Chapter 11- Mhia Atlas

Chapter 11- Mhia Atlas

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 11

 

Mhia Atlas

 

 

            “The time to act has come,” said Cardinal Gilles. “I’ve ordained a Week of Repentance. For an entire week, clergyman will walk the streets of Lumina entering every household to cleanse it of its sins. Tomorrow, you and your followers will don the brown robes of the Church and enter Charles Veritas’s very household.”

            “But…wouldn’t spilling blood in the Church’s name taint the Lord’s name?” asked Mhia, concerned.

            “It is in God’s name that we shall spill blood. Place all thoughts of guilt aside, your Grace. Do as you are meant to do, and God will find you home safe.”

            “As you say, your Eminence. So how will we know where to find Charles’s home?”

            “You will be guided by some of my own servants who will be aiding you in your cause.”

            “Aiding me? I thought me and my followers were doing this alone.”

            “I said I would bring you back home safely, I meant it. They are all loyal subjects of God; you have no reason to doubt them. They shall be your guide and an extra sword if need be.”

            Mhia didn’t mind the extra help, although she wasn’t sure how the rest of her friends might feel about it. “Very well. So what’s the plan once we get to the house? I doubt a home of nonbelievers will welcome us with open arms.”

            “There is a chance they might. I cannot guarantee it, but I have spoken to someone who may have the power to allow you such access. If you are not allowed inside however, you will have to break your way through. Now whether you break through or not, you will at one point or another have to face Charles’s personal guards. Charles keeps ten Black Coats stationed all around his manor at all times. Inside there are only five servants though, none of which are warriors. So you’ll find little resistance once you’ve breached its doors.”

            “How do you know all this?”

            “If it is God’s desire, I find the means to see the task done. Now, there is one other thing we need to discuss.”

            “What?”

            “Charles Veritas is not in Lumina.”

            That was about the most demoralizing news she could’ve heard. “If Charles isn’t here, why the f**k are we even having this meeting?”

            The Cardinal remained cool and collected. “Patience my child. There are those who would call death a blessing. Why kill Charles when you can take away what he holds most dear. In his home you’ll find the three most important things to him. His family. Take them alive, and Charles is yours to do with as you please.”

            Mhia chuckled sadistically. “Beneath those crimson robes you will always be a Judician, but your words are not without truth. Charles’s family is a much sweeter prize.”

            “I thought you might agree. But remember, the dead are forgotten, the living are not. Kill them and it’ll only serve to fuel Charles’s rage and cause temporary pain to his heart. Be especially careful not to kill his wife. She is the true prize.”

            “I have all the intention of keeping them alive.” Charles will suffer the same pain I felt for years.

            “Then nothing more needs to be said. Meet with your followers tonight and inform them of all that I have told you. Tomorrow, at the sound of the third bell, you will meet my servants by the tunnel leading to my cathedral. Tomorrow, Judicium will bleed.”

            Judicium will bleed. Mhia could not count how long she’d been waiting to hear those words. “Yes. They will bleed…”

            After parting ways with the Cardinal it was time for the moment Mhia had been dreading. Assembling all her trusted followers together in one room. She gathered all of them in her personal chambers inside the castle. Even within a room, the segregation was clear. Serevex, her childhood friend, was sitting by the cross hanging from her wall with his legs crossed. Odhis, her old bodyguard and loyal servant, was standing by her bed. Saix, her dearest friend, was farthest beside Gia, the one person Mhia didn’t want with them.

            Gia, the rose with thorns, was undeniably a beautiful woman. She didn’t have a voluptuous figure like Cruorian women were known for, but she was tall, of a height with Saix, with long legs and well toned. Her eyes were the brightest rubies you could ever lay eyes upon. Her hair, a crimson just as beautiful, was kept short and wrapped around her head like a rose. She had high cheekbones and scarlet lips that always held a seductive smirk. And as if her beauty were not enough to envy, she was praised to be arguably the best female warrior in Cruor, and best assassin anywhere. And as if that were not enough, Gia was Saix’s consistent lover. While that might normally be the first thing on Mhia’s mind, today it was the last thing she cared about.

This was the day she always feared most. The calm before the battle. The day when everyone realized, this is happening. She was ready for it but were they? Odhis didn’t seem to believe so. The thought that she might be sending all of them to their deaths loomed over her head like a doomsday clock. She had chosen to ignore that possibility but now it was as much a reality as her imminent revenge.

Mhia finished telling them everything the Cardinal told her earlier that day. Utter silence issued afterwards until Saix broke the ice. “I signed up for an assassination, now I’m kidnapping a wife and her children from their beds?”

Mhia feared Saix would be the first to doubt the cause. Luckily, Odhis came in for the save almost immediately after Saix was done. “I like it. In this world we do what we must to win. That has always been the Cruorian way. If we kill Charles Judicium will just replace him. If we take his family though, Charles will remain a high member in their society, but we’ll have him by the c**k. I don’t think I need to go over how beneficial that could be.”

