Three days before Master Hykel returned to the Immortal Berserker Sect.
Footsteps echoed through the marbled halls outside the council chambers in Etron. Each step rang out loud and clear, and though the steps weren’t hurried the man’s long legs carried him quickly toward the doors of the council chamber.
One of the two guards at the door spoke held up his hand when the man approached, “The council is in session. No visitors today. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
The man continued forward, “I have urgent business with them. They’ll see me.”
The guards tilted their spears forward, “If they wanted to see you, we would know you were coming. We can’t let you in.”
“They don’t get to choose not to see me. I’m going in.” The man continued forward, one step after the other.
The guards were well trained. As the man approached within range they stabbed their spears in a coordinated fashion. The spears thrust out into the man’s unarmored chest… and he continued walking, the tips of the spears not even breaking his skin. As he walked, the spears got pushed back. “Stop!” The guards shouted, but they couldn’t do anything else. How could they actually stop them man when they couldn’t even hurt him?
The two guards lunged toward the man and grabbed onto him, but he merely grabbed them by the heads and and smashed them together.
Master Hykel looked down at the two unconscious guards. “You two are lucky I don’t kill people for doing their jobs.” He cracked his knuckled and then stepped forward to the door, pushing. He was fairly certain the doors opened outward toward him, but he didn’t care. With a massive cracking sound, the doors twisted on their hinges, and he walked through into the council chambers. Sitting in a large semicircle were eleven well dressed people- men, except for a single woman. They looked up in shock as he stepped into the room.
Master Hykel scanned the faces. They weren’t terribly familiar, but he had seen all of them at least once. Finally, he picked out a face and nodded. “Councilor Suriyen.”
The councilor who Master Hykel addressed smiled nervously, “Ah… I’ll assume you got my letter…” He coughed, “I hadn’t expected you to arrive so… soon. I would like to remind you that that myself as well as councilors Robinhome, Markus, and…” Councilor Suriyen sighed, “Councilor Robertson… voted against the proposition.”
The gaunt man that was Councilor Robinson frowned, “Why bring me up, Suriyen?”
Councilor Suriyen shrugged, “Because, even though I hate you, I have reason to be completely honest.”
“What is the meaning of this, councilor Suriyen? Did you invite this ruffian here?” The man who spoke was large, but also over-heavy.
“I did not specifically invite him here, Head Councilor Garnett. I merely informed him of prior proceedings and how they applied to our deal with him.”
“That’s right.” Master Hykel twisted his neck to either side, making popping noises. “I’m here because you broke your contract with me. Thus I found no reason to remain with the army… or to let any of you live, for that matter.”
“What did you just say?” Head Councilor Garnett looked stunned, “You think you can threaten us here? Crossbowmen, fire!”
A hail of bolts flew out from hidden slits in the ceiling above the councilors. Their aim was true, and each of them impacted their target of the torso of Master Hykel, who looked down. “I liked this shirt.” There were a number of holes in his shirt, and nearly as many bolts lying on the floor near his feet.
Councilor Suriyen shook his head, looking at Head Councilor Garnett, “This is why I told you not to break the contract. Honestly, how did you become Head Councilor with so little knowledge of foreign affairs? Then you ruin one of our best deals for what, your crybaby son who can’t take a loss in a fair spar?”
“Do you think you can get away with such words, Councilor Suryen?”
Councilor Suriyen actually broke out laughing. It took him a handful of seconds to get out more words. “You act like *hah* like you’re going to survive this situation.”
“Is that a threat?” Head Councilor Garnett narrowed his plump eyes.
“Not from me.” Councilor Suriyen gestured down toward Master Hykel, “He already told you.”
Master Hykel nodded, “Indeed. This has gone on long enough. You can die now.”
“Now hold on one minute!” A new voice came from the entrance to the council chambers, “Who’s dying and why?” An old man walked into the room at a pace that belied his looks.
Master Hykel turned. “Tch. Stieber. The entire council is dying, and you can’t stop me.”
Councilor Suriyen coughed, “Um… the entire council?”
“Well, besides those four.” Master Hykel pointed them out, “Don’t try to stop me, Stieber.” Another rain of bolts struck Master Hykel, but he didn’t even turn to look.
Doctor Stieber grinned a toothy grin, “Stop you? Well, I won’t… except I need Head Councilor Garnett alive.”
“No can do. He’s the most guilty.” Master Hykel shifted into a fighting stance, and one of his feet broke a hole through the tile as he stomped down.
Doctor Stieber held up a hand, “Hold on there. That won’t be necessary. You see, Head Councilor Garnett’s son wanted to force himself on my apprentice. I need him alive, but trust me… it will be much more satisfying than killing him.”
“Oh.” Master Hykel nodded, “In that case, go ahead.”
“Do you think we’re just going to sit here and let you-” Councilor Garnett started to rise from his chair, but stopped halfway, unmoving. His eyes flickered about in panic.
A wider grin spread across Doctor Stiber’s face, “Likewise, did you think I was going to let you leave? We can’t have someone like you raising any more sons.”
The other council members realized at once they should have been running some time before, and hurriedly pushed away their seats.
“Deal with them yourself, Hykel.”
Even though the councilors were only a few steps away from the rear door, in the time it took them to get there Master Hykel had leaped past the bar separating them and in front of the door. “Next time, think about what you vote for. Oh wait…” Master Hykel took hold of the two closest councilors and threw them into the others. One of the groups of three flew into and through their chairs and even the bar, and the others headed for a wall where they all fell into one crumpled heap barely resembling people, “You don’t get a next time.”