Prologue

Sakeya raised his knees to his chest, resting his sore, beaten head against the wall and taking in the smell of the cell. Like some old underground kitchen… was the first thought that came to his numbed mind. …except, the only thing served here is time…

A few quiet seconds passed by before a beam of light shot through the chamber, seemingly scattering dust as it went. It came to rest on his face. He lulled his head sideways, squinting to see through the shiny pools of blood on his brow and under his eyes. He felt a shadow cross his face. Some large, oafish figure stood framed in the crack in the door. Beyond, he could barely hear some indistinct chatter.

He pondered his punishment. Was he to be pardoned? Not likely, unless Sabaro could pull a LOT of strings. What's the minimum sentence for this kind of crime? His thoughts continued despite the movement before him, but as his eyes managed to focus on something in the doorway, his senses slammed back into him.

"Oh, really…?" he whispered to himself, staring at the silver axe in the figure's grasp. His leg muscles tensed, and a grin spread darkly across his face."…heh, I don't think so…" His knuckles popped anxiously, and then he pounced.