Christian had opened his eyes slightly while laying comfortably in bed. His head sunken deeply in his overly soft pillow and covered by his fat plush blankets. After all he had been through the past few days, he had truly felt at peace laying safe and sound in his own bed again. He stretched his arms and back hard to assist awakening him from his sleep. The young prince lay still for a moment before fully waking up and realizing the events of the day.
“Oh yeah!” he recalled, sitting up immediately.
He hopped out of bed like a child on Christmas morning and rushed into his bathroom to brush his teeth, take a shower, and use the areas ‘facilities’. Twenty five minutes later the brown haired teenager had dried off from his shower and already started dressing up for the royal ceremony. Christian pulled up his underwear and blue pants, tightened his belt, put on his shirt and vest, then fastened his buttons on his golden trimmed open white coat. Christian walked over to his dresser to pull out a pair of his socks when he noticed the news vans already parked outside within the castle walls.
The media must have arrived early this morning and started setting up. The young prince tilted his lips to the side when he saw that the annoying Pip Gordan’s news station van was parked outside as well. He sat on his bed and put on his clean socks and a pair of shoes, after that his gloves were slid on and he was ready to go, until he seen his reflection in the mirror and realized his hair was all tangled and messy.
He went into the bathroom again and used the blow-drier to return his hair back to its original full self. After his hair was dry, he saw a small thin patch of hair sticking straight up on the top of his head. He was going to be on camera and in magazines after today and this little bit of hair will make him look so stupid. The prince wet the hair to hold it down, but it didn’t work and only made that part of his hair wet again. He pulled out some of Alisha’s girly hair spray he had stolen from her room before for just such an occasion. Alisha’s hair spray did the trick, but left a fruity feminine scent in his hair.
Once completely prepared for the historic day the prince hurried out of his room and barged into Kaz and Wade’s room.
“Good morning guys!” he spouted happily after turning on the light, “Go head’n get up, today’s tha big day!”
Kaz and Wade lay in their separate beds only half awake. They barely opened their eyes and groaned.
“How can you still be sleeping?” he questioned, then left the room and shut the door behind him.
“We should’ve left him in the forest.” Kaz grumbled.
Wade groaned in agreement and buried his face deeper into his pillow.
The young prince hurried across the hallway to Wraith and Vincent’s room. He barged in like before and turned on the light. The two were still sleeping in their separate beds, but were starting to wake from the bright light.
“Come on guys, today’s tha ceremony!” Christian reminded with excitement.
Both Vincent and Wraith glared at the prince with a look for murder. Christian ran out of the room avoiding thrown objects from both angry youths who were rudely awoken. The objects hit the sides of the doors, narrowly missing the prince’s head. Christian shut the door behind him still capable of hearing their cursing him for waking them up.
“Dang, what’s their problem?” he asked a loud, “Nobody seems to be as excited today. Doesn’t make any sense.” he discussed with himself.
Christian approached Rufus’ room and opened the door and accidentally witnessed Rufus’ naked butt.
“AH! Sorry!” Christian chuckled and averted his eyes.
Rufus was changing clothes when Christian opened the door and hurriedly pulled up his boxers and a clean pair of pants.
“HEY! What tha heck’s wrong with you!?” Rufus complained.
“Me? You’re the one walking around naked, what’s wrong with you?” the prince jokingly asked back.
“I’m changing! What kind’a person just intrudes into another person’s bedroom without knocking first?” the young man complained out of embarrassment.
Rufus walked over to the door and shut it, which also pushed Christian back into the hallway.
“Hey?!” he responded while being shut out, “I was gonna remind you about tha ceremony today!” Christian yelled through the door.
“I knew that, I’m not an idiot! We all talked about that yesterday!” Rufus countered.
The prince made a few goofy faces from the other side of the door while Rufus talked back.
Christian left the guest hall and walked over to the stairwell. He looked over and saw ambassador Hikaru instructing members of the staff on where to go. It looked a bit chaotic with all of the butlers, maids, and chefs running around back and forth. Even though organizing celebratory ceremonies and special events wasn’t in Hikaru’s job description, he loved doing it. It was additional work related stress, but since he did it so well and is always praised for outdoing himself the king allowed him to organize them.
“G’morning Hikaru.” Christian welcomed as he walked down the curved stairs.
Hikaru looked up at an angle and saw the prince coming down, “Good morning young prince.” he replied, “WE’RE GONNA NEED MORE CHAIRS!” he shouted at the staff unexpectedly.
Christian was startled by his sudden outburst, but it was common behavior for the ambassador before such events. He walked through the flowing traffic of staff to reach the ambassador.
“Everything going well?” the prince asked.
“Smashingly, smashingly, look could you do me a little favor...” Hikaru stopped due to a distraction behind the prince, “BRING MORE OF THOSE ROSES, WE’RE GONNA NEED MORE OF THEM!” he shouted unexpectedly.
