– Nine years later –
Craeleon.The capital of Ionadi Kingdom.
The normally bustling city was unusual that day. The citizens, commoners, and aristocrats alike were gathered at the heart of the city. Hushed whispers traveled around making the scene ghostly. The Imperial Family, along with the Archbishop, were seated on the dais. On the platform below, stood a high priest. Everyone seemed to be waiting for something.
A merchant arrived, confused and somewhat fearful of the reason for the gathering. He looked around trying to make sense of what was happening.
A loud gong echoed through the city silencing the whispers.
“It is time,” declared the high priest.
The eerie silence continued for a moment, and then the sound of chains jiggling could be heard originating from somewhere near the platform. The merchant thought he should go away before some misfortune befell him. But he couldn’t move. Something kept him rooted to the ground.
Three figures went up the platform. As they reached the top, the merchant could recognize them. A young woman with raven hair, which had lost its shine, concealing her face stood there excluding a dark aura. Rags and chains adorned her body. Stuck to her side, stood an Imperial knight and… an executioner.
Her presence was like a rock thrown into a calm lake. The people around him erupted as they too recognized her. Among the curses, the word “witch” was very obvious.
The Merchant now realized what was going on. He pitied the young maiden who was accused of being a witch. But at the same time, he questioned the ethics of the empire. All the aristocrats and even the royal family were so narrow-minded to kill an innocent woman.
(A/N: Ah, if only he knew how innocent she was.)
“Silence!, ”the priest bellowed and the square regained its previous tranquility.
“Valeria von Feyrer, do you plead guilty for your crimes?”
The merchant along with the people gathered stared at the young lady. Sympathizing with her, he thought
‘If only I could see her face.’
Suddenly, as if hearing his regretful thoughts, she looked up. Her blue eyes gleamed, it felt as if she was staring right into his soul. Soon, her eyes turned towards the Imperial family. Her lips rose to an eerie grin similar to that of a madman, not taking her eyes way she replied,
“No, I’ve not done anything you’ve accused me of.”
Her words fueled the already lit flames of fury. The enraged commoners now threw various things along with curses. But the young lady stood tall, unfazed by everything happening around her.
“Enough!” Came the roar of the Crown Prince, Elois Viturin de Ionadi, silencing the crowd.”Continue,” he beckoned the high priest.
“For the complete disregard of human life and practice of evil sorcery, Duchess Valeria of the Feyrer House shall be stripped of her title and she will pay for the souls she sacrificed with her own”
Cheers were heard as the priest declared the outcome. The Knight forced her to her knees and the executioner readied his blade. It was finally happening. Evil would perish.
“Execute her!” the command rang as the blade headed for her neck.
The merchant watched the young maiden face the grim reaper with no fear.
Gasps and screams filled the square as her head rolled down. Her eyes were seemingly alive, evident with contempt towards the people gathered.
It had ended. Justice was finally served
This was a day like no other. The death of this young woman had impacted everyone that had gathered that day and many more.
Some thankful, some relieved, some rejoiced, some heartbroken, one remorseful at the death of a young maiden and one who swore revenge.
The people dispersed in a trance. It had ended. But something didn’t feel right.
none of the people knew the reason behind this.
Everyone but her. She knew this was not the end. She would return. And hell would be more comfortable when she’s done.