Rosalyn made it into the castle. She could hear screams and moans, heavy furniture being moved to blockade a door to prevent Arkadiy’s entry. Over it all she heard his chanting. She made her way to the great hall. A scene of terrible slaughter met her as she pushed open the heavy double door.
The young lord sat on the chair that had been his father’s, his face white with terror. All around him, his advisors were screaming in agony as their bodies were slowly ripped to shreds by Arkadiy’s magic. “Arkadiy, stop,” Rosalyn cried. “What are you doing?”
“He was preparing to send his soldiers to our house, Rosalyn,” Arkadiy said. “Their orders were to kill all seven of us. He was getting ready to order the deaths of our children, all because these men flattered him and called him a prince.”
“I wouldn't have done it,” the boy on the dais said. “It was them that were giving the orders, not me. I didn't want anyone to hurt your children.”
“But you would have stolen us from them, just like your parents were taken from you,” Rosalyn said softly, seeing a copy of the orders lying on the floor. “Why? We served and protected you for your whole life. Why have you abandoned everything your parents taught you?”
“It was because of you and your ideas that my parents died,” the boy said. “They would never have tried to help the peasants if you’d just left well enough alone. But they did and they caught the plague and died from it.”
“It was because of us and our ideas that so few ended up dying,” Arkadiy said. He finished dispatching the men who’d been trying to facilitate the murder of his children. He turned his cold, burning eyes on the young lord. “Now, for you.”