Lily was pushed towards the makeshift gallows that had been erected in Monarch Square, just a few yards from the palace balcony. Standing on the balcony was the Tsaress herself, Zoey Hanji. Lily reached for her mother's hand but it was slapped away by a soldier. Lily and her family were being dragged towards the gallows because her eldest brother had got to fight for Empress Ymira Everen, the true ruler of Rezua, her father always reminded her.
Lily was grabbed by another soldier and thrown onto the gallows, where two more soldiers grabbed her and held her in place. Next to her, her parents and younger brother stood behind nooses. At the front of the gallows, a Tsarist officer held her grandfather with a gun to his head. The officer began to speak "Citizens of Eomeria, many of you in this community have still refused to recognize our new leadership. Tsaress Zoey Hanji ousted the weak Ymira Everen, daughter of Yosef and Juliet Everen. I don't need to remind you that the Everens took power by working with the West in the Second World War. Augustus Everen stole our resources, leaving us patriots to rot in East Rezua. Citizens, you stand in what was East Eomeria. You and I grew up here. We know that Everens caused our empire to fall!"
Lily's father shouted out "It's a damned lie!" A soldier slammed his rifle into the man's stomach, then pulled him to his feet. Together with another soldier, they forced him into his noose and pulled a lever. Lily's mother screamed out and broke free from her guards to hold up her husband. The soldiers raised their rifled and fired on both of Lily's parents, killing them. Lily's brother began to cry and a soldier backhanded him. Lily fought back tears and looked into the crowd, praying for help. No one met her eye.
The officer continued "Your ungratefulness deserves to be give proper punishment. However, our beloved Tsaress has been willing to show mercy. Knee before the balcony, pay your new taxes, and watch an empire rise again. Or join the traitors.
Lily's grandfather pushed away from the officer and cried out "Rise up, children of Rezua! Don't listen to his lies! Praise the Evere-." Lily's grandfather crumpled as a bullet slammed into the back of his head. Lily's brother began to wail now, and the same shoulder rose his hand to beat the child once more. Lily looked heavenward and prayed for God to help her. And then she saw the blonde angel.
From nowhere a woman burst from an alleyway, crest of the Everen's upon her uniform. The blonde was young, perhaps in her early twenties. The woman opened fire on the man about to hit the child, then the two holding Lily. "Run!" the woman shouted as the Tsarists turned to face this new threat. Without eyes on them, some of the unarmed citizens rushed the gallows, punching and kicking at the guards. The blonde woman ducked as the officer fired at her. She rolled and rushed him, tackling him to the ground and blew his brains out with her pistol.
Lily grabbed her brother's hand and ran towards this angel, begging for help. Hanji had fled from the balcony as the crowd began to rush forward, taking the soldier's guns and braving the checkpoint. Armored personal carriers opened fire on the citizens, painting the road crimson. The blonde woman grabbed the children and hid them in a destroyed store. Then, the woman turned to join the fight.
Lily looked up and shouted "Wait!" The woman stopped and turned around, showing the most golden braids and eyes with the bluest hue. Lily could have swore she had seen this woman before, in a picture or on the news as a hero being given a medal. Being knighted in Rhodevus. Lily said "Please, don't leave us." The woman hesitated and added "Fear not child, my sister is coming to reclaim the throne. Pray for our Empress." With that, Princess Christina rushed back out into the riot shouting "For the Everen Line!" And the answer came "Hail to the Everens! Defenders of the people!"
Snow fell heavier than expected. Ymira sat at one of the chairs of the table, looking out the frost-covered window. She could almost make out Monarch's Square in the distance where almost one thousand five hundred people fought along side her sister for control of the palace. Almost all had been killed. Yet, that day, Ymira arrived with the Rhodeve army and the Soviets arrived not long after. That riot had distracted the Tsarists, causing the enemy to be divided.
Ymira turned to face her sister when she heard a throat being cleared "They fought because they loved you." Ymira signed "I know. Yet...I don't know why. I haven't brought them peace. I've brought reform, and education, and many other things. Yet I can't bring peace. Gallons of blood stained that street. It took three days to clean it." Christina scoffed "You can't single-handedly knock down the nations of the world and make them accept each other." Ymira shrugged "Well...let's hope this meeting can help me do that." The Empress spun her chair to look at the list of concerns she had for the meeting in order of importance.
1. VSSA/Englean conflict
2. Tension between Cill Airne and Westseaxland
3. The Civil War in Friesland
4. Dealing with Chin Chin State of Eastern Ophion
5. Culling Terrorism in The Seven United
6. Attempting to bring Sultan of Hasnak to court
Ymira stood and straightened her utilitarian looking suit and walked out to the front door to greet her guests. She put on a smile and waited for the first to arrive.