Event 5: Blood on Their Hands
Ever since I started writing these small event chapters, I knew I would have to come around in writing the background history for this character. I had alluded to the actual events happening for so long, but I wanted to give readers a taste of what life was like back before the war and all the heartache and terror happened. The majority of the chapter was written to be slow to offset the horrors of the end, this was intentional to have you get a feel for these characters and their life together. I wanted to form some sort of connection before the inevitable events that catapulted this entire fanfic into motion. I hope readers enjoy and appreciate this chapter and I have to thank you all once again for sticking with me to the very end. This event occurs before all other events and prior to the main story. I am now fresh out of ideas for additional chapter content, if any of you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
Event 5: Blood on Their Hands
The filtering rays of sunlight prickled his eyelids as sleep dispersed from his mind. He blinked heavily several times as he shaded his eyes from the harsh light of morning from the rustic window built of mud and thatch. He smiled as he heard a nearby bird chirping on the winds; he much rather enjoyed living out in the country, away from the politics and grandeur of his station in the capital.
He rolled his head to the side to see the slow up and down motion of breathing from the beautiful creature beside him. Her eyes were closed, her posture serene. Her arm and leg were draped across his body, completely enveloping him with the warmth from her touch. He beamed at the wonderful woman who was his wife, the one person who understood him completely. She also agreed with his decision to live outside the capital and only make visits there if his advisors and counselors demanded his prescence.
Reaching over a hand, he removed a lock of hair from her face. Her eyes stirred at his touch and she opened them to behold his scruffy face. Her face cracking a genuine grin, she braided her fingers through his beard.
"Good morning, my love." She cooed softly.
"Good morning, my dear." He replied, putting a hand up to hers, feeling her hand upon his hair. "I'm thinking of shaving it today. You know, to make myself look younger."
She smacked his chest light heartedly, "Don't you dare Brennan! I love the way you look. If I ever come home from the fields and find you clean shaven, I may have to hurt you."
Brennan smirked at this, "Very well my lady. Your wish is my command." He bowed his head beside her in mock deference.
"Oh, you're terrible!" She exclaimed laughing as she pushed him out of the bed, covers entangled with his limbs as he hit the ground in a push-up.
He rose up in false anger as he pointed a finger at her nude form, now uncovered from the blankets lying askew on the floor. "You will pay dearly for that Myra!" She shrieked in terrified glee as he pounced upon her, his hands roving about her soft skin, feeling the budding tips of her nipples.
"Daddy!" A squeal erupted from the nearby room prompting both of them to scramble for the fallen cover and yank it over themselves before their daughter could burst into the room and find them indisposed.
Within moments, a young girl with dashing chestnut hair exploded into the room, her beige nightgown whipping behind her. She ran the short distance from the doorframe to their bed in seconds before leaping onto the bed, much to her delight at her parents yells. She proceeded to fake snap, claw and bite them as they squirmed under the blanket, trying their best to evade their would-be predator. After several minutes of rambunctious mirth, their mood calmed as they held each other close, soaking in the last moments of quiet.
Presently, Myra scruffed her daughter's hair as she carried her off the bed and set her down on the cool rock flooring. "Come now Elysia, let's get dressed and cook daddy up some great porridge this morning." With a wink, "You know, with the special spices you prepared yesterday!"
A dawning realization came to Elysia at this before she winked back, "Ah yes mom! 'Those' spices! I'll get right on it!" The girl gave a mock salute before dashing out of the room.
Brennan cocked an eyebrow at Myra, "Spices? Just what sort of concoction are you making me woman?" He huffed.
She put a finger to her lips, "Oh nothing I'm sure you can't handle." Her lilting laugh bristled his beard as she shook her rump at him as she went to put on a morning dress. He couldn't stay mad at her long. It was going to be a glorious morning.
Stretching his arms wide, he swung them down to his sides as he walked over to the open window and looked out across the fields and crops. He could see his servants just beginning to wheel their barrows out to the stalks of fresh grain, eager to set to harvest that day before it grew too hot. Although he was king, it was the simple pleasures in life he enjoyed. Maybe one day, after the capital was finally finished would they move into the castle that was to be built for him and his family. How strange it would be. He was a farmer at heart yet his people trusted him to lead them.
