18 Ch-17 Usurp
"NO!!" said Lady Faye with a rare emphasis. "I will not hand over the crown! It's mine."
Felix scrounged his face but didn't reply. He was controlling his anger but it was clearly getting out of his hands.
Mr. Munroe pursued his lips and said, "Well that's bad but there's an alternative, Milady."
"What alternative?" asked Lady Faye, relaxing down. She slumped back onto her throne and said leisurely.
"Well, well," he said rubbing his hands, "It's quite simple, you see. As long as you consent to choose to hand over every one of these … outsiders of your Dean household, except your son of course, to Lord Hendrickson…. Then he might protect your REAL Dean family this time. As long as your hand over … let's say, Lady Yasmina and Lady Aarti and their children to Lord Hendrickson. I think it… won't be much of a problem."
He said with a creepy and wretched smile on his face.
"WHAT!!!" barked Felix at Mr. Munroe, his limit breaking. He had endured too much of this shame and couldn't take any more of these acts, but unlike normal people, Mr. Munroe frowned deeply and said.
"Watch whom you're talking to, sire!!"
"What! How dare you –"
Felix grinded his teeth and said but was interrupted by his mother. She smiled at Mr. Munroe and said, "I'm ready."
"What!" Felix looked shocked at his mother and said, "What are you saying mother?!! She's your sister! How can you say such things!!!!"
"Sister?" she looked puzzled and replied, "Aren't you mistaken? They are prisoners, slaves and most importantly, heathens! How can one like that be my sister? Aren't you mistaken, son?" she smiled at him gently. Felix looked shocked at her, just like the rest of the court. He couldn't imagine how much she has changed in these couple of years. Was it the same person who once told him that all humans are equal and that religion aren't what makes people different. Is she the same person who taught him to love the people around him? Is she really now his mother?
All the court people looked shocked and dumbfounded at Lady Faye's words. Finally, Lady Yasmina sighed and replied, "As you wish—"
"STOP!" barked Felix again, but this time, small black flames were erupting out from the gaps of his armors. He glared at Lady Yasmina and all the people around him. "Nobody except me will talk now."
His aura seeped out from his body and created a dangerous miasma of black fog around him. This was the Aura of a Lord, a stage which means power and prestige in the lands of Central Continent and Audenia. Felix was beginning to enter the ranks of Lords.
Felix sighed tiredly and said looking downwards, "Mother."
Lady Faye looked surprised at the Aura forming around her son and asked, "…Yes?"
"Please step down."
"!" The entire court looked surprised at Felix's word, even Lady Faye. She shook herself and smiled weakly at her son. "What do you mean, son?" she asked as gently as her expression could accommodate.
Felix, too smiled at her weakly, but there was coldness and hatred mixed in with it. He replied, "I mean what I said. Please step down. You are not healthy and most importantly, SANE enough to rule anymore. I implore you to step down and to not make things difficult for me."
"Pardon?" she said, quite amused. "Are you trying to usurp the throne?"
Felix laughed out loud, sarcastically and hysterically.
"Usurp the throne!! Hahaha!!" but suddenly, he turned silent. Deadly silent. He glared at her and replied, "Call it whatever you want, but you're no longer the ruler of Cainhorn Castle. I'm the son of Sir Aston Dean and I'm claiming what rightfully mine. Step Down!!!" He then turned away and said, "Guards!!"
But shockingly, none of the guards dare to come up. It wasn't that they were too loyal to Lady Faye or that Felix's Lordly Aura had frozen them, they were simply dumbfounded by the tracks where this court was going and were clearly hesitant to step forward. This further enraged him and he shouted again, "GUARDS!!!!"
5 guards scrambled forward, but it was only because of the heat of the moment. He pointed at Lady Faye and said, "Take her down!"
"S-Sir…" hesitated the guards, but Felix's anger was way off the mark. He glared at them and they scrambled towards Lady Faye with heads bowed, but then, Lady Faye said firmly, "No need!"
Felix turned and saw his mother standing weakly with the support of the handles of the throne. She glared back at Felix and then at the soldiers and said, "I'm not weak enough to have soldiers assist me. Scram!"
The guards immediately retreated. Lady Faye harrumphed coldly and slowly tried to get down, but even then, her weakened limbs couldn't support her. She slipped and fell down.
"Ahhh!!" she cried as she clutched her ankle. Her scream almost made Felix's heart leap out of his chest, but he didn't fudge. His position as the usurper and the new leader held him from helping his mother. Instead, he kept on his cold demeanor and looked at her emotionless.
"Sister!!" cried Lady Yasmina, as she dashed out to help Lady Faye. Lady Faye with her help stood up. Tears started dropping down her white-eyes as she said.
