An Unforgettable Night
"Is this true, Emperor?" I ask. "They found him near Baa? I just can't believe it after all these years."
"Believe it, Hide," says The Emperor. "Now we have the chance to put an end to this nightmare. That little ant will face judgment."
It is as if every official in The Russet House is drunk with joy; a minute ago all eyes were on the Emperor, waiting for him to give out the conclusion of his covert forces' mission. Next thing I know everybody starts throwing papers in the air like in a school graduation. They captured would have never happened without...my expertise; after all, I have insisted the Emperor to send covert forces to the northern border of Justice after my little chat with Dragon's child soldier. I see the officials giving thanks to the Emperor for what happened in this day. "Your praise is enough for me, but my adviser is the one who deserves the people's thanks," the Emperor says. "His help is what ensured the terrorist's capture."
The people just take one good look at me and they say, "Thank you Hide!" I don't know what to say; looking at them chanting my name makes me feel like I'm the Emperor. But after the Emperor's response to my work, it makes me feel like more like an emperor. After all these years, I can't wait to sleep easy again now there will be no terrorist bombings here anymore. The Emperor and I have saved these people's lives.
I look at the Emperor's eyes and his catty smile and they catch my attention. A smile like that can cause a baby to laugh when crying.
"Thank you, Emperor Justice" I express it a bit too hurriedly.
"Don't thank me. Praise me," The Emperor says. "And thank yourself, Hide."
"I'm thankful already. But what about Dragon; what's going to happen to him?"
"Follow and you'll see." The Emperor turns to his right. "Guard, come here!" I look at where he yells at and soon that Guard with a long nose comes out from the crowd. Out of all the guards in this room why does he has to be the one present before me? He moves pass me without stopping and salutes the Emperor like I wasn't there. I can smell it from him—his villainous views conflicting with the Emperorr's—I can smell the thick stench around that man.
"What is it?" Asks the Guard.
"Follow us to the office. I want you present and ready for anything that will pose a threat." Says The Emperor.
"Yes, Emperor," says the Guard. He turns over to me and asks the Emperor a quick question. "Does this adviser also need my assistance?"
"Do I need a guard that I trust more?"
"Trust? Like your plan, The Yellow Adviser Hide?" replies the Guard. I can't believe he just say that in front of me! I'm not the same man anymore! I don't shout out Emperor Justice's name to protect myself. He not getting with that this time. I have my fist ready to meet his sulk face. The Emperor cuts in between us before I had the chance.
"I trust you," says The Emperor to the Guard, "Now come with us before you lose it."
The Emperor hurries off to the hallway. I follow him as fast I can but he is moving like a horse in a race. The Guard dashes past me at ease even with that heavy armor on him. I can remember him starting out here in The Russet House months ago. Inside he is nothing more but an atheist; he has the skills but lacks faith in Emperor Justice. Why the Emperor chose that man as his personal Guard is beyond me. As we reach to the bat-encrusted doors at the end of the hallway the Guard opens the doors to the Emperor's office. I come in last. The Guard smiled at me; his nose strangely makes him look so much like a killer's.
The windows are covered with heavy colored curtains around the room. The flat screen TV is what is keeping this room bright; Under the TV is the national symbol of this great country: The face of the Emperor holding his rod and sword. I watch as the Emperor moves closer to the TV. "Hide, come to my right." the Emperor says, "Guard, come to my left!" I look at them and quickly turn my attention to the TV swiftly. I press and display button and the public of Justice are present—right on time—before our Emperor.
The people listen as he speaks. "People of Justice, I have great news to tell you all, at this very moment my men are at the outskirts of Baa. Dragon, leader of the terrorist group Scythe, has been captured by my soldiers through my divine powers. Yes, let me speak this now before I go any further. Those of you who doubt my position as Emperor can see now that chaos is done with."
Everyone screams just as loudly back at the main building. I feel a tear in my right eye; I wipe it as soon as the Emperor turns to me. His expression changes as he speaks in a harsh tone.
"Change it to Dragon," he says strongly as I click the button quickly to see our Emperor's monster. The whole TV screen spilt in two: one view of the citizens watching the screen in awe; and the next view roughly shows a shadow figure with his hands and feet bound. Two soldiers pull the person into the light.
I can see him now—Dragon—his piercing eyes are the same as those of every idiot who ever tried to kill The Emperor. I turn to The Emperor but he is staring back at Dragon with his catty smile.
"Dragon, do you have anything to say?" The Emperor asks.
"Your soldiers should have killed me when they had the chance." Dragon replies.
"And take away the public's satisfaction to see you perish on TV? I know that would be selfish."
"Bah! The public's or your's?"
"Now don't you change the subject, Dragon. Your actions cause grief to all the people here on Empire Justice. I understand what they went through. I know what they want. And I intend to deliver it to them!"
"You know what they want? They want what you kept from them. You standing there with everything they ever wanted. Only you wish for me to die."
"Be quiet!" The Emperor says.
"You bastard, you took me out my land just so you can run it!" Dragon answers. An urban colored soldier appears on the screen with a sliver stick and electrifies Dragon at his neck with it.
I don't know what is Dragon saying; his country? It's time for this terrorist to face judgment. My legs are shaking by themselves and for some reason, I can't stop. Even with the Emperor and that Guard. Then I see the Guard turning to the Emperor.
"Emperor, the people want tension!" says the man. "You know…real suspense. We should plan for it now!"
In an instant, the Emperor jerks his head to the man, puts his hand on his shoulder.
"Are you telling me or asking?"
"Only asking. I believe the public would praise you more by doing this."
"Oh? Those people out there want his head more than anything they ever wanted in their lives. Today...those same people know now that I can do the impossible if they ask only me to save them. How can they praise me more now Dragon is captured?"
"They will see you as a merciful ruler by offering Dragon a chance to speak on trial in Justice."
This has to be some kind of sick joke; this man doesn't deserve any mercy. Not from the Emperor, the citizens, or me. "Dragon is responsible for the death of thousands on Baa soil. I will not allow this man a trial. Who the hell do you think he is?"
"A man who has been robbed of his life."
"So you think he's innocent, Guard? Don't you see that he is trying to destroy this country?"
"No. He is trying to take back this country."
The man goes into his side pocket and takes out a cane-shaped remote. "He is the true Emperor and the real divine." I can't believe this is happening to me. That remote is only giving me a haunting feeling in my mind. The sound of his voice puts me in complete horror.
This story has been revised by the help of these beta readers - unforgivabledeeds, Mieu-san, and Black Zombie Wolf. I want to thank all of them for your help.
If you or someone you know needs a beta reader, check them out.
After some thinking, from the thought-provoking ending to the interesting ideas behind this story, I going to start a limited series with Hide and The Guard. I soon going to change the name of the story to fit the series' name. Can't say when so you all have to wait.