Emperor Prunicus looked around his kingdom’s court. His eyes were focused on the ragged group of outlaws that used to be part of his humble court. There was Leopolean, the petition-loving tyrant who used to advise him on treaties with other kingdoms; Floo-Floo, who was only known as “The Cello Murderer” and usually questioned the suspects in the court, even though he sometimes forgot who he was actually questioning; Briella, who was his most trusted assassin; George, his gloomy war strategist who thought that every soldier killed meant that he was a failure; and Shiloh, who the peanut-butter loving fiend who accompanied Briella, even though she wasn’t very quiet (she was always munching on something, so you could always hear her coming).

Emperor Prunicus narrowed his eyes and thought, Well, who should ask the questions now? The Emperor’s eyes surveyed the jury, but nobody seemed reliable enough to even consider to be the Asker of the Questions. It was such an important job, that nobody except Sir Floo-Floo could possibly ask the questions. Emperor Prunicus sighed, he lifted one pale finger and pointed quite randomly at a person who had just came into the room. An attendant girl who was known to the Court of the Pylrue as Camilleon. She was a simple girl with an appearance that seemed to blend in with the surroundings.

As Camilleon came up to be the Asker of the Questions, the audience seemed to be confused for a moment, as they never seen somebody who simply put blended with the surroundings. In a way, it was easier for the Questionees to just face the Emperor himself so it was mostly up to him to decide.

Camilleon called the first person up to the stands, “First up, Former Sir Leopolean, please recount your tale.”

Former Sir Leopolean walked up with the grace of the former advisor. He cleared his throat and then begun, “Ladies and gentlemen of the Empire of Pylrue,’ He addressed, “I am Leopolean, the former Advisor to the Emperor of Pylrue. It may have been clear to you all, but this isn’t what our glorious Emperor, Lord Prunicus, had promised us that would rule over us, government-wise. He promised us Democracy! But this is an Empire! I’m confessing to the petition that I set up, just to change the government so we can elect our new Emperor every seventeen years. As our own Emperor came into the throne at the simple age of fifteen! Now, ladies and gentlemen of the Jury, and the Empire of Pylrue, ask yourselves whether or not this isn’t true! And, SIGN MY PETITION!”  With the last word hanging in the air, Sir Leopolean cleared his throat and smiled, walking from the stand quite pleased with himself.

The people of the Empire of Pylrue all blinked and thought about seventeen years ago, when Emperor Prunicus had been welcomed into the dynasty of the Writoni. They all knew that Former Sir Leopolean did have a point and he was quite the genius. So much, in fact, he rubbed it in people’s face. He corrected everyone’s grammar when they spoke or wrote. The people of the Empire of Pylrue found themselves nodding at the Former Sir’s words. “So intelligent,” They all muttered to themselves and to their family.

Camilleon then called up a witness incredibly loyal and biased to Emperor Prunicus, Steffan, the technology expert. Technologist Steffan stepped up to the stand, Camilleon asked the question, “Technologist Steffan, would you please explain why you disagree with Former Sir Leopolean’s comment?”

 

The Technologist Steffan spoke, his voice boomed through the room, “What you people of the jury and the good people of the Empire of Pylrue don’t see is that Former Sir Leopolean is a traitor to us! He only wishes that once you succumb to his words of persuasion, only then will you see the truth. He wants you to feel pity for those who are at the stand and that they will once again be permitted into the higher Court of the Pylrue.”

Steffan gave a nod to Camilleon and walked away. The people on the jury nodded at the technologist’s endearing words. Camilleon said, “Is there anyone willing to talk?”

The defendants eyed each other, daring one to step up to the plate and talk. “George!” They all eyed the gloomy man. George shrugged and walked up to face the jury and Emperor Prunicus, he coughed before beginning his speech, “To the jury of the Court! I address thee to think about our Emperor, as glorious as he is. There are flaws in the system. We need change! We need someone to take our country by the arm, and lead us to prosperity.” He turned around to his company of rebels, “Shiloh, bring me the chart.”

The little fiend waltzed up to the stand holding a chart. “What’s this?” George asked, looking at a smudge of a caramel color that stained the white board. “Peanut butter.” Shiloh told him as she licked her fingers. “There is nothing so terrible as your tyrant-esque rule,” she declared to the Emperor. “You, sir, have no soul, none at all. In fact, I suspect that you do not even eat peanut butter!”

Shiloh dropped the chart and walked off, then returned awkwardly to retrieve the chart, glaring at Emperor Prunicus all the while. George cleared his throat and then said, “Our Emperor has misused his spies to carry out unforgiven sins. Now, I call my first witness, Briella vi Assassin!”

Briella vi Assassin walked to the stand to be questioned. “Hey! That’s my job!” Camilleon exclaimed. George paid no attention, after all–she was quite invisible.

George asked, “Miss Assassin, could you tell us what the Emperor made you do?”

“He made me stand by idly as a murderous chicken wreaked havoc on the Empire,” Briella declared dramatically. Everyone gasped, and Shiloh dropped her toast on which she had been munching.

That’s when the impossible happened, the jury–without casting a vote, said, “The Emperor is guilty and the one who takes his place is… Sir Leopolean!”

“Noo!” Emperor Prunicus howled, banging his fists on the table and crying like a baby that had its candy taken away from it.

And the people of Pylrue lived happily ever after…or did they? And the question remains…who was who?

 

 


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