Christian’s eyes widened from the ambassador’s sudden yelling and was startled once more.
“As I was saying, could you check up on your sister for me and make sure that she’s prepared?” Hikaru asked lightly.
“Sure, no problem.” Christian replied.
“Thank you, I haven’t heard from her nor Raziel. I certainly hope they’re ready by now, we haven’t much time left to spare before the ceremony begins.” Hikaru stressed and looked at his watch, “Where is that orchestra already?” Hikaru paused for a slight moment and sniffed the air, “Where’s that watermelon smell coming from?” he asked.
Christian shrugged his shoulders and played oblivious to the smell knowing full well it was Alisha’s hair spray in his hair. He turned away and walked through the castle to see if Alisha was ready for the ceremony, but the young prince was not quick enough to leave before hearing another outburst from Hikaru. The young brown haired teenager wandered through the castle and finally reached the princess’ room. He knocked at the door to see if she was inside.
“Who is it?” a feminine voice questioned from inside.
“It’s me, can I come in?” he asked.
Christian waited with no response back, he almost knocked on the door again until he heard the door unlocking from the other side.
Alisha cracked open the door just a little to peer through and see her visitor, she sighed once she noticed he older brother on the other side.
“You know, ‘it’s me’ doesn’t really answer the ‘who is it’ question.” she complained.
Christian rolled his eyes, “Ya ready yet?” he asked impatiently.
Alisha walked over to her dresser with all of her perfumes, jewelry, brushes, and make-up set out. She sat down in front of it to see her reflection in its large circular mirror. The princess sat properly with her legs crossed and tilted her head to adjust her hair and add a few more flower petal hair pins.
“Don’t you mean, ‘are you ready’?” she asked correcting his speech.
“Ugh! Stop doing that.” he groaned reaching his hands outward.
“And to answer your question, yes.” she answered making one final adjustment to her hair as if it were a work of art.
“Okay good, cause I think we gotta hurry. Hikaru acts like the ceremony’s gonna start any minute.” Christian warned.
“Alright.” she replied only looking at her younger brother’s reflection in the mirror rather than turning around.
Alisha watched the prince leave her room to return down stairs. Once she was alone, she grabbed a pink bottle of perfume and sprayed both sides of her neck and her hair. The perfume left a sparkling dust on her like glitter. She looked behind herself suspiciously with the mirror and saw no one was around. She then sprayed the top of her cleavage, closed her eyes, and inhaled the intoxicating aroma. The girly princess looked at her reflection and was pleased with her work, she sparkled as she smiled back at herself in the mirror.
“Perfection.” she said, complimenting herself.
Meanwhile, outside the castle Pip Gordan stood outside looking at his reflection in the news van’s side mirror. He straightened the hairs on his mustache and smiled smugly. The older man turned to look at his camera man.
“This is gonna be good. We need to really make this story count, Carl. Everybody else killed us the other night with their coverage about the forest of darkness. I blame you for that failure Carl, but don’t beat yourself up about it, just think of it as strike fifty four.” he scolded while fixing his tie. “I knew I shouldn’t have used that lawn gnome story those soldiers told us. I looked like a total buffoon, a laughing stock. Needless to say, I blame you for that little shenanigan, but don’t beat yourself up over it Carl, just think of it as strike fifty five.” Pip rambled.
Carl opened his mouth to talk, but was quickly cut off by the arrival of the lion king, Xion.
“Shut up Carl and start rolling!” Pip ordered.
Pip Gordan carried on in front of his filming camera man while managing to record the leader of the anthropomorphs. His carriage was pulled by two large bear men and had armored guards on each corner. Once the carriage stopped, he stepped out with his canine comrade Tsao by his side. They were both showered with flashing camera lights by the many news broadcasters waiting to be allowed inside as well. Xion and Tsao were escorted inside with their body guards while leaving the bears to rest after parking the carriage.
Meanwhile in the king and queen’s royal chambers Dorian and Natalia finished getting prepared for the major events of the day. King Dorian stood before a standing mirror and placed his crown upon his head. After doing so he remained in front of the mirror looking into his own eyes. He was lost in deep thought. He placed his hand on his stomach to try and sooth his queezy gut. Natalia had just finished placing her earrings on when she noticed Dorian holding his stomach. The queen walked into their restroom and searched through the medicine cabinet and returned with a glass of water and two white pills.
Natalia handed the glass and medication over to her husband, “Here, you’re upsetting your stomach again.”
“No, I’ll be fine.” Dorian refused.
“Just take the antacid, you always upset your stomach when you get nervous.”
Dorian turned away from the mirror and looked at his loving wife, “How could you tell?” he asked taking the medication and washing it down with the glass of water she gave him.
