A Shattered Confession:Part Six
The courtroom was quiet for a second before it exploded into a cacophony of outrage, the screaming voices loud enough to send the tables and court stand shaking slightly. A large group of knights hastily marched in from both the side doors and back double doors, the knights in the back mercilessly shoving past innocent villagers who wanted nothing more than to escape the carnage the axe had brought upon them. Soon, the knights surrounded Sylvana with their weapons all pointed at her, but she hardly seemed to notice it.
It wasn’t the first time she had instruments of death pointed at her heart.
The kougra judge raised her gavel once again only to bring it down with a resounding slam.
“Order will be restored in this court!” She commanded.
The room gradually reduced itself to silence as the room was slowly fixed up, to its previous state. Fallen court goers were helped up as overturned chairs and stools were turned upright. Everyone gradually took their seats as the bailiff and the two magistrates leaned forward to stare at a newly formed scorch mark that burnt itself on the far reaches of the stone walls. Sir Alexander, who had been thrown back against Sylvana’s stand earlier shakily rose to his feet and took the axe in his hand. For the first time, he felt the true weight of the weapon as he glanced over the runes, who’s magic energy was starting to fade away in strength. Despite its shattered blade, the axe was still nonetheless a threat as its purple runes still glowed, albeit very faintly.
“Destroy it!,” a voice from the court goers shouted.
“Get rid of it! It will destroy everything and everyone if it stays unsheathed!” Another voice rang out.
Acting quickly, two knights broke from the circle surrounding Sylvana to help Sir Alexander wrap the axe head, hopefully to prevent any further damage.
The judge turned her attention from the axe to the kyrii behind the stand, who was still on her knees. “Sylvana.”
“It’s my fault.” Sylvana did not raise her head. “Sir Aldrid and those innocent people...they’re gone because of me.” Her voice was hollow, as if her very soul had been stolen out of her chest. In truth, Sylvana felt just that, like her soul and heart had both been ripped out, and nothing took its place. She slowly brought herself to stare at everyone in the courtroom, with some of the crowd looking quite shaken from the earlier carnage.
“You understand what you are confessing to, correct?”
Though hesitant, Sylvana slowly nodded yes.
“Why did you do commit such a heinous crime?” the judge asked, her tone unrelenting and unforgiving.
“I-I…” Her voice shook in her throat, until she gathered her courage to fully answer again.
“I don’t know.”
Even if it was a pathetic excuse for an answer, Sylvana couldn’t think of any other answer to give her. She truly had no idea why she did what she did all those years ago. Whether it was an accident or on purpose what had happened, nonetheless, she was guilty of her crimes, a truth she had been running from for such a long time. Shaky tears started to form in the corners of her crimson eyes, which trailed down her cheeks (as she was unable to wipe them away because of her bound hands) until they fell onto the cold, unforgiving ground below.
The judge glared at Sylvana, expecting more to be said, whether it was further testimonies or a sudden denial of all accusations laid against her. But no further words came out of the young kyrii’s mouth, which further exemplified her undeniable guilt. Taking in a breath, the kougra turned to the bailiff.
“This concludes the showcasing of our newly discovered evidence. You shall remained bound here in this courtroom until your sentencing. In the meantime, anyone who wishes to speak with you can do so before sunrise tomorrow. When we all return in the morning, we fully expect you to still remain in this room to face your sentencing. Understood?”
Sylvana did not answer as the tears continued streaming down her blue-grey fur. But the judge did not appear to care whether or not she got one as she spoke again, now speaking to everyone in the room.
“My fellow magistrates and I will consult with Kayla and King Skarl before we discuss a fitting punishment for your crimes. Everyone is now dismissed.” The kougra raised her arm and slammed her gavel down in one more forceful strike before standing up, followed by the magistrates beside her and the large crowd of court goers. As she watched each pet leave out the large double doors, Sylvana failed to spot the yellow ogrin or red blumaroo that were Elijah or Arya amidst the departing crowd. No matter where they had gone, they had abandoned her.
