Author’s note:

Last chapter of the week. Hope you enjoyed the triple release. I had to hold them back for the April fool joke

Chapter 48- Scapegoats

***June 20th, 965 A.F. ***
***Dwarven Capital***
***Queen Rosie Barrett***

         In a dressing room, a team of maids is busy running around the chamber helping Queen Rosier out trying different dresses for the occasion. She finally settled on a plain, but elegant, long black dress with a bit of frill around the neck. She was in front of a tall mirror making some final adjustments when she a heard a knock on the door.

*Knock Knock*

“My queen.”

“Is it Sebas?”

“Yes, my queen.”

“Let him in. Everyone else, leave.”

          All the maids did a small curtsey towards the queen before leaving the room, leaving the door open for Sebas. After letting everyone exit the room, he silently stepped inside the chamber and closed the heavy door behind him. After that, he knelt on one knee to show respect towards the queen. Still looking at the mirror, she issued a command.

“You may rise, Sebas. Do you have something to report? Oh, and can you hand that ruby necklace to me?”

         He quickly rose and did as the queen commanded, carefully handling the box that contained the necklace. Not wasting any time, he gave the queen the report.

“Yes, my queen. Duke Robert has begun to move behind the scene as you had predicted. He has been trying to gather support from other nobles.”

“Is our present for him ready?”

“Yes, my queen.”

“Good, then there is nothing to worry about. Help me put the necklace on.”

          Hesitating for just a moment at the queen’s request, he picked up the expensive necklace with both hands. He approached the queen from behind to put on the necklace. Just as he was about to put it on, the queen held onto his hand. The queen’s action gave Sebas a shock, causing him to drop the necklace. The necklace shattered into a million pieces on impact. Sebas tries to retreat, but the queen held onto his arm. Seeing that there is no point to struggling, he finally gave up and fully embrace the queen from behind. Rosie closed her eyes and enjoyed the warmth from Sebas.

“I didn’t want to marry him. I had no choice.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Do you blame me?”

“No, I don’t, my quee… my little Rosie.”

             Rosie turned around and planted a passionate kiss on Sebas’ lips. After what seems to be an eternity, she finally let released her lips and cling onto Sebas’ chest.

“I am tired, Sebas. I am tired of all these cloaks and daggers, but we are almost there.”

“Yes, we are, my little Rosie. We just need to wait for our son to sit comfortable on the throne. Then we can retire in the rural. Just you and me.”

“I can’t wait for that day to come.”

***June 20th, 965 A.F.(Night) ***
***Dwarven Capital***
***Queen Rosie Barrett***

*Clang* *Clang*

             The rhythmic sound of a hammer hitting a red hot iron echoed throughout the spacious cathedral. In the front of the temple were two expert swordsmiths. Drenched with sweat, they were forging a sword near a furnace while singing an ancient dwarven hymn. They were performing the funeral rites for the king of the dwarves, passed down generations after generations. The rites were pretty simple. The body would be cremated in a forge. After collecting the ashes, it would be then reforged into an iron sword that the king used before, turning it into a steel sword. The final product, the sword of a king, would be then placed in the royal vault.

*Clang* *Clang*

            There were rows of seats in the cathedrals, much like a church from the human world. In the first row were seated the king’s relative. There were only two people in this row. It was Alan and Rosie. Behind them were other officials of the dwarven kingdom. The less important you were, the further back you were seated. Everyone would observe in silence until the whole forging process is completed.

*Clang* *Clang* *BANG*

            The rhythmic forging sound was disrupted by the sound of the door crashing open. In the doorway stood Duke Robert alongside with several soldiers armed to the teeth. Everyone turned around and gasped in shock. Seeing that he has the full attention of the room, he walked into the cathedral with confidence. With a booming voice, he announced to the whole room.

“Rosie Barrett.”

         Standing up from her seat, Rosie immediately confronted Robert with his insolence.

“What is the meaning of this, Duke Robert? It’s one thing if you didn’t attend the funeral, but you crossed the line when you disrupt the funeral rites of the late king. How dare you be this disrespectful.”

“Rosie Barrett. You are under arrest for the murder of all the royal concubines and princes that happened recently.”

“What proof do you have?”

“Proof? Do I need proof? I thought you would be smarter than this Rosie. Killing everyone else, leaving your son to be the sole heir to the throne. Even the blind could see that it was your doing.”

           Rosie started shaking her head in disappointment and sighed.

“I was waiting to deal with this quietly after the funeral since you are his brother. I was trying to be respectful to the late king, but you left me with no choice, Duke Robert. Sebas!”


           The snap of the finger echoed the cathedral. When the echo died, Sebas appeared in the doorway like a ghost, holding a stack of parchments in his hands. He walked slowly and stopped beside the queen. Rosie grabbed the top sheet and waved it in the air.

“We caught most of the assassins. These are confessions and testimonials of the captured assassins that murdered everybody. All of them were hired by a one of your subordinate.”

           Everyone in the room gasped in surprise. Seeing the reaction, the queen pushed on. She dropped the first parchment onto the floor and grabbed another sheet of paper and waved it in the air once again for theatrical purposes.

“This is the confession from your subordinate. He confessed that you ordered all the murders and planned to pin the blame on me. Once I am gone, you would use Alan as a puppet king and control the kingdom from behind the curtain. I didn’t believe it at first since you are the king’s brother, but it looks like everything he confessed was true.”


          Of course, everything was forged. The confessions they got was from torturing innocent bystanders. After they had confessed, they were promptly executed using the reason “perpetrating murder of a royal family” so that they could not be cross-examined.

“Duke Robert. Under the witness of everyone here, you are, hereby, stripped of your title of Duke for the assassination of members of the royal family. In the consideration that you are the brother of the late king, I will not sentence you to death. However, you spend the rest of your life in prison. Guards, take him.”

            A squadron of royal guards rushed into the room, surrounding Robert and the four soldiers he brought with him. Seeing that they were completely outnumbered, the soldiers laid their weapon on the floor and surrendered. The royal guards apprehended Robert and dragged him away.


           The queen turned back towards the two expert blacksmith and sat down.

“Please, continue with the funeral rites.”

About the author


  • Slayer of Soles


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