CHAPTER ELEVEN: DISTURBANCES
“YOU HAVE PLED not guilty to all three of the charges against you,” says the prosecutor, the Harrower’s Voice. “Yet, Eos Irithos Galinicus, by the end of these proceedings, we shall have proven otherwise. We shall prove it through your written words, your verbal confession, and the testimony of a witness to come.”
Witness? What witness?! Galinicus and I are the only two people who know each other’s secrets! More alarming than this, however, is what I’ve noticed that the church’s servants plan to elicit from him: “Kiyachi?” I whisper this so softly that I can’t even hear myself speak, although this is natural considering my present form. “How do they plan to get my master to confess? Am I right in suspecting torture ahead?”
The Imperatrix seems surprised that I’ve chosen to talk to her, after Salek’t’s icy reception. “Aye,” she answers slowly, her ethereal voice lower than mine - a steel alto to my mezzo-soprano. “However, for a man his age, he probably won’t receive the kind of interrogation most heretics do.” Am I mistaken, or is the expression in her eyes a pained one? “There are many different forms of agony, and forms of torture. If the Inquisitors subject him to too much physical duress, your master will die before confessing. It is more likely that he will suffer mental afflictions too dire to consider, even for one such as I.” She sighs heavily.
“You said the Inquisitors. Don’t you mean your Inquisitors - your lying and sniveling subordinates?”
“You forget, Salek‘t: I am under their command, not vice-versa. They give divine orders, and I follow.”
“Doesn’t that mean you bear responsibility? After all, you were the one slaughtering people, not them.”
“I take that charge upon myself, and proudly! However, my sword is the instrument of their will.”
Salek’t smirks. “So the Inquisitors are greater than thee, Imperatrix. I had presumed the reverse.”
He and Kiyachi both fall silent again, with the latter folding her arms across her transparent chest.
During this argument, Galinicus and his accusers whirl around and glance about the room anxiously:
“Are there spirits in this place?” gasps the Harrower’s Scrivener, with her eyes toward the ceiling.
“There had better not be!“ the Harrower’s Voice growls. “This is a purified and consecrated site.”
“Shall I call Invokers to perform an exorcism?” asks the Harrower’s Judge. “One can never be too careful.”
Galinicus holds up his chained hands. “If there are spirits here, please let them be. Do not our holy scriptures say that places such as these are sanctuaries? You’d not want to expel those seeking refuge.”
“Refuge for the living, not the dead,” says the male soldier who marched him inside the courtroom, known as Marek. He takes a whip out of his shoulder satchel and lashes my master’s back with it. He howls, and kneels on the floor. I want to possess this cruel man, but my fear for Galinicus restrains me. “Silence, defendant! If we wish you to speak, we’ll say so, and in the Harrower’s name, you will answer our queries!” Again, Galinicus says nothing. Marek and Tyrithica, the other soldier, stand him up by pulling his chains.
The Judge shakes his head. “Let’s have no more disturbances,” he sighs. “If there are indeed shades present in this courtroom, they’ve been warned about our Invokers’ abilities. Should it come down to an exorcism, all of them will be annihilated, not just lost. The sheer force of our god’s almighty power will destroy their spirit forms! For now, let us proceed with this heretic’s trial, because the sooner it concludes, the sooner we can return to defending the faith - and locating more of his ilk.” Shivers course through me. The Judge consults some documents at his table, while the Scrivener and the Harrower’s Voice confer.
“What are they talking about?” I dare to whisper to Salek’t.
Where's Chapter 10? :lol:
*blush* Oh no, I can't count! I also didn't think anybody else was reading this besides machievelli...Thanks for keeping me on my toes, LDR!
Nice to know someone is paying attention other than me, eh?
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