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Fate and Freedom XXV: Execution

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The slaves watched on with silent distress as they were led into the central plaza, a long set of steps leading to the Frozen Spire just behind the crowd of imperials., who were rasing their fists repeatedly in the air, shouting "Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!" again and again, in the Old Language, the language of the Wyrms.

Gale and the others all stood in rows, their weapons confiscated, their wrists encased in monolithic blocks of ice, except for nina, who was haled in place by chains made of pure shadow. The small band of hunters had bee brought here separately (probably so that they couldn't co-ordinate an escape), so Gale had no idea where her two sons were. She looked to Mizu, whom the soldiers had beaten up for fun aon the way here, beside her for comfort, but his face was as troubled has hers. Suddenly, she was hit my the harsh butt of a weapon, drips of salaiva mixed with blood dripping from her lips.

"Face your superiors, wench!" the tinny voice of a soldier hissed as it's owner slowly marched by.

"Leave...her...alone..." Mizu wheezed tiredly. The soldier stopped, then tured around, marched over to Mizu and kicked him in the stomach, making him yell out in pain. The soldier spat on the floor next to him and walked away.

"I'm scared, Makoto. What're we gonna do?" Skylar whimpered, looking to Makoto next to her for support. Makoto's eyes stared blankly ahead.

"I...I don't know, Skylar," she said with disdain.

"Shut up, both of you!" a soldier barked from behind them.

"Look, there," Altair whispered out of the corner of his mouth, so as not to attract the harsh attention of the imperials. The hunters looked ahead to a throne of pure ice that was shouldered like a royal carriage by four soldiers, in which Kazir sat, his eyes cold and professional, although their psycopathic twinkle could never be hidden. The soldiers remained in place for a moment, before setting the throne upon the stone ground, allowing Kazir to get up. We slowly walked forward onto a podium of ice that he foremd as he moved, a set of small stepd leading up to an ice statue shaped like a winged beast, a dragon, one might presume; a crude, arctic lecturn. As Kazir laid his gloved hands on it, everything and every one fell silent. He began to speak. It was entirely in the Old Language, but since the people of this land learned the language in class for years, they understood it fairly well.

"Watashi no kōkina kyōdai! Saigo ni, sonohi wa kita! Kyōfū no Kaze to kanojo no kohōto wa, watashitachi ni wa mohaya meiwaku o okake shite wa naranai! Karera wa ningen no fuhai kara, watashitachi no sekai o torimodosu tame ni watashitachi no rippana sensō no saisho no kiru shinakereba naranai! Kyō, wareware wa wareware no meiyo o torimodosu! Kyō, watashitachiha watashitachi no hokori o torimodosu! Kyō, watashitachiha watashitachi no unmei ni rēdā, Shinkaiyami wa, watashitachi no katsute no eikō o watashitachi, waiāmu o kaesu yō ni shitagatte kudasai!" he roared with immeasurable pride, the mass of imperials cheering wildly, their hearts filled with twisted patriotism.

(My noble brothers! At last, the day has come! Gale Kaze and her cohorts shall trouble us no longer! They shall be the first kills in our honorable war to take back our world from the human rot! Today, we reclaim our honor! Today, we reclaim our pride! Today, we follow our destined lader, Shinkaiyami, to return we, the Wyrms, to our former glory!)

The trapped Descendants watched in disgust as the imperials laughed, sneered, jeers and spat at them. What with the Wyrms always ranting about how much better they were than humans, their "brothers", their "children", had allot less class and decency than one would think. There were peasants drunk on ale that had better public decorum than these pigs. One of them even tried to urinate on the hunters, but he was obviously drunk out of his mind because he missed and splattered over the armour of another imperial (who quickly chastised the drunkard) instead. If it weren't for the dire situation, Gale and the others would be laghing util they died. Although they feared that the "die" part of that scenario might be applicable here anyway.

Kazir raised his arms and clapped twice, following which the bruised bodies of Arashi and Rakurai (still dressed in Silver Sol and Narga X armours [respectively]) were brought out before Gale and her friends, forced to their knees with kinves to their throats, the excited executionaers waiting with patient smiles upon their faces.

