Trials of the Valiant Chapter 8

By The RPGenius

One month later...

In the dark streets of Murond Death City, another meeting of the followers of Ajora, Velius, Hashmalum, Queklain, Zarela, and Adramelk had been called. Like all the other meetings, it was little more than screaming between ambitious leaders and their men.

Duegran sat at one of the many tables, taking it all in with little interest. He took out his watch and looked at it. It would be happening in 5...4...3..2..1...

An explosion in the center of the meeting ceased all the noise as all eyes turned toward it, looking for its cause.

Duegran calmly walked over to where the explosion had just occurred. He calmly addressed all gathered.

"Since the death of our leaders, we have had no place to go and no idea of what to do. We have called 'meetings' (if you can call these screaming matches 'meetings'), but haven't been able to decide on a leader or a course of action. However, there is now one who will lead us out of this pit and onward to victory against our enemies. I've been elected to introduce this one, so I now give you our new leader: Syldreth!"

As he finished, Syldreth seemed to step out of a shadow and slowly went to stand on a table. She was wearing her cloak and hood, completely hiding all features from vision. She was accompanied by her newfound bodyguard, Worker 9. Worker 9 had been the one she had wanted to find on Nelveska, and now she had him. He was easily one of her most valuable assets.

"I will be concise. Our job is to kill Ramza and all his allies. Once we are through with them, we will take the kingdom--no, the PLANET--back from its pathetic citizens," she stated.

Syldreth's speech was interrupted by one of the hot-headed dolts who had been yelling minutes before. "And why should we follow you?"

Syldreth made a movement almost too fast to see. The offending man fell over, clutching at the knife embedded in his heart.

Syldreth went back to talking to the rest. "That's a good question. There are several reasons to do as I say. As your friend has discovered, if you bother me, I'll kill you."

Another hot-head spoke up. "We've got over a hundred people! You can't possibly kill us all!"

Syldreth's voice held a note of amusement to it. "And just how many of your soldiers are on your side?"

"What does that mean!?"

"I mean that one third of all gathered here are secretly working for me. Your 'allies' aren't as trustworthy as you think. All my soldiers: go stand over there. Let these fools see how large my operation is."

About fifty people gathered together as all the others looked on incredulously. Duegran chuckled a bit. All the waiting and planning was worth it, considering the looks on everyone's faces as their 'friends' deserted them.

Syldreth continued her speech, pointing to Worker 9. "I also have my new toy to protect me. I assure you, he is quite capable of ripping your limbs off and compressing your body to the size of a golf ball, bones and all."

The masses were subdued for a moment, but then the same hot-head piped up again. "You still couldn't beat us in an all out fight! We outnumber you three to one!"

Duegran took in a deep breath. Syldreth hadn't outlined what to do should this happen. The masses were supposed to obey her now, but they were still resisting her. He got ready to hide in case things went awry.

Syldreth's voice was even as she replied. "There is one other thing I have going for me. Obviously, you are all unaware that Worker 9, here, cannot function with being powered by a Zodiac Stone." Here, she removed the stone from her robotic bodyguard. "Does anyone know what this is?" Syldreth held out her hand. The stone of Cancer lay in her fist.

A murmur passed through the crowd. Syldreth took advantage of the momentary silence of the braggart's insolence to speak again. "I am sick of trying to reason! In a moment I will transform to Sleeris, the Zodiac Monster! I will kill every single one of you. I don't need your help to accomplish any of my goals. I was simply giving you a chance to help, for those who do not help me are my enemies. I kill my enemies. I will ask one last time. Are you going to assist me, or shall I have some fun?"

The result was instantaneous. Every single person present immediately ran to where Syldreth's forces were standing. Duegran smiled to himself. Syldreth's bluff about the Zodiac Monster was perfect. Nobody even questioned her claims.

He hurried over to her.

"That was brilliant! Everything is perfect. Not even the hot-heads would dare consider going against you now! Your bluff worked beautifully," he congratulated his boss.

Syldreth lowered her hood. She was grinning, an occurence that sent a shiver down Duegran's spine.

"That was no bluff."

Duegran stopped, his jaw dropping several inches. "You aren't serious...are you?"

Syldreth let out a low laugh. "I am perfectly serious. Cancer found its way to me."

"Then I am no longer in the presence of Syldreth? I am speaking to...who was it?"

"Sleeris. But no, I am still completely the same--for the most part. I can feel Sleeris inside of me--can talk to it, in fact. But I am still in control."

Duegran was having trouble taking all of this in. "So you're still Syldreth...but you can be Sleeris?"

Syldreth looked like she was getting impatient from his lack of comprehension. "Yes! I am Syldreth, but I'm also Sleeris! Just be glad that Sleeris has a long temper, and has thus lengthened mine. Now leave. I must form my plans further. I'm counting on you to organize this rabble," she told him as she walked off into the darkness.

Duegran took a deep breath and turned back to the people gathered. It looked like things would be getting interesting.


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