Hear Me Now

Chapter 2

II

"It gives me great pleasure," Lord Gerasim announced over his glass, "to give my only daughter away to the only man worthy of her." He looked at Jaxon over his glass.

"May your marriage be a long and prosperous one." The guest raised their glasses in a silent toast. Anya glanced over at Jaxon, disgusted with the smirk plastered on his face. He caught her glance, and his smirk widened.

"Oh, lighten up, love," he laughed. "Like it or not, you're stuck with me." He winked, and continued talking to one of his men. She glared at the back of his head. She did not want to spend the rest of her life with that stuck up, pompous, suck up, man slut-

"Anya, don't you agree?" Her mother's light voice drew Anya's attention. Anya looked over at her mother, who was seated next to her father at the head of the table. Her mother gave her a knowing look, and when the attention was on Anya, stuck her tongue out at Lord Jaxon.

Anya covered her mouth to stifle her laughter. Her father gave her a disapproving look.

"I'm sorry, father, what were you saying?" Her father narrowed his eyes at her, obviously disappointed that she was not listening.

"Jaxon just brought up a very interesting topic," he gave Jaxon a small smile. "He said that the only way to rule a people is with a firm grip, and no mercy." Lord Gerasim gave her a stern look as she opened her mouth to reply. He did not want her to voice her actual opinion, he just wanted her to agree.

"No," she stated. Lord Gerasim stared at her with anger in his eyes. Anya couldn't help but smile- he could nothing about it now, not in front of guests.

"There are many ways to rule, as is obvious through our history," she continued. "There is, of course, a right way and a wrong way- well, rather than right or wrong, a productive and prosperous way and a self destructing way."

"And which way would the productive and prosperous way be?" Jaxon interjected. "Would that be the way where there is no discipline? No punishment? If history has taught us anything at all, it's that a firm grip with no mercy is the only way to have a peaceful society." He looked pleased with himself, so much so that Anya had to continue the debate.

"I think it's time for you to review your history, Lord Jaxon," she said. "If it has taught us anything, it is that a rule without mercy is a destructive rule. People who have no say often take matters into their own hands and cause chaos! Do you not remember the Crian Rebellion? The King of Crian was known throughout the world as a tyrant, and due to his reputation and cruel punishments and laws, the people rebelled! Surely you-"

The wall across from Anya crumbled into a dust cloud that covered the great hall. People coughed, and started to panic. Anya held up a hand to her mouth to stop the dust, and peered through it all. She saw shapes and shadows swarming over the wall and into the room. The dust started to settle, and the shadows became clear- they were humans. She stared wide eyed as they blocked all the exits. A whistle pierced the air, and one last person entered the room. The dust finally disappeared, and the strangers were revealed.

Anya gasped.

"Pirates."

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