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[personal profile] caersidydd
Title: This Time Imperfect
Chapter: 2 - Three Days till Sunset
Fandom: Legend of Dragoon
Genre: Action/Adventure
Word Count: 2,100
Rating: T - for violence also suggestive adult themes at some point maybe I think.
Disclaimer: Sony pretty much owns The Legend of Dragoon, however the majority of the characters which will arise in this story belong to me.
Summary: 2,362 years after the destruction of the Moon That Never Sets the world of Endiness is again in dire peril. The Dragoon Spirits awaken to offer their aid, but is it enough to save a dying world?




This Time Imperfect
Chapter 2: Three Days till Sunset

His helmet under one arm, his other hand fisted at his side, the general marched stiffly up the red velvet covered stairs into the throne room. Even before reaching the top he could see that the red seat stood vacant upon the dais. At the top of the stairs he stopped and glanced around the room finding nothing and no one of interest. It seemed that, in addition to the Grand Prince’s absence, the various ministers had been dismissed. A short huff of air left him through his nose, a sure sign of his annoyance. He turned, his green cloak flaring out behind him, to leave the throne room when his eyes caught the regal green and silver clad figure of the Grand Prince standing on the balcony. With another huff he rounded the railing and walked out onto the balcony. Some five paces behind the man he came to a halt. He saluted, bringing his right first up to the left side of his chest, and bowed shallowly.

“Your Majesty,” was all he said and then he waited to be acknowledged.

“Yes,” came the man’s reply; the general did not miss the heavy quality of his tone, “what is it?”

The general straightened. “The Sandoran army has been vanquished.”

The man was silent for a long moment before replying, “When?”

“Not less than a day ago this morning, Sire; on the midplains just north of Kindle.”

He nodded slowly, “And my cousin?”

“He has been captured, as per your orders. He arrives at Fort Gilda tonight.”

“His army?”

“They retreated south into the forest. We managed to capture a few but it was a well planned retreat, Sire our scouts lost track of them in the forest.”

“Is there any possibility that they will regroup and mount another attack?”

“No, Sire I don't think so. They suffered massive casualties on the field and Phelias reports that they lost the Violet General.”

“I see. Begin moving into South Serdio. Make certain Kindle and Hoax are secured, but do it quickly. It is imperative that we begin closing down the borders, starting with Rawan Pass. Once that task is complete move into Kazas and declare martial law.”

“It shall be done my prince,” the general acknowledged with a bow. “And what of the factions in the southern Villude Mountains?”

“They will be dealt with when the time comes. First the boarders and Kazas.”

“Yes sir... Sire,” the general's voice became carefully deliberate, “what is to be done with Prince Richard once he reaches Gilda?”

Garreck closed his eyes and inhaled slowly. A gentle breeze picked up, tugging on his long golden brown hair, whispering a silent plea. “What do you propose be done?”

“He must be executed, Sire,” the general answered with hard conviction. “He must be made an example of.”

The Grand Prince of Basil opened his eyes to stare up at the cheery blue sky over the city of Bale and nodded. “In three days time, at sunset.”

“Yes, Sire.”

“Dismissed.”

“Yes, Sire,” The general bowed again. Without another word he turned to leave but jerked to a halt as his eyes fell upon the form of a woman perched perilously on the armrest of the Grand Prince’s throne. Their eyes locked and the corners of her cherry lips curled upwards. He narrowed his eyes and strode toward the stairs not once taking his eyes off of her until he reached them. He stopped by the stairs and her smile broadened before he broke eye contact and descended the stairs. Silence followed in the wake of his departure.

“Are you sure this is the right thing?” Garreck finally asked in a soft voice. Despite his having not turned around he seemed to be quite aware of the presence of the woman. Though he could not see she smiled once more for his benefit. She stood slowly and walked toward the back of the room.

“It is what must be done.”

--

Cries of anguish echoed down the dank corridors of Fort Gilda. For thirty years Fort Gilda had entertained Basil’s prisoners of war with brutal, relentless torture and cruelty. On the eve of the Sunset Island Massacre her halls had run red with the blood of Mille Seseau. She had glutted herself on their anguish, their cries for mercy, their tears, and their flesh, and had sat satiated but still craving that which she longed for, that which her very existence had been made for. Not long now, not long. Fort Gilda sat silent, sat brooding in hungry anticipation for the blood of the King of Sandora.

“Get in there and shut up!”

The command was arbitrary, as Richard had not uttered a word since his capture. The guard spat in disgust and gave him a rough shove. He stumbled into the dank cell and pitched forward, hitting the floor hard. The iron door swung shut with a heavy, steely bang and the bolt was slid home with a grinding squeal. The young king made no move to rise from where he had fallen. The cell was damp and dreary and the cold stone floor leeched away the heat of his body through the threadbare garment he gad been dressed in upon arriving. His golden armor and his chain mail had been taken even before he had woken up alone in the iron prisoner transport. From the point where he had awoken the journey had taken nearly two days, but he had no idea how much time had passed since his initial capture. He had not bothered asking, knowing that he would not be answered. He had not been the only prisoner, but he had been the most heavily guarded. Upon arrival he had been unloaded separately from his soldiers, many of whom had been shouting profanities and demanding that their king be returned to them. He was led to a different, higher security wing. That was the point where he had been stripped naked, doused with a bucket of water, and redressed in the threadbare prisoner's clothes he now wore.

