I can’t help it, I like posting clips…
“What about this proposition I have heard oh-so-much about?” Cyrus prompted. The way that Elin’s men were looking at him was making him uneasy. Their piercing red eyes bore into him in a way that made them look ravenous. Like Cyrus was the meat and they were the lion.
Elin chuckled, the sound echoing in the silent atrium. He waited for the sound to dissipate before he continued. “Well, you sure do like to get down to business.” He walked back towards his throne and caressed the arm of it like he would a lover. He sat back down in it, placing both of his arms on the rests. “Do you recall the Great War?”
“I was but a mere child then, Elin. Surely, you know this.” Cyrus pressed impatiently. Thinking about that time was something Cyrus always tried to avoid. It was a time filled with happiness and love, well, before the war had begun and ended. Once the war was over, his parents had been taken from him and all of that happiness and love had disappeared.
Elin gave him a small smile. “As was I. If you recall the stories, then, you will remember the name of the woman that brought the wrath down on not only my family, but caused it upon yours as well: Neruba of Aln. Of course, she no longer goes by that name…”
Cyrus narrowed his eyes. He had heard of her, the woman that had liberated the Underlings and had allowed them to rule over each other. It was her fault that Elin’s parents had died, he knew that at least, but he had never fathomed before that she could be inadvertently responsible for his own parents death as well. The thought of it was like taking an arrow to the stomach. He resisted the urge to bend over and pant, to gasp for air like he was drowning in his own blood. The woman, who everyone revered, had led to his parents’ death. He could not believe he had not seen it before. It seemed so…logical.
“Yes,” Elin coaxed, “feel the rage for her. Feel the hatred well up inside you. Good. You will need it.”
Cyrus looked up into Elin’s burning red eyes. He could feel the fire in his own hazel ones and the rage in his chest aching to break free. He had let the monster out and now there was no way of reeling it back in. He wanted to make someone, anyone, suffer for what had happened. Elin had him under his complete control now. Anything the man would say, Cyrus knew he would be unable to resist agreeing to.
“I want you to kill them.” Elin hissed, his voice thick with malice. “I want you to have her watch her children die. Make her suffer like she made us. You witnessed your parents’ death; now make her witness her children’s lives being ripped away.”
Cyrus shook his head, trying to will away the monster. It was one he kept locked tight inside him. If he let it loose, there was no telling what he could do or agree to do. He felt the warmth engulf him, flowing through his veins like his blood was on fire. The heat made his thick neck red as he slowly bent on one knee before the new king of Len. “I will not fail.”
Elin smiled in victory. He stood and stalked forward, ordering Cyrus to rise from his knee to his feet. Cyrus’ jaw clenched instinctively as the man put a hand on his broad shoulder. “Your reward shall be great. When you return, your task accomplished, I will allow you to pursue your own investigation into the death of your parents. You will be able to act as you see fit against the culprits. No questions asked, no consequences.”
His heart burned with eagerness. At this point, Cyrus could not wait to leave and he could not wait to return to receive his reward. It was much better than riches; it was revenge. “I will not fail.”
© Alexis Leno 2008