Sylvana sighed in slight defeat. She should have seen it coming. They left her, just like everyone else she had ever met. Her comrades in battle had left her, Meridellian knights she saw as the enemy left, and now her own adoptive parents. Just like before, Sylvana was abandoned by the living, only surrounded by the ghosts that endlessly plagued her for most of her life. They would serve as her only company, even on possibly her last night of freedom, and possibly, for the rest of her life.
- - - - - - - -
The full moon had now risen, moonbeams shining through a color stained-glass window. But the light did not reach the shadowed corner where Sylvana leaned against the stone wall, the chains on her hands and wings still heavy. Ever since the trial was dismissed, Sylvana had been mostly alone. Several pets had come to degrade her further with more rotten tomatoes, one particularly vengeful lupe had thrown a rock at her, which created an ugly bruise on Sylvana’s forehead. But for the most part, Sylvana was alone. Sleep had come for her, but it was only for a brief moment as her mind then faced the realization that this night would be the last night as a free kyrii. The next night, and every sunrise and sunset past tonight would be one as seen by an imprisoned beast.
As she started to close her eyes again, Sylvana’s ears perked at the sound of incoming footsteps. It must have been only a few hours before her sunrise and inevitable sentencing. Had someone decided on pursuing their own form of justice, something that couldn’t wait until the next morning?
Wanting to find the answer, Sylvana opened her eyes, and a pair of pale blue eyes greeted her.
“F-Father? What are you doing in here?”
The old yellow ogrin crouched down next to the kyrii as he reached for his pocket, where he held a small bundle. When he unraveled it, a small set of metal tools lay out, which Sylvana recognized from days when Elijah had to fix the carriage that the Whinnys pulled on occasion.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Elijah’s answer sounded like something Arya was to say instead of him. Sarcasm didn’t fit him well. The long beams of moonlight cast a long shadow over Elijah that nearly reached to where Sylana was lying against the wall.
“You have always been such a stubborn girl,” he chastised as he worked away at the cuffs on Sylvana’s wrists. “You will never find peace that way.”
Sylvana only watched as Elijah worked further at the cuffs on her hands, eventually moving to the ones that bound her by the wings. Though she wanted to tell him to leave, the selfish part of her refused. He was possibly the last thing she was going to see before her likely imprisonment in the darkest of dungeons, and if that was the case, Sylvana did not want this moment to pass by quickly. She wanted to hang onto it for as long as she could. Her silence continued once again, until the sound of crumbling stone and approaching footsteps outside of the main double doors caused her ears to perk up once again. Sylvana’s crimson eyes went to Elijah, who’s work paid off, as Sylvana heard a click, and Elijah raised the two chains that once bound her wrists and wings.
“Father, you must run. Someone is here.” Her voice now carried a sharp edge as she took a defensive stance. Elijah hobbled to behind the judge’s table, being able to see only a small glimpse of the darigan kyrii in front of him. Sylvana inhaled deeply as she her legs tensed up, her wings now fully unfurled and her darkened claws ready to strike.
The door suddenly slammed open, causing Sylvana to raise her arms as a shield, wincing. When she opened them again, a figure stood in front of her, shadowed by the full moon behind them and with an unheated longsword in hand. A pair of grey wings were unfurled as well, but unlike Sylvana’s, they were feathery. A pair of piercing golden eyes stared at her dead-on, as a scarred beak turned downwards in a deep frown.
Sylvana gasped as she realized who she was looking at.
The pirate eyrie standing before her nodded.
“Yes. It is me again, darigan.”
The eyrie’s figure was in full view as he took a step towards Sylvana, who retained her own defensive stance. His armoured boots made a resonating clank as he passed through the doorway, one clanking step after another. Looking at him, Sylvana realized he wasn’t like the earlier villagers: he wasn’t going to stop just at the doorway and throw something at her. He was going to come in and face her head on. When he was an arm’s length from Sylvana, the eyrie stopped.
He reached for behind his back, and threw a wrapped bundle with a long grey handle behind it. When metal hit the ground, Sylvana’s axe hit the ground in front of her feet, its purple runes glowing faintly in the darkened courtroom.
“I will ask you only once, Sylvana,” the eyrie stated, his free hand clenched into a fist. “What weighs more on your conscience - your guilt, or your axe?”
To be continued…