Trylia clipped her lightsaber to her belt and studied her new outfit as she walked out of the room to join Relsor and Perce again. She stopped short when she heard harsh but low voices; there was a third person with them. She slowed her pace.
‘You said that you wouldn’t!’
‘And I haven’t,’ replied Relsor.
‘I need to be able to question him myself.’
‘Do I need to remind you that your personal goals are secondary to those of the True Sith’s?’ There was menace in Relsor’s voice.
The other man let out a long breath. ‘No, my Lord, I know it very well.’
‘You have this position for a reason,’ came Perce’s voice. ‘Don’t jeopardise it for…’ They paused. Trylia realised she could be seen. The man standing with Relsor and Perce was one of the True Sith who had borne witness to the Jedi’s grand escape; the hooded True Sith with a mask that covered his entire face.
‘Ah, Trylia,’ said Relsor.
‘I’m not interrupting anything, am I?’
‘We were just leaving.’ Perce clapped the other on the shoulder. The masked man kept his gaze on Trylia for a moment before he and Perce left.
‘An apprentice of yours?’ Trylia asked Relsor.
‘A pompous, overzealous, ambitious True Sith, but for those very reasons he has been recently elevated in rank. Perce and I can’t be on all ships at once; we need those who can lead while following our commands to keep the True Sith faction strong. Sometimes they overstep and need to be kept in check. Nothing to worry yourself with, Trylia.’ Relsor looked her up and down, examining her new outfit. ‘Lovely!’ he exclaimed.
Trylia shrugged. She had to admit, although she wasn’t too fond of the style, these Sith robes were very comfortable.
‘Well, you did pick something that had some purple in it to match my lightsaber,’ she said. ‘I suppose that’s something.’
Relsor inclined his head and smiled fondly. ‘Awgro!’ The Sith approached. ‘I have a list here of items I need from the market on Dromund Kaas and I only trust you to get these for me.’ He turned to his counterpart. ‘Perce, once again, you have the ship.’ The two nodded sinisterly. Then Relsor clicked his heels, turned and led the way, Trylia following close behind him. He motioned with his hand. ‘I want you walking next to me.’
They took a shuttle to the surface. Once it had touched down, Awgro went in one direction and they headed in another. The place was dank, dark, damp, cloudy. She looked up.
‘It’s always raining here,’ said Relsor. Trylia noticed many Sith staring at them.
‘The Sith Empire is not used to seeing aliens among them,’ said Relsor.
‘Tell me about it,’ said Trylia.
‘They confer with humans and Pureblood Sith, very few of them are aliens. You will probably find more on Korriban, but few aliens earn their right to a title above master. Many have joined the True Sith, for we accept all dark side users, no matter their species.’ He eyed a group of Sith who were whispering while staring at him. ‘Here on Dromund Kaas, you will find some Mandalorians or bounty hunters, and a few Force users from the Academy on Korriban who are alien, but to see two such prominent aliens, Togruta and Chiss, walking as equals, both carrying lightsabers, is very strange to these little-minded folks. Not to mention they know who I am and should fear me. They know Perce, they knew Jassahmi and know that she is now dead, and thus they are wondering who you are.’
Relsor led them down some stairs and through a wide street that seemed to be part of a complex. Trylia heard some music coming from a Cantina nearby. They walked up another set of steps where a taxi droid stood.
‘Please select your departure,’ said the droid. They entered the taxi and off it went, unescorted.
‘Now, Trylia, when we meet with the Dark Council, it’s important that you refer to me as “my Lord.” You don’t have to say “Master”, you can be vague; keep them wondering, keep them fearing. Speak very little, but when you do, be sure to lower the pitch of your voice a bit.’
‘What’s wrong with the pitch of my voice?’ demanded Trylia, in a higher-pitched tone.
‘My point exactly. Sound more like a Sith than like the Jedi you are.’
‘Oh right. I’ll do what I can.’ She paused. ‘My Lord,’ she added, lowering her voice as much as she could.
‘Oh, I like that!’
‘Don’t get used to it!’
Relsor cocked a brow and looked her way. He didn’t say anything but she could sense amusement. The taxi arrived, after travelling across a high dip below them, and landed on a platform that connected to a long corridor that seemed to lead to other platforms. Relsor led them into the central complex and through a series of chambers. They went up a lift, and after turning a few corners, they came to a room guarded by two burly Sith. The door opened and they were admitted into the Dark Council chamber.
Trylia gasped at sensing the dark side within the room. She could sense Relsor relish in the fear and anticipation the Sith Lords were emitting.
‘Here is where I bested them,’ he whispered to her. She did not want to know what that meant.
Trylia looked at the long line of Sith Lords who sat in their council seats, all in one straight row, and there, next to the older man in the middle, sat Lord Void. He looked at her and narrowed his eyes, shifting ever so slightly.
‘The Sith are looking at me,’ Trylia tried to sound nonchalant. ‘Shall I acknowledge them?’
‘After my lead,’ replied Relsor.
He halted in the centre of the chamber and nodded to the man in the centre and then looked at all the others. Trylia gave a curt bow from the waist and her gaze met Void’s once more.
‘You wished to meet with your True Sith Lord,’ said Relsor, ‘and now I am here. What is it you wished of me.’
‘Who is your companion?’ asked the man in the centre.
‘I am a student of the Force,’ said Trylia, bowing again, lowering the pitch of her voice as she had practiced moments earlier. She knew they would be probing to detect a lie; this was the best way to conceal her identity while telling the truth. She doubted the Sith would welcome a Jedi in their Dark Council chamber, even if that Jedi accompanied Relsor.
The old Sith nodded. ‘We wished to speak with you on the matter of our alliance.’ He took a grave tone. ‘It is my understanding that many of our Sith were killed in recent events, and that their lives have been squandered.’
‘Nonsense!’ objected Relsor. ‘Your Sith joined my True Sith in a fight for power over the entire galaxy. You knew the terms when you joined the True Sith.’
‘You mean when the True Sith joined the Sith Empire!’
‘No!’ Relsor’s tone was dangerously menacing yet level. ‘I did not join any Empire. There is a difference, and I am the true leader of this whole faction. You gave your allegiance to me.’
‘Did we have any choice?’ the old Sith rebuttled.
Lightning flickered briefly on the tips of Relsor’s fingers. ‘Your Sith knew what was being asked of them. They gave their lives up willingly.’
‘What my Lord, Haar’elso’rothmor, means to say,’ Trylia jumped in, sensing Relsor teeming with pride as she spoke, ‘is that their deaths will be honoured and,’ she looked at Lord Void, ‘they willingly sacrificed themselves to our cause.’
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