3.86% The Tiger Within / Chapter 27: Traitor Part 5

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Chapter 27: Traitor Part 5

"Since this matter has been clarified, I must say I had higher hopes for the jackals. Let us not hold grudges and move forward." Daxin spoke firmly, leaving no questions to be asked. He believed this was the best way to handle it. Bina nodded, too embarrassed to raise her eyes more or less speak. Kyera gave a sweeping bow at the waist and bared her neck to the elders.

"Thank you for being willing to hear my words. All due respect Daxin, Werol, as my teacher did I behave according to your teachings?" Kyera asked still bowing to the elderly Owl. Werol smiled. It was the soft smile with loving eyes of a grandfather to a obediant child. Her eyes did not see it, but she felt the warm glow of affection envelop her.

"Kyera Shade of the Moon behaved as I have come to expect from her. She did well and obeyed the law protecting us as we have all seen time and time again. I do not believe she should be labeled as a Traitor nor did she deserve the punishment she received." Werol's sharp gaze landed on Bina's form. The implications were clear, being as Kyera was wronged, she should be able to repay the wrong. Bina's eyes rose, a fearful wildness in her eyes like a trapped animal. Kyera stood straight again and raised an eyebrow.

"Thank you, Elder. However, this once, I wish to show mercy. She's a child after all." Kyera replied graciously and he smiled with delight. Repaying kindness was a wonderful virtue, but being able to repay evil with good… was a trait to be revered.

So while the Elders smiled and nodded approvingly, Kyera turned to Bina and offered a handshake. The Jackal took it and shook the Tiger's hand. "Bina, learn to control those emotions, the only thing that saved you this time is you aren't worth the effort." Kyera whispered into her ear. Anger surged through Bina at the humiliation of this remark even if only she could hear it.

Kyera smiled sweetly and leaned in kissing Bina's cheek in the traditional sign of forgiveness, the barest graze of lips to skin sent a shiver down the younger woman's spine, but she held her apologetic smile. Fear sparked in her eyes. There was more to that kiss than the onlookers could see.

As Bina watches Kyera walk away, her hand raises to her cheek. The soft skin was undamaged, despite the lingering feeling of fangs dragginging lightly against her skin. A threat, not lost on the Jackal.

**********************************************

The Empress Awakens

The palace was a serene place in the mornings. Birds chirped, the royal garden forest was filled with sleepy life. Lions, tigers, wolves a few of each lived in the woodlands, tamed to the royal hand. Mornings, long before feeding was always the time the king and his wives would begin the day in the garden and receive their 6 beautiful grandchildren. Queen Kira and Queen Fae, the favored ladies of the court enjoyed their son's children each morning, Kira's son Bastil had 2 handsome sons, twins only 5 years of age. Fae's 2 sons Alexi and Damar had each gifted her with a grandsons as well, 3 in all. Empress Evealyn however, her son had but one child, and she was the only one not to present herself this morning.

Queen Kira and Queen Fae smiled and doted on their grandchildren, while Evealyn watched quietly from her swing under the tree. In her hands a little doll made of porcelain and dressed in silk resting beneath her hand on her lap. The King watched his queens, and spared a few glances for his Empress who was quiet and forloren alone. Her long black hair falling in a braid over her shoulder, adorned with simple silver and purple ribbons woven into the strands. Her skirts lightly brushing across the ground as she allowed the swing to sway with the wind. The thoughtfulness in her silver eyes and the soft pout to her rose lips made him curious as to what was going through his lady's head.

However, as he went to investigate, one of his grand sons grabbed his hand and tugged it toward the garden center. "Emperor, I saw a Leopard! I saw a leopard! Quick come see." The child begged with a bright smile. His name was Keen, the eldest of the twins. Bright inquisitive eyes melted his heart and without another glance at Evalyn, the Emperor followed his grandson.

"Let's see if we can get a better look shall we?" He asked picking the child up and following him into the woods.

Evalyn watched him go without a word. She knew what had happened. It had been going on for years. Seeing the emperor showed interest in her, Kira had become jealous and sent the pride and joy of the nation to steal her husband away. A rueful smile curved Evalyn's lips. Little did that foolish queen know, that the empress had gotten what she wanted from the king long ago.


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