TITLE: The Voice of Asheva
The prince was on trial.
It was impossible, and yet there he stood in front of High Judge Vate, his hands bound in front of him, defiant in his lack of fear. Pausing the proceedings, the High Judge rubbed his temples and wished that the garish sunbeams streaming in from the windows were covered by clouds. Perhaps then he could think.
It wasn't just that the atmosphere was stifling, despite the cold spring, nor that spectators filled the court with muttering. No, it was the sheer absurdity of the thing. Prince Theyrin on trial? Especially such a trial as this, where his conviction seemed inevitable? Looking down again at the prince, Vate balked at the idea that the young man in front of him would never be king; even in a peasant shirt and pants, Theyrin stood as if his father's crown were upon his head.
Captain Artaine had produced his condemning testimony and several witnesses; all that now remained was the prince's defense. Vate's arms were moist under the thick velvet of his robes, but he stared down at the young man in front of him and continued the trial.
"Theyrin Fortan Jeldi Regalis, Prince of Stoyria, you have been accused of treason. Specifically, you are charged with hiding and protecting Souran spies, aiding them, and publicly supporting the Soura traders. According to these accusations, you have, in front of assembly, spoken treason about the king and the laws of this land."