It was ironic.
Emi actually supported the rebels.
She felt furious after King Kline and the Royal Family were deposed, after the powerful families of Balarand refused to lead the battle against Dannark and simply laid down their arms to protect the peace. Dannark, after a few major military victories on the outskirts of Elince, was able to simply walk into the city. They literally marched in without a single casualty.
Emi had wanted there to be more resistance against the occupation. She hated how quickly everything could change and wanted to see people invested in stopping it. Instead, Balarand continued into peacetime, with Dannark soldiers making increasing but small encroachments into their way of life, all the way up until…
Today. The day that the city fought back. And they fought back against her own family.
Now she was confined in a cramped broom closet, somewhere in the middle of Castle Balarand, together with Tia Knoll and his boyfriend. There were several armed guards standing at the doorway, so they were completely trapped in here.
The door opened, and several figures were pushed in, one landing on their face.
Five of those figures were Emi’s parents and older brother Touma, along with Pip and Ms. Khami, who had been the one knocked down. For the first time she had ever known that woman, she looked old. Aged by fifty years in the single day since she last saw her.
She helped her to her feet and hugged her, then her parents.
“We’ll hold your trial together in a few hours,” the guard said. “You might escape the death penalty since your son is Reo L’Hime, but we’re still weighing our options. Just thought I’d let you know.”
Ugh. Reo. Even in the middle of a rebellion, was so popular for his stupid engineering projects that he was going to keep the L’Hime Family from being executed.
The ground shook. There must have been another explosion.
The rebel soldiers were setting off explosives in certain areas of the city to draw attention and spread out Dannark’s relatively small occupation force. At least that’s what Emi figured from typical insurrection tactics. The Teal One used this same strategy to divide the Fathie Siege Force during the Battle of Balarand and pick off each legion separately, so they would be wise to follow that guideline. She realized her days of homeschool education were finally paying off with that kind of analysis. If only she could actually use that knowledge to get out of here…
Emi’s parents ran up to her and hugged her together. “You’re okay,” Father exclaimed.
“We were so worried,” Mother said. “Where were you?”
“I was with Tia,” Emi said, gesturing back to the two young men in the back of the closet. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I’m sorry I never tell you anything…”
“It’s completely fine,” Father said. “We just worry about you…”
“I know you do.”
“If something had happened to you,” said Touma, “I don’t think I could have handled myself, my dear baby sister.”
“…Really?” Emi struggled to keep from rolling her eyes.
“How did it get like this?” Ms. Khami wondered aloud as Pip helped her to her feet. “Those cretins could have rebelled any time they wanted, but they waited until right as we finished remodelling the third floor balcony. If they destroy the house… I will personally kill every last one of them.” Emi knew she wasn’t joking. But she was in far too poor of shape to make good on her threat.
“Pip, why are you and Ms. Khami here?” Emi asked. “You aren’t rich or powerful. You’re just our housekeepers.”
“Well, I kind of…” Pip put her finger to her lips. “Well, today I learned I’m not good in a fistfight, let’s just say that.”
Emi didn’t know how to respond to that, so she said nothing.
Instead, she asked, “How are we going to get out of this? Do any of you know what’s going on out there right now?”
“No, we were rounded up a few hours ago,” Mother said. “They didn’t tell us anything.”
“And we were captured even earlier than that,” Tia said. Emi realized They must have struck at the Lake Geoffrey area first since the homes there were more isolated. This whole rebellion must have been lead by former Elincian soldiers, because these tactics were far too well-planned for a peasant uprising. That was sure to mean a whole lot of violence if anything went wrong.
She had no idea where she was right now, but she hoped she was safe. Hiding at home, or fleeing the city if she could. She had no way of knowing where she was, but she had to hope she was safe, because that was all she could do.
Beatrice wouldn’t worry about things she couldn’t control. Beatrice was strong and dedicated and brave. Beatrice would keep her mine on the task at hand and accomplish it before anything else. So… that’s what Emi needed to do.
Her heart poured out of herself. Completely exited her being. She stomped on her emotions and took a crystal focus on the situation, just like Beatrice would have. Emi needed to escape, and make sure her family was safe at the same time. “There has to be a way for us to get out of here,” Emi said. “Does anyone have any ideas?”
“Absolutely not,” Ms. Khami said. “You are not going to do something foolish and stupid that will get you killed. I will not allow it.”
“You don’t have to,” Emi said. “I am my own person and I am going to decide my own fate. I won’t let any of you get hurt, even if it means I do.”
Tia said, “I think I may know what we can do. We are in a broom closet, correct?”
“Well then, we have all the supplies we need.”