Chapter 11: The Grand Council of King Larr.
Pyrrha was tucked beneath the covers of the bed. Curled up against the pillow, she pulled the light blue blanket over her shoulder. She lied awake in the darkness of the night, which filled the small room. With only the light of the realm's moon glistening through the window next to the bed. She was thinking of all that had happened.
Here she was, far from the only home she had ever known. In another realm nonetheless. Far from her mother. From her father. And from... Juane. Laying in a bed that was not her own.
But what was even more was what Qrow had said. She then narrowed her eyes.
"I'm the prodigy?" she said to herself.
"Akara chose me?"
Pyrrha could hardly believe that it was her. All the stories her mother and father had told her if Akara and the Knights who were chosen to guard the realms from the Grimm. And now she was chosen by the mightiest of them all. That she was the one who Akara chose to be her successor as the knight of the realm. The one who had defeated the Dark Lord Xayeme and who would have brought peace to all the realms.
She could hardly believe it to be. The feeling of excitement at being the chosen by Akara was all but matched by her uncertainty. It was said that only one who has proven to posses the heart of a true knight. But she was not a knight. She wasn't even old enough to attend the academy in Beacon.
"But I'm not even a knight yet," she said, narrowing her eyes.
"Why did Akara chose me?"
She narrowed her eyes.
"Why am I so special?" she asked, herself.
Pyrrha then looked up at the window next to the bed. She pushed away the covers and pushed herself off the bed, landing on her feet. She then came up to the window and gazed outside over the now darken schoolyard. Overheard of the Academy walls, she saw the lights and the skyscrapers of the city in the near distance. And it was above the city of Lothadare, the stars of the night sky.
Staring up at the stars, Pyrrha wondered about her wish.
"I wonder where Mother and father are," she thought to herself
"And Jaune. I hope that there somewhere safe. Will father will be able to find us?"
Thinking back to this morning at the promise they made back at the lookout tower. That when they both became knights of Beacon, that would embark on a great journey together and bring peace to the realms like Akara and all her disciples. Pyrrha smiled.
"I can't wait to tell them that I'm the prodigy." she said.
She may not understand why it was that Akara chose her to be her Prodigy. But whether or not she was determined to become a great Knight of her realms. And if this was the path she was meant to follow, if she was meant to be Akara's prodigy, then she would train to be so.
"Don't worry, Jaune," she said.
"I'm going to train hard to be a knight. And then we'll go on a journey together. I promise."
Qrow was laying back the comfy chair outside in the living room, sleeping with his flask in hand. When suddenly there came a knock over the door, causing him to lean up his head. He glanced over to the door as he then heard another knock. He glanced to the window. It was still dark outside. Qrow groaned, shaking his head.
"Alright, alright," he said as he stood up.
He stood up from the chair and walked around the couch as he walked toward the door. He then opened it and saw Professor Rueben standing in the hallway.
"Professor?" He asked, curiously.
"Come, we must go." He insisted to Qrow.
Qrow raised an eye brow to the professor.
"Go?" He asked, curiously.
"The Council is gathering at the palace to discuss the war," Rueben insisted to him.
"I've already sent word to the king. They are expecting us."
Qrow sighed, nodding his head. It was a relief to hear that Larr would hear what they had to say. But he was skeptical, for he remembered just how stubborn the king could be. Even now he had doubts that Larr would no listen to reason. It was said by Queen Maria herself and the rest of the Kingdom's alliance that he was without reason and only concern for his own. Offering only what benefits his own and only accepting aid when there was no other choice.
Though he was grateful to the professor that he managed to get them an audience with the royal council.
"Thanks, professor." Qrow said, nodding his head.
"Bring the child," The Professor said.
"We will have to catch the next transport to the palace."
A civilian airship cruised lightly through the city, passing by the towering skyscrapers and other air ships. The airship was in the shape of a boat with a circular front end. The haul painted a bluish grew at the from and the back with a white center. Four duel engines along each side with long grey and blue bladed wings. The bridge stood towering over a oval shaped compartment at the back of the ship.
The passenger's were either on deck, peering over the city. Or down in the haul below, looking through the observation windows.
Pyrrha ran across the observation deck to the ship's starboard bound. She came up to the railing, where she pulled herself over it. She then gasped in awe as she peered out over the city. Below the skyscrapers, the people were walking along three floors of balconies and walkways along the base of the buildings. Several bridges over the streets, where cars and other vehicles were passing along the freeway.
