Figuring they had wasted enough time on piety, Vincent decided it was time to move. He stood in a strategic position on higher ground, where the gathering occupants of this location could see him. After all how could anyone not notice the display. His posture and body language were demanding everyone to look at him. Vincent smirked as he began to talk.

”Casalynn is a city in the sky. This city is named after its engineers. They built it thousands of years ago, as a united race trying to escape from the Nards, and trying not to mix with the idiotic Humanoids. But now that is about to change. Creed is going to attempt what we all have forsaken. He is already an achievement of peace that has long since fallen through. ”

Unsure of the reason, Creed listened intently to his brother. He felt drawn to every word.

Spike was bored and intent on bothering Jade, who seemed entertained by a butterfly.

Other Casalyians, charged with apprehending them, began to listen also. One by one, they were drawn in by Vincents speech.

”This achievement happens to be my brother, a single living individual that is our treaty with the Nards. Thus an agreement was forged. If any side did harm to this individual, an all-out war would ensue for this act of betrayal. But have we been living by this standard treaty? No, we have not. We have treated this individual like the dirt the Humanoids walk on. You have considered him one of them and not one of us. But he is one of us. He does not look like them; he does not eat like them. He was not raised by them, either. This young individual is one of us. ”

The gathering crowd of Casalyians multiplied, some even bringing their very young children. Once word got out that Vincent Angelus, Captain of the Kings Knights, was giving a speech, they gathered to hear him.

Creed looked around and gasped. ”Oh, I get it now, ” Creed muttered aloud but in no ones hearing, as his brothers speech continued.

”He is trying to win the hearts of our race. Because the more support we have, the longer we can stand against the Council of Casalynn. Have we sunk to the level of those Humanoids, who misjudge their own kind? ” Vincent continued. ”Are we the next ones in line to have slaves of our own? Are we going to be the next race that kills each other because they are different? Are we going to be like the Nards, who do not distinguish between good and evil? Are we going to be like the ones who eat the weaker and kill the strong, because to me that is a Nard trait? ” Vincent pulled out his sword, lifting it high, then drove it into the ground. As his voice roared with fury, his eyes burned and his anger became more evident.

The Casalyians watched and listened. Their eyes, quiet murmurs, and bodily stances reflected their emotions. They were quietly thinking about their own unjust actions toward Creed. Many of them did nothing and watched Creeds abuse happen. Others, who had no idea who he was, filled themselves with pity for their race. Some of the ones who were murmuring, displayed their anger with a tense stance.

Vincent quickly stopped his speech to the crowd, wanting them to talk among themselves for a few seconds. Then he hushed the group, all the while studying them. ”Good, ” he whispered to himself. ”This is what I want – an uproar of emotion big enough to question the councils actions. This will bring attention to it. The king will probably persecute them. ” It pleased him to think of their suffering. He began to speak again.

”I have never once been ashamed of us. We are truly an advanced race, but today, due to the council members actions, I am ashamed and disgraced by my own race. ”

The crowds eyes fixed on Vincent in disbelief. No one was allowed to talk about the council unless it was true. And even then, it must be discreet. Besides the king, only the council members had an official voice in matters that involved Casalynn. Now the crowd was frightened.

Undaunted, Vincent continued. ”They signed a document stating Creed can go to the Humanoids to study and learn from them . . . so that one day, Casalyians may leave this city and live among the Humanoids in peace. Now they deny Creeds right after permitting him. What does that say about us as Casalyians?

”Today, a group of Casalyians who were afraid of Creeds leaving, attacked us in our domain. After that, an individual from the council by the name of Sizzler Sutra showed up on the central walkway to the portals. Then the council had the audacity to send Monett after me, who gave me a warning. Finally, at the portals, they had a grand knight, that unconscious log over there . . . ” Vincent pointed to Vaan on the ground beside the portals, ” . . . and the monster, a Spirit of Aura, to lie in wait for Creed here. This goes beyond persecution, into the elimination of someone. ”

”That is enough, Vincent Angelus. ” The voice sounded old and wise. ”We, the council, deny these claims. Without proof, you have no strength. We will let you go today, but false claims are better left punished. ”

Spike immediately lost interest in bothering Jade and began to focus on the voice that seemed to come out of nowhere. Where is this voices body? And how dare he say there is no proof. She and Vaan are the proof. She would not have been here if it were not for the council.

Jade remained infatuated with the butterfly, so she was of no use to her. Spike knew she had to do this alone. She floated up to the stage, stood right beside Vincent and spoke up, ”I am the proof! ”

”Silence! ” The old voice was angry. ”Orders are never to be repeated. ”

The crowd gasped. Orders, what was going on? Did they think that the Casalyians were a stupid race? A woman in a green hat who was holding a baby yelled out, ”Do you think we are dumb? We know when something is not right! ”

”Silence! ” the old voice again roared.

Siphon, the outspoken council leader at Creeds request hearing, had mingled with the crowd and was surprised to hear of the outcome of all their plotting. He decided that it was time for damage control. Siphon vanished from the group and immediately appeared on the higher ground with Vincent. ”Yes, we did those things. ”

The crowd gasped in horror, but quieted down right away. It was a sin not to listen to a council member, and clearly, Siphon had more to say.

”We did them with you in mind, ” Siphon went on.

Vincent hung back smirking, knowing this was playing right into his hand.

Composed, Siphon continued his confession. He could see the council would have a lot of trouble if this did not work. ”I only wanted what was best for my race. ”

The crowd began to realize the council had a lot of power – power that they did not need. Some began to wonder why they even had a council. King Fredal was a kind and equal king, unlike this council.

Creed wanted to laugh, but he kept it under control. This was not a very good situation to do so. He then turned his attention to his brother, hoping for some sign.

