The charges still echoed in his head, and all he could hear above the blood rushing in his own ears were the angry accusations. The shock of it still hadn’t set in. Treason— he, commit treason! The idea was absurd, but the room was buzzing with those who believed it. The only one who seemed to be on his side was the queen; she looked at him with pity in her eyes, pity and regret. The rest glared at him, shook their fists, banged their staves on the floor.
It was the queen’s whose voice suddenly broke through the cacophony. “Innocent until proven guilty, my lords!” she said. She did not shout, but her voice rang clearly even over the roar of voices in the hall. It quavered a little, but with sadness, not timidity. “Sir Elliot shall have a fair trial, as is his right.” The mob lost its fury, reduced to grumbling and shuffling of feet. The queen fixed each of them with a steady gaze in turn, and the few who dared meet her eyes backed off, guilty and sullen.
"Has he no comrades present here?" she continued, her eyes sweeping over the crowd. "Is there no one who will speak of his character?"
"I will, my queen." The mob shifted, and a dark-skinned young knight dressed in blue pushed his way through the crowd. The scowl on his face spoke of his displeasure, but the elbows he shoved into those in his way spoke louder. A murmur of disapproval went up from the crowd. Elliot only smiled.
"Of course House Berkant stands with this traitor!" snapped the oily-haired man. He sneered as the knight walked forward, stopping beside Elliot and giving meeting his eyes. Aside from disapproval, the young man’s expression was hard to read.
"The whole line is foreign to our lands," the man continued. "Who’s to say they are not accomplices? This man’s word—"
"Is worth far more than yours, certainly," Elliot snapped before he could stop himself. The lord jeered at him.
"Think you so, boy?"
A hush fell over the hall as the king stood. The big man took two solid steps forward, down the dais to the floor and standing level with the two young knights.
"There will be no trial."
Elliot felt his stomach drop. Beside him, Aslan bristled.
"B-but Your Majesty—"
"That’s not right!"
"But my lord!" The queen was on her feet now, looking shocked, but the king held up a hand.
"Guards, relieve Sir Elliot of his weapons and take him to the—"
Aslan drew his sword and stepped forward; even the king was taken aback, and the guards who had come forward so readily to cart off the traitor stopped dead in their tracks. The air hissed between his clenched teeth as Elliot sucked in a breath.
The other knight ignored him. Instead, Aslan glared at the guards, the sneering, oily-haired man, the king. “Is this the king’s justice?” he demanded, his voice echoing off the walls. “Is this how our land is governed? I have fought for this realm, and I have fought beside Sir Elliot. No knight more dedicated and loyal would you find in all the land. He would die for that loyalty.” He scoffed, sheathing his sword and starting to unbuckle his sword belt. “It seems the realm is not so loyal to her champions.”
Elliot stared at his friend as the young man rid himself of his weapons, laying them in a pile at his feet. Finished, he took a step back, looking at them with a twinge of regret.
"If good men are traitors in this land," he said, "then count me as one of them."
For a moment no one said a word. Then the king nodded gravely. “Very well. Guards, take them both to the dungeons to await their executions.”
As the guards stepped forward, gathering the discarded weapons and prodding the two of them from the hall at pike-point, Elliot stared at the other knight, dumbfounded.
"Aslan, you fool," he hissed, "what are you doing?”
At that, Aslan broke into a grin. “Rescuing you, of course.”
"Oh, of course," Elliot repeated, marching down the hallway to their doom. "I don’t know why I didn’t see it before."
a/n: a continuation of sorts for this post… I just miss writing for the heck of it and these two have been running around in my head all day.
Tags: knights. new ideas. exploration. non-canon. writing. Elliot LeBlanc. Aslan Berkant.
Posted 2 years ago on Thursday 29 September 2011 at 12:41 AM