Brennan had just finished lacing up his boots when the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg began emanating from the kitchen alcove. With audible and visible sniffing, drawing giggles from Elysia as he stalked into the kitchen like a hound dog on a trail, he snuck up on Myra before wrapping his arms around her bulging belly. She yelped at the sudden grasping but relaxed into his embrace as she flipped over the dough pancake.
He dug his face into her neck and nuzzled her skin, making it tickle with the hair of his silver beard. "I can't wait to see what we have produced Myra." He groaned huskily.
She snickered at his advance and shied away from his assaulting facial hair, "What I'm producing is a special batch of pancakes made by your daughter." She smirked, nodding her head towards Elysia, sitting cross-legged on the bench beside them.
"I gathered the spices just last morning out in our backyard daddy!" She piped up cheerfully.
He walked over and ruffled her hair as he sat down beside her, eagerly awaiting the meal that was to come. "A home made meal, from my own little girl?" He said with great dramatic prose, "I can't possibly believe she can cook!"
Elysia scowled her best as she folded her arms crossly. "I can too cook!" She spouted.
"Of that, I have no doubt." Myra confirmed as she waved her crude, wooden spatula at Brennan before resuming the flipping of yet another ready pancake. "She has a good teacher."
Brennan chortled, "As will our second child!"
Myra smiled inwardly as she placed a loving hand on her stomach, massaging the stretched skin as she felt a little kick to her palm. "I feel it is going to be a boy, Brennan." She stated as she brought him his meal, placing the plate of steaming dough before him.
He picked up the proffered utensils and began cutting into the patties, "If so, he'll be a wonderful, strong, strapping lad."
"Just like his dad?" Myra joked, poking the slight trace of pudge around Brennan's middle.
"Yes." He said gruffly, "Just like him."
Myra waved a hand to dismiss his comment as she turned back to the stove, humming as she served breakfast to both herself and Elysia. No surprise to anyone, Brennan was infatuated with the pancakes. He scarfed him down with gusto, causing raucous laughter from Elysia as he went back for seconds. It was a most satisfying meal and Elysia was glowing with pride at her first cooked meal. Sure, her mother had to handle the hot stove in cooking them but she still mixed the batter together, so it still counted.
"Such a shame we had to send back Releshaun to Hyrule." Brennan lamented as he took the responsibility to clear the table himself and place them in the adobe sink basin at the far end of the counter. "I've gotten quite used to having the Sheikah around here, doing these types of menial tasks."
Myra placed a knowing hand over his as he picked up a boar brush to begin scrubbing, "I know, my love. I miss her too. She was like family to us but it was the right thing to do to return her to the country of her origin." She pondered a moment before continuing, "She's probably near the castle by now if she rode hard since she left. She'll be alright. She will be with her brothers and sisters. Once this nasty war is over with, we will get her back and all will be well."
At the mention of the war, his countenance darkened, "Don't remind me. I have to go back to the front by the next moon."
"I know dear." She shushed. She gently took the brush from him before locking her eyes onto his, "Tend to the fields early today, I'll take care of this."
"I love you." Brennan murmured, kissing her passionately.
"And I, you." Myra returned before tending to the task at hand. "Lunch should be ready by the top of the day." She glanced over briefly to Elysia, "Be sure to be back and washed up before then, okay? Until then, go play."
"Yay!" Elysia yipped as she bounded off the bench and rushed out of the home.
Brennan shook his head jovially, "What am I going to do with that girl? She is so headstrong."
He paused briefly on his way out the door as Myra returned his musings, "Better that they get their stubborn attitude from their father!"
"You watch yourself woman!" Brennan jested, waggling a finger at her before stepping out into the fresh air.
A curious scent wafted into his nose, perking it up at the slightly acrid flavor it had. He completely missed it while inside the home, masked behind the haze of cinnamon and nutmeg. He spun around, trying to identify the direction of the smell until he spied a plume of smoke rising in the east. There was the stench of burning flesh and metal burning on the wind and it was coming from the capital!
Brennan crouched low, his hands twitching as his pupils darted around looking for a weapon as a flurry of movement staggered forth from the tall grain stalks across the road. A common man, equipped with nothing but simple waders and a peasant shirt stumbled towards him, blood streaming from his temple and a wounded leg visibly broken.
"Fletcher!" Brennan cried as the man collapsed into his arms. "What is going on?"
