With servants and squires dragging the second corpse of the arena floor, the court marshal broke the ensuing silence by announcing. "VICTOR! Sir Marcus Strong!"
That said, nobody clapped more cheered as a single red rose was handed to Marcus as had been tradition for hundreds of years. Rose in hand, he rode his fuming mare to the stage and in front of the Emperor. Leaving the comfort of his saddle, the Victorious but Infamous knight climbed the stage to the shock of the masses, only than kneel in front of the young Princess Cyrilla to present his rose to her.
Noticing both shock and bafflement in the general audience but happiness mixed with excitement in the young girls sparkly eyes as nobody was stopping her from taking his rose, Marcus said nothing as he handed over the champions rose.
"Good choice, Sir Strong!..." Suddenly shouted the already dead drunk Emperor that somehow was still able to utter coherent words. "... My girl deserves some more attention after all."
Following that an awkward Award Ceremony commenced, in which the Emperor sleeped on his makeshift throne, that forced the Empress to hand over the trophies. Going from side to main tournament and from low to high ranks, the Empress displayed her flawless acting skills until she at long last stood infront of Marcus.
Handing over the golden trophy that would soon be melted down, the Empress that was not called the 'Most Beautiful Woman in the Empire' for nothing tiptoed as she leaned forward to whisper into Marcus ear. "Don't even think about my daughter. Even knighted you are nothing more than my father's guard dog. Enjoy your victory for champions are a fleeting existence."
Ignoring the Empress Celesine's words, Marcus wordlessly took the Champion's trophy out of the Empress's grip and raised it above his head. With a grin on his face, he said audible for only his future mother-in-law's ears. "We'll see about that wouldn't we?"
Aware of the Empress's baffled but furious expression, Markus smiled at the audience and spotted a blushing Princess Cyrilla burying her nose in the rose he had gifted her.
-Soon, my lion cup, very soon...- Thought Marcus already existed about what was to come.
Meanwhile with the sun already setting in the west, a young girl with ash white hair and blue eyes could be seen carrying to stones one black one grey, as she stood infront of a blazing pyre. Being the last of her House with her brother's beheading at her 'husband's' hand had changed everything and nothing.
Still a stranger in a strange land, Thyris had on one hand a reason to live as her house would otherwise end with her, but on the other hand she still had to uphold her dignity. Stairing into the blazing flames in search for an answer, it came neither by mind nor heart but instinct. Feeling her husband's warmth nearing herself, she instinctively stepped closer to the blazing inferno and simply never stopped walking.
Waring only seethrough light blue dress that neither covered up her twin pikes and a delicate also light blue pice of fabric between her legs Thyris had been essentially naked on her wedding day and still she proudly walked into the flames carrying two skull sized stones.
Angered by his 'wife's' suicidal actions, Kal the Stallion roared and attempted to grap her, but the flames somehow prevented that.
At the same time, a storm gathered and the last rays of sunlight vanished. Fearful of desert storm especially sandstorms that bury entire cities, many riders except the Kane and his closes companions instantly sought shelter. With lightning soon illuminating the sky, the blazing inferno that the Princess had entered grew beyond the height of ten meters, connecting heaven and earth.
With thunder roaring, even the fearless and battle hardened Kal had to take a step back in the presence of celestial might.
Inside the blazing tower, a totally naked Thyris could be seen floating upwards with her two dragon eggs orbiting her. Untouched by flames and invulnerable to heat, her delicate white skin started glowing in all shades of mat white and blood red cracks appeared on the stones orbiting her.
Having already entered a trance like state, Thyris's blue eyes started to glow in radiant white as she slowly entered a fetal position.
Meanwhile outside seconds stretched into hours and soon the dark of night yealed to the light of the day before finally a primordial roar thundered and the pillar of flame exploded. In its place not the princess nore the prince but three dragons one white scaled with blue eyes and the size and shape of a winged bear, another jet black with red eyes and the size and shape of a winged horse and the third silver with golden eyes and the size of a hound but the shape of a winged serpent.
Floating on his foot claws as it spreads it's massive wings the white dragon clearly rained supreme over the others and riders except the Kane either kneeled or lay flat on the ground in submission or started to ran for their lives.
Ordering it's two subordinates with only a gentle roar, the withered ordered the silver and black dragons to hunt down the escaping rides. Fearfully witnessing their compatriots brutal demise by either claw or fire, nobody not even the Great Kal, leader of his people dared to even say a word.
As this White Engine of Destruction began to descended, it's wings retreating, it's body shrinking, it soon transformed itself into a naked Princess that was now revered as a Goddess reincarnated by not only the Riders but everybody else that had witnessed her descent.
Landing in between the Kal and Sir Mortimer, surprisingly enough the man that held her was soon as her feet gave way, was the exiled knight not her husband.
Feeling the middle aged man's rough hands on her smooth body, Thyris instinctively leaned into his touch.
"She is no woman a man can claime..." Suddenly murmured the Kal, anger and bitterness in his voice, before he eventually joined his riders and kneeled infront of the girl that had been supposed to his wife and mother of his children. "... Our blades are yours my Godess... Mother of Dragons!"