“After twenty years of marriage you start to pick up on a few things. Plus, you grabbing your stomach was a dead giveaway.” she replied with a smile.
Dorian placed the glass down on the dresser next to him while Natalia reached over and picked up his royal fur to drape over his back.
“Now what’s got you so nervous, hm?” she prodded while pinning the pendant to hold the fur in place.
Dorian took a breath for a moment before answering, “It’s just, we have a historic day ahead of us today. The Kamisama armor and a second shot at this treaty, I just can’t afford to blow it this time.”
His wife could see her husband’s concern, she finished adjusting his robe and placed her hands on both sides of his face, “Today is your day, enjoy it.” she said looking him in the eyes, “Today is your day to make history.”
Dorian smiled feeling easier with his wife’s comforting words. She leaned in and kissed him on the lips.
“You’re right as always Talia, thank you.”
A knock at the door interrupted the moment, “Your majesty?”
Dorian sighed and turned his head half way, “Yes?” asking the voice behind the door.
“Xion of the anthromorphs has arrived, he and the ambassador await your presence in the conference hall.” the informant explained.
“Thank you.” he replied, excusing the messenger. Dorian held his wife’s arms near her shoulders. He took a deep breath and looked at her confidently, “Let’s go make history.” he said giving her a quick kiss on the lips.
Xion and Tsao sat at the round table inside the conference hall with ambassador Hikaru.
Xion leaned over and whispered to Tsao, “That intoxicating fruity smell from the hallways must be from the lovely princess.” he explained.
“You think so?” Tsao asked.
“Yeah, the younger human females sometimes prefer to take on the smells of delicious fruit.” he explained from his limited human interactions in the past.
“Peculiar.” Tsao replied.
“I just returned from Bellease. The mountain sides there are just simply breath taking and there’s something about the soil, I don’t know what it is but the fruit there is like none other.” Hikaru raved about a foreign land in order the keep from the silence. Hikaru always preferred small chit-chat over awkward silence, or in this case distant whispering.
Tsao’s ears began twitching indicating that he had heard something of interest in the distance, “They’re here.” he informed standing up and adjusting his collar.
Xion stood from the table with Tsao, both watching the tall creatively designed doors. Hikaru stood looking at the black lion and gray canine and the entrance as well, curiously wondering what they anticipated. Once the doors had actually opened and the Vailstone king and queen entered with Natalia’s right arm around Dorian’s left arm. The ambassador realized Tsao’s hearing was unlike his own and was in wonderment.
“Very impressive.” Hikaru complimented to Tsao.
King Dorian approached Xion with a firm hand shake, “Hello once again friend, I’m honored you could join us on this special occasion.” he said happily.
“As am I.” Natalia added.
Xion smiled, “I’m pleased there were no hard feelings from before. Surely you understand we cannot disobey the warnings of the sacred elder.”
“I understand completely.” Dorian replied, “So, shall we discuss the terms and conditions of our treaty?”
“Let’s not rush into things. Let us partake in your ceremonies this evening and afterwards we shall consult with the sacred elder once more. I want this treaty as much as you do Dorian, but the co-existence of man-kind with anthro-kind is a very delicate matter and these are very delicate times. So, let’s live in the moment for today and discuss business for tonight.” Xion replied.
“Certainly, Hikaru, please show king Xion and Tsao here to their seats for this evening.” Dorian instructed.
“Why yes your majesty. Please, right this way.” Hikaru requested by motioning the direction with his arm and a slight bow.
Xion and Tsao followed Hikaru out of the conference room with the ambassador creating more small talk.
Natalia smiled up at Dorian excitedly and happily patted the back of his hand closest to her. Dorian tensed up his arm and smiled back at her.
“I knew you could do this.” Natalia admitted.
“So far so good.” Dorian replied happily.
The king and queen walked out of the conference room still holding each other’s arm and made their way to the ballroom where the ceremony was to be held since it was the only room large enough to accommodate so many guests comfortably.
Meanwhile outside a side entrance to the ballroom stood the five remaining swordsman. Vincent cracked a door open and his eyes widened at the sight of all the guests.
“I didn’t realize there’d be so many people. There must be half the kingdom out there.” he confessed sounding a tad intimidated.
“Hee, don’t worry kid. I’m sure your mom and dad and all your little school buddies are out there for ya today.” Kaz tried encouraging with a slap on Vincent’s back.
Vincent glared at Kaz through the corner of his eyes with complete disapproval.
“I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m kinda nervous.” Rufus admitted with a wipe of his moist forehead.
“There’s really no need to nervous Rufus, I’ve been in front of massive crowds of people before numerous times. It’s not as scary as you’d perceive it to be.” Wade explained, “If it helps though, try taking a deep breath and release it slowly, like this.”
