Thanks for the Reviews guys! Are you guys ready to face the counsel...I hope so, because this is going to be a fun chapter to write. :P
Chapter 21: The Debate and The News
When he awoke, he didn't feel like getting up at all. He didn't want to deal with the stupid counsel and he wished people would stay out of his business. Having Vikus on his side was a good thing though, Gregor learned that when the old counsel had died Vikus was made head of the counsel and other counsel members were approved. However, Gregor knew that just because Vikus was the head of the counsel, that didn't mean Vikus could do whatever he wanted. He needed the consent of the whole counsel to pass a law or rule. Gregor was pondering this when Mareth walked into the room with a tray full of food.
"Ah, Gregor, you are awake" He said smiling.
Gregor smiled back, "Yea I'm awake, what's up?"
"Oh, nothing unusual, other than the news that you plan to marry the queen." He said questioningly
He set the tray down next to Gregor's bed and pulled up a chair to talk.
"Yeah, I love her Mareth, you know that." Gregor said.
"Yes, I know, and if you are prepared to lead, then I support you. And so does Ripred for that matter." he said.
"Ripred? He agrees with this?" Gregor asked.
"Oh yes. You should have heard him ranting when he heard the news! "I will rip those counsel members apart if they disagree!"" Mareth said, imitating Ripred's Growl.
Gregor laughed a little, "Well, it's nice to know that you all support me...I just hope I have more than a few friends there to help." Gregor said.
"Why Gregor...you do know that this debate will be held in front of all of the city, and our allies that wish to attend correct?" Mareth asked.
Gregor felt his heart explode, "Wha- What! Why do they want so many people to see?" he asked.
Mareth scowled, "Well, They say it is because they want the city to witness the results so that it can be written in history. However some of us know that the reason they want to do this is because they want to defeat you, and let everyone know their power." He said disgusted.
"They...want to gain power by defeating me?" Gregor asked.
"Yes Gregor...This new counsel is more power hungry than the last...I don't know why they can never choose a decent group of people to be counsel." Mareth said angrily.
Having Mareth's Approval and hearing his thoughts on the counsel, Gregor felt a little better. At least he wasn't the only one who thought that the counsel shouldn't even be allowed to pass laws.
"You seem angry man, what did they do?" Gregor asked, he noticed Mareth never fought the counsel before...why was he doing it now?
"Oh Gregor...you would not care, it is in the past...I have to remember this." Mareth said.
"Come on man, I'm laying here in bed, I got all day to talk" Gregor said, it wasn't true, soon he would be fighting a bunch of power hungry wolves for the right to marry the woman he loved, however he wanted to hear what Mareth had so say.
Mareth paused for a moment, "They...ruin my marriage as well Gregor..." He said after a while.
Gregor's eyes went wide and he said, "How? What happened?"
Mareth paused for a moment, and then Began, "About a year ago, Me and Perdita decided to wed, Vikus was excited, and many people knew we were good for each other. However the day I presented this to the counsel they immediately denied me the right. I fought them through Debate, much like you will, however they said with my leg being amputated and me not being able to handle combat well anymore, I would only get in the way of her duties as commander. We both fought this...but in the end they won...me and Perdita still love each other dearly, however without the counsels approval, we will never be able to act on it. Now I spend my time protecting her, to prove to people that with or without my leg, I will continue to fight." He said, nearly in tears.
Gregors rage mixed with his emotion nearly overflowed in his body, "Mareth...I'm so sorry man, I hope one day things will work out for you." was all Gregor could say.
A tear slid down Mareth's face, but he soon got himself under control. However, before he left, he had one more message, "Overlander, they will fight hard, and they will fight dirty. They will use everything against you. Promise me, that no matter what happens, you will keep fighting, for the future of you, and Regalia."
Gregor looked into Mareths eyes and smiled, "I don't need to promise you this Mareth, because I would rather kill the counsel members, than live a life away from the woman I love." He said.
Mareth smiled and said, "I am glad to hear this, you will make a great king." and left.
