Aria was brought before a crowd of incredibly angry men, women, and children, all of them wanting to tear Aria apart for the people she's killed. Aria blinked back a tear... it hurt her to see all these people in pain because of what she did. She reasoned that if she lost a loved one, she would be mad at the person responisble.

Aria was chained up and forced to stand, so that everyone could see her, but the guards kept the crowd from getting anywhere near her. Aria thought for a moment that she would just be forced to stand there, listening to the mob's cries for her death... which was worse, at least in her mind, to the execution.

Then something slammed itself into her face. Aria couldn't grab her face to see what it was, but it was pulpy and red, and smelled terrible. A rotten tomato.

Then the rest of the crowd joined in. They threw whatever they could get their hands on, from rotten fruits and vegetables to rocks. The mob pelted her with these projectiles until they ran out and then just fell silent, staring at the girl who had caused them so much grief. Still, their anger had not yet subsided.

Aria stared back at the crowd, and silent tears streamed down her face. She couldn't bear it, the weight of her sorrow for what she had done was too much. Aria wanted so much to set things right, make everyone in this crowd smile, but she knew she couldn't undue her sins. There was nothing she could do... except laying down and dying.

Someone in the crowd really erupted when they saw her crying. "You have no right to cry, you evil bloodsoaked witch! We're the ones who lost our friends and family to you, what did you lose that gives you the right to cry?!" He said, throwing a knife at her, which landed square in her left shoulder. The rest of the crowd agreed, but after seeing the pathetic and wretched sight of a completely humilitated young woman standing before them, some of them felt pity for her.

Aria breathed through the pain and tears, and offered a simple reply: "I lost my brother to mercenaries, but that is not why I am crying... I'm crying because now I fully understand all the pain I've caused... and there is nothing I can do to change it."

The man who threw the knife at her scowled. "You expect me to believe that? You expect any of us to believe that?!"

"I know you don't believe me... but my feelings are genuine. I don't deserve any mercy... or sympathy." Aria responded, blood dripping down from her knife wound. It was at this point the guards undid her chains and escorted her back into to castle, possibly to face worse torment.

Still, nothing could have been worse than what she had just endured. To know the full extent of the consequences of her actions... was just unbearable.


Shadis and Zoraan watched as Aria was brought before the two of them. Zoraan stood up in horror and glared at his brother. "This is too much, Shadis. She didn't need to go through that."

"Oh, yes she did," Shadis answered. "She's a murderer and a thief... she deserves so much worse."

"A few years in prison and a few hundred hours of community service would have sufficed! Need I remind you that there are worse things in this world than her! The Shadows are here in Ixion, brother!"

Aria's ears perked up at that last bit, but she kept her silence. Shadis snarled. "Guards, take this worthless urchin to the dungeons for the night... my brother and I are going to be in a heated discussion for quite some time."

The guards did as commanded.

The End

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