Wade demonstrated the breathing technique to try and help Rufus settle his nervousness. Rufus mimicked Wade and followed in sync with him. Wraith subtly did the same while no one was watching him.
They slowly breathed out again and while Wraith and Rufus slowly took another deep breath, Wade gasped at the startling sight of his approaching childhood friend.
“Amanda?! You’re out of the hospital, that’s great!” he responded with joy.
Amanda walked up to Wade with a smile and placed her hands on both sides of Wade’s arm’s, “Yeah, I’m out and healthy as a horse thanks to you.” She thanked as if leading on to something else.
“I rescued her from a burning building.” Wade bragged to Kaz and Rufus, who weren’t present at that time.
“He did, he sure did.” she agreed while tightening her grip around his arms.
Wade ignored the pain and continued smiling, “Ouh, you’re hurting me.” he told her subtly.
“Tell me Wade, how DID you save me?” she asked.
“I carried you out.” he answered.
“And did we not get attacked by the floating masks?” she followed up and squeezed his arms tighter.
“I blasted’em with the fire hose in the stair well.” he answered quickly to try negating further pain.
Kaz, Vincent, Wraith, and Rufus all stood by watching and confused, not exactly sure where this interrogation was leading.
“And how did you get into the LOCKED stair well?” Amanda asked further.
“I got the key out of your breast…pocket.” Wade answered stumbling upon the discovery of his friend’s wrath.
A flame light in Amanda’s eyes, “I knew it you pervert! You were coping a feel while I was passed out you sickie!” she yelled hitting on Wade who began blocking her attacks.
“NO, NO, NO, NO, it’s not like that! I wasn’t feeling you up. I mean yeah, I touched your boob, but it wasn’t great or anything.” he blurted out while defending himself.
“What?!” she shouted.
“NA! I mean it was great! I liked it, but I didn’t like it!” Wade explained burying himself further.
Amanda continued pummeling upon Wade’s arm and back while he kept blocking.
“You’re sick! You know that?! You’re really sick!” she complained.
A few guards rushed over to the scene, “Is there a problem here?” the guard asked.
Wade looked at the guard curiously and thought for a moment. He had two options here, one: allow his friend to express her disapproval of him touching her body without his permission and help her to calm down, or two: lie and make things worse.
“Yes, this strange woman is bothering me.” he almost immediately replied.
“Alright, let’s go lady.” the guard ordered.
Three guards grabbed hold of Amanda and restrained her and began dragging her down the hallway.
“Huh? Wade! Wade, come on this isn’t funny! Wade! Wade help me!” Amanda pleaded.
“Bye strange lady.” Wade replied while waving at the stressed manager.
“Wade! WADE!!!!!!” she yelled as they turned the corner.
“That lady’s gonna kill you later.” Vincent stated plainly.
“Na, she’ll get over it.” Wade naively brushed off the accurate warning while prying the side entrance open to see the quantity of guests for the ceremony, “Not a bad turn out for such short notice.”
Hikaru quickly shut the entrance door to stop Wade’s peeking, “What short notice? I notified the media which broadcast an open invitation to most of the higher class and our regulars.” he explained defensively.
“The ‘higher’ class, huh?” Wraith pointed out.
Hikaru snubbed his nose and straightened his jacket. He was already less than pleased with Wraith’s perception of him and the wealthy. A cell phone sounded off in Hikaru’s back pocket. The ambassador removed the cellular phone and accepted the call.
“Hello? Ah. Um huh, okay then. And we’re good to go?” Hikaru closed his phone and put it back in his pocket. He clapped his hands together once, “Alright, remember what we discussed over dinner last night.” he reminded the five swordsmen. “Alright? Walk in the front row facing the thrones and remain standing until the king and queen are seated, okay?”
“Why ask us if we remember and then remind us of what was said?” Vincent asked the ambassador addressing the un-needed reminder.
Hikaru frowned and opened the entrance door, “Let’s go.” he swiftly groaned.
Each of the seven swordsmen walked into the ballroom in an orderly line. The elaborately decorated ballroom had multiple expensive sparkling diamond chandeliers hanging over head and overly sized bouquets placed on the outside of every other row of seated guests. An orchestra was stationed in seats behind a velvet rope off to the side of the room. The skilled musicians began playing as the five swordsmen entered.
They each walked to the vacant seats near the center of the aisle that were specifically left for them. To Hikaru’s disappointment, Rufus sat down in his seat immediately once he reached it. His nerves were plaguing him so badly he had already forgotten. The heavy teen jumped out of his seat and remained standing once he noticed the other swordsmen did not sit. Wade and Rufus stood properly while Kaz, Wraith, and Vincent stood in a relaxed almost slouching position.
King Dorian and his royal family approached Hikaru who was still outside the ballroom, Carmon and the anthropomorphs were waiting for their signal to enter on the opposite side.
