(I’ve revised some of the grammar, I apologize for any unseen grammar issues.)
“Allow me to present,” Aki began with a slow breath then taking a second breath quickly because of his old age, “Master Riles Norland, son of Richard Norland and Renee Peakfellow and the third recipient of the latest Time Inheritor Trials of the court.”
There was a silence which fell with undaunted quickness amongst the people within the room; its emptiness already lacking a form expression with a cold stillness that made all who were present cringe inwardly. The crystals protruding about the décor of the grand dome chamber glimmered with a dim luminous blue, bluntly portraying a solemn mood.
“How old are you now, Master Riley,” says the calm feminine voice of the hooded figure who sat aloft in a marble throne of the seventh seat in the semicircle.
“I am eighteen, ma’am,” Riley replied with a slight struggle to keep his voice even. He had his fists clenched at his side nervously.
“Akim,” the hooded figure continued as she addressed the elder who stood beside him, “how many years has he been trained?”
“Ten years in fact,” says Akim, though he preferred the nickname Aki, as he elegantly gestures toward his young companion before speaking again. “He has been purposely and properly trained for his inheritance. This young man is ready.”
“What rune symbol has he been marked with?” a new male voice interjects from among the hooded council with a thick, brutal Russian accent. “Why his significance?”
“You all should already know that answer or else we wouldn’t all be here discussing this matter again,” began Aki.
Time,” Riley said abruptly in response, “I am marked by the rune of time.”
An unsettlement fell amongst the Council once again. All questioning ceased momentarily, but light murmurs aroused and whispered from ear to ear, repeating the same typical topics of discussion that had appeared in previous meetings. Riley tried to shut out the many accents and voices that spoke about him and their comments but as it always seemed, it was proving difficult to ignore:
“A serious mark he bears, but his age…”
“Does it really matter?”
“No, I guess not. But still…”
“His misfortunate curse, what of that?”
“I’ve forgotten about that…”
“I still can’t believe he’s still a virgin. And this rigorous training can’t be good for the gorgeous complexion of his, it is such a waste; he’d be better off if my court. That poor young man…un’anima coriggiosa.”
“Brother! How can you say that?! Arrête ça !”
“Is that really so important, his purity? So what if he is eighteen, he is fulfilling the Creed.”
“It’s true though….poor thing. The facts and prices this young man pains.”
“Lorenzo! Could you stay on topic for just a moment and not be too concerned that he’s a virgin!”
The murmurs were beginning to personify turning small talk into useless arguments and side conversations. Only three out of the nine gathered seats of the Council remained quiet, collected in their thoughts while the other six spoke irrationally amongst themselves. Aki shook his head in dismissal at the childish behavior; the Council often argued during meetings and rarely agreed on one topic. They are all still so young, he thought to himself. Aki rocked on his heels in patience, hoping the conversations would soon cease but the probability was most unlikely.
“Council members,” Aki spoke aloud calmly. Slowly but suddenly, the Council swirled their heads back to their elder, acknowledging his presence once more, “If I may cast dispersions into your intellectual thickets?”
“Proceed, Elder,” a new masculine voice spoke up with his tone cold and spiteful.
The voice came from a man who slouched in the sixth loft throne that was above the seventh seat and all the others in the semicircle. It was the Consul’s seat; and he looked down at Aki as if he were god and Aki was a speck of dirt or bug, however this type of atmospheric confrontation was not unusual to Aki. Clearing his throat and ignoring the threatening gaze, Aki acknowledged the council once more.
“Council, I am aware of your concerns,” Aki began. “You are worrisome over his age, this young adolescent male who is just beginning his life as a young man. You have concerns about his inability because of the burden he is also marked with and the evil we face in the darkening hours. You all may also as to complain of even the silliest things such as his purity. Dear Lorenzo, it is crucial he retain his purity and detach himself from earthly desires. That is the way of the Creed and the way of inheritance. Purity to retain one’s soul from disaster is the idea. However, the Creed is the one oath you may never partake.”
“I am aware of the Creed of Time, and its rules,” the council member Lord Lorenzo replied with a thick slurred Italian accent from amongst the hooded, brushing off the hidden insult. “I get what you’re implying, and I must say I am hurt by your insult of calling me a dirty man, but what are you getting at Elder Akim? We all have these concerns, so what of it?”
