Tales of Destiny: Chains of Reminiscence - Tales of Destiny: Chains of Reminiscence นิยาย Tales of Destiny: Chains of Reminiscence : Dek-D.com - Writer

Tales of Destiny: Chains of Reminiscence

โดย OtakuFrenzy

Tales of Destiny is the story that dives into the world of human's emotions, where the feeling of each person is expressed out in various way--love, hatred, anger, and forgiveness.

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อัปเดตล่าสุด :  8 ธ.ค. 56 / 08:13 น.


ข้อมูลเบื้องต้นของเรื่องนี้
Tales of Destiny is a series of short stories that concentrated on the human's emotions, the way each people experienced in their life, either a tragedy or a happy confrontation, and how they reacts to each situations. It allows the reader to explore the fiction world, yet each of these world resembled the world that we lived in metamorpically. 

Tales of Destiny: Chain of Reminiscence is the second short stories in the series of Tales of Destiny. Each short stories does not related to one another, and no prior reading is required. Every story, characters, and events that happened are all fiction and if it is related to anyone or any situations in the real life then it is purely coincidence. Thank you.

Tales of Destiny: Chain of Reminiscence is a story about the soldier that lost to the war and became a prisoner-of-war. Being a captive, he was forced to live under the restriction of the victor's empire, and every single day he always think about to his past as a soldiers--the lives of his friends he failed to save, the country he failed to protect--and all these conflicted feeling distorted him into a broken person. 

I considered this to be my best work for short stories so far, and I want to know what you think.
If you enjoyed reading this short stories, then keep on a lookout.
I will posted the first ever Tales of Destiny for all to read.

Tales of Destiny: Journey Against Time

Enjoyed Reading,

Sincerely,
OtakuFrenzy

**All feedback and comment are happily welcomed**

เนื้อเรื่อง อัปเดต 8 ธ.ค. 56 / 08:13


TALES OF DESTINY
CHAIN OF REMINISCENCE

 
Darkness...

Darkness engulfs me from every corner...

My hand feels drench...

Blood... Yes, I'm drowning from the crimson blood...

Blood... Yes, blood of those I took lives away from...

 

But the sin comes back to me and hit me critically...

Yes, it's a karma...

I took lives and I welcomes death...

In return, death took away everything that I ever lived for...

I lost everything that matters to me, I lost my will to live,

 

and I lost my reason of existence...

 

Yes...

 

I'm just a lost bird flying away;

Without destination...

Without sense of direction...

And without any ray of hope...

 

My name is Arc Rowenhall, ex-Knight of the Third Order, the victim of the ruthless and worthless war. The war that sent us Knights into the heat of the battlefield.

Out sole purpose out there upon the battlefield:

 

To kill or be killed

 

And killed I did, yes, I took thousands lives, and the enemy took thousands lives of my comrades; equivalent trading is it not?

 

I faced death countless times, I was faced with tough decisions, I need to make a choice between sacrificing and surviving.

 

Since I am the Knight of the Third Order, which means that my rank is like the captain in the battlefield. My comrades look up to me to lead them to victory. But most of all, my comrades look up at me to get them home safety--

 

Yes, I need to lead my friends back home safety into the arms of those they loved, and the people back home who wait each passing day for the arrival of their loved one.

 

I need to make a choice: sacrificing and surviving.

 

Sometime I need to make a sacrifice in order to make the majority of the people survive. Yes, it's a cruel fate, and a tough decision. To watch friends died brutally from the hand of the enemy is not an easy sight to see. To watch someone's son got sliced open from the pointless war with my own eyes is like watching the scenery of hell on earth.

 

And all those decisions, every single life that I failed to protect, every death that I took and fail to bring back home is another sin that I need to learn to cope with.

The weight of responsibility is overwhelming, definitely, but what can I do. All I can do is to bear all those weight... alone, and try to bring back whoever left back home safety.

 

Yes.

 

I took thousands lives, and the enemy took thousands lives of my comrades; equivalent trading is it not?

 

The war started because of some stupid conflict and misunderstanding... is it?

To be honest, I don't even remember the reason the war started in the first place, but I believed that it must be from some obtuse reason that revolves around politics. Politics, this word makes me laugh all the time.