Hikaru turned once the royal family had walked up to him and the entrance to the ballroom, “Oh, your majesty excellent, I’ve received word from general Grechov. He has retrieved the terrain dosser of fallen soldiers and should arrive back by tonight.”
“Good, glad to hear it.” Dorian replied with a head nod of approval.
Queen Natalia stood between Alisha and Christian with her arms around both of them, “I think everyone’s ready?” she asked.
Alisha and Christian smiled and nodded in response to their loving mother.
Hikaru smiled heavily, “Excellent! Very good.” he said while gesturing with is hands.
Hikaru walked through the entrance doors and stood before a few steps that led up to the royal seats. He was positioned at the end of the center aisle before addressing everyone with his opening speech.
“Ladies and gentlemen of Vailstone, members of the press, today promises to be a day like none other. This evening, a pivotal milestone for our fare kingdom will be met right before your very eyes. As you all are aware, the castle was attacked recently by a wicked specter, sent by a distant enemy, but by the leadership of our brave and righteous king that enemy was brought to justice. While in this pursuit for justice, these five heroes faced unimaginable dangers and put their lives on the line for the safety of the royal family and the citizens of Vailstone. How about a round of applause?” Hikaru requested pointing them out in the front row.
Wade, Vincent, Kaz, Rufus, and Wraith each turned and faced the massive crowd clapping for their altruism. Hikaru smiled happily while looking at them and joining in on the clapping himself. While facing the guests, a constant barrage of flashing camera lights blinded the five swordsmen. Wade, Rufus, and Kaz returned their enthusiasm with a smile and a wave of gratitude while Vincent and Wraith barely cracked a smirk and lazily flicked their wrists to wave back and shield their eyes.
Seth, however, sat in his living room watching the live event on his television at home. He sat in a slouched position in his favorite recliner while eating a bowl of cereal. His sword was inside its sheath and leaned up against his chair.
Hikaru finished clapping with the guests and continued on, “Now, let’s witness history in the making and continue on with the celebration! All rise for your royal majesty, King Dorian Doltan and his royal highness!” Hikaru requested with much hype and pointed everyone’s direction to the side entrance.
The orchestra began loudly playing the kingdom’s anthem as the king led the royal family into the ballroom. He and his family smiled and waved at the crowd and the flashing cameras. Natalia, Christian, and Alisha had all sat down in their seats while Dorian remained standing in front of his. He had such a huge grin with his arms extended outward in acceptance of their applause. The clapping continued for some time until he held up his hand to silence the room.
“Thank you. Thank you, but before we proceed with today’s ceremonies, I would like to introduce today’s guest of honor. We the people of Vailstone are an amazing, adaptable, and understanding people unlike any other side of the continent. That which is new to us is not shunned away, but instead accepted. That which is different is not feared, but instead understood. I request of all of you once more to look deep into each of your loving hearts, to understand and accept our new neighbors. Please welcome King Xion of the anthromorphs!” Dorian happily requested.
The side doors on the opposite side of the room opened. Carmon stood by as the black lion walked inside the ballroom with the gray dog behind him. He walked up the steps and shook hands with king Dorian. The two stood side by side and smiled for the media. Carmon closed the side door and walked over to the front row opposite of the five swordsmen and sat down.
Xion stood facing the people of Vailstone and spoke, “I am thankful for all of your kindness and understanding. We anthro kind may appear different from all on the outside, but I assure you we are all the same on the inside. I foresee a treaty with us and the great kingdom of Vailstone highly possible. I hope our negotiations well go over well, for this kingdom and its people have grown a special place in my heart, thank you.” he finished off by waving and smiling with his large fangs.
Dorian and Xion shook hands one last time before sitting down side by side. Once the two kings had been seated the remainder of the ballroom’s occupancy sat down.
King Dorian raised his right hand, “Let the ceremonies begin!” he ordered.
The orchestra professionally played its music while dancing performance artists entertained before the crowd and the royalty. Each dancer leapt high in the air kicking their legs about elegantly. They expressed an emotional presence through their dance. Carmon sat watching the performance, but couldn’t help but wonder where her father was. She had known he wasn’t meant to be present for the show, but she hadn’t seen him all morning or that afternoon. She turned her head to the left and looked into two empty seats one of her father’s and the other seat was always reserved for the royal mystic. Carmon had wondered what had become of the elementalist for a brief moment before returning her attention back to the entertainers.
A vast majority of businesses were closed today so most citizens of Vailstone could stay home and partake in the historic triumph of their kingdom. Inside the electronics department of a giant retail store rest multiple flat screen televisions all on different news broadcasting channels recording the events at the Vailstone kingdom. Near the middle of the closed store laid singed tile, a massive sofa was relocated to the electronics department and set in the middle of all the television screens. Fire starter sat reclined on the side of the couch with his frail arm on the arm rest. His feet kicked up on a knocked over shelf and several remote controls beside him.