"The Hylians!" Fletcher croaked; his throat dry. It was evident he had run the entire distance from the capital without rest. "They came upon us like demons and destroyed our homes and livestock. They murdered and raped the women. My son! They killed my son!" He raved before passing out from exhaustion.
"Fletcher!" Brennan yelled again as he tried to hold the Fletcher up but had to let him slip to the ground under the dead weight of the unconscious man. What in the world? Why would the Hylians be attacking them now? What possible cause could they have in starting a war with them?
He did not have to wait long as a low rumble of hooves alerted Brennan to the horses down the path, mere specks at this distance. He hailed a nearby servant towards him to relay a message to his cousin to take his nephews far away from here. The messenger was off like a shot through the tall grass beyond the house. With a grim look, Brennan turned and picked up a sickle and waited calmly for the entourage to arrive at his doorstep. There would be much explaining to do if it was indeed the Hylians who had attacked.
Something was wrong. They were a mere hundred meters from him yet they had not slowed down. He could now see the crest of the Royal Family upon the banners being held by the lead horsemen. It seemed they were coming straight for him, their sorrel horses thundering down the dirt road. He steadied himself, his sickle poised to strike at the legs of the first horse within range when a cry from behind jolted him out of his calm. Myra was at the door frame; hand on the edge, looking down the road at the deadly consort of Hylians.
"Myra! Get inside no-" Brennan could not say more as the butt of the nearest pike rammed into his temple. He hit the ground hard and darkness took him.
His mind reeled at the sudden, intense throbbing in his brain. He cried out in agony as any movement simply brought more misery. He was then acutely aware of the stabbing sensation in his lower legs. His eyes fluttered open and gazed down to see he was suspended off the ground by several feet. He moaned in anguish upon seeing two rusty nails staked through each foot, securing him to a rather thick post of rotting wood which was pounded into the earth. His arms ached with the soreness of being tied back behind him around the post, his wrists already chaffing from the rope. He had been stripped to nothing but his breeches.
A familiar voice made his skin crawl as a feeble rasp emerged from his right, "Good morning Brennan Arelious Naar."
Sitting atop a chestnut stallion was Hendrick Johanses Hyrule, King of Hyrule. Sitting astride his horse before him was Lucrecia, Brennan's sister, swollen with child. She had a pained look on her face but she was kept in check by the seemingly frail arms surrounding her which belied their inner strength. He was dressed in his finest armor, no doubt put upon him by the stable boys before riding off to Glaun'rung to sack it that very morning. His wispy white hair flew freely in the breeze. Off to the side were the huddled forms of his wife and daughter, chained and weeping together beside one of the horses.
"What…do you…want?" Brennan managed to groan through the pain with gritted teeth.
"I am hearby charging you with treason of the highest order." Hendrick leered at Brennan as he snapped his fingers for a nearby soldier to bring him a scroll. He unfurled the parchment and began reading the sentence. "By consorting with internal terrorist factions and by stealing Hylian government property, the Sheikah, to assist and overthrow the Hylian government, your patron country, you are being sentenced to death."
"No!" Lucrecia screamed. She craned her neck around hard to glare at Hendrick in the saddle. "You promised me he would live. I would only go with you willingly if you promised he lives."
"Indeed." Hendrick sneered. "I did promise you that. That proclamation was written before I granted you that mercy and I always hold to my vows." He turned to his men and crowed, "That does not, however, extend to his family. Take them and do as we agreed."
"No!" The uttered cry was made in unison by Brennan, Lucrecia and Myra. Several dozen soldiers hopped off their steeds and took the chained wife and child and threw them down into the dirt before Brennan.
"You may commence with the punishment." Hendrick crooned.
Myra and Elysia quailed and screeched as the soldiers ripped their clothes off piece by piece. Within several agonizing minutes, they ploughed their manhoods into the two females, drawing blood from the younger as she was pierced for the first time. She screamed in abject terror at her brutal raping.
"Get away from them!" Brennan frothed, spittle flying out. "I'll kill you! I'll kill you all! You had no reason to do this! No reason at all!" He twisted and writhed but shooting pain rocketed up his legs from the nailed flesh, he felt slight pops in his shoulders as he struggled against the rope bonds.
