The Husband and Hero
Grasping onto the rims of the sink, I stare deeply into the mirror in front of me.
Teeth, brushed. Hair, washed. Clothes, clean.
Letting out a big obnoxious smile, I give myself a thumbs up in the mirror.
My smile is bright and I’m ready to go!
After my conversation with Fern last night, she asked me to 'escort' her to the nearby village to receive a telegram that her father sent out. Although the content of the telegram is known to me, this will be the first time in this world Fern received the agreement that the Kingdom of Frostala and the Kingdom of Robal have placed. The letter entails that we will go into, what the story calls, a heap-headed end. The two elected officials from each side are the heads. Once one of the heads falls, the war is over. Since the story is so different from the original, I’m unsure of who the heads may be.
But enough thinking about that, I have an ‘escort’ trip with Fern today!
Oddly enough, my entire body feels light and giddy. Since when have I felt this way?
Looking into the mirror once again, I find my eyes staring deeply into my face. Maybe it’s because I’ve been staring into it for so long, but it feels like someone else was staring back at me.
But you’re not ‘him’ anymore.
That strange nonsensical thought crosses my mind again. I’ve never been anyone but me. I’m Eri’s husband Devilynn. The Hero of Frostala.
As I stand there for another moment, my body feels like static. Tumbling my fingers, I try to remove the static feeling but no matter what I do the feeling wouldn’t go away.
Fern: “Devilynnnn, are you ready to go?”
In a singing like fashion, Fern calls out from outside the camper. Before I can put together my next words, my mouth begins moving on its own.
Devilynn: “I’ll be there in just a second Fern!”
Have I always sounded like this?
Moving my feet over to the entrance of the camper, I take one last look at the mirror.
For a split second, I don’t recognize myself.
And as I find myself making my way to Fern, I ask myself…
Is this the person I’ve always been?
Even in a time of war, entering the village of Plasmi feels warm and inviting. The sound of children laughing and playing on the road can be heard throughout the village courtyard and fresh fruit and vegetables can be seen ripening at the farmer’s market nearby.
It’s the perfect place to escape from your thoughts.
Tugging at the sleeve of my shirt, Fern calls out to me with her endearing and overly sweet voice.
Fern: “Devilynn, since we have lots of time before the messenger arrives, we should have a look around.”
Just at a glance, it’s easy to tell that this mission is a date in disguise.
Fern has dressed up for the occasion, despite being in her uniform, in noticeable but natural makeup. Her hair is done up in a short braid just like at the palace banquet and she is wearing a very light but pleasing perfume that smells like raspberries. Eri had a perfume she use to wear all the time that was similar; I miss it.
Devilynn: “Fern, your perfume…it’s pleasant. You should wear it more often.”
Realizing how strange my comment was to mention, I feel nervous for how Fern will reply.
Devilynn: “Ah, that was a little strange I didn’t-“
Fern: “I’m glad you like it Devilynn!”
With a pleased look on her face, Fern grasp onto my shoulder. Her eyes are beaming with confidence.
Taking a hold of my hand, she points out to a shop nearby. As I feel the warmth of her hand, I feel as though I’m going to break into a million pieces. It’s been so long that it feels so foreign to hold a hand. It makes me wonder; did I feel this same way when I held Eri’s hand? Was her hands as soft and small as Fern’s?
Fern: “Let’s head over to that cutesy store over there! We might be able to find a little trinket to take home!”
Seeing Fern so cheerful makes my heart feel whole.
For a long time after our first conversation on the battlefield, I felt as though we’d never get along. But seeing how we get along now; I feel confident in my decision to stand beside her.
Stop lying to yourself.
She’s the heroine and I’m the Hero.
She’s manipulating you.
It was always written that we were meant to be together.
Eri’s waiting on me.
Snapping into reality, I find the both of us standing inside the small shop Fern pointed to. I don’t remember my feet taking me here.
Fern quickly shoves her hands close to my face. She is holding two strands of blue ribbon in her hands. The ribbon is the same type of one that Queen Shinkyo had around her spear.
Fern: “I found two blue ribbons! We can get one for each other, what do you think?”
Looking at the blue ribbons, my logic leaves me and a sense of confusion replaces it.
Devilynn: “It’s just a blue ribbon, why do you want one?”
Fern gives me an irritated stare and then goes back to her smiling face.
Fern: “You sure don’t know anything about our kingdom, do you? You give a blue ribbon to someone you truly care about. People usually give them out to their children, brothers, sisters, and…lovers.”