Grunt walked over and handed Fire starter a box of popcorn, “Sweet! Tha extra buttery kin’!” Fire starter happily noted. The ancient fire elementalist opened the box and grabbed a bag. “Hurry n’ si’down before ya miss somethin’, Grunt. I’m interested ta see how this n’s gonna play out.”
Grunt sat down on the couch and snapped something within the structure of the couch. Fire starter chuckled in response then relaxed and allowed the bag of popcorn to begin popping in his heated hands. His staff was propped up against the side of the couch he was seated on.
“…………………,……?” Grunt wondered.
“We’ll find out.” Fire starter replied with anticipation while opening his bag of popped buttery popcorn and eating from underneath his wicker hat.
Once the dancers were finished four popular magicians used their magic to dazzle the eyes. Sparkling designs presented themselves and interacted with the other magician’s magic. It was a breathtaking sight watching animals created and formed from fireworks, moving around and interacting with each other. A worm eaten by a bird, eaten by a snake, eaten by mongoose which ran with a shining trail of glitter following behind it. The mongoose jumped and burst into an amazing display of swirling designs. The magicians certainly put on quiet a finale that light up the entire room. The royal family and lion king certainly enjoyed the performance.
King Dorian stood from his throne clapping as the magicians took their bow before the audience. They left the ballroom once he began to speak and the clapping audience stopped to hear their king.
“Marvelous, simply marvelous!” he said with great pleasure. “Hikaru you’ve certainly done well this evening.” he complimented.
Hikaru smiled heavily and nod in the king’s acceptance. The ambassador certainly appreciated the acknowledgment of his efforts.
King Dorian looked out at the crowd, “We have much to celebrate this evening. The return of our guests,” he said directing attention to Xion and Tsao with his arm, “the heroism of these five brave souls,” he explained pointing to the five swordsmen, “but also the bravery of another. For this quest was unlike any other before it.” he stated looking at Christian.
Dorian motioned for him to stand and walk over to him. The prince stood and walked over to his father while blushing from the embarrassment of being pointed out in front of the huge crowd. Queen Natalia smiled at her young prince who had started his journey into manhood. Alisha, however, looked at her older brother the same as she always had. She didn’t see what the difference one quest would make in an individual.
King Dorian put his arm around the back of Christian’s shoulders, “This latest venture marked the first of my son’s many journeys yet to come. Your prince had left a boy and returned a man!” he exclaimed excitedly, receiving a huge round of applause from the crowd. Dorian looked at his son, “Keep it up boy and someday you’ll surpass your old man as an adventurer.” he informed smiling.
Christian was flattered by the audience and even more so by his father’s compliment. His body language revealed his bashfulness.
“Not only did my boy face the dangers of the forest of darkness and survive, but he also discovered a legend thought to have been nothing more than a myth. A gift from God himself, the armor of Kamisama!” Dorian pronounced proudly and extended his right arm forward directing everyone’s attention the two large entrance doors to the ballroom at the end of the center aisle.
Whispering began sounding through the crowd as everyone turned in their seats and looked back at the doors. The media cameras were focused on the entrance awaiting the exposure of the legendary armor.
“Get ready for this.” Pip Gordan ordered his cameraman who focused his camera lens on the doors perfecting the clarity.
Fire starter sat up and leaned closer to the flat screen televisions while still sitting in the retail stores electronics department, anticipating the destiny of the holiest of armors. Media cameras began flashing like lightning in a severe thunderstorm, taking hundreds of pictures. Some of the guest remained seated and gazed in complete awe while everyone else stood to their feet and happily began clapping to celebrate the success of the Vailstone kingdom’s efforts.
Xion’s sense of awareness was more heightened then that of a human’s and could tell by the reaction of the king that something was not right. All of the swordsmen slowly stood up in confusion over what was in their sights. Rufus chuckled slightly, but was still uncertain of the situation. Carmon stood nervously looking between the reaction of the king and her father standing at the entrance of the ballroom in the armor of Kamisama. Hikaru and Natalia both looked at each other curiously, wondering if this change was planned.
Raziel slowly walked inside glimmering in the golden armor of complete protection. He smiled waving to everyone, basking in their celebration. King Dorain and Christian stood beside each other and before the celebrating crowd in confusion. The young prince wondered if he misunderstood the procedures of the ceremony, but looked up at his father’s face and realized he was not pleased.
Raziel stood in front of the royal thrones and faced the citizens of Vailstone waving his arms in the air encouraging their cheers.
King Dorian placed his arm down ordering Christian to remain where he stood, “Stay here.” he told his son.
The king walked down the steps and approached Raziel from behind and tapped his back to get his attention. The armor of Kamisama prevented Raziel from feeling any force the king applied so the grand duke remained cheering on the crowd.
