The trusted imperial guard and right hand of Emperor Kova, Rendu watches as Empress Rose raises the heir to the throne Kova II. He senses that rivals within the Emperor’s own army are now circling and plotting something. Emperor Kova suspects this is as well but is also aware that his illness and inability to move about as he once did is now a liability to protecting all that he has acquired. He summons Rendu to his chamber.
“Your imperial highness how can I be of assistance?” The doors to the Emperor’s chamber shut behind Rendu as soon as he enters the room. Emperor Kova beckons Rendu to come closer to his bedside. His breathing labored but steady. Kova has Rendu bend his ear to his lips as he whispers something to him. Rendu’s eyebrows furrow slightly as he hears the words of his leader.
“I understand your imperial highness. I shall see that it is done.” Rendu stands up straight and bows to the Emperor before departing his chambers. Elsewhere in Rosemador, Atrius, has invited Rayke and Kem to join him in his house for a meal. A large crystal chalice sits at the center of a dining table while servants hustle back and forth in preparation. Atrius sits in his den while Rayke stands in one corner looking out of a window towards the imperial palace. Kem reads from a book on war from the bookshelf on the wall in the den.
Atrius speaks to them. “My fellow generals and lords of the imperial army let us sit and make merry for our time is near at hand”. The doldrums of this boring existence here in this kingdom will be but a distant memory once Emperor Kova and his Rose are removed from our path. Kem lowers the book he’s reading and looks up to see Atrius smiling wide. “You speak as if this were a mere formality. Don’t forget who he is that is our Emperor and master. One doesn’t merely dispatch him as he would a carcass in the road and there is sure to be protection all about the Empress and her son.”
Rayke still has his gaze fixed on the imperial palace as he speaks to Atrius and Kem. “Gentleman the fact of the matter is the Emperor’s time is over… he isn’t the threat. The threat that remains is the Empress and Kova’s heir to the throne. They must be usurped and that should be our only focus.” Atrius speaks “believe me my thought and all my focus is bent on our succession to the throne. Everythings in place it only remains for us to march on the throne”.
Several Days Later
Within the imperial palace the elite guard of the Emperor are at their various posts. Empress Rose is with the Emperor in his chamber with their son Kova II jumping up and down on the bed next to his father who is amused at his childish ways. The Emperor sits with his back against the head board to the massive Imperial bed. Rose sits next to him holding his hand as he tells her how much he loves her and what is coming in the days following his death.
“My dear Rose understand that I would if I could spend eternity with you and our son but this is not to be. You are young and have a lot to live for and shall rule our Empire in my stead until our son ascends to the throne. You are to teach him all that I have taught you and to keep peace in our empire. It’s ironic that as time passes one’s friends can become one’s enemies. Keep your eyes ever watchful, protect our son, and be mindful of those who surround you both. My trusted and loyal Rendu will see to you both once I depart this world. Pay heed to his counsel.”
Rose stares at Kova with tears in her eyes but a face full of understanding. “They are coming for us aren’t they? Kova with a concerned look on his face pauses. “Yes, they are coming. Do you remember the scrolls I taught you from. I want you to take them with you and to teach our son what I have taught you from them. Keep them safe, keep them hidden from those who would seek to use that knowledge for their own purposes. Remember your training for the time soon comes when practice will be put to the test.
An urgent knock is heard at the door to the bedchamber of the Emperor. The doors open and Rendu along with several imperial guardsmen rush in. “My lord, the men that were stationed at their posts outside the palace entrance and the towers at the four corners are not at their posts. A large group of soldiers are blocking the entrance to the palace.”
Emperor Kova motions for Rendu to lead Rose and Kova II out the rear exit of the chamber as he had instructed him should this moment arrive. Rendu immediately takes Rose by the arm and picks up Kova II who can’t understand why they are fleeing without his father. He cries for his father who remains behind them. The “hidden in plain sight” back door to the Emperor’s chamber shuts behind them as they flee through an escape passageway into the woods behind the palace grounds.
The remaining imperial guard all seven of them stand in front of the entrance way from the throne room to the Emperor’s chamber. They draw their various weapons and stand at the ready in defense of the Emperor. Within moments the imperial guard is under attack and they do very well dispatching countless numbers of soldiers trying to enter the imperial bed chamber.
Many fall by the swords & various weaponry of the imperial guard and it seems that they might actually prevail in this onslaught until…Atrius, Rayke, and Kem appear. Each from different wings of the imperial palace. Atrius walks casually up the aisle of the palace straight towards the throne while Rayke and Kem appear from the west and east wings of the throne room.
Atrius has a wry grin on his face as he continues his slow walk up the imperial aisle. Rayke and Kem move much more swiftly from the west and east towards the imperial guard and begin battling them with a ferocity that they are no match for. The imperial guard fight valiantly and try their best to fend off the devastating and debilitating blows from Rayke and Kem.
When Atrius arrives in front of the imperial chamber there is only one imperial guard left standing. Atrius in a extraordinarily quick zig-zag motion lands a blow that shatters the guard’s ribcage on his left side in six places crumpling him to the ground dead in front of the imperial chamber door. From within the imperial chamber we see from behind Emperor Kova seated on the edge of the foot of his bed covered in a white robe with a hood covering his head. His head hangs bowed as the doors to his chamber open. Large lamps burn in each corner of the Emperor’s chamber.
Rayke, Kem, and Atrius enter the Emperor’s chamber. “I see the wolves have arrived” Emperor Kova greets his treacherous three lieutenants. “Why Emperor, we’re merely here to pay our respects”. The three traitors spread out in a triangle formation as they approach the seated Emperor Kova. With all of the remaining strength left in his failing body Emperor Kova stands and removes his hood. Both Rayke and Kem aggressively attack the Emperor but their blows are defended well with the anticipation of the master who taught them their techniques. Atrius studies the movement of the Emperor as Rayke and Kem attack feverishly. They land some blows but are given two and three sharp heavy blows for each one that they land.
Atrius “You still have some fight left in that body. We’ll have to relieve you of it.” Atrius now joins his two comrades in attacking the Emperor. Emperor Kova catches one of the attacks of Atrius and flings him across the room into one of the large burning lamps. Rayke is shown a style by the Emperor he’s never seen before and is perplexed at how to attack. Kem is punched, kicked and shoved backwards through the chamber doorway. Atrius recovers from being flung and using his much younger and quicker reflexes manages a devastating blow to the Emperor that drops him to a single knee. Atrius laughs with great satisfaction. Rayke and Kem then grab hold of the Emperor’s arms as Atrius stands directly in front of Emperor Kova.
The emperor stealthily reverses his grip and snaps the left forearm of Rayke in two places and the right forearm of Kem in two places. In that same momentary flash the Emperor manages a devastating kick that snaps Atrius’ right leg at the knee joint leaving his leg barely hanging on. Atrius shrieks in agony as do his partners. He jumps off his remaining healthy leg and in a quick spin unsheaths his sword while spinning and severes the head of the Emperor off his shoulders. The emperor’s body falls lifeless to the ground as his blood spurts and spills out of his body onto his chamber floor. His head falls off to the side of where is body is. The grip on Rayke and Kem is released.
To be continued…