length of the hall, the audience remained absolutely silent. Not a cough, not a sneeze, not even the squeak of a rat.

Anteron’s personal guard followed closely behind, so did the Hand and Deila as well.

“Take a torch,” commanded the King to one of his guards.

The guard nearest to a torch took it from a sconce on the wall and caught back up to Anteron. They exited the grand throne room and entered the darkness of the night. It was roughly midnight, the stars in the sky blazing bright, however, the moon was not out. Had it been, there would be no use for the torch. Anteron continued to drag the man by the neck and finally threw him down to the dirt floor. He took the torch from his guard’s hand and stuck it into the ground, leaving it to stand upright.

The King took the scabbard from his belt and pulled the greatsword from within out. The blade seemed to ripple in the torchlight, as though it weren’t even solid, but instead liquid.

“Position him and hold him down,” commanded the King once more of his guards.

One guard walked away and returned quickly with a stump of wood. He then took the criminal by his left arm, three more took a hold of him in other places so that he would not move. Anteron clutched the criminal’s hair and slammed his head on to the stump of wood, then leaned down, still holding on to the man’s hair, and whispered into his ear.

“Do you have any last words, Alkazar?”

The man muttered something in a tongue no one in attendance had ever heard of in their entire life. Up until that moment, the night was still. No wind blew, and there was no calm breeze. The night was as dead as Anteron’s son now was. Suddenly, a chill, quick breeze came in. It was unlike any other breeze Anteron had ever experienced before. While he wore a decent amount of layers, for warmth, the breeze managed to cut through all those layers and straight to the bone of Anteron, Deila and all of the King’s personal guard. Everyone shivered for a brief moment. No one seemed to pay the event any heed, except Anteron. It was as though something within triggered and suddenly his “Fight or Flight” mode activated, yet, he still had to deal with the man who’d killed his son.

The King lifted his greatsword over his head and swung down with all the might in his upper torso. Moments before the edge of the blade made contact with the neck of the murderer, the torch that had rested in the ground blew out, followed by the same chilled breeze once more. A loud thump was heard as the edge of the sword made contact with the ground, yet no thump followed to signify that Anteron had successfully decapitated the accused. It was now pitch black out. While the stars may have burnt bright, it was not enough light to see even ten inches in front of himself. The King lifted the blade and changed his stance as though he were about to enter combat.

Anteron searched around, yet his eyes had not yet adjusted to the darkness, leaving him practically blind. A muffled growl soon filled the air, followed by the screams of Anteron’s personal guard, and even his wife. Yet, all screams had ended midway through.

“DEILA?!” Anteron shrieked in fear of his wife’s state.

The King soon began to swing the greatsword in his hand, furiously, madly at the air in hopes of hitting whomever had just harmed his wife. Anteron continued to blindly swing his sword in the darkness. All the movement caused the crown atop his head to fall and make a thud against the dirt floor. Suddenly his sword caught resistance on something. Anteron wasn’t sure what he’d just cut, but the sword went clean through.

It was just then that his eyes had adjusted, and standing before him was Deila. A frozen look of fear was upon her face, and then the upper part of Deila’s body slid from the rest of her body. Anteron had just cut his wife clean in half. He dropped the greatsword and rushed over, even though it was no use. Not even the greatest doctors could save someone cut clean in half by Ulav steel. He kneeled down and examined her face, yet it was not frozen in pain or shock from the cut of the blade, but instead of what she saw in the moments leading to her death.

Anteron rose to his feet once more and turned around, in an attempt to see what she had seen just moments before dying. What the King saw mortified him. On the floor, near his crown, was the silhouette of one of his personal guards, as though he were burnt into the dirt. Near where the torch was, another silhouette was burnt into the ground. Yet, there were only two, and Anteron had been accompanied by four guards and his wife. The torch standing upright in the ground soon reignited on its own, revealing the man who murdered his son was gone, accompanied by the sound of a puff coming from behind Anteron. He turned around to look where his wife once was, but only saw the dark outline of where she’d lied. Anteron dropped to the floor and clumsily took a grasp of the greatsword he’d once held with pride. The King rose to his feet a last time and exclaimed to the escaped criminal:

“You will feel the wrath of my family combin-”

And like that, Anteron joined the three silhouettes, making a fourth.

Written by TheJangoLegacy
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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