 

Those people that we called "politics" are nothing more but a group of people hunger for power and wealth, that is all they are, and that is all they will ever be. To some, these people are like heroes, providing the homeland security and defending the company's asset. To some, these people are heralds as King of Kings, who helps stimulates the economics and minister the wound of people's desire.

 

Such a naive thinking...

 

To me, to us knights, they are nothing more but a sin of human, vile beings that poisons the earth and corrupted the people. They only interests in their own desire, and tried to give false hope to people. They are the Lucifer of the world.

When their interests are raided by the unknown force called "Neighboring Country", they take action by sending us Knights to fight for them.

 

Yes, they are the power and the wealth,

And we Knights are the sword and the shield.

 

Fair, is it not?

We died in the battlefield, we cried in pain as we wait for the Reaper to take our soul away. We watched friends died brutally, we wept along with dead bodies, we bathe in their bloods. That is our role.

 

While we suffers, "politicians" enjoys the luxury of swimming in the ocean of paper money, drinking the wine of lust, dining on other's misfortune. They are really good with those kinds of things!

 

Yes, my name is Arc Rowenhall, ex-Knight of the Third Order, the victim of the ruthless and worthless war. The war that send us Knights into the heat of the battlefield.

 

And I am trapped in my past movies, the clear pictures run around my vision every day. Yes, that is me.

And after the war, I am nothing more but a POW (Prisoner of War).

 

We lost the war, and all the remaining Knights were relocated away around the world.

Here I am, in some god forsaken land with nothing but green lustrous plains all around as far as the eye could see

 

Amid the center of nowhere stands a small town called Favelo.

 

This is where I sent after the war, Favelo, Land of Green Prairies and Golden Sun.

Actually, it was not such a bad place, not at all, especially a good medicine after witnessing all the bloodlust and the bloodshed of the results from the war.

 

This place... exhibits the presence of calmness...

 

Favelo.

 

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I woke up from the trance of my memories and realized that I am sitting alone in the dining hallway.

I looked down at my dish that lying untouched on the table in front of me. With a disgusted look, I heaved a deep sigh and pushed away the full-plate food away. I was hungry, very hungry, but after revisiting the past of crimson red and murky darkness, I totally lost my appetite for food. Eating food with this kind of mood will probably give me an upset stomach later on during the day. I heaved another long, deep sigh and turned my eyes outside the window that covers the ground up to the roof as a part of the wall.

 

Such a beautiful day outside; with sun releasing its powerful ray of bright sunlight and the scenery of gardens that boldly displays various colors of the rainbows standing proudly as if to boast its radiance against the sun. People milled about, some engaged in a deep conversation, others minding their own business. Very peaceful, very pretty, yet strikingly lonely. Desolated world fits desolated me.

 

"Not hungry?" a strong, curious voice exploded in front of me, and a tough, muscular man approached me holding his tray of food and sat opposite me. After praying and giving grace, he dived into his dish.

 

Such a great appetite... I was thinking before I replied back nonchalantly,

"I WAS hungry... before I think about those old times... you know..."

 

And I was back gazing outside the window.

 

Those replied stopped my friend from consuming the food that was halfway up from the plate. It hung midair between his mouth before he dropped the spoon down and sat backward.

Suddenly, his eyes were hallow... dead... he must be revisiting his past too I wager...

 

Silent Treatment...

 

Yeah, no one speak a single word for a very long time, for me, this silence is welcoming, for him, this silence is disturbing.

 

After shaking his head, he finally broke the holy of silence

 

"Arc, you can't always be pessimist about life. You can't always think back about the past and believed it to be all your fault.

 

It was a war for Christ sake! A war, and we are not talking about little kid war game that we see them playing outside on the lawn, no!

 

We are talking about the real, adult war here, a war where people kills and be killed for survival... You don't believe you can bring everyone back home do you?

 

You don't believe you can survive without killing do you? You kill, you survive. Others died, you have no choice but to accept the fact and live on, no?"

 

Before continuing, my friend lowers his voice into barely a murmured while speaking. He intends to only let my ears hear alone,

 

"And it is not your fault that your loved one died... It just a stroke of bad luck..."