“Assuming he gives a f**k about his family. I don’t know if you remember but Charles was once married to our Queen. They even had a child together. That same Queen died at his hand and the child, God knows what happened to it. My bet is it’s also dead.”

“If I had been Charles back then, I would’ve killed our Queen also. She used him like a puppet and cast him aside like a ragged doll the moment she was done with him. I can’t imagine anyone who would still love someone after that, assuming he ever loved her. This new family of his though, I bet it’s like the ones from stories. Perfectly harmonious.”

            Saix shrugged it off. “Let’s just hope they’re worth enough to keep our heads once his Highness finds out.”

            There was another moment of silence. This time Mhia decided to speak. “Does anyone else have doubts? After today there will be no turning back. Do understand that this is your life you’re risking, and by doing so you are committing treason.” She looked at Gia when she ended the sentence.

            Gia let out a chuckle. “Don’t look at me, your Grace. I knew what I was getting into before I showed up here.” She turned her head towards Serevex. “If you’re worried someone might turn tail last minute it’s him you should be worried about.”

            Indeed. Serevex looked like a wet puppy that had lost its way. He was glistening with sweat from fear and tense beyond reason. The lack of confidence was painted clear on his face.

            It took him a while before he realized all eyes were on him. He’s so scared his mind is someplace else entirely. He stood up. “Doubt me if you want…but I’m in this all the way the same as the rest of you.” He looked into Mhia’s eyes. “Another Princess will not die on my watch.”

            “Honorable words, but words are words,” said Odhis. “If you freeze up out there, no one will come to save you. Like you, all of our priorities lie in protecting the Princess. That means if you hesitate, break down, or turn tail, no one will be looking back to see if you’re still there. Be honest kid, are you sure you want to risk your life for treason?”

            Serevex gave the shakiest nod Mhia had ever seen in her life. “I’m sure…if this is God’s path, he will see us home safe.”

            “Well, you heard him. I think everyone is ready to kill some Judicians, your Grace.”

            Mhia smiled, all teeth showing. “Thank you. Enjoy your last night of peace then. Tomorrow Judicium bleeds.”

            After everyone dispersed Mhia could hardly contain her excitement and started practicing with one of her jians. Despite knowing she would not meet Charles, she pictured seeing him face to face, both armed, clashing swords. She envisioned disarming him, cutting each of his limbs, slitting his throat, and bathing in his blood. The thought brought a cruel relief to her heart. If limbs are family, after tomorrow Charles will be a cripple.

            Knock! Knock!

            Mhia opened the door and Dianos Mars was standing outside, with his braided beard and burn scar on his scalp. “His Highness has called a council meeting. I think you might be interested to attend this one.”

            Mhia felt her heart skip a beat and nodded. When they arrived at the council room her brother was sitting on his stone throne looking unusually ecstatic. Beside him was Cardinal Gilles and to his other side Sia Septem. Esmere Septem was also present.

            Esmere Septem was a high noble and a hard man. He wasn’t a big man, but he was a wealthy one with a large share of followers faithful to him more so than the King. His hair looked like amber and his eyes two red stones. He found his way into the council through the betrothal of his daughter to the King. The idea was actually the King’s in hopes of combining their forces for the revival of Cruor.

            “Mhia, I have great news. News I’m sure you’ve been wanting to hear for quite some time.”

            “What good news could possibly overshadow all the bloodshed that’s been happening to our people?”

            “The time for Cruor to attack has finally come.”

            Cardinal Gilles took lead. “Allow me to explain. We have selected a couple key targets essential to the order of Lumina. A couple days ago I ordained a Week of Repentance, which started today. Paradise Lost will use this as a cover to get close to these targets and assassinate them.”

            Ezra couldn’t contain his excitement. “After tomorrow, the people of Cruor will know their King still fights for them!”

            Esmere didn’t seem as thrilled. “And how do you think Judicium will retaliate? How much do you think the people of Cruor will bleed? I call this assault madness.”

            Sia argued, “I call it necessary. The people need to know their King still fights. That he still lives. They lose hope each coming day and with no sign of promise, they will eventually submit to Judicium in their hearts. You don’t need me to tell you that the day that happens, Cruor is lost.”

            “And what of the innocents that will die because of this assault? Judicium will want compensation for their losses. If they cannot reach us, those above will suffer in our place. Our people will hate us.”

            “They may hate us, but they will hate Judicium more. Let them suffer and be reminded of where we stand in the world.”

            “So you would have hundreds of innocents die to force them into our cause?”

            “I would have hundreds of sinners die to open their eyes to truth,” argued Dianos.

            Esmere shook his head in disgust. “We do what we must to win…you all take that meaning to a literal sense. At what point is there a line?”