“Commander!” the muffled voice of the guard filtered in from outside the cell. Richard perked up and listened intently.

“How is the prisoner?”

“Non responsive, Sir, but otherwise cooperative.”

“Good. Open the door.”

“Yes, Sir.”

The grinding squeal told Richard that the guard was retracting the door bolt. The young king scrambled to his feet and tossed his, slightly damp, red hair over his shoulder as he straightened himself out in an attempt to look as dignified and self righteous as possible. When the door of the cell opened the green and silver clad commander was greeted by the proud, cold countenance of the King of Sandora staring down at him. His lip curled at the sight of the man who, despite his rags, still managed to look and act every bit the part of the regal, golden armored king that had been the bane of the Republic of Basil for the past six years.

“The Grand Prince has ordered your execution, Richard Forenz,” the soldier informed him coldly.

“We expected no less.”

The commander sneered. “You have three days to make your peace with Soa,” He spat. “My men will come for you sunset of the third day,” with that the soldier turned to leave the cell but Richard forestalled him with an unexpected question.

“How is this execution to be carried out?”

The commander turned to study him with raised brow. For a moment it seemed he was considering whether or not he should answer the ex-king's question. Finally he turned to face Richard fully, “The Grand Prince has seen it fit that you die a quick and noble death by the sword,” He held up three fingers. “Sunset. Three days.”

The soldier turned and knocked on the door. It opened and he slipped out. The guard shut and locked the door behind the commander.

Richard’s stiff posture slackened. That was it then. He would die, and Serdio would be united under his cousin's rule. He had known all along that the only way this war would end was with the death of either himself or his cousin.

“That one don't deserve no noble death,” the guard spat once the grinding bolt was in place. Richard stepped closer to the door and peeked out of the thin, barred slot that the guard was meant to use to keep an eye on him.

The commander scoffed. His arms were crossed over his chest. “It's not our choice. He's a prince of Serdio in the Republic of Basil. The Grand Prince's commands will be followed to the letter,” There was a pause. “The Grand Prince also ordered that he be treated courteously and be in peak condition at his execution. The General's message implied that the Minister of Affairs herself would be sent to oversee the execution.”

The guard made a strange choking sound. Richard could not see the guard’s expression as he was turned away from the door but his voice came out high and nervous, “The Minister of--? S-she's coming?”

“Yes. So I suggest you take care of him. Have Duer bring him his meals.”

“Yes, Sir!” he replied in a deeper, snappier tone. He saluted and the commander nodded in acknowledgment before turning and walking away down the corridor.

“The Minister of Affairs? Soa's ass,” he swore and made a beckoning motion to someone outside of Richard's field of vision. “Go find the little rat and tell him he's to bring this prisoner his meals.”

“Yes, Sir!”

The guard saluted, probably in response to his subordinate, and turned around.

“Hey!” Richard blinked and the guard hit the iron door with the butt of his spear. “Get away from the door!” The young king complied wordlessly. The guard snorted and turned away, leaving him to his own devices.

Richard glanced around the room in an attempt to distract himself. The ceiling was high, and the room was lit by a gas lamp high up on the wall that not even Richard with his great height could reach. There was a cot pushed against one wall with a flat pillow and a thin blanket. Richard lowered his gaze, his brows knitted together with consternation. For the first time in quite a long time he was truly alone. It was a strange feeling, being alone. Silence, usually so comforting, felt suddenly oppressive, as though it could choke him, and all at once the empty aloneness sank into him. Its unexpected weight caused Richard to physically stagger to the nearest wall where he slid down into a sitting position, his head bowed between his knees. He was Richard of The House of Forenz, king of nothing, worth nothing except in death. He could not even save his loyal friend, the only friend he had had in boyhood, as dear to him as a brother: Belial, who knew him best, his battle mate since childhood. They had been raised and trained together. Richard could not remember a time when he had been without Belial.

The consequences of his decisions floated back to him, settling upon him in a heavy cloak of misery. Richard knew that Belial had seen right through him, had known his plans all along. The young regent had seen it in the general’s eyes every time they looked at each other, like a cloud of bitterness and anger and an understanding that hurt Richard more than the resentment. However, it was all necessary. The deception and the sacrifice, they had both been necessary. His death would end the war and free the people of Serdio. His death would serve Serdio as his life had served Sandora.

His death. Richard’s eyes closed and he covered his mouth with a hand. Was he truly prepared for his death?


“Belial,” he whispered into the silence of the cell, his voice strained with by the weight of his encroaching mortality, “Brother. I cannot do this. I am not strong enough.”

A shudder passed through Richard’s body, and then another. Exhausted and crushed beneath the weight of all the hearts depending on him, he no longer had room in his heart for dignity. The sorrows of his people, the horror and weight of the path he had chosen, all crashed into him and his heart broke. Richard, the king of Sandora, wept onto the unforgiving stones of Fort Gilda. For his people, for Endiness he wept until he had no more tears to shed and then, finally, sweet darkness claimed him.

--

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