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King Artemis
by on November 15, 2022
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Lord Somber: "I have an interesting experiment for you to participate in, my most precious Apprentice. This test is to see if you have been taking in any of my wise teachings. For understanding how to view life correctly? It aids in understanding how to view Arcane. For Arcane is in everything we do. And seeing is one of many things we constantly do."
My Master's words seemed to seek in subtly upon my body as he looked before more. Being inside the Throne Room, next to my Master was not an odd or unfamiliar area. No, such things were common. Yet it was very uncommon to see two citizens before myself, chained in restraints and prevented from speaking. The only thing I could really make out was their panicked eyes and muffled pleas. Both seemed to be badly beaten, possibly tortured. One was a Unicorn on the left of me. The other, a Pegasus to the opposite side. What experiment was there to be had? I would soon find out as I observed silently.
Lord Somber: "Before you is two tragic souls. Tragic souls that have decided to cause disruption within my Kingdom. One is a thief, who was caught stealing from the barracks. The other is a killer, having taken the lives of a few shop owners yesterday."
My Master informed me of this information as he pointed to who was charged with that. The Unicorn was charged for murder, where as the Pegasus was the thief.
Lord Somber: "Now begins the experiment or rather....Test. One of these souls will be punished. The other? They'll join the ranks of our guards. Who deserves life over the other? They both are tragic souls with no purpose. No desire. Only the primal instinct to murder and steal. Therefore....they can't plead nor make a case for their lives. However....You can. You aren't like them. WE aren't like them. And because of this? We sentence them."
I would stare for a time at the two beaten prisoners. Both seemed to only muffle, shake around, plead with their eyes as they realized what I realized moments ago. Their lives....are on me. My hooves. The blood of one will be by my hooves this day. The question? Which blood?
Arold: "The murderer deserves punishment. That which murders has lost all purpose to live. That which murders....loses their conscience. Their soul. They care not for the beings of others. Not even a hint of understanding. To murderers.....all we are is meat. Therefore....The Killer shall pay."
Arold: "The Thief can live. Join our guards. They were clever enough to sneak past them in the first place. Such talent should never be wasted. Instead? We should use it."
These were my answers to the Test given before me. From my perspective? My logic seemed sound. My thoughts were made clear. And my intentions were brought to the light. Out of these two evils? One was worse then the other. This, my Master agreed with. Sadly....he just didn't agree with my order.
Lord Somber: "My Apprentice, it appears to me that once again you've failed. I had hoped that you'd look past what is simple logic, and searched for a more clever outlook."
Lord Somber: "A murderer has no care for the souls of others. This, you are correct in saying. But...it is that killer instinct, lack of emotion, willingness to fight, loss of empathy that makes him a potential warrior. An individual like that is one we seek to train and strip of life."
Lord Somber: "The same can't be said for thieves, however. Such tragic souls are useless. Cowards that see forth to greed themselves. That act itself isn't the issue. It is the mere disgust of hiding that is sin. Choosing to avoid your enemy rather then defeat them. Hide amongst the shadows only to merely take...not claim. Worthless beings."
My Master would soon order for the murderer to be taken away back to his cell. It appears he plans to train this murderer for the use of our Kingdom. And even though my logic was sound? My Master's views were tainted and twisted. The disbelief in my breath was only there for a moment, but soon gone. For I knew that deep down? I was going to fail this test. And the fate of the thief? Well....it was chosen from the start. I was foolish to assume my words carried any thought of consideration. Not to my Master. Monsters don't consider. They only decide.
Lord Somber: "Bring them in!!"
My Master had soon ordered of his guards an odd request. Bring who in? My question was sadly answered as a mare and two young ones were brought in before Lord Somber. The thief seemed to grow in realization. His eyes shrunk. His tears starting to form. His muffles growing louder. This group...they....they were....
Lord Somber: "Bring those three to the back room and kill them."
My blood ran cold. What? No...No!
Arold:"Master! F-Forgive my misunderstanding. What is this? The Thief....he is to be punished. Yet....his family did no wrong! T-They don't look exactly well off. Most likely...he was just stealing to provide! Even if he is in the wrong, the family is innocent!"
Lord Somber: "Innocent? You case that the thief is the one deserving of punishment alone? I see different. For the thief wouldn't be in such a tragic, disturbing mindset of cowards acts if not for the love of his wife and children. He steals for them. Because of them. His emotions towards them are what brought him to this path. And his punishments? The cleansing of them from his life. Viewed like that? I'm not only giving punishment? I'm also saving him from never doing it again."
Cold eyes. No emotion. No empathy. Not even a hint of regret or hurt. A pure void of nothing. No second thoughts. No consideration. Only decisions. Only orders. That is who Lord Somber is. That is what he is. And as the screams and begs of mercy were filling the room as the wife and children were dragged away? My thoughts only were focused on a singular word.
Monster.....
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King Artemis
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