"Gale Kaze must make a choice!" Kazir said, turning his body slowly to speak to his "brothers", then facing Gale and continuing his monologue. "She must choose which one of her beloved sons will die. SO, miss Kaze, who will it be?"

Gale, distressed and crying now, shook herselftrying to escape, but to no avail.

"Well?" Kazir snorted impatiently.

"NO! You can't make me...!" she sobbed with despair.

"Fine, whatever; kill them both." Kazir said with sly satisfaction his smile growing into an evil grin.

"NO!" Mizu cried out.

"Then CHOOSE!" Kazir screeched. "I don't have infinite patience, you know!"

Gale stared on with horror. How could anyone ask a mother to choose which one of her children will die? And how could she choose, knowing that she'd never see that person again, and that it would be entirely her fault?

As she was in the midst of despair, Gale remembered what Enshi had whispered to her.

"The forces of the other cities and villages are nearly here. When they are approaching, I will send a small heatwave toward you. When you start to feel warmer, shake your head and it shall begin."

She had felt no such heatwave thus far. She had to stall somehow. She called out to Nina in her head.

"Nina, we need to stall for a while. Do you have any ideas?"

"I will see what I can do."

A few moments after that, the ground began to shudder, slowly at first, then more violently (it also unintentionally began to crack the ice that held the hunters prisoner, but not enough to shatter it). Everybody clung to something or someone to keep their footing, while others fell down and waited calmly for several minutes for the tremors to subside, which, after cracking the ground and surrounding pavings, they did.

Nina saw her work and knew that this wasn't enough, and so called out to Enshi in her mind.

"How long will it be until the armies are here? I cannot delay these babbling buffoons indefinitely!" she hissed.

"They are nearly here! Get Gale to stall them just a little while longer, only a minute or two more!" Enshi moaned.

Knowing that this was as good at this situation was going to get, Nina relayed the message to Gale, who blinked slowly, knowing all that she had to lose in two minutes. She saw how frightened her boys looked, despite their courage for have lived without adult supervision for elevn years. She wanted to smile at them, as if to say "it's okay". But she couldn't, because it wasn't.

As Kazir straightened himself out again, he posed Gale the same impossible question.

"...Why are you doing this?" she said, still a little upset, but not panicking like before; this time she had hope. Kazir stared at her with bemusement.

"Why am I doing this?" he echoed, his indifferent expression soon twisting into a sick smile, a lighthearted chuckle escaping his lips. "...WHY AM I DOING THIS!?" he repeated, roaring with laughter now, and the soldiers joined in (although they rebels weren't sure why).

"Oh, that is RICH!" he said, amused. "Heh! "Why are you doing this?", she says!" he scoffed. "Are you actually implying that I need a reason to hurt people, take away everything that gives them a reason to live and destory their entire lives, cutting people entil they scream, bleed and die, and laughing at the pain of everyone around me? Are you that fucking stupid? THERE IS NO "WHY"!! I do all the positively wonderful things I do, simply because...well, because I can! And I just love seeing the miserbale, barren and desolate looks on the faces of people like you when you're all wallowing in whatever private hell I've fashioned for you. And guess what, bitch? You can do sweet fuck all about it! And you know what makes this just fantastic!? I'm completely and utterly sane."

Gale stared at him while he laughed, disgusted.

"Now choose. Please," he asked, with sly politeness, his eyes narrowing as his smile lengthened, a short chuckle from the imperials following. Gale eyes darted from left to right between Rakurai and Arashi. Suddenly, great news reached her via Nina, as Enshi's aforementioned wave of warmth washed over her.

"Enshi says they are here! Make the move!"

Gale smiled and began to laugh. Kazir's smile turned to a scowl.

"What's so funny? How can you laugh at your own doom?" Kazir said, angry that he wasn't in control.