"Is this… is this really you, Felix? I can't… I can't believe you've strayed so far … so far away from me… what wrong have I done to deserve this? Am I … am I not doing all these for the sake of the family… so why? Tell me, Felix!"
Felix's heart tore open when he saw her tears, but still… he didn't move. His expression wavered for a moment, but then he turned away from everyone's sight. He wore his black armet and said, "Lady Yasmina …."
"Felix. Please. Stop this and look at her … I think—"
"Please take her away!"
"PLEASE!!!" he barked at nothingness, shocking her. Felix was stubborn but she too was adamantine to not leave. It was only because Lady Faye tugged at her cloth silently, that she sighed and moved out of the Great Hall, taking her away.
"Sigh…. Forgive me, father. Forgive me, mother." He muttered. His Aura started increasing sharply as a specter of a Black Wolf started forming in the now dense black fog. The black flames burned darker and darker and Felix started looking more menacing and deadlier than before.
The entire hall fell silent as they tried to comprehend what Felix was going to say, but Felix didn't turn around immediately. Instead, he cracked his shoulders and said, "Well, well, now that the delicate person is out, we can finally have a bit of calm and weed out the weeds, shall we, gentlemen?!"
He turned and stared intently at Mr. Munroe, almost giving him a heart-attack. Mr. Munroe's all the built-up confidence evaporated as beads of cold sweat trickled down his back. He smiled awkwardly and replied.
"Uh—t-hat … Milord, I wish to consult my superior, Colonel Reggie on this possible change of power, before proposing any kind of deal. So, I will take my leave for tonight."
He said and immediately dashed towards the doors to leave, but suddenly the guards at the door blocked his way. Surprised, he barked at the guards, "What are you doing!! Move aside!!" but the guards turned a deaf ear to his cries and instead looked at him with cold eyes. Both of them had
Clap! Clap! Clap!
A rhythmic clapping sound reverberated through the hall. Mr. Munroe turned around and saw Felix clapping with his steel gauntlets, while holding his Greatsword between his armpits.
"My! Oh! My! The might Mr. Munroe is running with his tails behind his back. What a sight for this Lord's eyes!! Tell me, Mr. Munroe, what's the hurry? The court has just started and I sincerely hope that you hear me out. I believe you will like my proposal." Felix's voice behind the armet turned colder and colder. He walked steadily towards Kadec, who was frozen solid with fear. Felix glanced at him and patted his shoulders. He said, "Since both of you are of the same opinion, that sending my father's mistresses, generally my step-mothers as 'gifts' to Hendrickson. I guess, it is indeed common for nobles to swap their women like this, isn't it?"
"I-I d-didn't s-say so…" replied Kadec, who was cluttering his teeth in fright. Felix cried, "Oh!" but then suddenly, a black shadow swept past his neck and the next moment he was floating in the air.
"G-gugh…" cried Kadec as he struggled free from Felix's black fingers. Felix's black armet looked at him and said coldly, "Sir Kadec, I never knew women were so … cheap. I never knew my mothers are so cheap. I never knew my siblings were so cheap. I never knew my Dean family is so … cheap. Thank you for enlightment!" said Felix, as his grip tightened.
"G-gggeeeghh!!! Gugh! Gah!!!" Kadec struggled harder and harder but Felix's devilish fingers tightened and tightened. Finally, after a period of struggling, Kadec'seyes' dimmed down as his struggles stopped. Tears fell down Kadec's dead eyes down Felix's cold gauntlets, his arms and legs slumped down and his breathing ceased, but even then, Felix didn't leave his neck. His grip tightened to the point where blood started trickling down his orifices. When Felix did loosen his grip, Kadec's neck had been deformed beyond comprehension. This was Felix's first kill.
He huffed for breath as black flames erupted out of the holes of his armet. He glanced at the dead body of Kadec, at the wretched face he made just before he died, but none of them shook him. He expected himself to be afraid or frightened, but strangely enough, he didn't feel anything. Infact, it felt more pleasurable than pain and anguish. A laugh erupted out from the black armet, filled with pure Killing Intent.
Felix laughed out loud like a mad person, but then he suddenly turned to Mr. Munroe and said, "My…!"
The Killing Intent flowed from that single word and nearly froze Mr. Munroe core. But being a cultivator of Battle Techniques, he was able to endure it, but only slightly. The fear of a prey meeting its predator had completely engulfed his mind.
Judging the danger of staying here, he immediately turned around and dashed to leave this cursed place but then, the guards still held their spears criss-crossed.
"You!" Munroe cried, completely enraged. He clenched his fist and a slivery light surrounded it. "Ha!" he cried and punched right at the center of the nearest guard's breastplate.
