They found Altzairu in his office, signing a stack of decrees, dressed in a simple military tunic with no visible medals.

“We are taking you prisoner,” Kotoi said, leveling his pistol at the self-proclaimed Emperor.

“Oh?” Altzairu laid down his pen, calmly. “I am your prisoner, then.”

“Just like that?” Harria said, confused.

“Just like that,” Altzairu said, folding his hands in his lap with a smile. “I am unarmed, after all, and you are armed. So, now that I am in your power, I assume you wish to kill me?”

Harria looked at the others, confused. “What?”

Luma and Puxik looked at one another, baffled; only Kotoi did not waver. “What makes you think we want you dead?” he said.

“Well, the fact that you’re pointing a gun at me, for one,” said Altzairu. “I assume you mean to avenge yourself upon me for something I have done? Very well; I’d appreciate if you could be quick about it.” The Emperor opened his tunic, revealing his undershirt.

Wide-eyed, Kotoi looked down at his pistol. A simple squeeze would do the deed at this close range.

“This isn’t what we talked about,” Harria said.

“I for one admire your dedication to dying for your revenge,” Altzairu said, looking Kotoi square in the eye.

“Dying? You’re unarmed,” Kotoi whispered.

“Of course. But I heard no shots, which means you must have infiltrated here quietly. But my guards will not ignore a gunshot from my private quarters, and they will cut you all down once the deed is done. But that is a small price to pay, is it not, for making your mark on history?”

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