Vincent smirked, knowing he did a good job creating doubts and questions. And now that Siphon had admitted it, the consequences could be endless.

Siphon soon realized the situation was not going to get better.

Suddenly, smoke filled the higher ground, and another council member joined them. He was old. His beard reached to his midsection. His arms were long and skinny, covered in boils. A young, lanky Casalyian in his late twenties pushed the old mans wheelchair.

The old Casalyian stroked his beard, then spoke, ”Well, we may have failed in eliminating him, but that does not mean we will not try again. He is not one of us; he is one of them. ” This voice was the old, angry voice from before.

The crowd began to show their outrage, and the ones that brought their children decided to leave, knowing that things were about to get ugly.

One Casalyian began to chant, ”No more council! No more council! ” Then most of the crowd started chanting, except for those select few who agreed with the council and were now quiet.

The old one raised both of his crippled hands for quiet, but that only made the crowd get louder with their rage. The old one began to get impatient. Never in all his years had he been met with such disrespect.

Vincent put his hand on the mans shoulder. The old man turned his head to acknowledge him. Looking to Creed, Vincent only said two words, ”Lets go! ”

Creed understood and turned toward the dense crowd, but no one wanted to move.

Vincent graciously stepped away from the higher ground and grabbed his sword. The crowd began to make a pathway for him.

A few moments later, the Casalyian Authority Force marched in by order of King Fredal. Unknown to everyone, their king was among them. Happening upon the scene during his routine walk, he hid himself to watch as the events unfolded. He witnessed some of the travesties that the council and other Casalyians had put his Captain of the Knights through.

The king felt utter sympathy for Creeds plight. This was his doing. If only he had not created that treaty. If that treaty just did not exist, Creed would not have had to put up with all the extremities of his existence.

The Authority Force surrounded the two council members. An Authority officer stepped to the front and spoke gruffly through his sizeable crooked nose, ”You are under seizure! ”

Siphon smiled his sadistic smile. ”Under whose orders? ” he demanded.

”The king verbally gave us the orders to seize you and place you in the holding cell. ”

Siphon tried again to reason with the crowd, as hand restraints were placed on him. ”You see, everyone oversteps their boundaries when it comes to their race. ” But the Casalyians would not hear him.

Siphon noticed that everything he tried was not working, so he changed his tactic. ”Their problems are not over yet. When I realized that we were dealing with the halflings request a couple of months ago, I planned this out. There are far more treacherous beings waiting at the portals for them. ”

Vincent stopped walking. Creed tried to get through the crowd politely, but there was no polite way. No one was moving.

Siphon boasted, ”I will make sure that scum is wiped off the face of the earth, just like the scum who bore him. ”

The kings heart fell. Casalynn needed change. King Fredal had never realized the council harbored such ill-intent toward the treaty.

Before the Authority Force took the two council members away, Vincent spoke again, ”Take them to Dungeon A3 and start interrogating the rest of the council members. Punish the ones that had their hands in this dirty scene. Release the others on tri-level domain arrest for their own safety, because Casalyians are not so forgiving. ”

The Authority officer with the crooked nose spoke up. ”Is this really what I should do? ”

Vincent let his commanding officer tone take over. ”Do what I say without question. I am above you in authority! ” And then Vincent continued his way through the crowd. He stopped midway to tell the group to move, and they did.

Creed was in the middle of the crowd, trying to get through, but having a difficult time. Then he saw that a path cleared in front of him. He raised his eyebrows in surprise with no idea what could be going on.

Vincent walked calmly over to Creed, who was lost in his thoughts. Gently, Vincent tugged his brothers arm, leading him through the cleared pathway.

Creed suddenly realized he was moving, but did not know it was his brother pulling him along. ”Hmm, hey, I mean what did I do? ” Creed became a bit frightened that he might have done something wrong.

Vincent chuckled lightly, ”Moron, ” he teased.

”I am not. ” That was all Creed could manage after realizing he was with Vincent.

The crowd of Casalyians turned their attention on them. Creed felt very uncomfortable again.

Vincent released his brother and forced him to walk beside him. He lifted up his arm and placed it around Creeds shoulders. Then he moved his arm up in front of Creeds face. ”Look at my arm, you will feel more comfortable, ” he teased.

Creed looked at Vincents arm instead of the crowd. He was relieved to know that if he looked at his arm, he would not have to acknowledge the crowd. He also felt relief that his brother remained beside him. They finally made it to the edge of the portals. Vincent called Jade, who came on command and Spike followed.

Vincent stopped short of the portals. He glanced around, making sure he saw Spike there. Suddenly, he spoke releasing a red mist of energy, ”Shield of honor. ” The power began to form a circle around them. He released another red cloud that formed a ring around the circle that he had already created.

This brought Jade back to the first time she met her master. Vincent was using the shield of honor then, to shield his wife and him from attack. Creed was just a little boy, and Vincent was married to a beautiful Casalyian named Mininna. But sometime after that attack, Mininna disappeared. Her master has searched for his wife regularly during the past three years, but to no avail.

Spike was curious. What was this red bubble around her? She went to touch it, but Creed grabbed her hand. ”Do not touch it – it is the shield of honor, meant to keep the things that are inside, inside; and the things that are outside, outside. It releases a shock charge every time something touches it or hits it. The shock is much more deadly on the outside than inside. But it will still hurt. Understand? ”

Spike nodded.

Vincent closed his eyes, sensing what lay behind the entrance of the portals. ”Red eyes, ” he snorted with disgust. ”We must move. The quest is finally at its climax. ” He stepped into the dimly lit portals, venturing toward whatever fate waited for them.

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