The halls were quiet for the first time in nearly four months. But I guess that wasn't really a good thing considering the only reason they were like that was because the people normally running around causing the noise were all dead.
"Gabriel?" Meckenzie calls my name in question from the doorway. I sigh and get up from the bench at the end, trailing my fingers down the window that looks upon the courtyard. "Are you coming?" I turn away from the window finally and look up to my sister.
"Yeah, don't worry. I'll be right there." She smiles weakly and then frowns at my expression, which hasn't changed during the whole conversation.
"I know this isn't what you wanted to do."
"This isn't what anybody would want to do. Burying your 7-year-old sister isn't something anyone, enemy or friend, should have to go through." I shake my head and walk forward, clasping my hands behind my back. I reach Meckenzie and she loops her arm through mine as we walk into the throne room to begin the procession.
None of this was supposed to happen, especially to someone like Jessalyn. She had her entire life waiting for her and those stupid Hehvennstians had to go and ruin everything. They will pay, no matter what it takes I will make sure they remember Elethrali as the country it really is. Not one that lays down at the feet of its enemies, but one that takes vengeance by the throat and conquers it.
"How is it that we are still dealing with this?" I question the Elders. "I thought you said this would be over once the treaty was signed!" There is silence and I smack the table in frustration, making everyone flinch. "Someone answer me right now, or I swear..."
"Your Majesty," a voice pipes up timidly. I turn expectedly and see one of the newest Elders stand up and open his mouth to speak.
The tip of a council-issued sword pokes through his robes suddenly and he groans in pain as he sinks to the floor in pain. As he does, he reveals a royal guard standing with a grim look on his face. I narrow my eyes and go to step toward the murderer, but my own personal guards form a boundary around me and others that are in the room stalk toward him. He quickly pulls his sword out of the now dead Elder and sprints from the room.
"What are you standing around for?" I yell at the perplexed guards. "Go after him!" They comply and I roll my eyes while waving away the guards around me. "He's gone you can go now."I run my hands through my hair and shake my head while pushing the call button by my table. "We're in need of some body control up in the Council Hall. There's been a murder of one of the Elders." I get the confirmation beep and green light and slump down in my chair. The silence is killing me once again and I get up almost as soon as I've sat down.
"Your Majesty please sit down," someone says. "We need to finish our-" I break him off with a hand and can feel it heat up with power just aching to be set free.
"No I think we've had our fill of discussion today, if you can call it a discussion. We will reconvene in three days and by then I expect real answers to my questions. Not just comments on the current situation because that doesn't solve the problem does it?" They sit in silence again and I roll my eyes. "You are all dismissed. Go get my answers." With my piece said, I whirl around and throw open the doors to my library stalking over to where I know Meckenzie is.
"Brother, why must you act as if you hate everything all the time?" I hear from her usual corner. I sigh and sit down opposite my curly-haired mess of a sister who has a huge smile on her face for no apparent reason. She's always been the more positive of the two of us, and especially in the past few months since Hehvennsta broke the treaty mere hours after it had been signed.
"What reason has the world given me to be full of joy, Meckenzie?" She titters at my response, upset with me for answering with a question of my own. "Don't give me that," I tell her chiddingly, "I'm only telling the truth of my feelings and you've always said that was more important than trying to put on a facade." At that, she nods her head slowly, closing the book she has in her hands and placing it back on the shelf behind her.
"That is what I've always said isn't it?" I nod and sigh again. "Are you going to tell me about the murder that happened during your meeting?" I don't know how she does it but once again, without being there, she knows exactly what happened. Yet why she wants me to tell her about it every time I'll never know.
"A guard went rogue or something and killed one of the new Elders. I sent the guards after him, but the buffoons probably lost him. We need a better training program for them; they're a disgrace to the country nowadays."
"Well how did that one guard kill the Elder if they were so inadequately trained, Gabriel?" I frown at her thought. "Do you think someone's training people for a revolt?" My mouth dries up at the idea of having a revolution or anything of the sort in my own country.
"I certainly hope not, Meckenzie," I say gravely. "I'm having a hard enough time as it is right now trying to figure out why Hehvennsta went against our treaty. I don't want to have to deal with a civil war either. To tell you the truth I-" I cut myself off before I can let the words leave my mouth. I can't let her know how I truly feel about taking up the crown, no matter what happened earlier. Those thoughts cannot be voiced.
"Gabriel? What's on your mind?" I hear her speak and shake my head a little to clear my thoughts before answering.
"I just feel, so, I don't know, overwhelmed. If your theory is true and it is a civil revolt, I don't know how I'm going to handle everything." Meckenzie smiles at me and places a single hand on my own, knowing my disliking for much physical contact with anyone. I struggle even now with my own sister, but make myself endure because she craves any and all physical contact I allow on my person.
"That's why I'm here, Gabriel," she says quietly. "You know I understand everything that's going on, why not let me help you out so it's not all on your shoulders to help the entire country?" I thought about her offer. Though, enticing as it sounded, I wasn't sure how the Elders would react to the princess trying to give them advice instead of their crown prince.