"Wow." she said aloud.
Gazing over at her from behind, Qrow was leaning back against the tall viewing windows of the viewing compartment, his arms were folded against his chest. He glanced over at Pyrrha, who continued to lean over the railing, marveling at the view of the city below. Needless to say, seeing her leaning over the railing made him quite nervous. Being the uncle of two nieces who were the same age as Pyrrha, Qrow posses the protective nature of any parent.
Pyrrha may not of his blood. But the promise he made her father made his his responsibility and he would guard her as if she was his own.
Professor Rueban came limping up to him, leaning over his cane. He glanced over at Pyrrha, squinting his eyes curiously. He then glanced to Qrow. He must admit, when Queen Maria said she was sending one of her knights to find and bring the prodigy to him. He never thought she would be sending Qrow. While he was well aware of his unethical nature and of his semblance, Qrow was once a teacher at the Ataria academy. He had trained many of it's knights.
Like Qrow, he had his doubts of their audience with King Larr. He knew how unreasonable he and the previous rulers of his bloodline had been in the past. But even if he would not listen to reason, perhaps Qrow could be the one to train the prodigy.
"I must be honest," Rueben insisted.
"I didn't expect that Queen Maria would send you to find the prodigy."
Qrow took out his flask and unscrewed the lid before taking a drink. He then shrugged to him.
"But regardless," the Professor claimed.
"I think it was a wise decision on the part of Queen Maria. If all goes how we fear it will, we may need to discuss an alternative solution."
Qrow glanced to Rueben.
"And that is?" he asked, curiously.
"I understand that you once taught at the Academy in Ataria." Rueben said.
Upon hearing what Rueben was implying , Qrow widened his eyes. Nearly gagged upon taking a drink of his flask, before coughing it up. He then stood up and glanced to the professor, whipping the liquor from his chin. He then shook his head.
"You can't be serious." He proclaimed.
"I am only speaking of an alternate solution," Rueben insisted to the former Knight of Ataria.
"You were the one who trained many Atarian knights. Therefore you poses the skills to train her."
Once more Qrow shook his head in contempt.
"No, no way," he proclaimed, turning to the professor.
"I don't even know all the teachings of the knights."
"We have the remaining teachings," Rueben insisted.
"You can study them and teach the child..."
But even still, Qrow shook his head in refusal. leaning off the window.
"I'll tell you what I told Queen Maria and the council," Qrow proclaimed to him.
"I won't risk any one else's lives like I did theirs."
He then turned to Pyrrha.
"Especially hers." he stated.
"She's too important."
Even after all this time, he continues to blame himself for what had happened. To believe himself a burden upon everyone all due to his semblance. Rueben turned to Qrow.
"You still let what happened cloud you judgment?" Rueben said.
"You cannot let the past deter you from what you know is right. We both know what is at stake."
"Everything will be at stake if I get ;involved anymore then I should," Qrow stated to the headmaster.
"I promised I would defend her. Don't expect anymore of me."
Qrow then turned and walked over toward Pyrrha. Rueben glanced to him in contempt. He then sighed and shook his head.
Pyrrha continued to stare out over the city. When Qrow then came up to her from behind.
"Hey, what are you doing," he said.
"Get down from there."
He came up to her and took her from under her arms. Qrow the lifted Pyrrha off the railing and placed her down in front of him. Pyrrha turned to face him. She peered up to him, frowning with eyes so sullenly as if she had gotten in trouble.
"I'm sorry," Pyrrha said.
"I just wanted to see all the buildings."
Qrow smirked, shaking his head.
"I know, I know," He said, placing his hand on her shoulder
"But we can't have you falling over board now, right?"
Pyrrha narrowed her eyes. She then nodded her head to him.
"Right." she said.
Qrow reached and rubbed the top of her head in attempt to cheer her up. He then glanced up at the city along the ships starboard. He then shifted his eyes back to her with a scheming smirk over his face.
"Tell you what," he said.
"You want to see an even better view?"
Pyrrha gasped in anticipation, nodding her head to him. Suddenly, he took her by the sides and then lifted up into the air, placing her over his shoulders.
"How's that?" Qrow asked, curiously.
