"Slain?" Talis asked, now realizing why the coldness seemed to radiate from the little cottage. His eyes swept over it again, now from the distance of the boulders he could see the bloody details of the door. The two small handprints on the porch like a child lost their ballance.
"Yes. The last of 3 betrayals that befell that family." Verone affirmed. Folding his arms as he stared into the garden. His heart soothed a bit now that it was in site.
"Are you going to tell me or…" Talis asked after waiting patiently for several minutes. Verone seemed lost in thought but Talis was hooked now. He wanted… no needed to know. Verone sighed and nodded closing his eyes slowly.
"Nearly 15 years ago Lady Shade of the Moon, Kyera's mother left her eldest son Keenan to raise his siblings. She betrayed them, leaving in the dead of the night to join the humans." Verone replied shaking his head. Talis frowned, confusion then gave way to realization. That's why everyone hates Kyera's mother. "That was the first and simplest of all the betrayals the family faced. The second betrayal was by a Lion brother, Akam." Verone continued after a short pause.
The tone with which he said the name hinted at a deeper hatred for the Lion. "Akam wanted Kyera for his bride, but her brother's tirelessly defended and protected her. She was only 10 when he began seeking her." Verone explained his voice like ice again. Talis' frown deepened.
"She was just a child." Talis pointed out, trying to understand the lion's logic. Verone nodded, realizing the boy had no experience with lion culture.
"The lions are different from us tigers. They gather their wives early so they grown and learn to hunt together. That's why a Pride is so skillful and insync as a group. The younger the brides are the better this works." Verone was glad for a break in topic. This short lesson gave him time to compose himself. Sensing this fact, Talis played along and decided to appease his curiosity.
"what if he didn't like the woman his little bride became? If her personality clashed with his or say she grew to have a annoying voice or shapeless body?" Talis asked and was met with a cruel chuffing laugh. Verone shook his head slowly glancing at his brother.
"Come now. You have met Lionesses in town without mates. Old ones without children." he pointed out and realization slowly dawned.
"so they are allowed to leave?" he asks sounding a touch relieved. That was the rational thing in his mind.
"No. They are abandoned, but still married. No Lion may have them and if they marry their own pride must kill them. That's the lucky ones fate." Verone replied adjusting his position. "the unlucky ones are killed. Slowly starved while being forced to hunt for food they do not get to partake in. Helping other lionesses raise their young never to have their own."
Talis waited a moment. His mind going over these sad possibilities. Either would be torture for a tigress. Being alone… without their own children or a companion. "No wonder the brothers said no. It wasn't worth the risk." Verone nodded, proud his brother came to the same conclusion.
"Exactly. Kyera had a bright future and her brothers protected her but this caused a rift between The Lions and the Tigers setting up for the second betrayal. Have you ever noticed that there are only 2 lion sentries in the guard, and both work the north gate?" Verone asked looking at his brother expectantly. The youth's mind could be seen whirling behind those youthful eyes. A small wrinkle appearing between his brows.
"I never noticed before, but Bana and Everett…" he said nodding once he was sure "yea those are the only lions I've seen on guard."
"And that's because of the blood spilt in this very house. You see Akam was a sentry, being as he wasn't king yet. He betrayed The Shade of the Moon family at that very post." Verone's words became monotone, controlled.
"How did he betray them as a sentry? I mean all he had to do was alert the family when…." he trailed off and his eyes darkened. Verone nodded slowly.
"All he had to do was pull the bell line." Verone agreed "That is what made this such a betrayal so damning. There was more effort to ignore and try to cover than to pull the bell string."
Betrayal, What are your thoughts on the subject?
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