Those final, soft words strike home.

 

Still maintaining my gazed outside the window, I started to feel heavy all of a sudden. The sensation is like you are carrying a thousand tons of lives at your back and it threatens to crush you down to the ground and buried you down along with them.

I felt like a walking corpse.

 

Suddenly, the liquids slowly formed at the edge of my eyes before slowly make its way down my cheeks. I wiped my tears away quickly before standing up, grabbed my full-plate food, and walked away.

 

Before leaving, I said with my back turned to my friend,

 

"Gaia, you are right, it’s bad luck, but not just a normal bad luck, more like, continuous waves of bad luck without ending in sight."

And I walked away without even looking back...

 

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I walked around aimlessly without knowing my destination. It doesn't really matter, I just go whever my conscience tell me, and wherever that place might be, I don't really care. I will just keep on walking down the half empty corridor and hallway, taking random turn in each intersection, marching up and down flight of stairs--go wherever fate wants me to go. Finally, I stopped walking suddenly and realized that I stood in a small garden of some sort. There were short fences surrounded the garden, in the center; there was a small pond with two geese enjoying the break from flying. The soft, cold winds brush the lawns and small flowers repeatedly.

 

I inhaled the cold gust of wind deeply before sitting down on the wooden bench facing the open pond of sapphire water. I saw my own reflection reflecting back at me.

 

Why are you still here...

What is your purpose...

Why do you still breathe when you should be the one to die...

 

The reflection asked me these questions and scorned up at me, as it continue asking,

 

You are worthless, nothing but a piece of junk, a spoil of war.

You are a sin in this world. Your existence exhibits nothing but reeks of death.

Why do you live when you should have died.

You should have died in place of your comrades, but yet you are still here, living like nothing happens in this world.

 

I started to back away from the pond, trying to hide from my reflection, but to no avail. I started to step backward step by step, trying to ignore the words that's coming out from my own reflection,

 

Look at your hands, yes, your hands, do you see anything?

You hands are drenched in blood of friends and foe. It stinks.

You try everything, you decided everything. You commanded your friends to be killed. But here you are, survive all those hell-hole, and here you are, breathing...

Unfair, don't you think so too?

 

Now I'm afraid, I started running, I sprinted back to the corridor and kept on running, two hands covering my ears and I ran...

 

I don't care where I run, all that matters is that I wanted that voice to stop. I bumped frequently into people, but I'm not bothered to look back, no, I will keep on running away.

 

Yes, I will keep on running; I don't want to listen to that reflection speaking any longer...

 

But the voice is still there, echoing within me,

My own reflection still keeps on shooting me questions...

 

Remember your mother and father?

Can you still remember their face?

Their voices, their touch, their love?

Remember how they hugged you and kissed you good-night

Remember how your father and mother said that you are the most precious things in the world?

 

Do you remember them? Do you remember anything about them at all?

Their favorite color?

Their favorite flower?

Their favorite music?

Their favorite food?

Do you?

DO YOU?

 

You forget everything do you?

Worthless you are...

 

I kept on running, I passed various corridors and hallways, I took thousand turns and yet I it felt like I am running still, I felt like I'm going somewhere yet going nowhere at all. The tears slowly forming in the corner of my eyes and leaving behind a crystal trail.

 

I still remember them, I always remember them! How can I ever forget--

 

LIE! You have no proof that you remember them, what proof do you have? --shouted back that voice

 

I was silent, and then I remembered something, as long as I believe, they will always be there, there might be no proof, but I know, yes, I know, I believe. There are still here, in my heart, in my most treasured place within my soul--

 

I believe, that is enough. As long as I believe, I will not get lost.

I replied back to the voice--

 

Oh of course you believe, very convincing by the way.

But I guess you also forget this...

 

You forget that in the middle of the word believe rests the word lie.

Believe and lie goes together, just like you and your past...

You are nothing but a piece of junk, a spoil of war!

 

"SHUT UP !!!" I started shouting with all my might while running aimlessly around the building, people around started to look at me with a question look on their face. I must be a stupid man, doing something stupid. I guess stupid man doing stupid thing goes well together doesn't it.