"I don't know Meckenzie..." I trail off and she scoffs. "You know how the Elders are! I'm the crown prince and they still don't listen to me half the time!" I sigh and push myself up off the floor. "I'll think about it," I tell her. Her face brightens and she jumps up to hug me.
"Thank you, Gabriel!" she exclaims excitedly. "You have no idea what this means to me!" I awkwardly pat her back and pull backwards out of the embrace. Gratefully, Meckenzie lets me go and clasps her hands together in front of her. "Sorry, I just got a little excited that's all."
"I know you did, it's why I didn't get upset with you. You can't help it." I fold my arms and take a step towards the door. "I'm going to head out for a bit." I think about what she said to me earlier and decide to act now before I change my mind. "I'm having a little trouble trying to get the Elders to actually work on the problem at hand with Hehvennsta." Meckenzie raises her eyebrows and I plow forward. "How about you go and try to 'help' them?" A mischievous look comes into her eyes and I smile along with her.
"Am I allowed to 'motivate' them?" I think back to how scared they were when I held my hand up to stop them and smile. "I'm taking that as a yes, Gabriel." I chuckle and then compose myself again.
"Don't go too far, Meckenzie. That's all I'm going to say. Oh, and here's my seal of approval in case they say anything to you," I say giving her my ring and making sure it glows bright blue, my approval color.
"I'll let you know how it all turns out," Meckenzie says once I've passed the ring off to her. "Go out and enjoy your moments of freedom." I nod and turn around, snapping my fingers and teleporting to the top of the palace which is the one place I can just sit in peace nowadays. But sometimes that's not a very good thing considering what I think about.
I never wanted to take the crown. I honestly hate the fact that I was the firstborn child, anyone would be better than me to be in charge. Even Jessalyn would've been better! Jessalyn... I shouldn't have come up here, my mind is too jumbled up right now to try and think about anything. With every thought that comes to mind, I get angrier and more upset. I can feel the power come to my hands again and this time I don't hold it in. Electricity arcs from my palms and races to the nearest metal it finds. I scream out in frustration and the electricity turns darker as more power is pulled from my being. My feelings have quickly turned to rage and I can't seem to stop anything. I need Meckenzie, she's the only person who can make me stop, but she's not here to save me this time. No one's here to save me.
I walk into the council room where everyone is still seated. The doors make a loud bang as they open all the way, causing the council to jump in surprise. They collectively frown and the one I know is in charge stands to make his way over to me.
"Your majesty," he says slowly. From his tone I can tell he's trying to assert authority. Unfortunately for him, I'm the one in charge right now. I hold up a hand and his eyes flare in anger.
"I'm stopping you right there," I say putting my hand down. "Have you caught the rogue guard yet?" The Elders get a look of shock on their faces.
"How do you know about that?" one questions. "That's sensitive information." I laugh and sit down in the chair at the end of the table, crossing my legs.
"I think you all forget that Gabriel is my brother and we talk to each other quite often. He told me all about what happened this morning in your supposed 'meeting'." The one who's been talking frowns at me and folds his arms over his chest. "Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way, which do you prefer?"
"Are you threatening me?" The incredulous look on the man's face is too much and I chuckle despite myself.
"Of course not!" I say. "A threat would indicate a statement I didn't intend on holding through. I fully intend on committing to my ways of persuasion if you don't cooperate with me." All movement has ceased in the room and I smirk in my chair, satisfied. "Now, have you caught the rogue guard?" The head Elder swallows nervously and shakes his head swiftly in defeat.
"Not yet," he states quietly. "He disappeared from the system as soon as he ran out of the door, but we do know who he is." I grimace and lean back in the chair, sighing.
"Gabriel was right," I say under my breath. No one speaks and I crack my knuckles, aggravated, before speaking to the council again. "I want to see our training program for the guards tomorrow morning. It is going under review and will be changed so that it meets protocol. My brother and I are going to be making major changes." I'm about to make another comment on how simply knowing who the guard is won't do anything, when the building shakes. The lights flicker and murmurs run through the air. I'm as confused as everyone else, but then I hear a haunting cry ring through the air. My eyes widen and I stand up from my chair with purpose.
"Your majesty," a guard says, "please stay seated. We don't know what's going on, we need you to stay safe." I scoff and move toward the door.
"I've kept myself alive for the past 23 years, I think I'll be fine." The guards move to block the doors and I narrow my eyes at them. "Move," I tell them. They make no move to do what I've said. "If that's the way you want to do this." I blink quickly and smile cruelly, enjoying the look of shock on the guards' faces as my eyes change color to luminescent green. Everyone steps back almost collectively and I hold my hands up, forming a barrier in front of them so they can't go anywhere.
"This is highly unorthodox!" someone shouts at me. I glare at the group and they shrink from my gaze.
"You're all lucky I chose to keep you alive. It's your crown prince out there in trouble and I am the only person who can save him." The group's silent until someone speaks up.
"Who is he in trouble with?" My gaze softens and I feel my eyes turn back to their normal color, my rage wearing off.
"Himself." With that said, I vanish from the room seeking Gabriel's person.