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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chapter 10, Pt. 7

Jarlen led the way into the Council Chamber. It was smaller than the main room, and set up to function as a courthouse, with a raised platform in the front for the Council with two smaller tables on the ground in front for the plaintiff and defendant. The rest of the room held chairs, most of which had been pushed against the walls. The Council members were sitting in the remaining chairs in a semi-circle facing three empty ones. Silay was glad the Council members weren’t on the platform. It would have made the whole thing seem too official, as if they were on trial.

The man in the center of the semi-circle rose and walked towards the group, arm outstretched in greeting. “Jarlen! It is good to see you again!”

Jarlen clasped the man’s hand. “It’s good to see you too, Consul Dysen.”

The Consul turned. “And you must be Silay.” He offered her his hand and she shook it. He looked to Silay’s left and gave a curt nod. “Riya.”

“Consul.” She nodded back, and Silay could feel the tension in the room.

“Well, then.” Dysen gestured to the empty chairs. “Please, be seated. As you can see, this is quite informal.” He returned to his own chair while Silay and the others seated themselves.

Silay’s eyes scanned the gathered collection of men and women, her gaze widening in surprise when she saw Edo. He caught her eyes, and gave her a small smile before returning to the stern face he'd had when Silay first noticed him. The expression worried her. This whole thing felt off, even with the Consul’s reassurance about it’s informality. She leaned towards Jarlen. “Ask about Talis,” she whispered.

Dysen saw the movement. “Would you like to address the Council?”

“Umm…” Silay hesitated, uncertain if she should stand up.

“Well?” Dysen raised his eyebrows expectantly.

Silay decided to remain sitting. “I was wondering about Talis. You see, he is from the same town as me and…and I was just wondering what would happen to him.”

“It has not been decided yet. What he did was serious. If Ohicink had a king, he would be charged with treason. As it is…” Dysen shrugged. “As you pointed out, he is from Dagrosa. A group of representatives from there are on their way as we speak, as are representatives from several of the other major towns and cities.”

Jarlen frowned. “Then why are we not waiting for them to arrive?”

“Because you are here now, and we must decide what to do with you in the meantime.”

“What do you mean by that?!” Silay started to stand, but Jarlen gently tugged on her shirt, signaling for her to sit. Across the way, she saw Edo’s brows furrow. Catching her gaze, he shook his head and mouthed “no”. Dysen sat calmly through it all.

“I mean exactly what I said. We rescued you from Turvew. We’ve given you food and shelter, and will continue to do so until the delegation arrives. But the three of you have behaved recklessly and endangered all of Ohicink with your actions. The nature of the kind of shelter we will give is what we are here to discuss.”

Riya jerked her head up. “You mean prison.” She stood. “Look, if this about me, fine. Put me in jail. But Silay and Jarlen haven’t done anything.”

“Riya, sit down.” Jarlen’s voice was frighteningly calm. Riya glanced at him and sat. Jarlen stood. “You have no right to put us on trial, Dysen.”

“That would be Consul Dysen. And you are right. This is not a trial. This is the Council deciding what is best for the safety of the city. Some members,” he looked over his shoulder at Edo, “thought you ought to have the chance to tell us your story before we decided. You should be grateful we are giving you this chance.”

“Grateful!” Jarlen’s shout made Silay flinch. “You invite us here, greet as a friends, and now say you want to imprison us and you expect us to be grateful?” He took a step towards the Council. “You do not speak for Ohicink, as much as you like to think you do, Consul Dysen. We have committed no crimes here. If you do not wish to shelter us, we will go elsewhere.”

“I’m afraid you are incorrect, Jarlen.” Dysen stood up too. “Riya broke our law by coming here the first time, and Silay by accompanying her. We released the two of them into your custody on the advice of the seers and healers, in the belief that you could help stop the plague. Instead, if the seers are to be believed, you have brought war upon us.” He stepped forward. “How are we not justified to place you under arrest?”

“You gave your word you would hear them out.” Edo’s voice caused the Consul to turn and face him.

“I agreed to meet with them. I have done so.”

“They can help.” Edo bit his lip. “The girl, Silay, she has…an ability. Coupled with Jarlen’s knowledge, they might be able to stop the plague.”

Dysen raised his eyebrows. “You, of all people, would defend them, Edo? Knowing the company they keep?”

“They can help.” Edo stood firm.


“That may be.” Dysen pointed at Jarlen. “But as he pointed out, I don’t have the power to speak for Ohicink. Only for Sojan. And here, they are criminals. And they will be treated as such.”

***
End of Chapter 10: Whispers of War
Chapter Epilogue on Wednesday
***
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Well, that went bad quickly. I wonder what's up with Dysen? (Just kidding. I know what's up . You'll have to wait to find out). Also, trial and trail are way to close to each other in spelling. I hope I got all of them right here.

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