Gregor decided to get up and get dressed, while he was getting around, Luxa came to visit him. He was about to say hello, before she attack him, pressing her lips onto his and giving him a long, hard kiss. When they separated, she gave him a mischievous smile.
"I heard what you plan to do today." she said.
"Oh really? And how have you heard that my love?" He teased.
She just gave him a sarcastic smile and said, "A little flier told me...or should I say, a big, gray rat." then her face got serious.
"Gregor, do you really think we can win against the counsel?" she asked desperately
He turned to her, "I hope we can, and I believe we can. But I will need your help." he said.
She took hold of his hand, and squeezed it, "You know, you always have that, Gregor." she said, staring into his eyes.
Gregor held her close and kissed her again and said, "Are you ready for the next war, Luxa?"
"With you? Always." she smiled back.
Gregor and her made their way to the arena, this is where the debate was going to take place. On their way there, they got many nods and smiles from the passing creatures and underlanders. He knew that they knew where he was going and why, it was written on all of their faces.
The walk took them both15 minute to reach the Arena, many people were waiting along with rats, mice, cockroaches, bats, you name it!
"Wow, they must really want to humiliate me." Gregor whispered to Luxa.
"Of course Gregor, if they do this in front of every ally we have, they will be known as the higher power." She whispered back darkly.
"Well, I'll just have to make sure that doesn't happen" He whispered with a smile.
Gregor looked around and saw his Friends had gotten first row seats, that made him feel a little better for whatever reason. Ripred was there too, standing in his usual grumpy banter, However this time, Gregor knew why.
Gregor was informed that the hearing wouldn't start for a few minutes while the counsel prepared, so Gregor walked over to his friends.
Mareth, Perdita, Nerissa, Ripred, Twitchtip, Sliksharp, Lapblood, Eris, and Thanatos were all present. Gregor knew Hazard was at his classes...but where was Howard? Probably tending to the injured...maybe he didn't want to come at all, Gregor didn't know. But it didn't matter to him much, Howard didn't even like the thought of them being together, so it was better he didn't come.
Gregor smiled as he walked up to them, "Hey you all, thanks for coming." He said happily.
Mareth stood up, "I wouldn't miss it for any other occasion." He smiled back.
Lapblood looked at him, "You ready to face this group of fools kid?" she asked.
Gregor smiled, "I'm glad to see a few people agree with me about them, and I'm about as ready as I can be" He said.
Ripred scoffed, "You'll be fine, I'm in no mood to deal with simpletons like them today, and they will find out if they make the wrong move." he said angrily.
Gregor smiled, "So I suppose you support me hmm?" Gregor asked.
"Well boy, the way I see it, is It's either you, or some other fool the counsel chooses. And at least I know that with you as king, and me by your side, you will be able to make at least a half decent decision." He growled.
Gregor laughed, "Oh why thank you Ripred, I never knew you knew how to compliment people!" he joked.
He saw a few of his friends smile, and Ripred spoke again, "Well don't get used to it, when dealing with a group of idiots it's often smarter to choose the better of the two idiots."
Gregor laughed again, He never took Ripred insults so seriously anymore, it was just second nature now. He looked at Nerissa who was looking much better than they last time he saw her.
"Wow Nerissa, you're looking much better, have you been eating well? Sleeping well?" He asked awkwardly.
She smiled, "I suppose with this war over, and having no future war I can see at this moment. I have finally calmed down enough to at least begin to heal myself.
She still looked raggedy, but she had a beautiful dress, and her hair was combed neatly, and at least now she could stand easily.
"Well, I'm glad to see you are doing better." Gregor said with a smile.
Twitchtip was about to walk over to him until the counsel announced that it was time to being. She just glared at them, and then sat down again.
Gregor walked over to the podium that he had been at before...he had bad memories. Ares sat on this podium when he was about to be banished that long time ago...Gregor was threatened to be executed on this podium because he didn't kill the Bane. And now, Gregor would have to fight on this podium to save his love...it never ends.