Dorain walked around to Raziel’s side, “Just what do you think you’re doing in my armor? I thought I told you to just bring it out to me. Now everyone’s going to think it’s yours or something.” he scolded his long term friend quietly while smiling and waving at the crowd.
“Change in plans.” Raziel informed the king while grinning back at the citizens.
“What do you mean ‘change in plans’?” Dorain inquired letting on nothing was wrong.
“I’m going to keep the armor instead.” the grand duke informed.
The king looked at Raziel with surprise then quickly went back to waving at the mass of applauding guests, “The hell you will, unless you want to be arrested for treason.” the king threatened.
“For treason?!” Raziel asked, stunned at the king’s immediate response to this turn of events.
Xion and Tsao’s hearing capabilities where far advanced over everyone else’s and heard the king and grand duke’s ominous conversation. Xion nodded at Tsao who was watching his king for his reaction. The two anthromorphs stood from their seats and began exiting to the side doors from wince they came. Dorian noticed from the corner of his eye and hurried back up the steps to plead their decision. His historic day and celebratory ceremony were all falling apart in an instant.
“Wait! Wait! Wait! Where you going? We still have work to discuss!” Dorian panicked.
Xion turned and faced the king, “This is obviously not a good time. Perhaps when you and your staff can get along with each other then perhaps your kind will be ready to get along with mine, until then king Dorian.” the black lion explained and removed himself from the situation.
Tsao followed closely behind his king, both wasting no time in leaving.
King Dorian became furious, “You traitorous fool! Look what you’ve done!” Dorian snapped yelling back at Raziel.
The cheering crowd quickly stopped clapping and praising the heroic grand duke as the situation grew worse.
“You get’n this?” Pip asked his camera man.
Carl nodded at Pip while still recording the failure of the ceremony. Pip smiled knowing his ratings would increase for sure.
“What I’ve done?! TRAITOROUS!? Me?!” Raziel snapped back asking clearly upset.
Dorian began walking back to his throne then stopped and looked directly at the grand duke, “Yes! A traitor just like the mystic, sabotaging everything. Ruining my chances with the anthromorphs further and stealing my armor from me!”
“You’re actually comparing me to Fire Starter?” Raziel replied stunned by the comparison.
On the other side of the kingdom Grunt nudged Fire starter’s arm as his name was dropped on television, “I heard. I heard.” Fire starter acknowledged while grinning and dropping popcorn from his mouth.
“Yes, exactly the same. What are you both conspiring against me or something?!” Dorian accused.
“How dare you. Rambling on like a fool up there, questioning my loyalty.” Raziel argued.
“How dare I!? A FOOL you say!? Your disloyalty is obvious to me now. Guards take him away and out of my sights until I’ve decided what to do with him.” Dorian ordered with disgust.
Soldiers rushed over to the grand duke’s sides. Carmon gasped at the horrible sight. The guards placed their hands on Raziel and tried moving him, but he was as firm as a mountain. They weren’t even capable of moving a strand of hair on his head let alone his arms or body. The grand duke angrily looked at the soldiers attempting to arrest him. The guards swallowed nervously as their hands began to quiver. They slowly backed away from the deadly threat.
King Dorian curiously looked at the grand duke and the retreating guards, “What’s the meaning of this?”
“We couldn’t move him your majesty.” a soldier explained, “I think it’s the armor.”
“Then remove it at once!” the king angrily ordered.
Several soldiers rushed to the grand duke’s sides and tried their best removing his gauntlets and chest plate, but to no prevail. Raziel stood in anger for his oldest friend, but did not resist the soldiers attempting to remove his armor, for he knew it was impossible unless he removed it himself. One soldier eventually broke his finger trying his best to unlatch a part of the armor. They quickly gave up seeing their attempts as futile.
“We honestly tried your majesty, but we simply couldn’t move the armor or him.” a soldier apologized.
“I know how to move him.” Dorian explained and raised his hand and motioned with his fingers, “Raise your guns.” he ordered.
“NO!” Carmon called out in worry.
“Dorian!” Natalia called out pleading with her husband.
King Dorian motioned for the queen to settle down, “Now Natalia, he’s putting this all on himself. He knows full well how we treat traitors.”
Raziel glared at Dorian with rage, “How dare you treat me this way, after everything I’ve done for you.” Raziel declared.
The soldiers raised their guns and took aim at the grand duke.
“Your head isn’t protected by the armor Raziel, don’t be a fool.” Dorian threatened having the soldiers aim at the grand duke’s head.
“You accuse me of treachery, but where is your loyalty? Huh! I saved your life countless times over and over again and you show me no appreciation for it. You don’t even show me respect.” Raziel shouted.
“Respect? You think you deserve respect after acting out this way?” Dorian brushed off.
