Chapter 22: The Emperor's Rage
The Emperor’s Rage
Meanwhile, in the Black Fortress, the Emperor paced the dais in the throne room in a rage like a caged beast. Kronos and Gulez stood at a distance and watched with growing anxiety at the Emperor’s wrath. The display actually fascinated Gulez. It was the first time he’d ever seen someone with a viler temper than his. “Does he act like this often?” Gulez asked Kronos.
“Yes,” Kronos answered. “But I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him this angry.”
The Emperor raged and cursed. “I had them!” he bellowed. “I had them in my grasp and they escaped! How’d they do it?” He raised his head and roared with fury. He then turned and looked at Kronos and Gulez, who were far across the room near the doors of the throne room. In an instant, he covered the distance and grabbed Kronos, dangling him by the neck. “How could he have escaped?” he shrieked at Kronos, who only gurgled a response as the Emperor strangled him.
Gulez moved into action, and for the first time in his life, made an effort to save a life rather than take it. “Zaros! Let him down. He’s not to blame here. Besides, we need him,” Gulez pleaded, taking hold of the Emperor’s arm to try to get him to let Kronos go.
The Emperor instantly turned his rage on Gulez. With a heave, the Emperor flung Kronos thirty feet, and then swiped at Gulez with his other arm, hissing venomously, “How dare you defy me that way, maggot!”
Gulez went sliding across the floor with a gash across his face where the Emperor’s fist had struck him. In an instant, the Emperor pounced on Gulez and had him by the throat, dangling him in the air. Kronos managed to get up and cried out, “Your highness, please; we’re not the enemy! Give us time. We’ll deal with them! I swear it!”
The Emperor lifted Gulez by the neck until was nose to nose with the General. “I’ll teach you to cross me, outlander,” the Emperor hissed icily.
Gulez’s face was beet red as he struggled against the iron grip of the Emperor. His memories opened up causing him to remember every time he did what the Emperor was doing to him. The Emperor drew back and smashed his huge fist into the side of Gulez’s head, knocking him senseless and drawing blood. “Please, my liege!” Kronos begged as he got to his knees. “Don’t kill him! You promised to help him get Beowulf!”
The Emperor’s rage subsided a little and he body-slammed Gulez to the floor, knocking the wind out of him. He stood over Gulez, glared at him, saying with great venom, “If you ever cross me like that again, I’ll personally eat your soul. Do I make myself clear, outlander!”
Gulez coughed and wheezed, managing to nod yes, which seemed to placate the Emperor. “Now get out of my eyes, both of you!” the Emperor hissed as several guards came forward to carry them out of the throne room. “General! If you ever call me by my name or touch me again, you will rue the day you ever met me.”
“Yes, sir, your majesty,” Gulez wheezed after regaining his breath.
The Emperor motioned at the guards and Gulez and Kronos were escorted out of the Throne room. Sitting on his throne, he fumed and raged at his inability to exterminate Hannibal and Selina in his psychic attack. “Beowulf and his feline bride are more powerful than we anticipated,” the Black Prince hissed in his ear. “We must take a decidedly more physical approach in dealing with them. Send for Zeus and Hades.” The Emperor sat there and an evil smile began to creep across his face.