Pyrrha gasped in awe at the view from over his shoulders. She could see all of Lothadare for miles for miles passed the towering skyscrapers. The countless houses which stood over the hills in the distance. Seeing countless ships and transports in the distance.
"The city really is big!" she claimed.
Qrow of which glanced up to her, smirking. Whatever feeling of contempt he had felt about his past was but then without a thought. And in it's place, the joyous feeling being an uncle again.
At the very heart of Lothadare, stood the Palace of King Larr. A large towering castle with an arching roof at the very top. Five interconnected towers which reach much higher then the other skyscrapers in the city. The entire palace surrounded by a tall white wall with several towers and wide canal with bridges circling around it.
The airship flew up over the palace walls, where inside the courtyard stood three landing platforms separated by a cross shaped port. The airship slowly turned as it began to descend over one of the platform. The thin wings slowly began to raise into the air before the airship set down over the platform below. It was there that the ship's gang way set down over the port. Slowly the passengers made their ways down the gangway.
Rueben, Qrow and Pyrrha made their way down gang way and came up over the port.
"Come, we must hurry," Rueben insisted.
"The council meeting may have already begun."
Pyrrha and Qrow followed Rueben up to the main entrance of the castle. Pyrrha glanced up and saw two royal guards standing the castle entrance. They were both clad in red armor, Round helmets with a lone nose piece at the centre, and each armed with a plasma bladed staffs. Upon seeing the three approach the entrance, they two blocked the way with their staffs.
"Halt!" One of them declared.
Rueban paused, as did Qrow and Pyrrha.
"Please, let us through," Rueben said.
"I have an audience with King Larr and the council."
The two Guards glanced to each other, curiously.
"State your business." one of the Guards insisted.
Qrow then stepped up from behind.
"Our business is to speak with King Larr." Qrow stated, impatiently.
Rueban turned to Qrow, placing his hand over his shoulders.
"Qrow please," He pleaded with him.
"Let me handle this."
"I am Headmaster Rueben," Rueben claimed to them.
"We have urgent news we must share with him."
"Stand by," The guardsmen said.
"I must run this up with the captain."
The guard turned his head as he pressed the intercom on the left side of his helmet. As he listened to him speak to his commanding officer, the Headmaster stood patiently, gripping the top of his cane with both hands. He glanced to Qrow and Pyrrha, nodding to the reassuringly. Qrow of which turned his head, Folding his arms over his chest. He then glanced down at Elsa.
"I hope this old geezer knows what he's doing." Qrow said.
Pyrrha glanced up to Rueben. Not with that of doubt, but that of reassurance. For she believed the word of the Headmaster and had much faith in him. Mother always said, you should always have the faith in one another. To trust in them as they in you.
Pyrrha's faith would prove to be well placed.
"I understand, Captain." The Guard said with a nod of his head.
He then turned back to Rueben.
"You may proceed to the council chamber." He insisted.
Rueben nodded his head in acknowledgement.
"Thank you." he said.
The two guard turned and each grabbed a handle of the door. They then pulled it open as they stood at attention. Rueben turned back to Qrow and Pyrrha.
"This way." He said before he turned and walked inside.
The doors to the council chamber were opened by the two guards. Pyrrha stared in awe. Inside was a large open room with a large long table at the very center. Two tall standing windows two tall windows between what looked to be a large fire place. The flag of Lothadare hanging above it. There were twenty of so people seated at the table and at the head, a tall muscular middle aged man with short light brown hair and goatee and a dark blue suit.
Rueben glanced to Qrow.
"Let me handle this." he said.
"I wouldn't have it any other way." He insisted.
Rueben staggered into the chamber up toward the council. He came up before King Larr, who glanced to him upon first notice of his presence. Rueben stood before the long table, holding his staff before him as he placed both hands atop it.
"High council of Lothadare." he greeted them.
"I come with but an urgent matter."
The king and his council fell silent as they turned to the Headmaster.
"Headmaster Rueben," King Larr greeted him.
"Yes, our council had received word from your Academy. To what urgent matter that you wish to share with us."
"I have received word," Rueben claimed to them.
"From Queen Maria."
The mention of the Queen of Ataria, the council members erupted in a chatter. Each of them questioning how that could be so. It had only been two days since word of Ataria falling to the Grimm. Rumor was that they had captured the Queen and had taken her to Xaria. King Larr stared in awe.