"I'm laughing...at yours," Gale retoretd, then, as per Enshi's instructions, she shook her head wryly, the signal for the rebels to make their move. Before Kazir could retort to Gale's provocative statement, Enshi whistles loudly, and the huge, city-sized mass of slaves pushed past the almost a large crowd of imperials that held them back, sparking a riot in the plaza, imperials scattering like rats as the maltreated prisoners ran after them in packs, eager to exact their long-overdue revenge. Kazir turned his head frantically, watching with dismay as the soldiers ran around like headless Shakalakas, overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, despite their armour and weaponry. He roared with anger and frustration before teleporting away in a shroud of white mist.

Enshi appeared in a fiery flash before the Descendants. His red Teostra-red hair had spiked upward like the spikes on a Nargacuga's tails, his fists engulfed in flames, and his pupils a demonic, lava-like colour. He ran past all of the blocks of ice, smashing them with his fists with breakneck speed, freeing the hunters at last, the fiery aura flowing though them and bringin their numb hands back to life. Gale and Mizu, almost as soon as they were free, ran to their sons, hugging them close.

"I'm so sorry. We were careless. We should never have let this happen," Gale whimpered quietly. The proud parents let go, and the four stood up.

"It's okay, mother. It's not either of your faults," Arashi said. As the hunters reunited admist the riot, the armies arrived, smashing through Yukikaze's front gates with a loud slam (it could barely be seen from the central plaza, but it was loud enough, so seeing it wasn't necessary). The Sky Village ninjas of Sukai, the honourable warriors of Kyuuryuu and the stouthearted legion of Chikyuu all surged forward, weapons in hand and hope in their eyes; the Chikyuu soldiers in Barroth armour, the Kyuuryuu legions in Lagiacrus armour, the Sky Village ninjas of Sukai mostly in Narga armour (although some wore specially made, non-monster armour like Altair and Skylar, and none of them used any firearms [bar Altair], only Blademaster weapons), while the Kasai citizens wore normal clothes, and were unarmed.

Enshi took hold of the situation.

"Alright, this is our moment!" he said, excitement flaring in his already flame-lit eyes. "It would be wise to split up. The people of Kasai are withdrawing right about now; we have armour and weapons for everybody in the labour camp. Nina and I will scout out Kazir, Shinkaiyami and Yaketsukuyona, while Arashi, Rakurai and Tsubaki tackle on the Sky village's front- they are the smallest of the forces we have. Gigas, Roux and Altair, you should go and support the Chikyuu army. Gale, Makoto, Skylar and Mizu, feel free to pick a spot and start killing," he commanded. Or advised, they weren't quite sure. His wise and polite tone was many things, but commanding was not one of them. He hurried off past the central plaza and further into the city with Nina while Gigas Roux and Altair ran with the onrush of Barroth-clad warriors. Arashi, Rkurai and Tsubaki stayed with Gale and Mizu for a while.

"Are you sure you'll be okay?" Mizu asked his boys. Arashi and Rakurai nodded slowly.

"We'll be fine, father. If it looks to tough, we'll get out. 'Kay?" Arashi said with optimistic absentmindedness, and the two brothers ran to the east to join the Sukaians. Gale turned to Tsubaki.

"You look after him. You understand me?" Gale said sternly. Not because she didn't approve of her, just to reinforce her request. Tsubaki nodded adamantly, her blue eyes full of seriousness.

"Of course. We've only kissed once, but...I love your son very much. I've always been sweet on him, but...well, I was as scared of proclaiming it to him as he was to me," she answered with a sweet smile, before she ran off, Ceadeus armour and all, to join the two boys.

"So...this is it, huh?" Makoto sighed nervously, her robes blowing in the slight icy breeze.

"I guess so," Mizu sighed back.

"We'll do our best!" Skylar said, beaming with childish optimism, despite the situation. She might've been fourteen, but she was younger at heart.

"For humanity," Gale said, and together the three sprinted off into the midst of the battle for freedom, hope and courage in their hearts and minds.





To Be Continued in: Fate and Freedom: The Great Revolt Begins!

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