vii. Zerase


Disclaimer/s: Art is from jungfox from Zerochan. It’s an entry for Psycho Pass’ Makishima Shougo. All credits for this art goes to each respective owners.

Arcadian Royal Castle…

          Resha was walking down the halls of the Arcadian Palace as her servants followed behind her. She had been looking for Azrael for a while now and she was losing time to spare before her coronation starts. Her servants had already asked their knights for help in locating the knight Azrael but they have not heard anything from them since.

          “Azzy, where are you?” Resha thought to herself as she looked around them for any signs of Azrael.

          “Why, if it isn’t Princess Resha herself.” A voice called out, causing the princess to stop on her tracks.

          Resha immediately turned around as soon as she heard the familiar voice called out to her. Lord Thomas, one of Arcadia’s finest knights and second highest next to the Knight Commander, stood a few steps away from her with two knights behind him.

          “A pleasure seeing you here, your highness,” he spoke as he gave his salutations to the soon to be Arcadian Queen. “I have been looking for you since earlier, as I would like to congratulate you on your coronation more than anything.”

          “I appreciate your kind gesture, Lord Thomas. Please accept my deepest gratitude,” she responded with a slight bow of her head.

          “Anything for our future queen.” He smiled at her.

          “I apologize for cutting this short, but I have to excuse myself for now. I need to find someone,” she said, giving yet another slight bow. She had something else that she wanted to do before her coronation starts and that is to find Azrael.

          As soon as Resha was about to leave, Thomas said something under his breath that caused Resha to give him one last glance before taking her leave.

          “I wish you luck on your future reign, your highness.”

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          “What did he mean by that?” Resha whispered to herself as she wondered what Lord Thomas meant by his words.

          A few minutes ago, she met Lord Thomas. Now that she had resumed on her search for Azrael, she could not help not to think back on Thomas’ words.

          “Why does it feel like he meant something else by what he said?” Resha continued pondering, talking to herself as she tried to dissect the councilman’s words. Sure, Thomas may have meant his words well, however, there was a part of Resha that sensed that something was amiss. “No, it just might be my anxiety talking. Yes, maybe’s that’s what it is…” she told herself, trying to disregard the issue.

          “Princess, watch out!” a servant warned as they reached an upcoming intersection.   

          “What…?” Resha snapped out of her thoughts as soon as she heard the servant’s cry.

          However, she was too late to respond and did not have the chance to stay out of an approaching man’s way that led to their untimely collision. “Ow…!” she exclaimed, as a loud thud sound came when she hit the ground.

          “Princess Resha! Princess, are you…” the servant cried as she rushed towards Resha, only to abruptly cut herself off her words at the sight of her princess, followed by a sudden gasp in shock.

          “Ow…” Resha griped a bit, her eyes twitched a little due to the sudden collision. Her servant’s call threw her back to her senses and she felt someone’s weight upon her. Her eyes soon widened in surprise as she realized the situation she was currently on. The Arcadian Princess found herself knocked down on the cold floor….

          …. And with an unknown man on top of her.

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Arcadian Royal Castle, Courtyard…

          An Elorian carriage pulled up in front of the Arcadian Royal castle with a small number of guards in stow. The small numbers of Elorian representation would come as a surprise to most everyone who was around the vicinity.

          Two guards jumped off the back of their horses and rushed to open the doors. An old man donned in white robes soon came out of the carriage: an air of superiority exuded from him despite having a huge scar on his left eye and a prosthetic arm for his right arm. The Elorian envoys’ arrival elicited whispers from some of the nobles.

          “So, that’s Eloria’s ruler… Lord Childerich.”

          “I thought Eloria wouldn’t come. Didn’t they despise the armistice??”

          “There’s something in his eyes that still scares me…”

          “Shh… they might hear us…”         

          Ah, what lovely tunes it must have been to the Elorian ruler! Childerich Lenora, ruler of the once great military nation of Eloria to the west of Arcadia, did not care even if he was the most hated man. In fact, he would rather be feared than be loved! But then again, those days where he strikes fear in the hearts of many were long gone, considering the state that Eloria has fallen into.

          A long time ago, he waged war against the united armies of Hououkami, Eau, and Arcadia. Known as the Succession Wars, it was the battle for control of the northern region of Regulus. The war started when Hououkami’s emperor was murdered in cold blood and with the emperor’s son still too young to succeed the imperial throne, Eloria seized that opportunity to conquer the northern empire for their vast mineral resources. Eloria’s advances were thwarted when Arcadia’s forces, led by the young king Lucian answered Hououkami’s call to arms.