The guard, even though was prepared couldn't defend against the Qi infused punch, which hit his breastplate. The force slammed him back at the door, making a small hole right through it. Blood spurted out from his mouth and his breastplate was completely shattered. The power of the punch surprised the other guard and using it as an opportunity, Munroe dashed outside of that small hole, but right when half of his body was out of the door, a cold sensation spread on his right shoulder. His heartbeat stopped for a second, as a ghostly voice erupted under his ear, "In a hurry?"
A tremendous amount of force pulled Munroe back into the hall and threw him across. He made a perfect arch and fell face down infront of the Throne. Sounds of bones cracking was heard, but he was least cared about it.
He spurted a mouthful of blood as he clenched his rib cage, which was completely broken from being slammed. Infact, he was quite lucky that he covered most of his vitals with his battle Qi just before he fell or else he would've surely died. He gritted his teeth and looked at Felix and saw him coming towards him with his blade drawn completely. He bit his lips and focused all of his battle Qi at his right hand.
A shiny silvery bright light accumulated a this right-palm as he aimed at Felix, but then a sharp cry rang out as a blue arrow pierced his right hand.
"Ahhh!!" Munroe cried out aloud as his concentration was forcefully broken and all the battle Qi backfired, wrecking his right hand. It was only the numbing feel of the ice surrounding the arrow that kept his sanity intact.
Felix, who clearly understood who it was, sighed and started running towards Munroe with his Greatsword in his hands. Munroe, frightened to the point of insanity, turned around and tried to scramble but then, suddenly his head felt extremely light. His vision made a complete 360 degrees before falling on the ground with a thud. He was beheaded, but just before he lost his consciousness, he saw a demon-like creature behind his headless body.
Felix had finished Munroe in a single slash of his Greatsword. After confirming, Munroe to be dead, Felix cleaned the fat and blood off his blade.
"Che! Betrayers! Traitors! Defectors!! How many of such rats has the Dean family been cultivating for ages? Tell me!! Stand out! Whoever still thinks of sucking on Hendrickson's feet, STAND OUT!!!"
Felix's shout rang out through the hall, but not a single person dared to utter a single peep.
"Tsk!" Felix clicked his tongue. His anger was boiling harder and harder and he needed someone to berate or more likely, kill. He had somehow become infatuated with killing. He pointed at randomly and shouted, "IF YOU PEOPLE ARE REALLY WORRIED ABOUT THE IMPERIAL MEET, THINK OF WAYS TO QUICKLY EARN MONEY, NOT OF SELLING YOUR OWN LORDS. THAT IS NOT HOW WE NOBLES DO THING!! TELL ME, HAVE WE BEEN FEEDING DOGS ALL THIS TIME!!"
Everyone bowed their heads down in shame. This shame was not of being berated by an apparent child, but by the fact that their action today has made their Lord doubt them and their long relationship with the Dean family and in such medieval times, a spark of doubt is enough to bring down long forged families and friends.
"I apologize, Milord," said Sir Peder as he kneeled down. "I'm at fault for not being adequate enough."
"Yes Milord," said Chester, the head butler, as he too kneeled down, "I'm also at fault for not being able to explain things clearly to Milady Faye and for not being able to govern the court properly. I beg you to forgive me and the rest of the court for their indecisiveness and for all the disrespect shown to the Dean family."
He bowed his head down further in complete servitude and shame, so did the other advisors after kneeling down in sync. The only ones who didn't kneel were Sir Doncan, Yvette and Aslak, who was looking coldly from the shadows. Strangely though, Sir Doncan and Yvette's eyes were glowing with a particular gleam in the partial darkness of the courtroom, but no one seemed to noticed it.
"ENOUGH!!" barked Felix, ignoring all of their kneeling. "I'm not here to listen to your apologies. This court is dismissed. But everyone! Everyone is going to stay in the Castle." He sighed and then turned to Sir Peder. He looked at him sternly and asked, "Sir Peder, can I trust you?"
Sir Peder banged his breastplate and replied, "With my life, Milord, I shall protect the Dean family. You have my word and my life. I will not betray you."
"Very well then. I want you to increase the patrols in the Castle 10x times and assign guards to each and every rooms. I don't want a word of what happened here to get out. And if it does get out…" a grinding sound came from the armet. "I will skew those bastards and then personally skin you and your men and barbeque them in the courtyard. Now, Dismissed!!"
"Yessir!" replied Sir Peder as he turned around but was suddenly stopped by Felix. "Stop!" he said and sighed. Pointing at the two guards who stopped Munroe and said, "… before you do all this, do give that injured guard some medication and some rewards to both of them. Valor is well respected."