"I have every right to deal with traitors." Hendrick scorned. Lucrecia was getting agitated and began to fight back against him. He motioned for several guards to sidle up to him, "Here, take her somewhere safe. It is best she not watch what is to come."
Lucrecia spat in his face, trying in vain to ignore the panicked cries of her sister-in-law and niece, "You monster! This child of mine will be no son to you! I would rather die than allow him to become a part of your wicked family!" Rage was in her eyes.
With a disinterested wipe, he flung the spittle from his cheek to the ground, "I should hope not. If it is a boy, I may have to kill it. I will allow no foreign seed become eligible and next in line for the throne. For your sake, I hope you pray that it is a girl."
Lucrecia screamed in wrath as she tried to lunge for Hendrick but was held back by the strong soldiers beside her. Ignoring her protesting ravings, the king turned back to the spectacle at hand. Already several men had their rounds with each female and another man was positioning himself up for the ride. With each successive ploughing, the men continued to spread Elysia's legs further apart. By the fifth man, they had popped them entirely out of socket, causing her to shriek like a wounded animal which caused them all to laugh as a sixth took her innocence.
As the hour slowly passed, Elysia's cries had given away to dull silence; a sort of numbness began permeating her entire being as she began to simply accept the treatment given to her, wanting nothing more than for it to end. Myra and Brennan's eyes were locked onto each other, tears streaming down unbidden. They knew how this would end and there was nothing they could do about it.
After the last soldier had had his fill, they were waved down by Hendrick. The king looked down upon the pitiful form of Brennen Naar, the once great leader of Nevachrea. "May this be a lesson to you and your country to never take what is mine." With a sniff, he lured his horse past the two females, "Burn them."
"No!" Brennan shouted.
Several Hylians at the back brought forth several jugs of what looked like water but Brennan knew better. They unceremoniously dunked Myra and Elysia with the oil before lighting several wicker torches. They advanced upon the two with a gleam in their eyes.
"Go." Myra whispered urgently to Elysia, pushing her roughly away. "Get away."
"Mommy…" Elysia sobbed as she began dragging herself by her hands, her legs completely broken and useless. She cringed at the sound of her mother's shrill voice splitting the air as they set ablaze her clothes. The flames quickly spread until she was a rolling mass of conflagrations.
Brennan could do nothing but stare at his only child struggling to get away from her killers, watching as his wife burned down to nothing but cooked meat. Elysia looked up at him one last time, begging for salvation from her father as the first lick of flames touched her leg. Within seconds, she was enveloped and was thrashing in place as the last words on her lips were, "Daddy…"
He had no idea how long he had hung there, parched of thirst and stomach growling. The sun beat mercilessly upon his skin, tanning it a dark shade of brown. Before him, sprawled across the ground, were the last remnants of his life. His wife, daughter and unborn child were dead at his feet. His home had been razed to the ground and his fields burned. He had nothing left to live for. Hyrule had taken all that he had, all that he held dear away.
He had no idea how long he had hung there. It wasn't exactly clear when he first perceived a change in the air around him. Maybe it was the sudden lack of birdcall in the distance. Or perhaps it was the lack of buzzing from the flies that besieged the corpses of his family. Whatever it was, something was different and the world around it was afraid. With each soft, padded step, he could hear the centipedes and spiders scrambling to get away from the grotesque figure approaching. The very grass was shriveling away from the being shrouded in heavy cloth.
A soft hiss was heard as the figure stopped just feet from Brennan's imprisonment upon the post. It regarded him with intense interest. At length, it spoke with the voice of a thousand damned souls, "You are suffering more than you can bear." Pleasure could be deduced from its tone.
"What do you want with me?" Brennan grated, head still hanging low.
"I want what you want." Its cackle sent a chill up his spine. "Revenge."
"There is nothing you can do. They are too powerful." What did it matter anymore? This…creature, this…man could not help him.
"That is where you are wrong. I can give you powers beyond your wildest dreams. I can make you immortal and strike down all that oppose you. You but have to agree to my terms and the bargain will be struck!" The figure shook excitedly within its robes, its hood sunk low over its head so as to see nothing but two yellow slits for eyes.
With something akin to hope slowly flickering in his heart, Brennan looked up at the odd man, "What is your name?"
After a pause, "You may call me Barrachas."
"Naar." Stated flatly. "We have a deal."