Dawning Skye -
Chapter 624 - 624 Sentenced(Part Two)
624 Sentenced(Part Two)
***CONTENT WARNING: DEATH***
The inside of the locker room was dimly lit, but Lucas could still see the outlines of things around it. The benches that were situated in front of the lockers, the spare weapons that hung along the wall across from him..
‘If Skye was here, she’d figure out a way ta get free.. Probably do somethin’ ta get one of those swords er what not.. Too bad all those kinda skills came from Sorcha.. She would’ve gotten herself free, too. I’ll never understand why she fell fer me..’
‘Magnus could make her laugh the same as me.. Well -maybe not as much- but he coulda made her a Queen! She deserved ta be a Queen.. Magnus couldna righted a centuries-old wrong, but she chose me.. At least I’ll be seein’ her and Magnus soon enough..’
The silence was nearly deafening as Lucas sat in the darkened corner. He ran his finger over his wrist, where his shackles had pushed into his skin, and rubbed it raw. His feet were still numb, but his legs ached down to his bones, and his knees and palms were bloody from falling so many times along the way.
His state was so pitiful that Lucas couldn’t stop from laughing out loud.. ‘I dinna think I’ll ever be warm again.. Not that it’s gonna be a problem fer much longer, from the sounds out there.. Oh, it’s been a painful fall from the top, but at least I ken Skye willna have the same fate..’
A broad smirk covered his face as his thoughts turned to his daughter.. ‘She’ll be devastated fer a bit, but Peggy, Tidas, and the rest willna let that keep up fer long.. Then, that bastard will pray ta the gods fer mercy from me bairn..’
As he readjusted himself on the icy floor, Lucas recalled Marco’s mother.. ‘How did such a hell spawn come outta her? The gods jest, pairing an angel with a demon.. Olivia would weep if she could see how he turned out.. Poor Magnus.. I hope he went ta his grave in blissful ignorance..’
Lucas barked a laugh.. ‘Suppose I can ask him shortly..’
Right as the thought crossed his mind, Lucas noticed the shouting coming from the arena increasing. He couldn’t make out what they were yelling, just that it wasn’t nearly as loud as when the Mage Trials had taken place. As memories of Skye’s victory started to fill his head, the door that the staff used flew open, and Draco came in with four mage soldiers accompanying him.
“I take it that it’s time?” Lucas asked without looking at him.
“Aye, it tis,” he replied flatly.
“Will I get any final words?”
“...I will ask My King,” Draco replied as he walked over, and removed his shackles.
Lucas gingerly rubbed at his wrists; “I suppose those be pointless now, huh? Not like I can escape.”
“No, you cannot.. Come now, My King is waiting.”
Lucas nodded, then headed towards the rampart that Benzo had walked out of before. It was at that moment that he realized it was the same one Skye had exited when she’d entered the arena during her Mage Trials. A small grin touched his lips when he saw the arena for the first time as he imagined how his daughter must’ve felt back then.
When Draco noticed it, he asked how Lucas could be smiling at a time like this. He simply shrugged as he replied; “Just enjoyin’ the view, laddie..”
Not having a clue as to what could’ve been going through his mind; Draco shrugged it off, and continued on to the small stage in the center of the arena. Norvis had it constructed in a hurry, so it wasn’t anything too grand. But the combination of it’s height and the cameras made it easy for the entire arena to see and hear every detail.
As they came closer, Lucas could see Lawrence and Marie standing with Marco in front of a podium..
They both looked more relaxed and like themselves, which gave Lucas hope that they might finally react to him. But the moment their eyes locked, he could tell that they were still just puppets. As his final hope was crushed, an intense feeling of indignation settled inside of him.
When they reached the steps to the stage, Lucas glanced around. Several people were calling out to him, and begging Marco for mercy, but even more were screaming for his head. It was at that moment he recalled Marco mentioning that he was going to make some announcements.
Before Lucas had been brought out, Marco had explained his father’s death, his succession, and the findings of Lucas’ trial. Many that had been his supporters at the entrance were now avidly against him, and calling for blood. Marco figured that Lucas would feel hatred towards those shouting for his death, but he was wrong.
Manipulation was something Marco was extremely good at, and Lucas knew it. He didn’t blame the general public for believing a supposedly grieving son, especially since it looked like he’d put on quite the show. The name-calling alone was enough for him to understand exactly what Marco had painted him as: a traitor to his best friend and king.
As his foot landed on the deck of the stage, Lucas cleared his mind.. ‘I just hope this putz lets me have a final say..’
Marco turned to him just long enough to smirk at Lucas before going back to his mic. He listed all of the bogus charges, then his sentencing..
“Lucas Moonstone! You are hereby stripped of your title as a lord, your property, your wealth, and on this day: your life! The crown will seize all property, and freeze all accounts until they can be fined, then redistributed to your next of kin! All personal property is now the property of the Crown, unless a special request is made by your next of kin!”