          During this same period, Eloria was able to conquer the newly established Eau territory. To gain the upper hand on the power balance, Eloria brought the war to the southern region of Regulus – to the Astrean region. King Lucian rallied all the armies of Hououkami, Arcadia and the armies of the Astrean region under one banner and went to war against the Elorian forces. Eau was reclaimed and with their combined efforts, the Elorian forces were defeated and were forced to withdraw. It was during this battle that Childerich of Eloria lost an eye and an arm on a duel with King Lucian of Arcadia.

          With Eloria’s defeat, an armistice was signed between the four northern nations and Eloria gave up its military power. The armistice also stated that Astrea shall remain a free land – free to govern themselves and not by any nations.

          Lord Childerich let out a scoff, followed by a burst of slightly amused laughter. “Ah, Regalia. The crowning glory of Arcadia and a bastion of peace for all of Regulus,” stated the Elorian ruler, arms in the air as he marveled at the Arcadian Royal Palace.

          He turned to those around them, a smile of his lips. “Greetings, citizens of Regalia. What a lovely day we have to commemorate the ascension of your beloved princess.”

          “General Lenora,” King Lucian called out as he came out of the castle entrance with some of his royal guards following him. The Elorian ruler turned his gaze, casting his attention to the old Arcadian king. “I didn’t expect to see you here,” the king continued as he slowly walked down the steps towards the Elorian convoy. He stopped a couple of steps away from Lord Childerich and maintained the distance.

          “Ah, yes.” His Elorian counterpart responded as he started to walk towards the king, only to be stopped by a royal guard. Lord Childerich’s mouth gaped open, feigning hurt by the guard’s actions. He glanced at King Lucian, his eyes pleading for consideration. He posed no threat anymore since their defeat during the Succession Wars and he only brought a few guards with him, all equipped with nothing more than swords to protect them from a few bandit or monster attacks on their way.

          King Lucian gestured for his guards to stand down.

          Lord Childerich smiled, his face lighting up like a kid who got a new toy. “Today marks Princess Resha’s ascension to the throne of Arcadia. The herald of peace, becoming the beacon of hope for lasting peace.” He then slowly paced around for a few seconds before turning back to the king. “I would love to see this young princess of yours succeed your throne.”

          “And may I assume that your presence here means your show of support? You were never one for such a thing.”

          “Your words cut through me like a knife, your majesty! You’re bleeding me dry!” cried the Elorian ruler before turning to his soldiers. “You know full well that we do not pose any more threat to Regulus for a long time now.” Then he turned back to face his kingly counterpart. “We are here to show our utmost respect to the young queen-to-be. After all, she will be carrying your legacy as the one who brought peace to this land of Regulus.”

          “Such kind words for one such as you,” the king stated, a brow twitched in doubt. “Am I really expected to believe such words?”

          “But of course. You wouldn’t want to turn us away now, would you? That wouldn’t be a good example to your beloved people,” the Elorian ruler quipped.

          The Arcadian King fell silent for a moment, though his inquisitive eyes never averted away from the Elorian ruler. His Elorian counterpart’s words held some truth to it. It would not be wise to turn them away. Though there was an armistice amongst the four northern nations and Eloria was stripped off, of their military capabilities, still, they could not just drop their guards down around them. After all, Eloria’s ruler was still Childerich Lenora – the same man who led an army of soldiers on his quest to conquer northern Regulus.

          “Now then. I assume the noble seats are this way?” And with that said, General Childerich turned to some Arcadian knights, gesturing for them to lead the way.

          The Arcadian knights glanced to their king as if waiting for the king’s instructions. King Lucian simply answered with a slight nod. Complying to their king’s orders, the Arcadian Knights showed their Elorian “guests” the way to the noble seats.

          Just as soon as the Elorian ruler and his guards were escorted inside the Arcadian palace, Lord Thomas just came out of the palace. As he walked down the steps towards the Arcadian King, he walked past the Elorian convoy being escorted by their knights. The Arcadian Knight and the Elorian ruler’s eyes met and though it was but a fleeting moment, Lord Thomas could sense as if the Elorian ruler was gauging him from the way the Elorian ruler looked at him. Lord Thomas also noticed the smirk that escaped from Lord Childerich’s and his brows furrowed as he stopped on his tracks and watched the Elorian convoy disappear inside the palace.

