Character Gauntlet Challenge Day Nine
|Onyx sat in her throne scowling out the window at an overcast sky. Lao sat on the top step of the dais looking up at her with concern. He came from the village after she returned from retrieving Kaela from the dire panther shape shifters. He was the reason she sat in her throne instead of curled up in a fetal position on her bed. He rubbed his hands over her smooth legs, and hummed softly. Onyx reached down and massaged his head with her fingers. Daniella entered the main hall fidgeting nervously with her skirts.
"What is It Kae- Daniella?" Onyx inquired.
"Forgive me my Lady," Daniella whispered. "but there are some guards here from the Council Hall."
Lao released her legs and she stood, taking her staff in hand, and descended the dias just as a captain, and four soldiers trouped into the main hall. The captain stopped in front of her, and produced a scroll from under his cape. He unfurled it and began to read.
"By the order of the Council of Five I am hereby placing the Lady Onyx under arrest. You are to appear before the Council to answer for your crimes against the Dire Panther shape shifters," the captain lowered the scroll, and motioned for the other four soldiers to take Onyx into custody. Lao stepped in front of Onyx. "Step aside mage."
"I will not," Lao stated. "What crimes is she charged with?"
"Murder," the captain answered.
"It is alright, Lao," Onyx placed her hand on his arm and moved from behind him. "We both knew this would happen." She stepped forward, and the guards place iron shackles on her writs, and a collar around her neck to suppress her magic.
"I am going to accompany," Lao stepped up beside her. âI will act as your representative in the trial.â
The guards led Onyx out of the palace with Lao following closely behind. Black Wind was saddled and waiting for her. Two of the guards assisted her onto the horse, and secured the chain of the shackles to the saddle. The captain reined his horse up beside her, and took Black Windâs reins. Lao attempted to rein up on her other side but the other soldiers formed lines of two behind Onyx and the captain forcing him to bring up the rear. Onyx kept her eyes straight ahead as they rode to the Council Hall. She tried to recall a happier ride to the hall, but that only made her think of her father. Tears welled in her eyes at how ashamed he would be to see this happening to her.
"Do not think your tears will save you," the captain gave her a cool look. "You slaughtered half of a village. The only reason I was not sent to execute you on the spot is that the murdered were all warriors.â
"Who reported this to the Council?" Onyx inquired. She was pretty sure she knew, but she wanted to confirm her suspicions.
"The leader of the dire panther shape shifters," the captain answered. "Not that it matters."
"It matters a great deal," Onyx argued. Her tears dried up, and she felt anger simmer within her.
When they reached the Council Hall Onyx was removed from her saddle, and led to the Council chamber. Lao caught up to her, and followed the procession. When they entered the Council chamber the four members stood to receive them. Onyx was taken to the center of the chamber, and the chains that dangled from her wrists were attached to metal cleets in the floor. Ido stood a few feet away from her smiling triumphantly.
"I present the Lady Onyx for the judgment of the Council of Five," the captain announced.
"Who will represent her?" Tehran asked.
"I will," Lao stepped forward.
"Very well," Tehran motioned for the Council members to be seated. "Now, Onyx, you are facing some serious charges young lady. Is it true that you slaughtered every male shape changer in the dire panther tribe?"
"Yes sir," Onyx answered. "All but their leader, and children."
"So, you do not deny that you did this?" Tehran asked.
"No sir," Onyx stared directly into his eyes. "I did slaughter everyone of the dire panther warriors after they kidnapped, and gang raped my servant and dear friend Kaela."
"And how do you know they did this?" Tehran asked.
"Because I saw them do it," Onyx answered. "Ido made contact with me through spirit, and he not only confirmed that she was his prisoner, but that his men were hurting her. By the time I reached her she was dead."
"I knew nothing of what my men did to that poor girl," Ido protested.
"Liar!" Onyx snapped.
"Quiet," Tehran warned. "Lao, your focus is spirit?"
"Yes," Lao answered.
"Will you form a link with these to, and show us the sequence of events for that day?" Tehran asked.
"Of course my Lord,"
Lao used spirit to form links between Ido, Onyx, the Council, and himself. He tapped into Onyx and Idoâs memories of the incident. Idoâs only showed Onyx becoming the demonic beast, and slaughtering every male dire panther in sight. Onyxâs memories recapped the entirety of the incident from riding to rescue Kaela, to witnessing her being raped, and finally to Onyx transforming into the demon, and slaughtering the entire group of dire panthers that participated in the gang rape. When Lao release the links it took all of his reserve not to attack Ido. The Council members were rendered speechless by the vivid images that played before them.
"Well," Tehran breathed. âYou just stood by and let that pour woman be treated that way in your presence.â
"I am only one man," Ido protested. âI am also not the one on trial here. She masacurred my men. She has devastated my people's ability to reproduce."
"Considering how you people behave, perhaps she did us a favor," Sayo challenged. "Still we can not allow your actions to go unpunished Onyx."
"Agreed," Tehran stood. "Onyx, it is the decision of this Council to revoke your status as a registered mage. You will no longer be permitted to offer you magical services for a nominal fee. Your children will not be permitted to study in a school that is funded by the Council of Five. If you are caught trying to charge a fee for magic that you perform you will be restricted from using magic at all."
"And what about Kaela?" Onyx challenged. âWhat about justice for her?â
"I think you did that on your own," Tehran sighed. "Unfortunately, the Council does not have power over the shape-shifters. However, Ido, I would suggest that you gain some semblance of control over your pack. If we hear of you or any of your pack members harming another human we will be forced to take action."
"I understand," Ido turned and left the council chamber.
"Is there anything else?" Onyx inquired. âI would like to return to my palace please.â
"No we are finished here," Terhan and the other council members left the chamber.
The captain of the guard released Onyx from her shackles, and removed the collar from her neck. Lao took Onyx by the hand and lead her out of the council Hall. They mounted their horses, and rode back to Onyxâs palace.
"That was quite unfair," Lao stated as they rode. âI mean they basically punished you, and gave him warning.â
"I am fortunate they did not decide to make me wear that collar for the rest of my life," Onyx ground through her teeth. "What I did was wrong. What I became was a monster. Ido may have set things in motion, but my reaction was not justice."
"Were you just supposed to let them do those things to Kaela?" Lao demanded. âYou should have waited for me.â
"What difference would it have made?" Onyx countered. "If you were with me I might have cut you down too. When I am in that form, in the heat of battle, I am not sure I can tell friend from foe."
When they reached her palace Onyx went straight to her bedroom. Lao joined her in her bed. She did not resist him as he removed her gown, and press hot kisses to her smooth flesh. She just wanted to feel, and he was willing to do that for her. As he slid inside her she forgot about Ido, the Council, and all that she lost. She lost herself in a wave of ecstasy and he achieved his release inside her. He lay on his back with her head on his chest.
"I cannot believe you were willing to lay with me after seeing that," Onyx murmured.
"That creature may live inside you, but it is not you," Lao assured her. "You needed to know someone still cares for you, and will stand by you."
"Thank you, Lao," she looked up at him. "I have not felt that much love from a man since..." she paused not sure she should mention her first love to him.
"Since Tomas," Lao finished.
"How did you...?"
"He appeared in you mind as we made love," Lao admitted. "Do not worry. I am not upset. I understand how precious he is to you, and I know I will never take his place. I just hope you can find room in your heart for me."
"It seems there is plenty of room these days," Onyx sighed.