"Queen Maria?" He said.
"But how? Is she...?"
Rueben shook his head.
"I'm afraid is not recent news," Rueben claimed to them.
"The letter was sent to me before her capture. However, she said before her capture, she had said the fates have granted her a vision."
Curiously, King Larr squinted his eyes as he stood up from his chair.
"What vision?" The King asked, curiously.
"The day of choosing, your majesty," Rueben stated to the council.
"Akara has chosen her prodigy."
The council chamber fell silent at the mention of Akara's Prodigy. Glancing to other, they each questioned how it was possible. King Larr shook his head.
"Impossible." He said in disbelief.
"It's true, you majesty."
Rueben glanced back and saw Qrow walk up from behind. He came up before the council.
"The line of Knights was never broken," Qrow proclaimed to the king.
"It would seem that Knights can still chose their successors. Even when their dead."
"Who is this man?" King Larr asked, turning
"I ask for your pardon, your majesty," Rueben said, turning to the King.
"This is Qrow Branwen. He is a knight of Ataria. Queen Maria sent him to find the prodigy."
"And what warrior has Akara chosen to succeed her?" King Larr asked, curiously.
Qrow and Rueben glanced back, moving aside as they revealed Pyrrha to the council. Pyrrha gazed up at the twenty of so elders who sat behind the long table, who all stared back at her. Some of them stared confusingly to see that the prodigy was a child. While others such as the King looked upon the girl in disbelief. The warrior he had expected to be in line to be the next knight was a child.
He glanced back up to Rueben and Qrow.
"Is this some kind of joke?" He asked in distain.
Qrow and Rueben turned back to the king.
"Your majesty?" Rueben asked, curiously.
"A thousand warriors in all the Kingdoms and all realms," King Larr proclaimed.
"And Akara choses a child?!
Qrow glanced sternly to the king.
"This child is the daughter of Lukas Nikos," Qrow claimed to the king.
"One of the last disciples of Akara."
"Qrow!" Rueben exclaimed to him.
Rueben turned back to the King and the council.
"Forgive him, your majesty," Rueben asked of the king.
"But Mr. Branwen speaks the truth. This child is the one Akara has chosen to succeed her."
The king was appalled at what he said, glancing down at Pyrrha and back to Rueben.
"Which is why we've asked an audience," Rueben insisted.
"I wish to ask that you relieve one of my professors from duty in Ovala. So that we may train her."
The very suggestion caused King Larr to stare in utter shock. To ask such a thing would mean to place his entire realm and his people in danger. The legion of Grimm that threaten their realms far exceed his own forces. Even now, with Ataria falling to the Grimm, Larr refused to see Lothadare fall to the same fate. They needed all warriors experienced in fighting them. And the professors at the Academy posses such knowledge.
"That it out of the question!" King Larr exclaimed to them.
"I will not risk the lives of my people over this foolishness."
"Your majesty," Rueben said.
"Please, listen to reason..."
"I speak of reason," King Larr exclaimed once more.
"Both of you come into my Kingdom with such wishful thinking. And of a prophesy that no long exists. Do you take me a fool?!"
Qrow stared up at the King sternly. To hear him question the word of his Queen, who had done for him more in the past. More so then he had ever done for any of the other kingdoms of the Alliance. Though he never expected any better from him.
"Of course not, your majesty," Rueben insisted to the King.
"But please, we only ask that you-"
"Let me clarify something, you majesty!" Qrow said as he came up to the King.
"Qrow!" Rueben said.
"The only one who's wishful thinking is you!" The Atarian Knight claimed to him.
"You throwing student too young and inexperienced into fighting a war. And you question Queen Maria even though you know her word is true."
King Larr stared furiously at Qrow. The very notion of being questioned about his actions and by a knight not of his own Kingdom. Such actions are of one who did not know his place.
"You dare speak to me in such a way?!" Larr exclaimed.
"I will hear no further of this. Be gone from my sight at once!"
"Gladly." he said before turning away from the King and the council.
He glanced down at Pyrrha, placing his hand over her shoulder.
"Come on, kid." he said.
"Lets get out of here."
Pyrrha frowned, glancing back to the council. She then turned and followed him toward the open doorway of the chamber. Rueben sighed as he shook his head.