          “Lord Thomas,” the king called out, drawing the knight’s attention.

          Thomas turned his attention to the Arcadian King, walked down the steps and stopped in front of him. “Your Majesty,” he greeted him, bowing his head down in utmost respect. Though he and the king practically grew up together, fought together in battles and was the older one between the two of them, Lucian was still his king nonetheless. “I see General Lenora graced us with his presence. The Hououkami envoy has already arrived as well, as I was informed. I am sure that the people will be pleased to see the four rulers of our land together.”

          “Yes…” was the king’s only response. Lord Thomas could sense that something was bothering the old king. But before he could ask him anything, the king spoke up.  “Thomas, how goes the security preparations? I want to make sure that Resha’s coronation goes smoothly.”

        “I was certain that the Commander should have reported to you by now. I saw him with our princess’ royal guard,” he responded, referring to the Knight Commander and Azrael. “We can go over the details if you wish to, your majesty, though I am worried about our time,” he finished.

          Another carriage soon came forth before the old king could respond. Compared to the one from Eloria and even any others, this carriage was adorned with fine colors and gold trimming. To surmise, this carriage just simply spoke out money and luxury. All onlookers knew exactly what royalty this vehicle hailed and upon its stop and with the opening of its carriage doors, it was confirmed. A well dressed, yet portly fellow from the knightdom of Eau exited and wore the most pompous smirk all over the land. Almost every finger upon his hand had a gold or silver ring, a finest, silken robe adorning his person as the man approached the Arcadian King.

          Eau, a small knightdom to the south of Hououkami, was the smallest out of the four northern nations of Regulus. Originally a city of nobles, the knightdom was established after the Succession War to protect them from being conquered by their neighboring kingdoms. And though a knightdom was established, the rule of Eau remained to the top nobles, who formed a council to govern their small nation.

          One of the most wealthiest upon the Council of Eau, Lord Alabaster strode up to the king with a hearty laugh, extending his arms out to pat the older man upon his shoulders. “My friend, you look well in your age! Congratulations are in order for you and your daughter. You must be proud, I know I would be, hahaha!” Lord Alabaster, despite one of such regal position and power, often was known for being quite informal and more akin to a party host rather than a governing leader. Many knew that he threw quite grandiose parties within Eau for the nobility, knowing that the knights would take care of the more boring work, as he put it. “As a gift, my wineries have saved up their finest of wines. The best of the best. There is a feast in store, yes? I’ll have my men bring it out then!”

          “Lord Alabaster. We are delighted to have you here.” King Lucian greeted Eau’s representative. The old king listened as the Eau councilman constantly spoke and laugh as he knew that once the councilman started talking, it would be impossible to stop him or get a word in. As soon as Lord Alabaster was done speaking, the Arcadian King simply nodded his head as he instructed his knights to comply with the Eau councilman’s wishes.

          Thomas gave Lord Alabaster a slight bow, paying recognition to the fact that the nobleman was sent as an official representative of the knightdom. Truth be told, it was rather odd that Eau’s council was made up of rich noble that had no experience whatsoever in any type of battle other than hosting a lavish cocktail or tea party. Yes, they have their knights to protect them. Or rather, they have knights that they could order around and do what they were told. At least Arcadia’s council were made up of renowned knights, handpicked by the king himself.

          “Your majesty, it is time for the coronation to start,” one of the king’s guard said before the chimes of a bell ringing were soon heard, signaling that it was almost time for the coronation to start.

          “Very well…” King Lucian then turned to Lord Alabaster. “Lord Alabaster, it is time for Princess Resha’s coronation. If you may please excuse myself, I will be going ahead of you. Our knights will gladly escort you to your seat.” And with that said, the Arcadian King turned towards the direction of the castle and started walking, followed by his royal guards. A group of knights also led the Eau noble and his men to the noble seats, leaving Lord Thomas by himself.

          “Ah. Finally, it starts.” Lord Thomas said to no one as he glanced at the king’s direction. One of his knights came up to him and whispered something to his ear before handing him a letter. Thomas took the letter and when he was about to open it, the word Zerase was spelled out in the front, although written in small letters. “Wonderful news,” he commented as soon as he finished reading the letter. A small grin soon formed on his lips as if in delight.

          With a quick turn of his heels, Lord Thomas made his way towards the ceremonial hall.

About Me

Confused writer wanna-be. Struggling to find her North Star. Weird. Dorky. Anime fanatic and casual gamer.

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