Chapter 18:

Chapter 18- Back to the Main Story, With All it's Glory

The Husband and Hero

Nothing but the sound of our horses and the creaky carriage that holding us can be heard. A subtle but brightly lit lantern has been left on a foldout table near the entrance of the campsite.

Erebus: “Ugh! We finally made it back.”

Stretching his body, Erebus let’s out a loud groan.

Traveling by carriage took a lot longer than expected. But after a fierce trip through the desert, the plains, the forest, and the grains we finally made it back to our station.

Erebus: “Looks like everyone is asleep Devilynn. Let’s return to our campers for the night, I’ll take care of the horses. We can report to Fern in the morning.”

Nodding in agreement, I take my leave, leaving the horses and carriage with Erebus. I find myself more exhausted than I thought I was as I make my way to my camper. The uncomfortable carriage made the trip much worse and much more stress-inducing.

Grabbing the side of my camper door, I make my way inside.


Frozen, I hear the sound of a mystery object fall within the camper. Slowly I slide my hand towards my sword. However, before I can bring it to my front, I find two eyes targeting me.

The person moves closer and closer, and then-


With a click of a lantern, the entire room is now glowing with light from the small flame. Fern is standing in front of me with a fanatical look on her face. She looks as though she is excited by my panicked state.

Startled I jump backwards.

Devilynn: “Fern! Why were you hiding in the dark?!”

Fern lets out a passionate laugh that leaves her with a deranged smile.

Fern: “I’ve been waiting for you! You’ve been gone for such a long time; I was wondering when you’d ever appear again.”

She’s pissed. 

Terrified, I take a deep breathe and dart my eyes away from hers.

Devilynn: “Fern-n, there was an attack on the capital building and Erebus and I-“

Fern: “I am well aware of the situation. I am eager to hear how we didn’t fulfill our duties with the prisoner.”

Devilynn: “We left to protect the people in the building. We didn’t think the prisoner would escape. We-“

Fern leans in closer to me with a fierce but irritated look.

Fern: “Devilynn, people are replaceable. Information is not. No more excuses. I will let you off this one last time, but should you fail to do you duties again there will be consequences. Now do I make myself clear?”

Devilynn: “Yes, Fern.”

I knew I wouldn’t come back to a passionate embrace, but I wasn’t imagining she’d be this angry. Fern leans hands onto my desk and lets out a deep breath.

Fern: “Did Erebus saying anything strange?”

Devilynn: “Huh?”

Fern: “I’m asking you if Erebus said anything strange. I sent you along with him because I don’t trust him.”

Thinking back to it, Erebus did mention his dislike for Frosatla’s objective and showcased resonates with the prisoner Aron. They're not things that would necessarily make him a traitor but may rub Fern the wrong way. If I tell Fern, what will she do? She already dislikes him for whatever reason, and I’m sure she’s waiting for anything to remove him from the force.

Devilynn: “Well-“

If I don’t tell her, I’m practically keeping secrets from the Kingdom, right?

Devilynn: “He mentioned something about the objective.”

Fern: “Oh? Frosatla’s objective?”

Devilynn: “Yes. He wondered if there were undertones to the saying bringing harmony without sickness.”

A menacing smile crosses Fern’s lips.

Devilynn: “Fern…what does without sickness truly mean.”

Fern: “It’s exactly as it sounds. Harmony without any sickness. No sickness, no injures, no disabilities, no one who doesn’t fits into harmony anyway.”

The cold begins to make its way inside me. Biting my tongue, dread overflows within me.

Devilynn: “But that’s so cruel, what about-“

Fern: “Devilynn, imagine this. Imagine a world in which no one ever had to succumb to sickness. Everyone is healthy, strong, and has the ability to live life without the worries of dying early due to disease. You’d never have to worry about your children dying before you. Everything would always be perfect. Think about it-“

Fern moves her body uncomfortably closer to mine.

Fern: “By killing those rats now, you’ll never have to worry about sickness ever again for generations. And you Devilynn, and I, would be responsible for curing the world of these diseases.”

My feelings clash together as Fern explains her reasoning for the objective being the way it is. There is a sense of guilt for killing people who were born with health problems they can’t magically solve. 

But then there is another feeling. 

A strange, completely absurd, feeling of pride. 

Maybe Fern is right. What’s wrong with elimating a few thousand people if it means hundred thousand or even millions would live happier?

Fern places her hands around my neck, pushing her nose on mine.

Fern: “Devilynn, when we win this war, you and I will live like gods. People will praise us for maintaining this peace. Would that be amazing?”

Her eyes are practically glowing as she stares into mine. It’s impossible to tell what’s going on inside her head.

Fern: “Devilynn, should you stand beside me, I will make you my King. You’ll never have to worry about a single thing in your whole life. What do you think?”

A life where I never have to worry. A life where everything will be set out for me. That sounds perfect. Absolutely perfect.

As I begin to open my lips, the image of Queen Shinkyo pops into my head.

The dastardly smile on my face turns to an appending frown. Why did the Queen appear into my head just now?

Her excited passionate face turns disheveled as she pulls herself away from me.

Fern: “You don’t have to answer right now. I will wait until you’ve found your response.”

Devilynn: “Fern.”

Holding myself strong, I cup her shoulders with my hands.

There may never be a time where I will meet Eri again. And even if Eri is out there, there’s the possibility she doesn’t remember me or won’t feel the same she did back then. Until that miraculous day where Eri will come back into my arms, with an open and ready heart, I need to live for me.

Devilynn: “I will accept it.”

Almost immediately as the words left my mouth, I could feel my heart shrivel away.


Where am I?

I’m standing in a field of wildflowers.

The sun is shining brightly and the wind is blowing softly.

Standing there in front of me is the Queen.

Her eyes are droopy and her face is dishearten. She looks as though she’s been crying.

Reaching her hand out to me, she begins to make her way to the midpoint between us.

She looks as though she’s trying to speak but her lips won’t open.

Suddenly an urge overwhelms me and I begin to make my way to her.

But before I reach her, I stop.

Her eyes are locked onto mine and for a moment it feels as though we are stuck in time.

I want to say something, but I can’t.

Placing her hands back to her side, she is clearly hurt. She turns her head to the side and bites down on her lip.

I reach my hands forward but at that point the distance between us has once again grown.

It continues to grow wider and wider, and no matter how fast my feet take me, I can’t reach her.

Shinkyo: “You’re not him anymore.”


The world begins to fall apart and I find myself struggling to build it back together.

I’m not ready to wake up, I need to talk to her, I need-

I find myself lying in a cold sweat in my camper once again. My hand is raised up in the sky, as though I was trying to grab onto something. Pressing my head against the pillow, I take a minute to think about my dream…but by that point I can’t recall anything except the words not him.

If I can’t remember it, then it must not have been important. Each night I’ve been having these crazy unrealistic dreams about the war and Eri, so I’m sure it was just another dream about that.

As I begin to doze off again, I think about Fern’s promise to me.

After this war is over, I will become King.

I will be able to live happily and have everything I could ever want.

I’d have all the time in the world to find Eri and I’d never have to worry about having enough food or money to live comfortably.

Eri would be proud of what I’m doing, I’m sure.

A sense of doubt creeps over me, before my newly founded confidence kicks in.

She’d be happy that I’m preparing for the future.

After all, with Fern’s promise how could I not get a happy ending?