“I did this to save your life!” Raziel explained.
“What? You betrayed me to save my life? Who’s the fool now?” Dorian mocked.
“Look dumbass, you can’t wear the armor because you’re not a true warrior! You couldn’t handle it. It would have killed you!” Raziel snapped back in anger.
Christian and Alisha sat with eyes widened and mouths open, completely stunned at the argument between their father and the grand duke.
“How dare you talk to me that way, and in front of my own children no less! We all know I’m more of a warrior than you ever were, so don’t be absurd.” Dorian yelled back.
“WHAT!?” Raziel laughed, “Have you fallen for your own lies old man? You never saved me once! Hell, you never saved anything in your life, the only reason you managed to help rescue this kingdom years ago is because of me. I’m the one who retrieved the summoning that slayed that warlock, but I only gave it to you so I wouldn’t always have stop what I was doing to rescue your useless butt! Hell, the only reason you married Natalia and became king was because of me. You take everything I give you for granted and without gratitude and now I finally keep something and you’re ready to execute me?! You bastard.” Raziel confronted, opening his eyes to the king’s true personality.
“Lies, all of it!” king Dorian declared.
“Then who was the one who pissed himself in the presence of the dark dragon, huh? Who, who was the one that threw up and passed out when I fought the necromancer and his undead army? You twist all of my stories and switch our roles to try and make yourself look better. What kind of friend does that to another? You didn’t even want to save Vailstone because you feared the warlock so much.” Raziel informed the citizens of Vailstone and the royal family while arguing with the king.
Countless shocked and offended Vailstone citizens gasped at the revealed truths about their ‘honorable’ king.
“Shut your mouth soldier! I’m warning you.” Dorian threatened.
“You said ‘to hell with this kingdom’.” Raziel continued.
“FIRE!” Dorain ordered losing his cool at the exposure of the ugly truth.
Gunfire sound throughout the ballroom, the crowd and orchestra began frantically panicking and retreating from the ballroom in fear of the open gunfire. Carmon screamed as shots fired at her father’s head. Pip Gordan and his camera man were pushed out of the ballroom from the mass of people chaotically running away.
“Hey! Stop! I gotta job ta doooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!” he yelled out as if being washed away by a flood.
The five swordsmen stood in amazement at how drastically everything took a turn for the worse. Raziel stood still standing before king Dorian. The king was startled at the sight of the bullets smashing into flat lumps of metal due to their own force of impacting against the grand duke’s face and even hair! He was completely unaffected by the bullets, but his rage was pushed beyond comprehension. The situation had escalated and was now out of control. Raziel’s eyes expressed murder and revenge. He charged at the soldiers that shot at him and punched them without restraint.
The grand duke’s fists breezed through the soldier’s body’s without any hesitation. A single punch ripped the men in half. Alisha screamed with tears in her eyes, never had she experienced such a fearful sight.
Kaz witnessed the ceremony turn into a blood bath, “I don’t need money this bad.” he stated and turned running off into the crowd of panicking civilians.
Wade noticed Kaz run off and it donned on him to find his friend Amanda and escape before things became even worse!
Wade rushed by Rufus, Wraith, and Vincent to find Amanda, “Hey, where you go’n?” Vincent asked grabbing Wade’s arm.
“Find Amanda and get the hell outta here!” Wade replied in a hurry and rushed to find his friend and leave.
The other attacking soldiers rushed over to restrain the grand duke, but were ragdolled effortlessly.
“That’s it! I’ve had enough of you Raziel, you’ve over stepped your boundaries this time!” Dorian yelled out angrily. The king grabbed his staff resting against the side of his throne and raised it into the air, “I call upon you once more, Arda fravas!”
An intense light beamed from the crystal in the king’s staff, the room had somehow become darker. Raziel watched knowing the dangers the holy summoning possessed. A huge ball of fire originated above the king’s head when suddenly four light blue colored arms appeared to originate from the top. Then the head and torso of the protective summoning appeared. A huge four armed blue skinned being as big as a house came forth to remove the king’s threat.
Hikaru stood from his seat and slowly walked away never once turning his back to the amazing summoning which he had never seen before, “Oh shit.” he quietly muttered to himself.
“You know anyone with a wicked heart or harmful intent cannot subdue Arda fravas.” king Dorian reminded Raziel. “Arda fravas, use your judgment upon this fiend!” the king ordered.
Raziel’s eyes widened with panic, Arda fravas’ judgment attack was an unavoidable spell that would instantly remove the life force of the summoning’s opponent. It was an attack that was sure to kill the grand duke!
Arda fravas’ hands began to beam bright light, it extended all arms outward and then clapped its upper set of arms together. A vehicle sized balancing scale appeared behind the summoning, all watched the scale waver slightly in anticipation until tipping all to its left, indicating death for its target.
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