Vikus stood up at the head counselman's chair and spoke, "Greetings Regalia, today we are here to witness the hearing of Gregor the warrior vs the counsel to determine if the warrior will take Luxa's hand in marriage." He called.
He then turned his eyes to Gregor, "Greetings Gregor the Overlander, are you ready to begin?" He asked.
"Yes, I am" Gregor said in a strong voice, he wanted to show these people that he could lead.
Vikus smiled, nodded, and sat down, and the counsel members began to introduce themselves. One was a Gnawer named, Gashblood, another was a male flier named, Themis, and two humans, one male named, Adelfonsus and one female named, Euphemia. They all bowed their heads after saying their named, and Gregor bowed back. However there was a certain look in Euphemia's eyes that made Gregor uncomfortable.
The Hearing began and Adelfonsus spoke, "Gregor the warrior, do you believe that by this joining you would be able to lead our kingdom well, and into the possibility of a bright new future?"
Gregor responded, "I Believe so."
He continued, "And do you also believe that you will make correct decisions on time, and with the stress of possible war?"
"I do." Gregor said again.
"And how do you plan to lead?" Themis asked.
Gregor thought for a moment before saying, "I plan to lead us into an age of peace, I plan to only use weapons when we must, and fight with words whenever I can, I plan to make peace with those who we have no already made peace with, and I plan to use the power of hope to create a better future."
Vikus smiled at this...Euphemia Grimaced and said, "We have tried this before, unfortunately this can not work."
Gregor looked her in the eyes, "I said I would fight when I must, I am not blind to the possibility of war, nor am I afraid. But there are many ways to avoid this, after all, words are a mans best weapon."
she glared at him back, "only a coward uses words as such, I do not believe in the possibility of a coward as our leader." she shot back.
"Call me whatever you want, the fact is, I will get the job done right, and in a peaceful way, if I can." Gregor said back.
"And if you can't?" Gashblood asked.
Gregor looked at him, "Then I will do what I must to end the situation, even if that means war."
Euphemia stood up, "You have been trailed for treason before, what makes us think we can trust you to deliver these promises?" she asked angrily.
Gregor was taken aback, "How could you trust me? ...How couldn't you trust me? I've been here for this kingdom when it needed help, and even when I heard that I would die, I stayed, I stayed for you all!" Gregor yelled, angrily.
Luxa put her hand on his shoulder and when he looked into her eyes, he calmed down.
Euphemia continued, "I do not trust you, and I am sure many people feel the same, you weep for silly things, you are a child yet. Not a brave man, like regalia needs."
Gregor looked at her, "I weep for fallen friends and for things that I find heart breaking, these things are not your concern." he said.
"Would you weep instead of act? I believe you would, I do not believe you are worthy to become a king, nor marry our queen. You have no yet learn the laws of life." Euphemia said.
Gregor glared at her, "I have lost friends, I have fought to save this kingdom, I even lost my bond because of my friends, and the people I love down here. I could have left, and let you all die, and yet, you say that I am not worthy?" Gregor asked.
Euphemia changed the subject, "Oh yes! And how can we forget your treason, you didn't save your bond! You weren't even strong enough to save that miserable failure Ares! How can you save us?!" Euphemia called.
Gregor heard a gasp behind him, and he saw several heads of the crowd turn to him, Gregor couldn't keep himself from speaking, "Ares was better than you will ever be."
"Is that so? Then where is he overlander? I do not see him with us today, I do not see his friends cry for him, I only see you." She asked.
Gregor was quiet for a moment, "He is...dead."
"Why is he dead overlander? Please enlighten us." she asked.
Gregor felt a tear slid down his cheek, "Because I couldn't save him."
Euphemia smiled, and was about to ask another question before Ripred growled, "You dare use his own bond against him? Ares has no part in this!" he yelled.
Euphemia glared at Ripred and said, "You are not supposed to speak, mind your place, gnawer." she said strongly.