 

How about that girl?

 

The voice from my reflection doesn't stop, but instead, started invading me and consuming slowly but surely. It attacked me mentally.

 

Remember her? Or did you forget everything about her?

Remember your promise to her? Remember what you said to her before you go to war?

 

"SHUT UP!! SHUT UP RIGHT NOW!!"

 

Of course you remember the promise... right?

No matters, remember or not, you break that promise to her...

 

 

 

"SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!!"

I felt so numb right now and my tears-stained face is covers in deep distress of sadness. All I know right now is that I run as fast as my two feet will take me as I run up a flight of stairs.

 

You break the promise, you lie to her...

She said that she believe you to come back to her and protect her,

Yet you lie to her, believe and lie goes well together to the people like you...

 

"I'm not... I... I don't... I... just..." No word comes out... I know too well how true it was that there's nothing to deny. All was too true and clear. I have no excuse; I am nothing more but a lie, a failure, and a survivor who not suppose to survive. A living corpse.

 

She was waiting for you... but where are you

While she was raped, she called out your name, yes...

She cried for you, she prays that you will come to her side and protect her...

Do you?

 

No, you're not there for her...

You were lost all by yourself, you pitied yourself and you forgot all about her...

She was raped, and she was killed...

She was nothing more but a plaything for those people, and where were you at that time?

 

Crying... that's all you did, cry and pitied yourself...

 

I was silent. No excuse whatsoever. The voice is right. My reflection is right in everything.

 

Worthless...

Cannot even protect the one you loved...

Someone worthless like you should just go and die, so the world may live in peace and one less idiot to cope with...

 

Still running, I slammed into the metal door and the bright light suddenly consumed me as I ran outside... where am I?

 

In this world there are only victors and losers, and losers are quickly culled.

And you are categorized as a loser... knows that well in your heart...

 

I have nothing to comment...

 

Friends died...

Parents died...

Your loved one died...

What more you got to live for?

 

Just go DIE already!

 

My feet got entangled and I tripped face down to the concrete ground with a slam. Dusts exploded and flew around as it slowly afloat and dropped back down to where it rightfully belongs.

I haunched up with my two hands still leaning on the ground and my head face down as I break down and cried with all my might,

 

"I'm sorry...

I'm sorry for breaking our promise...

I still love you, forever love you..."

 

My tears stained the already dirty floor with a droplet of water of pure melancholy and agony.

 

"My fiancée..."

 

The tangerine sun slowly winds its way into the west as the day slowly comes closer to the end.

And I was there, on the rooftop, weeping like there's no tomorrow...

All alone...

 

Yes... there I am, all alone in the world...

 

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My hairs dance rhythmically against the upbeat of the zephyr. I surveyed the scenery before me with my hollow eyes; the soft ray of the setting sun emitting the deep red-yellow spectrum fabricating the open plain and bathe the town into the wonderful apricot hue. In some area, shadow started emerging from the corner of the building, casting a contemplation darkness that reflects my heart and soul. Such a exquisite spectacle with the mixture of melancholy setting--befitting me, living in such an extraordinary world gifted with life, but life worth living is long past and gone. The now me is just a discoloration to this world, a failure to the presence that define living, a failure in the experiment--that is me.

 

I do not scorn nor do I smile. I was indifferent. I was still. There was neither sadness nor happiness within me. There was nothing...

I was a living corpse that was given the dead soul.

 

Standing on the outside edge of the rust-covered rail, I concentrated my gaze forward facing the tangerine orb that slowly sinking into the ground--

 

The sun may sink, but tomorrow it will rise again

I may die, and I will never rise again

I may die, and no one will even remember me that I have gone

 

Closing my eyes, I let out a deep, long, final breath before letting myself go and lean forward the edge of the building...

 

Finally, the end have comes

I welcomed Death

Death is always a part of me since the beginning

And in the end, death will embrace me once again

 

The feeling of losing balance and out of control overcome me as I feel like the world turns upside down...

 

Suddenly, I have a sensation that someone is holding onto my hand, and they are holding onto it with all their might

Someone must have found him and tried to rescue him--

 

"Leave me be, I welcomed Death..."