“Your sentencing, which was directed by a group of your peers and betters, will be carried out on this day, on this hour! Does the accused wish to give a statement to the gathered witnesses?”
Not missing a beat, Lucas nodded as he replied; “Aye! I wish ta speak my piece!”
Marco had to force a smile down as he handed Lucas the mic. He assumed that he would either declare his innocence, or beg for mercy. Having Known Lucas Moonstone for so many years, he figured the man would shout to the heavens about his wrongful conviction..
As thousands watched and shouted from the stands, Lucas cleared his throat before speaking; “I willna take up much of yer time, but I hope ya listen..”
“A long time ago, this land was at peace. Not just Alcon, but the whole of the continent. There were no separate kingdoms! Just people! Workin’ together ta make their lives better!”
“Prince Tidas and Princess Skye work hard Every Day, ta make the world a better place fer us all! They embody the heart of Alconia! Not this!” Lucas pointed to Marco as he finished his sentence.
“If this...thing! Is allowed ta stay on the throne, then darkness and Death will fall on this land! I ken you’ve all heard the whispers?! The women at the palace avoid him like a plague! He helped fund the slave trade! He covets his brother’s wife! HE’S the one that Murdered his Father!”
As the screams for his death grew louder, Lucas added; “That’s fine if ya dinna believe me! Write me off as a desperate deadman, if that’ll help ya sleep at night! But mark my words! Ima just the first! Anyone that speaks out against him will share my fate! Just wait! You’ll see!”
“When the truth becomes illegal ta speak, you’ll see!” Lucas shouted as Draco took the mic from him.
Marco had to turn away to hide the grin he couldn’t keep from his face.. ‘That fool.. He has no idea what he’s just done..’
Once he’d gotten ahold of himself, Marco stared at Lucas before taking the mic from Draco; “Calm yourselves, my people! As he said, they are the desperate words of a deadman. But if you listen to even a madman’s ravings, you’ll hear a sliver of truth..”
A slight hush fell over the crowd. Some were confused by his words, while others quietly speculated. Marco had to clear his throat as he watched their reactions, elated at the unexpected opportunity, and ready to take full advantage of it.
“The truth I speak of it that Mr. Moonstone is correct about our continent’s history. There was a time when a peaceful monarch sat on the throne, but was overthrown by their vassals. My ancestor was one, as well as most of the royal families that exist today. But there are two important things Mr. Moonstone isn’t saying..”
“First of all: his first wife, a woman by the name of Sorcha, was a Warrick. Her and her family all tragically lost their lives in a fire years ago, but One remains! That, is Princess Skye!”
The whole of the arena erupted with speculation. People screamed at each other to have their opinions heard, and to argue. Marco took several deep breaths, like he was struggling with a hard truth as the arena nearly turned violent.
A strained expression covered his features as Marco continued; “Please! Calm yourselves! I know that this news is shocking to you all. I have only recently learned it myself, thanks to my Father. But there is ONE person, other than the princess’ Father and mine that knew the truth! Someone who could use her origins to press his Own claim to the throne!”
After a short pause, Marco added; “My brother, Prince Tidas!”
The crowds were immediately divided, with the majority trying to defend their hero. However, for the King to call out not only a Pillar, but his brother, gave his words weight. As arguments started to intensify, Marco called for calm again before speaking..
“I know that it is difficult to understand it all now! But please be patient! I swear on my honor that I will reveal the truth of it all to you soon! But for now..”
Marco looked directly at Lucas as he added; “One traitor at a time..”
As the crowds cheered for their king, Draco kicked out the back of Lucas’ legs, forcing him to his knees. It hurt like hell when he’d made contact with the stage, but it didn’t matter to him; nothing did. As the tears welled up in his eyes, Lucas finally realized the totality of Tidas and Skye’s situation, and how he’d just made it ten times worse.
Marco was going to try and destroy his daughter’s happiness, and there was nothing Lucas could do. As he blinked his eyes clear for fresh ones, Marco pulled out a massive broadsword that Lucas recognized as one of Tiberius’, and was one of Magnus’ prized possessions.
“I told you I’d be the one to end you, didn’t I?” Marco said soft enough for the mics not to pick up on it.
Lucas glared at him before lowering his head, and saying; “Just remember that me daughter is yers..”
It took everything Marco had not to scoff, but he was on camera. The feed was broadcast from the capital, all the way to the Highlands. He couldn’t let his people see him react to a supposed criminal.
As Marco positioned his grip and stance, Lucas glanced up at the sky. The clouds were dense, and covered up any sign of blue. The only consolation was the snowflakes.
When she was a child, Skye used to run and catch snowflakes with a thin mirror. They would compare patterns, thickness and the like, then declare a winner. It was a silly, warm memory that brought a soft smile to his lips.
Lost in his thoughts of nostalgia, Lucas hadn’t realized the chanting of the crowd, or the blade as it sliced through his neck..
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