“I am saying, that he is ready whether you wish to accept it or not,” Aki stated. “I will perform the Ceremony without your approval if necessary. It is time for Riley to receive his inheritance.”
“Unless I deny it, Aki.” Aki turns his head once more to the spiteful Consul with some frustration. The Consul had his cheek rested against his palm now as if completely bored. His features hid well in the darkness of his hood, hiding his cold expression that seemed to slash through the air toward his old mentor Aki and the pupil next to him with disdain. The air thickened with hostility as the hooded man commenced a stare down with both Riley and Aki. Riley, feeling swayed by the intimate challenge, almost spoke up in his defense but decided the effort would be infantile and not do him good in his position.
“Come again?” Aki asked with his tone unmoved but slightly baffled. “I can deny his certification and will do so,” the Consul repeats.
“I have rights as current Time Lord.” “You may think that will protect your position,” Aki chortles before turning his words toward the entire council. “However my dear Council, remember, the Time Lord that sits in the throne now was only a temporary fix.”
“It’s been seventeen years,” the Consul replied his tone darkening as he sits up straight and leans forward in his throne.
“I know that, but you should remember I gave the position as Time Lord to you because I am too old to be liable. Your brother may have been before you, but you weren’t meant to succeed him; and remember I do have the right to replace you if I deem it necessary,” Aki informed. “It was meant to be temporary but, with all other descendants to the position literally extinct, we had to lengthen your term since no one could take your place just yet. Riley is prepared, and will one day take your seat.”
“I beg your pardon?” the Consul says as if offended or angered, “when was this recorded and consulted? Why hasn’t approached me of this? According to law, a Consul can only be dethroned by death. I will not allow mutiny—.”
“I had Matthias and Errol record it in the Scribe records on my personal archive account,” Aki said. “None of the other members were aware of this and the date for Riley’s era of reign is imminent and set in stone. But as the last Elder of the court, I don’t have to let any of you know anything or justify my actions if I don’t think it’s necessary.”
“Aki,” Riley began but stopped. Something didn’t feel right to him. Another conversation was happening in between the lines of the context being spoken from Aki to the Consul. A twinge of unsettled feelings began coursed his chest.
“All this time and you kept that from me?” continued the Consul angrily. “Answer me. What are you planning?!” “Time Lord, my condolences but my verifications were not
“Time Lord, my condolences but my verifications were not a priority at the time,” Aki replied plainly. “And if you’d remember the conversations we’ve had about this matter, then you’ll remember the rules of what it means to be a Consul. Now, let us be done with this argument. I want to hear the rest of the council’s opinions as I conclude my notions. I declare him ready. What says you all?”
“My opinion, rest the same Elder,” said the Council member with the Russian accent. “I feel a little shaken on the idea. It’s strange to hear that an eighteen-year-old is about to be inaugurated as Time Lord. Now if this were a council’s position or perhaps a representative obligation then I would think otherwise.”
“Lord Vladimir has a point, Elder,” inputs another hooded figure with a deeply mystified voice. “I mean, young Norland has my approval and yet my disapproval. His age isn’t the problem, but I fear the outcomes of letting things become under his reign. I am old, and I too know that Evdria has too many problems for a new Lord to take place and care for. I feel he’ll be unprepared.”
“Not to mention his connection to his sibling that could be more than just a concern,” says another female voice of the Council. “That “curse” of his could be more than we bargain for.”
“I assure you that are the least of your concerns,” Aki replies. “The connection has weakened in the past ten years.”
“Things will have to change if we allow anything to justify his position. His curse compels him, and his brethren is our enemy,” says the Consul once more stating his claim.
“Hold on,” Riley spoke up, no longer clamored by nervousness but by anger. “He is not an enemy.”
“Of course you would say so,” the Consul says coldly. “You are his relative.”
“What he means is,” Aki says, shooting a harsh look at Riley to scold him for speaking out of turn, “That we may be adding things to the pot, that should not be tampered or worried—.”
“We all know what he meant, Elder,” says the Consul.
“Enough arguing with me Alexander,” Aki snapped harshly while losing his patience. The Consul along with his members seemed to silence any upcoming commentary immediately. Aki sighs with exasperation but quickly manages to calm himself before speaking again. “I am of old age, compared to all of you combined, including you Lord Oceanus and Lord Planus. Now, hear me this. I’ve known the concerns for they are repeated and re-worded every time I ask you all of this matter. I am aware of your contemplations of pride and judgment. I also know of the enemy. I didn’t call this council to repeat the past months of meetings, I called to hear an answer. I want to give Riley his inheritance. Riley is ready to be inaugurated but, I never said for him to take the throne tomorrow.”