 

Instead, that person gives out a groan and exerts the strength on my hand, trying to pull me back up

I can hear the quick breath of that person, inhaling, exhaling, inhaling, and exhaling…

 

"Just leave me be, I have no rights to exist...

 

In the beginning I was death,

So in the end I return back to the dead..."

 

No matter what I speak, that person did not listen and still tried to pull me back up to the safe side of the rooftop building.

 

That person did not reply nor said a word, I bet she was saving all her strength and released all the power and effort in saving him.

 

Well, at least someone will witness my death...

 

"Why do you bother me so, just let me be, just let me go...

You have no business in meddling with other's affair--"

 

Without easing the effort, that person replied back in a soft tone

 

"Do you despise living so much that death is so attractive?"

 

That soft sentence holds no malice nor sympathy. I sense just a curious tone in that voice. That person is just worrying about my being.... and my decision...

 

I nodded my head...

 

With a soft tone still, she continued--

"Is it because you lost your goal in life...

Or do you discover your goal can only be achieved through death..."

 

It was not a question. It was more like a suggestion to let me think thing through.

Somehow, I don't know why, but that last two sentences pierce straight through my heart. I slowly opened my eyes and turned my face sideway, stealing a glace toward the source of the voice. The person holding onto me and asked me question is a girl. She has a very serious looks on her face as she still exerts all of her strength pulling him inward. The sweat beads slowly forms on her forehead and make its way down her cheek before gravity took it facedown toward the ground. Her gracious long hairs danced against the sweeping rush of the wind of the plain, her one piece white dress flops up and down against the beating rush of the East Wind of the Plain.

 

Word fails me. The light must be playing trick on me because I swear that the girl in front of me can be no other but the girl of my dream, of my loved one, of my fiancée,

"Myst..."

 

I let her pulls pull me forward as I embraced her, tears stream down readily down as I rest my head on her shoulders and hugged her tightly. This time it was tears of happiness, tears of longing, and tears of desires.

 

She said nothing but returned my embraced with love and care.

 

At that moment of time, nothing matters anymore as I know that I have found my redemption in life. There, I embraced her in the shadow of the apricot light as the sun smiles its last smile at me before leaving the horizon...

 

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"I always wonder, how death is like?

I dream of death countless time, I welcomed death as part of me

I desires death countless time, but it amazes me every time I seek death, death always escaped from my grasp and let me live again..."

 

I was sitting at the edge of the rooftop. I no longer think about suicide anymore. I don't know why, but this time there's someone here to listen to my sorrow and my mental agony. While I relayed my feeling, she was there, standing beside me, gazing out into the almost-dark sky far beyond the horizon listening to every word I said. She squeezed my shoulder for a bit. That was when I have the courage to continue speaking--

 

"Maybe I escaped death every time I seek one must be a sign

Possibly a punishment from God,

Punishment for my sin."

 

That was when my voice started to shake and I started to lose control of myself once again. The girl, goes by the name Lorelei Fonlight, sat down right beside me and holds onto my hand and smile at me. I nod in acknowledgement--

 

"I took lives of others, and I failed to protect my fellow soldiers

That is my sin.

And God forced me to atone for all of my sins by letting me lives and suffers from this monstrous guilt.

 

My sin--every enemy I killed, my comrade was killed. One life I took away is one life I failed to protect.

I lived the life of non-living..."

 

Lorelei didn't say a word. I didn't say a word. We two just sat there, looking out into the night sky under the half-moon. The cold breezes ever frequently rushed pass us, gradually invading the heat of the day and cool it down a couple degrees.

 

I don't know how long did we sat there on the rooftop without saying a word. I bet it must be thirty minutes or something, but I have no definite time since I wear no watch and there's not a single clock to be in sight.

The silence was not awkward in anyway, actually, the silence was peaceful and calming. I enjoyed this silence. I bet I felt good because she is sitting right next to me, as a companion and a listener.

 

Time passed by slowly...

...

..

.

 

Finally, Lorelei breaks the silence--

"Tell me, who is this girl you called Myst?"

 

The question was heavy, very heavy. I glanced my eye downward, shadow once again gradually returning to my eyes.

