Birthright Part 3
By Dave Church
After Marle landed in Epoch, the Lucca took them to where they were going to meet Phil.
"How did Crono get in there?" she asked. She knew Crono was resourceful, but even he probably couldn't have pulled this stunt alone.
Lucca focused on their destination. "We got some help from a knight, who knew about Bane before he escaped. His name is Phil. He helped Crono get in there."
"So who is this Phil guy? I only hope that he can help us dethrone that miserable slime Bane." Marle said. This was the angriest Lucca had seen her friend. Marle had just heard about the betrothal, and she was ticked. She was sitting down in Epoch, having recovered from falling from her window. Her hair was fluttering in the wind.
"Someone who wants to help us dethrone this Bane guy, apparently. I'm not sure whether we can trust him.." Lucca kept her eyes on where they were flying. Epoch was low to the ground, and she had to be careful in order to keep it out of the public eye. She slowed it to a stop.
"You and Crono are always paranoid about things like this. How bad could he be?"
Lucca focused on the controls. As fast as Epoch was going(even at slowest speed), she had to. "He said he'd be outside my house," Lucca told her. Marle turned to admire what she could make out of the scenery. Lucca saw someone in the distance.
"Here he is now." As Epoch slowed to a stop, Marle looked over at Phil. She scratched her chin thoughtfully, assessing him. As the two females got out of the vehicle, Phil got down on one knee. "Princess," he said, bowing before Marle, as every knight was required to do in front of royalty.
Marle sighed. "Please call me Marle," she replied. She seemed tired of having to do that with everyone.
"Whatever you say, Princess," he said getting off his knee. He brushed his hair back. He was holding his helmet in one hand, having taken it off while bowing before Marle.
"What is that monstrous thing?" He asked, pointing at Epoch. Marle and Lucca exchanged glances.
Marle gave Phil a serious look. "Phil," she said, taking a deep breath, "There's some things you are going to see that you are going to have to be quiet about. Ok?"
"My lips are sealed," he replied, gaping at Epoch. "Where did you acquire such a magnificent thing?"
Lucca turned toward him, her arms crossed in front of her. "You have, no doubt,
heard about our adventure to defeat Lavos?" she asked.
"Of course! There isn't a person on the continent who doesn't know!" he said excitedly.
Lucca took a deep breath. "Well, this is one of the things we "acquired" in our travels. Can we trust you with this?" She looked at him expectantly.
"All right," he said, looking in the distance. He turned toward Marle. "So now what do we do to expose Bane?" he said, trying to think. Marle and Lucca also thought for a minute, and the trio was silent for a while as they were trying to think of something that would expose Bane, and they needed hard proof. Maybe Crono could find out something. But then they would have to save him in the process. It's not like Marle and Lucca hadn't saved him before. Even death didn't stop them then....
But, there was a third variable this time. Though the general attitude toward Bane was suspicion, they couldn't use magic or Epoch without blowing their cover. They could trust Phil... couldn't they?
Lucca suddenly had a brain wave. The so-called "birthright", which betrothed Bane to Marle was probably faked. But that type of scroll paper was only found in the trees of Guardia Forest, and could only be extracted by the holy priests. The trio would have to find out where they got that paper- or who Bane got to extract it. Then, he would be exposed.
But how would they do it.....
Marle suddenly had an idea.
"Meet back here at sundown, with weapons, armor, and other battle necessities," she said.
Phil stared blankly. Lucca saw this, and corrected it.
"Your sword and knight's armor," she said.
Phil's eyes lit up, and he ran home to prepare.
Crono was led into the trial room. Everything was familiar. The sights, the sounds, the smells.... though this time the jury would be on his side. Wonder if this trial is rigged too... He sat down in his seat, which was on the left side of the king's chait, near where Pierre was. On the other side was the Chancellor. He looked quite depressed.
Bane was sitting in the chair where the king sat at the other trial. Crono averted his eyes. He knew the king was alive, for he had seen him, with his own eyes in the jail cell. King Guardia had been remorseful.
"Oh, Crono," he had said. There was a sadness in his voice. "You were right. I will never make that mistake again." His voice turned angry. "I only hope that the bastard has not abused my daughter."
"She's all right, my liege," Crono replied. "I snuck her out this morning. He's probably had one heck of a PR (public relations) day for the people who wanted to see her reaction to the birthright."
"Amazing! How'd you do it?" the king asked. But before Crono could answer, guards came in and dragged him out to the trial room....
Crono's mind came back to reality and the task at hand. He had told Pierre, the lawyer, his plan: Make the jury and the public even more doubtful about Bane. Make him try and throw Crono out, also hurting Bane's already tarnished image. The public would eventually rebel. Provided it worked well enough. Pierre was all for it, encouraging Crono to go for it.
Bane sat in the center seat. The Chancellor slowly got up from his right seat and came over to Crono. Crono slipped him a coin(OOC Note: This is not a bribe, just a mideval thing I read about. E-mail me for more info) and the Chancellor returned to his seat.
Bane smiled that evil smile which the public had come to hate. "Would the prosecution like to make an opening statement?"
"Yes, your majesty," the Chancellor said. He looked toward the people. "Due to the adversity surrounding this trial, and the new king, I will resign from my post effective immediately." After giving Crono his coin back, he walked out, leaving Bane, Crono and the jury in shock.
Bane broke the silence. "Hmm.." he said. "I would wait for a replacement, but this is too minor of a trial to delay. I will prosecute the offender myself." Bane clapped his hands, and another supposed elder came in to become the judge.
Crono rubbed his hands together. Fun time...
The elder who had just came in took a scroll from Bane and read. "Would the defendant, Crono Tinara, like to enter a plea on the charge of kidnapping in the second degree, and violation of birthright in the first degree?"
Crono stood up. "Guilty and not guilty." He sat down again.
The elder wrote it down. "So noted. But the jury will decide your fate. Your Majesty, would you like to start calling witnesses."
I would like to call as my first witness, Dennis Tyle..."
Crono recognized the man who walked into the room as one of the guards from Marle's room. Tyle came into the room and sat down. Bane whispered a few words into his ear.
Pierre stood up outright. "Objection! He's telling the witness what to say!" Crono also shouted a few inaudible words.
The elder picked up the scroll that Bane gave him, and scanned it. "Overruled!" The people and the jury talked among themselves.
Pierre picked up his scroll and started to leave. "If this is not a just court, than we shall take our case to one!"
The elder sighed, and tried to stall until Bane was done talking to Tyle. When he was done, the elder said, "Sustained. Please return to your seats, Pierre and Mr. Tinara."
Crono tried to shout a cry in protest, but Pierre stopped him and sat down. He whispered, "I was bluffing. We can't take this trial anywhere else."
Crono looked at him in amazement. "You were bluffing?" he whispered, leaning toward
"Yes." Pierre focused on Bane, who was just starting to question Tyle.
Crono, having developed a new respect for Pierre, looked at Bane, and wondered what was to come.
Bane looked at Tyle, his arms crossed in front of his chest. "So, Mr. Tyle, by your guess, what is the state of relationships betweem Mr. Tinara and Princess Nadia?"
Crono took a deep breath and prayed that he would get out of this...
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