Gregor saw Ripred's eyes go wide, his lips went back and he bared his teeth, Gregor saw the muscles in his back legs tense up as he prepared to attack.
"Ripred!" Gregor yelled.
Ripred locked eyes with Gregor and Gregor shook his head, telling Ripred to not attack.
Ripred stayed like that for a few minute before finally letting his muscles relax
Euphemia smirked, "Good boy" she said cockily.
Gregor glared at her and said, "You should really learn to not upset people who could kill you."
She gave him the same stare back and said, "Excuse me overlander? Is that threat?"
"No, It's a warning" he said back, not taking his eyes off hers.
Gashblood spoke up again, "Overlander, Your bond is a great example of you acting to slowly. In order to be king, you must know how to act quickly. Therefore, we must deny you the privilege of joining with Luxa, our queen."
Gregor asked, "And if I were to marry her anyways?"
"Then we will have you executed." Adelfonsus said.
Vikus came to his aid, "I do not recall agreeing on such a law."
Adelfonsus looked at the old man, and after awhile nodded.
Euphemia wasn't done though, "Overlander, you have shown no skill, nor any wit. You have threatened members of the counsel today, and you have broken laws in the past." she said.
"And saved this kingdom...twice." Gregor added.
She stared at him, "Who says YOU saved it? We had Solovet, we had a strong army, you are nothing but a little child. What makes you think we depend on you?" she countered.
"I made the right decisions! Regalia still being alive proves that!" he yelled.
"Then why did you not kill the Bane as a child! He grew up to kill many of our soldiers! Including your own bond! Do you call this a good decision?" She yelled back.
" I do! Because if I did kill the Bane, we would have never cured the plague!" Gregor yelled again.
"We would have found it ourselves, after all, the cure was here was it not?" Euphemia asked.
Gregor hesitated, "It was here." he said.
"So, I will say this again, you have no concept of right and wrong. I believe you have done nothing to aid regalia, and only put a burden on us. You "hope" for a new age however if you always hope, nothing will get done." She stated.
Gregor didn't know how to argue back anymore so he just said, "Listen, why would I ruin this kingdom when I fought so hard to protect it?" he asked.
She smirked stared into his eyes, and said, "The same way you let your bond die, after fighting so hard to prove his freedom."
Gregor couldn't do it anymore, They were using his past against him, they really did fight dirty.
Finally Euphemia spoke, "Who among the counsel agrees that Gregor should not be king?"
3 out of the two counsel members raised their hands, Vikus, and Themis didn't.
Euphemia shot Themis a look, and he spoke, "Overlander, I do not believe we have conducted a full evaluation, all I have seen thus far was past events being brought into the future, therefore I ask, by hoping for an outcome of peace, would you be willing to act on it, be it war if it need be?" The bat asked.
Gregor felt hope rise again, "Yes I will."
"So, tell me, why should we put our trust in you?" the bat asked politely.
Gregor hesitated, "Because I haven't done anything wrong, and because Regalia needs a king who isn't interested in the possibility of war, but will do it if he has to."
"Is this all?" the bat asked.
"Yes..." Gregor said.
Themis called again for a vote, however, much to Gregors dismay, the outcome was the same.
Vikus took the gavel from the table and said, "Gregor...I apologize, the majority of the counsel agrees that you would not be a fit king for Regalia, We must deny you the privilege of joining with Luxa." He said, with a sad, and crushed eyes.
He could hear murmurs of discomfort and disagreement from the crowd, His friends stood up, but they wouldn't challenge the counsel. They all lived by the counsel...ok, maybe not Ripred, but the others did.
"This is a terrible decision!" Lapblood burst out, Twitchtip at her side.
Adelfonsus look to them, "It is what the counsel has agreed on, if you do not find our judgment fair, you know where the exits are located." He said impatiently.
Howard stood up to speak but Euphemia cut him off before he could, "You are our lead doctor, do not forget that we have the power to strip you from your position should you proof a threat to the counsels wishes."