Sensing this, Lorelei quickly interrupted my dark thought immediately--

"Don't lose your focus now,

If you lose your focus, you will be killed."

 

As if awaken by the alarm clock, I came out of a trance and sat there, looking down at my hands, saying nothing.

Lorelei didn't push her question, instead, she told me her story instead…

 

"I was a Field Medic of the 2nd Battalion in the war. The recruit came over to my town one day seeking volunteers for Knight and Field Medic. I was encouraged by my peers and parents to help support the cause. Given no choice as to my own opinion, I was forced to become a Field Medic against my will.

 

Nonetheless, the first time I went to the battlefield, I saw stuffs..."

 

This is when she became silent all of a sudden. From the looks of her eyes, I know she was revisiting her past. I know very well those kinds of dead, hollow eyes of the veterans. I had the very same type of eyes myself. I know not to disturb her so I sat there quietly, absorbing the night sky of glitter stars and breathing in the full oxygenate air to my lungs. Whenever she's ready to speak, she will be. No point in interrupting her. I understand that the past is not kind to any of the veterans. The effect it has varies to each people. People that received critical impact are those that like me. Those who can copes with it are those like Gaia. As for her, I don't know how to categorize her...

 

"... sorry for stopping suddenly...

As I was saying, I saw stuffs that will forever haunts me until the day that I died, I know that...

I saw people on their last breath crying for their loved one. I saw people struggle to live on when death is inevitable.

I saw blood and guts, I saw broken men who will never recovered from the wound of war, both physically and mentally.

 

I saw the dark side of the war; I saw how war will forever changed the people. I witness it with my very own eyes.

And those images... yeah...

All those images keeps bouncing and coming back to me, every single seconds of everyday...

 

Maybe just like you said, maybe this is a sin--

A sin that I must atone by living in pain forever..."

 

She nodded a couple of times; waters make its way to her cheek

 

"But all I know is that I survived from the war.

I lived through hell and back.

 

Dreadful, yeah, I agree whole-heartedly, it just feels like living the life of not-living, just like you said.

But, don't you think that somehow you...

and me...

and all of your friends who survived...

 

Don't you think that it is also a sign of some sort?"

 

She was not being sarcastic, but instead, she was being optimistic, as though living through war and surviving is not a curse, but instead, a gift...

I do not grasp that concept...

I do not see how that might be true...

 

"You see...

Maybe God have a mission for us...

 

And our mission?

I believed that we veterans are here today because we are the only one who can prevent the causeless and worthless war to happen again.

 

We lived through the last war, broken and tired, and seeing things that no human's soul should ever see.

And we are here because only we can help those who passed through the war and to make sure that in the future,

Our son and daughter do not need to meet the same fate as ours...

 

That is what I believed..."

 

I was surprised. I never viewed it like that before. But I am not convinced because of the last word she said.

I asked her back with a doubt,

"But in the middle of the word believe rests the word lie.

How will you conclude to that?"

 

She smiled back warmly at me and said with a passionate voice--

"I do not have proof nor do I not have anything to defend against my belief.

But let me tell you one thing. Even though it might be a lie, doesn't it just sound better to have a purpose and a goal?

To have a goal and stick with it is better than to live without a goal and rot away slowly..."

 

That was when I returned her gaze and looked deep into her eyes. Inside, there was something that I never have before, fire of determination and life. That is what I lack. That is what I don't have... will I ever have one?

My fire had been extinguished in the war; will it ever light back up again?

 

After another silence, now it is my turn to start retelling my story that had never been told before...

This will be the first time...

And possibly the last time...

 

"I was a child at that time, not knowing what war really defines. I was burning with fire of youth, wanting to experience war. That was when I decided to sign up into becoming a Knight. I left my mom and dad, promising them that I will make them proud of me and will never fail them.

 

Myst Adele was a girl who I loved for a very long time. We were dating for a while when the war broke out. I told her I will come back for her.

 

I went to the Military Academy for 6 months and gained myself the title of the Knight of the Third Order, leading the squadrons of 100 young Knights. I was given a leave for a week before leaving to the frontline. I returned home.