            For the first time in years, Ezra spoke like a King. “The line is where we win! If we lose, then all is lost. I ask you, what is living? Eating scraps of garbage? Whoring oneself for cheap coin? Fighting our kin for a piece of bread? If we lose, that is our life. But if we win…the thousands that died would not be vein. We will have the opportunity to start our lives anew. Start new families. We’ll be able to see the sun without having to fear for our lives. It’s time our people understood that if they don’t stand up and fight, they will never live as the proud people we once were.”

            Esmere grunted. “Seeing as I’m the only person here with a conscience, may tomorrow’s bloodshed lead to a better future. And if it doesn’t, well…” He looked at Ezra directly in the eyes. “At least we can always hide underground.” Esmere stood up and marched out the room.

            “So this is really happening. We’re really attacking Judicium tomorrow,” said Mhia. When the Cardinal said Judicium would bleed, she had no idea he meant to this extent. Perhaps I was wrong to ever mistrust the man.

            Ezra smiled. “Yes, finally. I was thinking, Mhia…”

            He lost his words forcing Mhia to ask, “What?”

            “If you want…you can perform in tomorrow’s attack. I know how bad you want to kill Charles, I thought perhaps this could ease your mind. Who knows, you may even run into him.”

            Mhia’s heart skipped three beats. No! Why must he choose now of all times to make it up to me? Must he ruin everything!

“I don’t think that would be wise,” said the Cardinal. “All of tomorrow’s targets are high-standing individuals in Lumina. Even if we manage to catch them off guard and succeed in killing them, the risks of death is much too high to place a member of the royal family in the line of action.”

            Ezra looked at the Cardinal. “Even so, I owe it to my sister. The choice will be hers.” He turned his attention towards Mhia. “So what will it be?”

            Mhia swallowed. “I…I think the Cardinal’s right. As much as I’d love to kill a Judician or two, as a Princess, risking my life so needlessly is unwise.”

            Ezra was shocked at first but it soon turned into a smile. “You’ve grown, Mhia. It was wrong of me to mistrust you when you did not act rashly after our last confrontation. If there is anything else you need, you need only ask.”

            With that he dismissed the council. Mhia felt a breath of relief immediately after. With Ezra out of the way, the only thing standing between her and her vengeance were the ten Black Coats guarding Charles’s home.

            Mhia was well on her way back to her chambers when Sia stopped her. Sia had an aggravated look on her face that was foreign to Mhia. “What’s wrong, Sia?”

            “What are you up to? You might fool your oblivious brother but you can’t fool me. The Mhia I know would never turn down a chance to kill a Judician. Especially one like this.”

            Mhia swallowed. She wasn’t sure how to get out of this one except by telling Sia everything. What am I worried about? Sia is like a sister to me. If there’s anyone I can trust, it’s her.

            “Remember when you told me the other day that if I kept running I’ll never be able to move forward,” said Mhia. “Well, I’ve finally found the answer.”

            Sia frowned. “You have?”

            “Yes. After tomorrow, I will finally have my justice.”

            “Are you going to kill Charles?”

            “No. Better. I’m going to take away his family.”

            That made Sia take a step back. “Take his family? Just what exactly are you plotting?”

            Mhia grabbed her hand and pulled her in closer. “The Cardinal. Remember when he said me and him shared a common enemy in Charles? Well I took his offer. With the same strategy as tomorrow’s attack, I will enter Charles’s home and take his family away from him just like he took Mother and Sister away from me.”

            Sia shook her head. “No, that’s madness. What if you die?”

            “I won’t die. I swear it on my royal blood.”

            Sia looked at her silently for a couple seconds before giving in. “You better not die. You’re the closest thing to family I have left.”

            Mhia hugged her. “I won’t.” At least I hope so.

            Suddenly cheers started coming from outside the castle walls. Both Sia and Mhia walked towards a window to see what all the commotion was about. There was a large crowd of people; most on their knees. In the center stood a peculiar man surrounded by two nuns, four priests, and a girl.

            “It seems he finally arrived,” said Sia.

            “Who arrived?”

            “Raphael, the Archangel.”



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
The prelude to the action is just about over finally. What are your predictions for the coming events?

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Things are really starting to get interesting now. I have a feeling that Sia will betray them and tell Caius. XD But then again, I may be wrong. Oh well, I'll just have to keep reading to find out.

Posted 8 Years Ago



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Added on February 5, 2013
Last Updated on February 5, 2013
Tags: Fantasy, Religion, science-fiction, family, death, betrayal, sex, war, conspiracies, characters, love, psychological, development, God, hierarchy, order, cynical, victorian

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Cynical_Art
Cynical_Art

New York, NY



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I am 21 years old, I got my Bachelors in Science Degree when I was 19. My career profession is computer animation (I am an Environment Modeler, for those that follow the profession) but I love to writ.. more..

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