Luxa glared at them, "He wishes to speak, I do not see how this is threatening to the counsels wishes." she countered.
Howard stared at Gregor for a moment, before sitting down. Gregor was glad he didn't do it truthfully, because they all know that the counsel would have stripped him on his doctor license forever if they wanted to.
People he didn't know, and his friends all tried to argue, but there was nothing they could say, the counsel had made up their minds. Gregor now knew what Mareth meant by Power hungry, They didn't even have facts against him that were new facts! They just used his past against him, yet, they held so much power, that they were winning.
Vikus was about to slam the gavel on the table, ending Gregor's future forever, until the raspy voice came from the opposite side of the room.
"How dare you?!"
Brad probably should have even been out of bed in such a state. He could barely move, however when Mareth had told him that Gregor was to attend a hearing that afternoon, Brad knew he couldn't miss it.
He had been listen to the hearing for a long time, no one noticed him walk through the door because everyone was to busy staring at Gregor. When the final decision was made, Brad knew he need to interfere.
"How dare you?!" he yelled to the best of his ability.
The whole room turned to him, and then there were murmurs from across the crowd.
Vikus came down from his chair and ran over to him, "Brad! You breathe! Oh thank heavens!" He said joyously.
"Vikus, I would like to speak for the overlander." Brad said, getting straight to business.
Vikus frowned, "Unfortunatly, we have already come to a decision, the only way we could discuss this again is if there were another counter argument for Gregor's case." he said.
Brad looked the old man in the eyes, "I am that counter argument Vikus. Because without Gregor, we would all certainly be dead right now."
Vikuses eyes widened and he turned to the counsel, after a moment of thinking, he announced, "We have a counter argument for the overlander!" and walked back to his chair, notable sighs of annoyance were heard from the counsel members who opposed him.
Brad began with anger, "How dare you! This man has fought epic wars, slain beasts that you lot could only wish to see in your dreams! He is also a man of great courage, and he is the only reason I, and the whole kingdom of Regalia, or any kingdom for that matter, stands tall and strong! Yet here you sit, judging a man you owe your lives to?"
Euphemia raised her voice to match his, "Who are you for that matter? I do not recall giving you permission to speak!"
"I do not take orders from you, I am the brother of your beloved Queen Luxa, and I will speak when I wish to speak. If you want to stop that, then arrest me." Brad said coldly
Euphemia stopped and bit her lip for a moment, Brad turned to Themis, "You, you did not raise your hand, therefore you wish to give the overlander a chance, why is this?"
Themis looked at him for a moment before speaking, "The overlander has committed crimes in the past, I agree with this. But these crimes are not only in the past, they were for the best. Every action he took, he did it for Regalia, even if the kingdom did not agree at that time. Therefore, I must admit that he was smarter than us at that time, he saw the right decisions and took them. This is the most important part about being an effective leader."
Brad smiled and nodded, his hand went to his stomach for a moment, and then he began to speak again, this time to Vikus, "Vikus, You did not raise your hand, what is your opinion?"
Vikus laughed and said, "I do not feel I need to state my opinion here, I am sure the whole kingdom knows, that I wish for these two to be wed."
Euphemia spoke, "It does not matter what they want! They counsel has spoken!" she yelled.
She began to organize the papers to leave. Brad knew he needed to act quick, so he said the first thing that he thought could help.
"So you did decide. but did the city?" He asked.
She looked at him, confused for a moment, then answered, "Well...no...but the counsel speaks for the people!"
"Do you? I don't recall you ever asking the people of Regalia what they think, and to me, they look rather disappointed." Brad countered
She looked around and said, "Our choice has been made, these people have no right to vote, we are their leaders."
Brad was afraid of this, he didn't know the correct laws here, but where he came from, if the counsel didn't fully agree on one subject, they left it to the people to decide.
But then Vikus, the amazing old man spoke the words that Brad had been hoping to hear, "Why, I do believe by the law you three were SUPPOSED to read, if the counsel does not agree, the people shall choose for them. Or, did you not read this part?". Vikus had spoken sarcastically.