That was when I realized how precious life was. But before I realized it, it was too late to undo anything. I promised myself that into becoming a Knight, I will use my power to protect my loved one against the enemy. I will stand and fight so that my loved one can live without fear.

 

I proposed to Myst Adele, she accepted. We were agreed to get marry right after the war. She was my fiancée, and I her fiancé.

 

Before leaving for the frontline, I promised her that no matter what happens, I will always be there for her. I will protect her even if I died. I swear.

 

But thing doesn't go as I planned.

 

War was brutal and harsh. I never thought it could be this... barbaric...

I cannot even dare to fathom how cruel human can be when facing with a situation of life and death. That was when I started to change, slowly, at first, and gradually faster.

At first it was hard to kill, and it was even harder for me to give out command that will eventually lead my fellow comrades to die in battle.

 

It's a practice:

To kill or be killed

To sacrifice and survive

 

Sometime I need to sacrifice some of my comrades in order to let the majority of my fellow Knight survived. It was a tough choice, but I have no other way to do it.

 

It was hard at first, but I got used to it. I became a walking stone without soul..."

 

That was when I started to cry once again...

 

"During the Battle of Chromes, I heard the news that the enemy's brigade had launched a surprised attack on the town of Clanton. I was shocked beyond word could describe and I disobeyed the direct order of my commander.

I was supposed to hold the line with my fellow Knights. Instead, I abandoned my duty and I grabbed the fastest horse and rode over to Clanton.

 

Clanton was my birthplace. Clanton was where my mother and father live.

Clanton was where my fiancée Myst awaits for my return so we can get married and have a couple of kids.

Clanton, a place that allows me to keep on fighting because I have something worth fighting for, now under threat.

 

It took me almost a week to get there. By that time, it was too late to do anything.

What was once stands the small beautiful of Clanton now nothing but a wreckage of debris.

 

I slowly rode into Clanton... without any feeling of any sort...

I shed no tears. I feel nothing as I rode into the dead city of Clanton.

 

I saw dead bodies everywhere, lying all around in nasty position. Pool of bloods covers the land in crimson red.  It was a very sick place to be. Sick for the soul and the eyes.

No human being should witness this type of barbaric massacre.

 

Everyone I ever known... dead...

As I slowly trotted my way inside, I prayed for the soul of the dead... I prayed for every single one of them...

 

In the center of Clanton, that was when I started to throw up badly and I got a nausea feeling like my inside trying to come out.

 

There was a large group of girls and women of all ages, from very young to middle age, all lie naked on the ruby ground of their own blood.

 

All raped... all dead...

 

I was sick with fright and horror. Human did not do this to these poor girls, it must not be human. It must be monsters. Yes... monsters..."

 

I cannot find anymore word to describe any longer. The image was clear to me like it just happened yesterday. I was frightened, I was shaking really hard, tears made it way downward as I cover my face with one of my hand, while my other hand I held on tight to Lorelei, seeking comfort and shelter from the livid image that flashes before my very eyes.

 

"Among those pile of the dead laid Myst. She was naked, raped, and killed..."

 

I cried harder, my body shook in convulsion. I cannot do this anymore... I cannot... cannot...

Lorelei moved ever closer to me and stroke my hair affectionately, trying to calm me down...

She knew that no word of hers will ease my pain, so she kept quiet, only soothing my pain with her emotional care.

For me, that is enough to help me. Now I know that at the moment, I have a handheld that I can hang on, unlike in the past, where I walked alone...

 

At that moment, I knew that she's right there for me...

 

"Life and death; one cannot exist without the other

The same holds true for friends and rivals as well

However... does this eternal struggle hold any meaning?"

 

Lorelei whispered into my ear softly before looking at me in the eyes.

Was she asking me the question?

Or was she asking herself?

I will never know...

 

The war ended, we are nothing but veterans who got relocated to another area.

We experienced hell, and we touched hell. No word could describe it better than that.

We of the different souls but same experiences...

We who shares the pain and the sorrow...

We who are so close, yet so far away...

 

"Others died so you can live...

Fail to live your life properly means you let others died in vain..."

 

Lorelei stared at me with strength and hope, she grinned at me before returning her gazed to the dark sky in front of her...

