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107 Opening of the trial and enlightmen

16th April 1574

Thanks to the fact that there was still some time before the second ringing of the city bell that would announce the start of the trial on Peter, rather than instantly reaching the town's plaza and just waiting there, we passed through the crowd of people dancing around our palace and too drunk to even recognise that it was the people whose wedding they were celebrating that came out and moved to the smaller streets.

Even though the wedding was already over, all the decorations that people put on the streets remained, yet the state of those that happened to be within the reach of the drunken guests turned this place in a great mess.

Countless flowers were deprived of their petals, now mixing with the everpresent mud on the streets, enriching it with all the colours present in the fields and forests and in effect, making it look like nothing else but a colourful poop.

"This place isn't as lovely as it was just yesterday…"

With the wedding now gone, there was no reason for either of us to wear our official and most expensive dresses, making us keep the normal clothes that allowed for comfortable moving around.

"That was only to be expected. In the end, this city built haphazardly, rather than keeping any deeper thought in mind while laying its foundations."

While I would love to keep our slow stroll a bit longer, just when we were about to take yet another turn and finally reach a single place unpolluted by the everpresent leftovers from the celebration, the sound of the city bell announced that it was time for us to go back for the trial.

Yet it wasn't enough to make us hurry!

As we slowly wandered back to the square, what used to be an almost empty plot of open space in the middle of the town, now was already occupied by quite a crowd, with the sets of seats for me, Elia and the other important figures right in front of the small pedestal on which Peter was already standing, chained to a nearby pole.

Just a single look on his body could make one tell that the time he spent in the town's tower's basement didn't serve him all that well. While all the bruises and wounds he sustained during the clash with my forces were long gone due to the passing of time and the minimal care he received in order to not kick the bucket before he could be expelled, just his eyes told the story of the horrors he had to suffer through while waiting for his fate to be fulfilled.

After sitting down at the very front row in the places designated for us, it took only a while for the last spectators to arrive before Jan Bone came himself, and by sitting on the throne of a judge, placed just a bit to the side between the elevated platform and the seats for the spectators, signalling the start of the trial.

"Peter Hellan, you stand accused of manslaughter, attempted murder, attempted kidnapping, instigating a conflict between the noble families in the Sandomir province and multiple acts of banditry. How will you respond to those charges?"

While this man was completely bound by his chains, during the governor's speech, he threw such a hateful stare to me, and one filled with devious craziness to my wife, that despite all the precautions in place to prevent any of his potential outbursts, I still ended up leaning over Elia as if to shield her from any potential aggression and placing my hand on the handle of my sabre.

"I stand accused? I think you got the wrong person, sir!"

Suddenly, all the crazy emotions disappeared from the eyes of this poor man, as he turned - now completely calm - to the governor.

"It was this man, that so defiantly sits now in the front row right beside my rightful fiancee that kidnapped a noble, threatened me, and when I dared to stand up for myself like a Polish Noble and experienced soldier would, he summoned the devil forces from the depths of the hell to deal a fatal blow to the unit of veterans that served their life protecting the southern border of our glorious country against the Tatar raids! With all due respect that is due to you sir, because of the position you hold as the country official, how many Tatars did you kill in your life to sit now in all your glory and judge a proper soldier like me?!"

While initially his counterclaims seemed reasonable and could actually sway the crowd of the observers to his side for a moment, as soon as he went on to rant against the governor, his fate was instantly sealed.

"First thing first, when you speak those words to me, you do not spell them to me directly, but you are insulting the glory of the commonwealth itself!"

Hearing those words, I couldn't help but get the vibes of Senator Kisiel and the grandson of the Michal Cherrie, the famous Hetman Jarema. Just like in the scene of the popular movie where the senator claimed that it was not his will that spoke through his mouth be the will of the commonwealth, so did the Jan Bone now, awakening strange, patriotic tunes in my soul.

Out of this single moment, I realised that so far, rather than focusing on changing the entire country, I could only think about my own benefits, that could maybe make the country benefit as the side profit, yet wasn't that just the kind of mindset that leads to the weakening of the entire state and its later tragedy of one hundred, twenty-three years of being divided and occupied by the nations doing their best to make sure no remnants of the polish spirit would remain on this world?

Yet the world wasn't waiting for me to sort my own thoughts out, with the Governor standing up, and looking sternly at the chained Peter.

"If you don't have anything to say in your own defence, then say so. We will proceed with the trial and get this over with so that everyone can go back to their own tasks."

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