Bralen, Emaria, Nero, and Auriella walk down a long entrance hallway with large stones in the wall. They come to the end of the hallway and open a wooden door to a large open room with two rows of large stone pillars on each side of a black and orange carpet and large paned windows facing the sunrise. At the other end of the room are a man and a woman looking to be in their mid-fifties. The man has a neatly trimmed black beard with streaks of gray and the woman standing next to him has hair that is a swirl of gold and gray.
“And so my prodigal children return.” The man laughs.
“Emaria isn’t your daughter father. No offense but it’s weird when you call my wife your daughter.” Bralen says putting his face into his hand.
“Well she’s my Daughter in Law and that’s close enough.” Bralen’s father says.
“That’s so nice to hear Zalar.” Emaria says with a smile.
“You heard your son Zalar. I can see where he is coming from.” Bralen, Nero, and Auriella’s mother says.
“I suppose you’re right Yara. Now down to business What’s your after mission report?” Zalar says.
“The ruins at Donlan have been cleared of the necromancers. We Eliminated all of them. Auriella sensed that something wasn’t right so we are requesting to do a second sweep of it tomorrow if you’ll allow us father.” Bralen says.
Zalar looks over at Yara as if they are communicating without speaking then turns around and paces back and forth for a minute.
“I’ll approve of this second sweep through tomorrow. You’ll leave early in the morning so as to have plenty of daylight to see clearly.” Zalar says stroking his beard.
The four warriors drop to one knee and bow. They thank the king and queen for the chance and then turn to walk away.
“Father, there’s something that I’d like to discuss with you.” Auriella says.
Bralen, Emaria, and Nero both stop in their tracks and turn around.
“You’re going to do this now?” Nero says with a blank expression.
“Yes. Father and Mother should know” Auriella says pompously.
“know what?” Yara asks intrigued.
“Most of those necromancers that were killed at Donlan weren’t killed in self-defense. Bralen killed them Execution style after they surrendered.” Auriella says.
“Bralen is this true?” Zalar asks looking at Bralen who is obviously agitated.
“I won’t deny it. Out of the thirty necromancers that were there I executed fifteen of them. I just figured I’d keep the executioner bored.” Bralen says with a scowl.
“Is that your real reason?” Yara says.
“If you would’ve seen what we saw in those ruins mother I doubt even you would’ve been able to control yourself. Elders, women, infants, small children all had their body parts strung all over the place as if they were nothing but ornaments to decorate the rooms. These people had no mercy so I showed them no mercy. They should consider themselves lucky that I spared them a painful death; something they didn’t show their victims.” Bralen says trembling with anger.
“It’s true that it was a gruesome sight but that doesn’t mean we can throw the legal system and true justice out the window!” Auriella Exclaims.
“Auriella I would tend to agree with you; but not this time. From what I’ve just heard those necromancers you killed were no longer human and so did not deserve human justice.” Zalar says somberly.
“They were animals so I disposed of them like animals.” Bralen says.
“It must be so easy to not hold any value for life for the Banished prince isn’t it?” Auriella lashes out.
Suddenly there is a loud boom and everyone looks over at Bralen who just punched the stone wall next to him. There is an indent in the stone in the shape of his fist where he punched the wall and cracks in the stones extend all the way up and down the wall. Bralen then lowers his arm and walks out of the room slamming the wood door on his way out.
“Low blow auriella; low blow.” Nero says shaking his head.
“I’ll go after him.” Emaria says as she bows to Zalar and Yara. She then turns and leaves the room.
“Auriella, my child, what am I going to do with you?” Yara says.
“So maybe I shouldn’t have said that last part but…” Auriella begins to say.
“There is no excuse for what you said Auriella. I thought I made it perfectly clear that that topic was to never be brought up again. Bralen served his banishment and came home. That was to be the end of it. I’ll consider if there’ll be a punishment or not at a later time. You’re both dismissed.” Zalar says interrupting Auriella.
Nero and Auriella bow and leave the room.
“She’s definitely your daughter.” Zalar says to Yara.
“She means well but she is too emotional at times and at other times she doesn’t seem to have any emotion.” Yara says.
“It’ll come with age my dear.” Zalar says smiling.
Zalar then calls for a messenger.
“Yes, your highness.” The messenger says bowing.
“Go to the training room and tell Bralen that I want him to go clear out a den of lesser demons and mages to the north. He’ll know which one I mean. That ought to let him get out some aggression.”
“Right away your highness.” The messenger says as he leaves.
Down a winding hallway and back in a corridor is where the training room lies for the royal family. The room looks modern with sliding glass doors able to resist the Most of the beating that a Demon Meister can throw at it. Inside the spacious room a demon Meister can select as many training dummies to fight with and can even select a difficulty or warrior type.
Currently inside the training room hundreds of training dummies lie on the ground broken to pieces and the walls are scratched and nicked. Bralen is standing in the center of the room breathing heavy and is drenched in sweat. His sleeveless shirt is ripped in several places as well as his shorts. Emaria knocks on the glass window beside the door and then walks in through the sliding doors.
“Mind if I come in?” she asks.
“No, I was just finishing up.” Bralen says trying to catch his breath. The two walk over to a bench in the corner of the large room.
“What’d they do to you?” Maria says with a laugh as she points to the many broken training dummies.
Bralen stares at Emaria for a moment then answers;
“Nothing I suppose. It’s what they’re designed for.”
“Yeah I guess you’re right.” Emaria says. The two sit in silence for a moment and then Emaria asks;
“Are you going to be ok?”
“Yeah. I’ll Be fine.” Bralen says as he takes a cup that Emaria hands him.
“You know I’ve always thought it’s funny how we age.” Emaria says staring at the ceiling.