 

"You are given a chance to live the life others can't, and now you are going to throw their dreams away by ignoring your will to live on.

 

Responsibility? Yes, it is a weight of responsibility.

Taking away one's life is never an easy task to do.

 

But you feel guilty, no?

You feel like you need to reprimand for what you done right?"

 

I also tear my gazed from her and looked up into the bright moon above us covering with bright stars... That's Big Dipper...

 

"That's a sign that you are not a beast without conscience. A sign that you are not a human without soul. Why do I say that?

Easy.

 

Because these conflicted feeling of guilt defines that you are one normal human who just lost in this wreck desolate world.

 

Guilt said that you are in conflict with your own feeling inside. That is a sign of human;

Human with heart and soul, just like the rest of us."

 

I raised my hand up and grabbed the moon within my hand...

 

"Everyone needs to rest.

Do you even get a proper rest?

I don't think so since your emotion is in conflict with one another...

 

The dead are gone, remember that.

But these dead people, friends and foes alike, these dead people souls are also the building block of life that they willingly present to you.

 

At the moment, you fail to see this truth...

Fail to see them, you fail your responsibility...

 

You want to live in guilt, then live in guilt. No one will stop you..."

 

Lorelei turned my face so that I looked straight at her--

 

"But you must not forget your responsibility.

Live in guilt, fine. But live responsibly...

That is all I ask...

That is all the dead ask of you..."

 

She released her holds and stood up...

 

"Even though your loved one are dead,

But remember this...

 

...

..

.

 

The bond, despite against the rule, will never wavered nor disappeared."

 

Right after that sentence, the strong winds sped pass us with refreshing cold as if to confirm the truth to her every single words.

 

Her skirt fluttered with passing breeze and her hair beats with every rhythm of the wind. She beamed with happiness.

 

This was when I realized something that I forgot for a very long time.

 

I might experience something people rarely faced...

I might think that the world is unfair...

And unfair it might be...

I might think that the world is crushing down on me...

 

But I forgot that I am not alone in this world that faced with those harsh experienced...

The girl beside me here, she faced hell on earth too, and yet she's standing there, smiling her happy smile like nothing in the world can stops her...

And maybe nothing can stop her indeed!

 

I might kill, but that's for survival...

I might see others died, but that is the choice that I cannot ignore...

I might watch my loved one died, but that doesn't mean they are lost forever...

 

Yes, there's a reason for everything and every action.

These people who died and sacrificed themselves, they never gone anywhere.

I remembered them in here... yes... in my heart...

They are there, friends and foes alike...

The connection between the living and the dead...

 

I might forever carry the guilt as long as I lived, true, but Lorelei showed me the truth...

Guilt is normal, but what am I going to do with this guilt of mine?

Use it as a block so that I can move on to the future

Or use it as a block that I carry at my back waiting for the day it will crush me down...

Now I have a choice...

I always have a choice...

 

Lorelei pointed her hand toward the darkness of the horizon skies that lay bare before us--

"That, Arc, is your conflicted emotion that you need to overcome--"

 

Then she pointed up at the half moon overhead that illuminates the darkness with a weak ray of white light--

"That, Arc, is you at the moment, deciding what to do with life...

To be a full moon, or to be a quarter moon with barely any light to do any good."

 

Finally, she pointed at the stars glittered beautifully in the skies--

"And those, Arc, are your loved one, your friends, and your foes that passed away.

They are the small light compare to the vastness of the night skies, but they are there, giving out light as much as they can to guide you along the way of life.

 

It depends on you if you will see them or not..."

 

In the end, she presented her hand over to Arc, looking at him with love and passion,

"And this hand, Arc, is a sign that I will always be here for you.

You are not alone in this world..."

 

Another waves of breeze brushed through two of us as a promise of covenant to the future, if Arc Rowenhall, Ex-Knight of the Third Order, are willing to accept...

 

Arc Rowenhall returned her gaze, small drop of tears escaped from his eyes...

He quickly wiped it out and smiled--

One of the smiled that he forgotten how to express until today,

 

He reached out his hand toward Lorelei and held onto it...



=========================THE END======================

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