Euphemia looked at him, steaming with rage, "OH! That is not fair! Most of the counsel agrees do they not?!" she yelled.
"Most is not all, young one." Vikus said calmly and with a smile.
She scowled back at him, and Vikus rose, "People of Regalia, we call to you! The fate of the Overlander warrior, and our Queen is in your hands now! What do you choose?"
Of course, Gregors friend all put their hands, and claws in the air. Even Howard, who never really agreed at all. Other then them, there was a complete moment of silence as people comprehended what their ears were telling them. Then whispers, so many whispers. The time felt like forever until one of the crowd members stood.
"I approve!" he called down.
After a moment of hesitation, people started to rise, at first not many, 4,5,6,7,8, the numbers grew by one person each time, then by 2's and 3's, soon, nearly the whole arena was standing, and Gregor had won.
Vikus's eyes beamed as he stared out into the crowd, he took the gavel from the table again, and spoke in strong words, "Then it shall be, I present to you, the new King, and Queen of Regalia!".
Vikus could barely get the words out of his mouth before the crowd started to erupt in cheers. The whole arena was cheering, but Brad saw that Gregor couldn't hear them, he was to busy holding onto Luxa, and her onto him. After all, why wouldn't they be? They had always been there for each other.
Brad smiled at the two, then he began to walk back through the doors that he had come through. Brad was glad he did what he did, but his stomach wasn't, he felt terrible, barely able to support his body at all. His vision was fading, he needed sleep. It was a perfect time for Howard to run around the corner.
"Brad! There you are, we were all worried..." Howard said in short breaths.
Brad couldn't managed to get the air to his throat, but he could still talk a little, "Need, sleep, Howard...please." He managed to choke out.
Howards expression quickly turned from joyous to frighted as he got a good look a Brad.
"My god, you are bleeding again." He said.
Brad looked down and noticed for the first time that he had left a small trail of blood from the way he came. His stitches had popped off from the movement and left the wound open again.
Brad felt his vision getting even darker, his eyes closing slowly, "Howard...help...".
Brad was sure he heard Howard yell something but he couldn't hear what. Brad's hand left the wall he was supporting himself on, and he didn't even feel himself hit the ground before he passed out.
"Doctors! We need assistance!" He called.
When he turned back around Brad was on the ground, unconscious. Two doctors hurried around the corner and he gave them the orders.
"Get a stretcher for this man, he is in need of urgent medical attention!" he yelled.
They left to get the stretcher, and Howard had his time to speak with Brad again, "Brad...I don't know if you can hear me, but I forgive you, and I hope you can also forgive me, we both had our faults.".
Howard could feel a tear slip out of his eye, he was going to continue, but he didn't have time, the doctors had just arrived. They loaded Brad up and began to walk off, until Juliet came around the corner with a distressed look on her face.
"Hey, Doctor, will he be ok?" she ask, obviously worried.
"Please call me Howard, and I am not sure, only time can tell, but what I can tell you is that he will be receiving the best medical care available." He said, trying to keep her from blocking the path of the doctors.
When they left, he stayed a while to calm Juliet she cried for awhile, however soon wiped her tears and Grab Howards arm.
She looked around to make sure no one was listening and spoke softly in his ear, "I need you to tell Brad when you can, that he can't die...he can't die because..." She paused.
"Because?" Howard asked, actually interested in the reason.
She looked around again nervously before bringing her lips close to Howards ear and whispering, He can't die because...I'm Pregnant."
...best way to end a chapter ever! So I don't think I did so well...this chapter was surprisingly hard to write (and yet the longest chapter I have written so far...over 11 pages.). So let me say it here, this also is not the last chapter, I plan on having one, or two more chapters after this, I still have the wedding, the bonding ceremony, the some other little ends to tie up. Also, I will not have Juliet's baby in this story (sorry) that is for the sequel to this story! Yay! As always let me hear your opinions, I do good? I do bad? Tell meeeeee!