Eye of War
The mid day session was as boring as the morning one and all of the gathered nobles of the High Court were leaning into the arms of their seats hard. The herald who was at the foot of the marble thrones thumbed through his ledger and looked to the far door.
"Announcing Commander Marcus Heed of Vansen's 1st Battalion, Novia's Fist"
Marcus walked through the doors, followed behind by his two Lieutenant Commanders. They were all in simple black and grey tunics and black pants. Each wore only minimal armor, bracers and greaves, as more a sign that they were professional combatants. They stood before the five lords and all of them bowed their head.
The herald spoke up. "Commander Heed comes to the court with concerns of the military leadership of his home county. With the courts ear, you may speak Commander."
None of them were sitting aloof when the herald spoke of the reason for the audience. Sivian most of was attentive, she leaned forward and placed her elbows on her knees. There was no military leader higher than Commander Heed...other than her.
"High Court of Helios, thank you for hearing me. I will speak what I know, since the capture and eventual return of Helvarin Vansen, we have lost confidence in her ability to lead. Time in captivity and months away as a slave...and then no reprisal against her captives. We feel she can no longer be held in confidence to lead the 3rd Regiment."
Silence washed the room.
"We? or more specifically you." Ursa Mazlan spoke up, while he often was at odds with Sivian, and all of the Vansen nobles, a no confidence in one noble could easily open up such doors for any other.
"You are correct Lord Sir Mazlan." Commander Heed straightened his back.
Sivian didn't speak, she rose from her seat, and stared down at the commander. He looked up to her and his face was stone. Sivian stepped down from upper row of marble thrones, she didn't bother going down the back stairs and just jumped from the upper platform the few feet to the stone floor below. There was no emotion on her face and she walked over to the commander but did not get within arms reach.
"You stand here, are you the one issuing the challenge?" Sivian finally said.
"What?" Heed said as he looked to her.
"You said you cannot hold me in confidence to lead. So that means you are challenging my right as the Head of House Vansen. So unless you are speaking on behalf of someone else...are you challenging me?"
"I mean. There is no one else, I am...here to bring concerns to the court, not to-"
He didn't even get his last word out before she punched him in the head. He was practically taken off his feet from the blow and he stumbled to the ground. "I accept your challenge."
"I stand Witness!" Ursa Mazlan stood up from his throne and cast his fist into the air.
"I stand as well." Erza Cerelatir didn't stand but put his fist into the air.
Sivian fell onto the commander before he could even get to his feet. While she was physically very strong he was not too far behind him. He managed to get them to their feet and the two traded truncated body blows with neither able to get strong footing to deliver a punch worth anything. Heed pushed himself away from her getting room between them. "This is not a challenge! You are mad!"
"You came here Commander. You came here intent to see her removed, do it with your own hands!" Ursa Mazlan roared, his voice rattling across the windows of the Hall.
Sivian barred her fangs at him and rushed him. Heed bit on a feint to his head, revealing his ribs to her and she delivered two sharp blows to his side, the first bruising the muscle and the second snapping the rib. He doubled to the side and dropped to his knees from the pain. She grasped him by the head and in the same motion slammed her knee into his face. She cast him to the side and he tried to crawl away although he was practically blind from the blood that was cascading into his eyes. She took a sharp breath in and released it as a shaky exhale. She grabbed him by the hair and dragged him to one of the reflecting pools. She pushed him in and stepped in after him. She pushed his flailing hands away from her and wrapped her arm around his neck and drove his head under the water. He flailed hard for some time before the thrashing stopped and Sivian waited for a time longer until she knew he was dead. She left him floating face down in the pool, the water was red with his blood and frothy from the flailing.
She pulled herself up from the reflecting pool. She looked to the two Lieutenant Commanders, they hadn't moved at all during the brief exchange. "You are dismissed."
They tapped their fist across their hearts and spun on their heels and left the Hall.
The pool in which the Commanders body bubbled as if all of the sudden the water was boiling, then from the center of the pool a red glowing crystal, twice the size of a man, rose and floated just above the water. Pulsing in the center was the symbol of Alkourie.
Sivian took a hesitant step away from it and all of the Nobles were on their feet at the sight.
"A blessing?" Ursa Mazlan spoke up.
"He must have been watching, a sign for sure that the Gods watch us here." Lady Blaine Worden who had mostly been quiet the day said in a soft almost hesitant tone of voice.
Sivian slicked her hair back and hopped back up the platform to her seat. "Good, let them watch. Let them see that we are true to the Six and true to Helios." She sat down on her seat, the cushion below her soaking almost instant. "Herald, the next audience." She said sharply.