“Explain yourself then, Aki,” said the gentler voice of the Council, her voice timid as is it left her lips. Behind her voice, Riley heard her suppressed French accent within.
“He is to be baptized and readied to seize the throne,” Aki explains, “but it is not his time to actually rule, that is years away from now. I have the Foresight, similar to our Scribes. I know things, which many of you won’t ever know, even about yourselves. Matthias could explain the same things I say if he were able to speak it. I brought Riley in here today because I have foreseen something, a prophecy, and that’s why I call upon this Council now. We need to ready him and be prepared to issue our special key in it.”
“That key,” said a sheepish voice that was smooth and full of electricity as his voice projects. “You mean Riley.”
“Leon, where you not paying attention at all?” snapped his old neighbor with his thick Russian accent.
“I was,” Leon replied. “I was just asking. This entire conversation bores me. I say just inaugurate and continue this stupid argument another day. I have better things to do.”
“What Prophecy do you speak of Elder?” demands the Consul in spite of the growing argument between the two council members. “I of all the people here would know this more than you about the power of prophecies for that is what got me into this position. Do you dare speak blasphemy of my own knowing to my face? There has not been a prophecy since Eliora and it was fulfilled.”
“You are not a god,” Aki scolded, “stop acting as if you are one and I will tell you all what I have seen and further explain.”
One of the Council members grumbled under their breath just as comments and arguments began to fill the air again with confusion. Riley hardly noticed for he was lost in the words of his Elder and the other members. What Prophecy? Why wouldn’t they accept him to inherit the throne? He had been training for ten years for this, and now it is questioned. Riley knew they have questioned his standing many times before, but this was getting ridiculous. Riley was about to speak up once more when something burned within him.
His vision then suddenly blanked and the world around him darkened instantly, then blindly reappeared in the intensifying shine of the luminescent blue light that shimmered from within the crystal that erected from the walls and entailed the platform from which he stood on. Riley grimaces at the pain of the light before coming to the realization that it wasn’t the crystals he was seeing, but his own runes. The curved black marking that was soaked into the pigment of his skin and faded began to dark and light up. Startled, Riley nearly jumped back as he stared at his arms and hands, his marks suddenly appearing (since they were often faded against his skin, almost invisible) and flashing blue with the following burning sensation. Then suddenly a pentagram began to form beneath his feet, sending a gentle wind to lift a layer of dust into the air around him. Riley was opening a Time Portal, but he wasn’t trying to. It was just happening and he couldn’t understand how or why this was happening.
“Aki—,” Riley said aloud, his voice wavering as the sound of chorus bells ring around him in a vibrating song as the portal began to make a connection between the planes of time.
Are you ready to face your destiny? Said a female voice.
“Destiny?” Riley repeated with confusion as his head suddenly began swirling with intense agony. The voice kept booming loudly, echoing in his brain. Images flashed before his eyelids.
It’s time for the gears to be placed, the princess to be awakened, the voice continued.
“What Princess?! Argh—!” Riley clenched his teeth. “Aki!”
Everything was happening too quickly, that the Council was stilled by the growing display. Aki was motionless as he watched the youngster struggle, his marks blazing the color blue brightly, it was blinding. He could hear Riley call to him but could not see him for a vortex of dust consumes him.
What destiny?!” Riley screamed. “Argh—Aki!” A vexing wind spun around Riley as the portal opened with a suction pulling against the air around him and his markings burning. In his mind, he could see roads built of concrete and asphalt, buildings as tall as mountains. He only saw a mysterious world, which was growing larger and vivid in his mind. Gears spun in circles front of his eyes, a girl with luscious brunette hair that blew in her face when the wind came in from the east. He could hear a laugh, a girl’s laughter, suddenly several girls laughter, sending him spiraling into an oblivion of constant noise as it ignited his eardrums. Screams, cries, pain and many more emotions came.
“Riley!” yelled Aki as he rushed forward, but it was too late. The light shone too bright, causing the crystals of the council room to intensify with vigor. In the blink of an eye and a whoosh, the light was then gone and Riley along with it.