Glancing over, I can see that Fern’s face is covered in red. Turning her head away, I can see the slight look of embarrassment wash over her. How cute.
It’s just a piece of fabric, but if it means so much to get Fern flustered over I'm more than happy to get it for her.
Devilynn: "Let's get them."
Excitement dances around in Fern eyes. She's practically jumping when she hears my words.
Fern: "Thank you Devilynn! Where should I put it? I want the whole world to see."
Devilynn: "Let me put it in your hair."
Thinking about it for a moment I decide to wrap it around her hair. I gently touch the soft strands of Fern's hair and find myself immersed in her being.
As I tighten the ribbon into a bow, I take my hands away and look at her newly styled hair. I wonder what Eri would have looked like if she wore bows in her hair. But she was never the type of girl to do that.
Fern: "Wow Devilynn and it looks amazing! Where did you learn to do that?"
Devilynn: "It's a secret."
As Fern checks herself out in the mirror, I find myself wondering what she would look like with long hair.
You're trying to make her someone else. You can't.
Fern swirls around and then jumps onto my chest. Startled, I find myself throwing my hands in the air.
Devilynn: "Fern, what are you doing?!"
Fern: "I want to put your ribbon on too."
Fern precedes to wrap the ribbon around the sheath of my sword. It's a perfect place for a trinket like this.
While Fern is wrapping it up, I think back to Shinkyo’s ribbon.
Devilynn: "Fern is this blue ribbon thing only in Frostala?"
Fern: "Yes, just Frostala."
Devilynn: "That's weird."
Although I am saying it in a whisper Fern still over hears my comment.
Fern: "Why is that so weird?"
Devilynn: "I could have sworn that I had saw Queen Shinkyo with a ribbon around her spear."
Fern's hands drop down to her side and her face darkens. She looks as though I just told her someone she loves died. Withdrawing herself away from me, Fern takes the blue ribbon with her.
Devilynn: "Fern are you okay? What's wrong?"
Fern: "I have a theory Devilynn."
Fern looks up at me with menacing face. I have no idea what she could be thinking.
Fern: "I think we have a spy among us."
I gulp loudly as I keep my eyes on her; it’s impossible to know what kind of mood she’s in.
Fern: "There's been a general missing off of Robal's register. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of him. His name is General Birch"
Panic rushes through me.
How could I have forgotten?
General Birch. Shinkyo’s Knight.
So far, he's been nowhere to be seen.
Devilynn: "But what does that have to do with the spy?"
Fern: "I once visited that rotten kingdom and met Birch when I was little. I don't remember much about those pesky people, but he had a look very similar to one of our men."
Fern smiles upwards at me.
Fern: "You know who I'm talking about, right?"
Fern places her hands on my shoulders and tightens her grip. Although not meaning to, she's hurting my closed wounds. It feels as though her nails are digging into my skin.
Fern: "It has to be him, it must be. It’s Erebus. He's been off since the day I met him. And you just told me last night that he clearly doesn't agree with us. General Birch is a sucker for the queen, it makes all the sense for her to have a ribbon if he's a spy in Frostala. "
Excambied by Fern’s remarks, I find myself creating a distance between her and I. It's true that Erebus has been a little strange after Crowriff’s capture but could he really be the spy?
Fern: "You want to be a king don't you Devilynn?"
Devilynn: "Yes but-"
Fern: "Then I have a special task for you. Go back to the camper, and tell him a piece of information nobody else knows about our next battle. If the enemy knows and plans for it, then we’ll know if he's innocent or not. "
I can't argue with her. But she’s giving of such a hostile emotion that I can’t calm myself down.
Devilynn: “But what about this date?”
Fern: “What about it?”
Devilynn: “Why don’t I leave afterwards? Let’s enjoy ourselves first and then we can-“
Fern: “No. When this war is over then we can go on as many dates as you want. You have to prove yourself to me first.”
Silence falls between us and a wall feels as though it begins building itself up within me again.
Fern: "Anyways Devilynn, you should go. I can hardly wait! When we learn that Erebus is a spy, I’ll make sure to give him the ultimate dead fit for a traitor.”
Fern let's out a smile that stretches out across her face. Its unsettling.
Fern: "So darling, do your work. Show me that you have a power to be king."
Fern looks up at me happily once again.
Fern: "Show me that you deserve me as your queen. "