This dagger tried to pierce my heart, your grace. Jalten Short stories #1

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The mighty doors of the throne room opened. Light shined in, lightening up the atmosphere and from the midst of the light, a man walked in. He stood tall, at least as tall as he could, for his right leg made his entire body lean slightly to the right. In his right hand, he held a staff, which he used as a walking stick. It was made from the magical wood from the Divine woods of the west and on top of it, there was a beautifully carved raven, made from white stone of sort. His hair was long and owned the same color of the stone raven and his eyes were like silver coins, constantly looking around him, reading the faces of the starring people. For a moment, he just walked while watching the people, but then he coughed, straightened his posture and looked directly in front of him. Maron sat on his throne. His eyes were locked on the young man and as he walked closer, a warm and silent smile grew on his face.

“Lord Zylron,” he said, breaking the painful silence of the room, “I didn’t expect you to arrive this early,” Zylron chuckled as he made his way to the speaker’s altar. He stepped on the stone platform. He listened to how the lords and masters whispered to one another at the sides of the room. It annoyed him. It always did. He then knocked the ground with his staff and as the echoing sound traveled across the room, the whispers grew silent. Zylron sighed, took one last glance at the lords before he turned to the king.

“Your grace,” he said as he bowed slightly, “There were certain interruptions to my plans,” Maron leaned forth and scrubbed his beard.

“What kind of interuptions?” The whispers started once again, but this time, Zylron remained silent about it. He sighed, before suddenly pulling a knife from his cloak and throwing it on the ground. The crowd gasped and Maron’s eyes widened.

“What is this?” He asked as he stood up, his head turning red like a fire.

“It’s the weapon that tried to pierce my heart, your grace,” Maron grew silent. He glanced at Lord Joran, but his eyes were as horrified as his own. He gulped, scratched his head, before he raised his hand and said:

“Guards, bring me this knife.” Zylron stepped back and followed how the guards, dressed in silver cloaks, came and took the dagger with ellegance. They climbed up to the king and handed the blade to him. Maron began to study the blade carefully and as time passed, his face began to grow more and more red. A minute passed. Then two. Then finally, he rised his head and stared deep into Zylron’s eyes.

“This blade,” he started as he began walking down to Zylron, “is the work of the Roshal smiths.” The room, now filled with the sounds of chattering, got heavy atmosphere. The lords and masters talked to each other while staring at the table of the house of Roshal.

“Silence!” Lord Joran shouted and for the first time, his word had a silencing effect. Maron walked to Zylron and carefully studied his face as he held the knife in his hands. Zylron remained silent and his face were cold and emotionless as per usual, but this time, his eyes were shining in a way that signified fear. The sight made Maron’s stomach turn, for he had known Zylron for a long time and he knew he was rarely afraid. But when he was, it was for a reason. That reason startled Maron.

“Lord Zylron,” he finally spoke, “What exactly happened? What event brought a blade like this to you?” Zylron smirked slightly and glanced at the Roshal lords. They evaded his looks.

“I had just traveled over the Valnorian border and my plan was to cross the mountains of sight. I traveled, day and night, with as little rest as possible, but as you know, even I can grow weary at times,” The crowd laughed, but they were quickly silenced by the shouting Joran. “I rested in a tavern, near the shining falls and while there, I was greeted by a few Roshal knights.” Suddenly, an elder master in a brown cloak stood up and said:

“What were these Roshal doing at the falls? It’s a place no soldier is allowed to—”

“We all know the laws associated with that place, master Utal. Now, I ask you all remain silent, for I believe we all want to hear what lord Zylron has to say,” The elder master sat back down. Zylron nodded to Maron and smiled.

“So… as I was saying: I met a few Roshal soldiers there and they showed me around. We chatted for a brief moment, before I returned to the tavern,” Zylron licked his lip and bit it. His hold on the staff got tighter and he struggled to keep his neutral face and good posture. “During the night, I woke up when a man, dressed in a dark cloak, walked into my room. He was armed and right after I glanced at him, he leaped at me. As you might have quessed, I managed to draw my blade quickly enough,” A chair screamed as a man from the table of Roshal stood up.

“And tell me, Lord Zylron: Why is this incident important in the matter? Are you blaming my house for this? There’s absolutely no sign of my warriors doing such things!”

“It is true,” another man said from the other side of the room, “Roshal blades are not just used in their lands. They’re good blades. Sharp. Stable. Beautiful. What I sense from lord Zylron’s story, he’s clearly trying to blame Roshal for this, based on this one blade.”

“SILENCE!” Maron shouted. His voice was heard from outside the room and it echoed in the air foor a good while. Every lord and master sat down without saying a word and even Zylron took a step back. “What are you stating here, lord Zylron?” Zylron glanced at the table of Roshal again and as he did, a confident smile grew on his face. He reached to his pockets and pulled out a bronze necklace, shaped like a shield. He turned around and showed the necklase to all the lords and masters. The chattering continued among the people. Maron was barely able to breathe and the lords at the table of Roshal grew red and sweaty.

“This is the necklace I got from my attacker. And it just happens to be the necklase all Roshal soldiers wear. Is there proof now, my lord?” Maron slowly turned to the Roshal lords and stared at them with flaming disgust.

“We all knew the mission lord Zylron was taking. And it just happened that your soldiers broke the law just to get to him.” The Roshal lord stood up and said:

“My king, I—”

“Enough!” Maron shouted and waved at the guards. “Take these traitors to the cells. They will remain there until we’ve cleared this mess in its entirety.”

The guards sprinted at the lords and chained their hands, before dragging them out from the room. The Roshal lords shouted and begged for mercy, but the king remained silent. He walked back to his throne and sat down. Zylron had once again shown his abilities to survive in the court. Maron admired that and he had slowly begun to see him as his own son. As their eyes met, they both smiled. Zylron bowed, before turning around and walking out from the room. His heart beat like the drums of the west, but his spirit was filled with confidence. He had one again.

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This picture inspired me while writing this short story. I’m not the creator of this beautiful art.

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