In a world rife with wars of conquest, a certain city has long kept it’s peace by various means. A particularly bloodthirsty king orders a siege on the city to test his strength.

Titus accepted the grape from one of his slave girls, smiling wickedly as he reminisced what he had done to her the night before. Her flinch at his touch was all he needed to know she remembered just as well.

“My lord,” Abrash said, kneeling before his king.

“Abrash, my most fearless commander! Tell me, how goes the assault on the Dominites?”

Abrash stood, one hand resting on the pommel of his sword. He had served the king for almost ten years, longer than any other in his line. And in that time he had always remained loyal. Always. He shifted his stance, tightening his grip.

“My lord, the Dominites are a most cunning and ruthless…”

“Yes, yes, we’ve all heard the stories,” Titus said. “Their walls have never seen a machine of war. Their people have never cowered or gone hungry from a siege. But I am King Titus of Anthem, and I shall show there is no land I cannot conquer!”

“Begging my lords forgiveness. I only meant to highlight the Dominites ability to avoid war, rather than fight against one.”

Titus hesitated accepting another grape. His man was normally direct. To the point and full of bravado. The man who stood before him was…

“Speak what you came to say Abrash,” he said irritably.

Abrash approached nervously, whispering things the king couldn’t hear until the commander was standing on the steps beneath his throne.

“For the life of my beloved and the lives of my children, the heirs to my lineage, I beg the gods forgiveness and eternal mercy.”

“Abrash, what is this madness?”

Abrash drew his sword and thrust it into the king in a single fluid action, as he had done countless times before when dealing with impertinent lieutenants or ill-fated messengers. It seemed royal blood flowed the same as that of common men.

Titus collapsed out of his throne, clutching at the wound in his chest. He raised a finger, as if raising a sword of his own towards Abrash. The royal guard were shocked. Stunned. The highest power in the military had struck the only man more powerful than himself. They stood motionless, swords drawn but held by their sides.

“Why?” Titus said, struggling to sit up now.

Abrash knelt by his side, holding his king’s head.

“The Dominites took my family in the dawn hours. They left only my wife’s left ear and a finger from my boy. I do what I do for the sake of them.”

“Traitor.”

The words were the last the king uttered. Abrash stood, looking at the guard. So this was how the Dominites had kept their power he mused. When his wife and child were returned, he would think twice before eyeing the lone sheep in a land of wolves.


Prompt originally posted by cyberdsaiyan on reddit and received 4 upvotes.

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