“What’s so funny about it?” Bralen asks.
“To us thirty years is like five years. I mean we’ve been married for ten years but yet it’s still almost like we’re newlyweds. Our sense of time is different than others.” Emaria says
“What’s your point?” Bralen asks
“Your banishment happened fifteen years ago but it’s still fresh in your mind isn’t it?” Whereas most people would be over something like that by now for us the pain lasts longer. This sense of time and aging that we have can be a blessing and a curse. We can spend more time with the ones we love more than most but we also have to carry our pain longer than most. But do you know what the best part about this is?” Emaria asks
Bralen just shakes his head.
“The best part is that since we both have this experience it means that we can both share in the joy and the pain together. You don’t have to carry that pain alone Bralen. You always try to shoulder the burden yourself but maybe this time you’ll share it with me?” Emaria says holding Bralens hand.
“Do you want me to tell you about it?” Bralen asks.
“If you want to.” Emaria replies.
“You know how our demons are sealed inside us but we can only release half of their power unless we draw our swords when they’re released right?”
“Well back then I thought if I could seal the demons within the swords maybe I could double the power. So I snuck into the Demon Temple and stole the scroll of sealing and performed a sealing ritual on five swords I bought in town.”
“Wait, I thought that the demon swords we get appear when the sealing ceremony is done?” Emaria asks.
“they are but only when the demon is sealed within someone. I was trying to seal them inside something so a sword wouldn’t appear so I just put them in normal swords thinking it would work?” Bralen replies.
“did it?” Emaria asks
Just then the messenger comes running in through the doors to the training room and hurries over to Bralen and Emaria.
“sorry to interrupt sir, Ma’am but the king has an important message for you.”
“What is it?” Bralen asks looking curious but also a tad annoyed.
“He says he wants you to clear out a den of Lesser demons and mages to the north of the city. He said you’d know which one it is. That is all sir.” The messenger says promptly
“Alright. This must be his way of getting rid of my anger and being useful all at once. I’ll change and then depart.” Bralen says to the Messenger.
“Yes sir.” The Messenger says with a bow and then exits.
“Looks like I’ll have to finish my story later.” Bralen says walking away.
“I know your father said that you should do it but do you have any problem with me going with you dear?” Emaria asks.
Bralen stops and turns around and thinks on it for a second.
“I don’t see why not.” Bralen says and the two exit the training room.
Bralen and Emaria walk back to their room and change into fresh uniforms. They check their swords and then make their way out of the castle. As they walk through Lamria to the gate they receive the usual glares from the non-Meister residents. As they approach the gate the gate swings open and Bralen and Emaria start running out into the open plains outside of Lamria.
They keep running until the reach a woods and then they jump into the trees running from branch to branch. Bralen holds up the sign to stop and they both stop on their respective branches up in the trees. Bralen points to a small earthwork up ahead of them. Emaria nods when she sees it and the two approach the edifice quietly.
“Get ready to release. You strike first then in the confusion I’ll cut the remaining mages down. We’ll deal with the demons last since the mages are their source of energy.” Bralen says with a commander’s sternness.
“Roger that. I’ll have your Back.” Emaria says the gentleness in her voice now gone and replaced with a serious tone.
“Hey it’ll be a piece of cake. Let’s go.” Bralen says patting Emaria on the head.
“Bloom then scatter to the wind…Kazehana” Emaria says then draws her sword.
“Accelerate…Ryumaru” Braylen says and then draws his sword.
Suddenly the wind starts gusting and A bunch of flowers appear around Emaria. She uses the wind and sends some of them flying at the mages on lookout. The flowers find their mark and strike the mages similar to shuriken killing them instantly.
An alarm begins to sound and the lesser demons and their mage masters come out of the building to face their enemy.
“Too easy.” Bralen laughs and then in a flash he appears in the middle of a group of mages.
Before the mages have time to turn around Bralen cuts them all down with slashes that are too fast for the eye to detect. A mage fires a blast at Bralen but he vanishes before the spell can find it’s mark. Bralen then appears right in front of the mage and cuts open his chest killing the mage.
Emaria stays in the trees and sends ranged attacks at any of the mages who try to gain the higher ground on Bralen. The two continue to use this strategy until all of the mages are dead and only the handful of lesser demons remain.
“Emaria come down here I’m gonna need your cover on this one.” Bralen commands.
Emaria jumps down next to Bralen.
“I want you to make so these guys can’t see me. Some of them may be able to catch my movements briefly if they are speed demons.”
“Alright, leave it to me.” Emaria responds.
The wind begins to pick up and suddenly the flowers that surround Emaria begin to break apart until there are several of the petals whirling around in the wind. Emaria motions towards the lesser demons and they are suddenly enveloped in flower petals spinning around them in a tornado.
“I’m going to try and do this in one shot. Get Ready.” Bralen says.
Bralen disappears and then in a few seconds Emaria makes the flower petals disperse. As they do Bralen appears above the lesser demons.
“Demon’s Roar!” Bralen shouts.
Suddenly a black ball of energy forms in front of Bralens mouth and then shoots out in a beam of demonic energy. The shot makes a high pitched roar sound as it hits the lesser demons below. The blast creates a large explosion and smoke and dirt cover the air. As the smoke and dirt disappear there is nothing left of the demons except for a giant crater. The demonic aura surrounding Bralen and Emaria goes away as they reseal their powers.
“That seemed a bit overkill.” Emaria teases.
“Probably but I wanted to make sure.” Bralen laughs.
“Well all in all I’d say mission complete. Let’s go home and get some sleep.” Emaria says yawning.
“Couldn’t agree more.” Bralen says wrapping his arm around Emaria’s waist.
The two walk out of the small fort that the mages have built and return to Lamria.