Chapter 24:

Chapter 24- Death Comes Forth for the Strong; Heartbreak Approaches for the Weak

The Husband and Hero

I can't breathe. I can't move.

It feels as if the world's coming down on me all at once.

The person that I loved one whole lifetime-the person that I gave my heart to- is no longer the same.

He's cruel and he's heartless. He's delusional and can't seem to recognize right or wrong.

He's too far gone.

I want to cry. I want to scream. But my pride just won't let me.

Killian: "Shinkyo, You need to come here immediately."

The look in his eyes shatter my heart. It's Willowcrus-she's not going to make it.

I must push my feelings for my husband aside for now. The only thing that matters right now is that I'm here with her.

Unable to think, I find myself running as quickly as I can into our infirmary camper.

Bursting open the doors, I find myself arriving in a gruesome scene.

Despite our aides, rushing over to her side, she's still bleeding profusely and has a cold unsteady look on her face.

Richi is uncontrollably crying on the ground beside her. He looks as though he's crumbling at the scene. He is holding her hand tightly while her grip is very loose.

Richi: "Willowcrus!"

My body is trembling and I feel like a failure.

All I've ever wanted is to protect these people. To protect my family. But despite everything I've tried to do, here she is.

Although my feet hurt to move, I bring myself to the other side of Willowcrus.

Willowcrus: "Shinkyo, you're okay."

Willowcrus speaks quietly to me with a slight smile on her face. Her look is very cold.

Willowcrus: "I'm glad I got to see you again."

I can't help it. The tears begin to flow and I quickly find myself bawling like a baby.

This woman has raised me since it was a child. She's the reason I got this far. I never would have been able to stand as the Queen-I never would have been able to stand for our people-if it wasn't for her.

Shinkyo: "I'm sorry. I should've been in the one, i-"

Willowcrus: "I chose this... I die happy knowing that you're okay and Richi is safe."

Using the little strength she has left Willowcrus grabs a hold of my hand and squeeze tightly.

Willowcrus: "I'm proud of the person you. Even if I'm not here, I can't wait to hear the amazing things you'll do when we meet show me that strong Shinkyo I know."

Turning her head slightly, Willowcrus smiles over at Richi who is still drenched in tears.

Willowcrus: "I love you both. You're the only family I've ever had... So live happily for me... that's...all, I've ever wanted."

A couple tears fall from Willowcrus face, before her eyes turn cold.

My heart collapses as soon as her body does limp. Richi feels it too and becomes overwhelmed in sadness.

She's gone.***Walking outside the infirmary camper, I find Killian waiting outside for me. He won't say it but it's clear that he's been crying as well.

Killian: "She's gone isn't she?"

With a sorrow filled expression, I nod my head slightly.

Killian reaches his hands over to me and wraps me around for a hug.

I can feel both of our heart's beating fastly as several emotions take over.

Killian: "I'm sorry."

Shinkyo: "It's no one's fault. Willowcrus would never want to blame anyone."

As we embrace, in a continuous hug for an odd amount of time, I finally get a moment to collect myself. There's pitiful feeling that takes over. I know war is ugly, but it's even worse when it's someone you truly care about.

Killian: "I called for Birch to come back."

Shinkyo: "Good. I want to see him again."

My heart feels a little lighter hearing about Birch's soon arrival.

Hardening my face, I bring myself away from Killian.

Shinkyo: "Please go comfort Richi. I need a moment to myself."

Replying with a nod, Killian makes his way into the infirmary camper.

I began picking my feet up and walking myself to my own camper. The moment when I get there I fall to the floor.

I feel disgusting- absolutely sick. I keep replaying the moment in my head.

I remember my feet taking me as fast as they could, as I saw Willowcrus push Richi to the side. Despite all my efforts, I couldn't make it in time.


To make matters worse, Zaro is responsible.

Part of me hates him. Part of me wants to rip his throat out make him feel exactly what Willowcrus felt.

Part of me thinks he's lost and manipulated and with a little love I could get him back.

I bite my lip and push my hands down on the floor heavily.

How did things come to this?

We could live together!

Ha! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all live in harmony? But that's not how it works. There's no ultimate wins in war. No truly happy endings.

Just throw away those pesky people!

It feels as though he became the character rather than being himself.

Regardless of who or what he's becomes, it doesn't change the fact of what he did. Willowcrus would want revenge-i know she would- she loved violence. But...

Looking down at my hands, I imagine the blood that will pour in the last upcoming battle. Can I truly pull the trigger on Zaro? Can I truly take his life?

My heart becomes unsteady at the thought; as soon as I coward away from the thought I think of Willowcrus' smile that reals me on back.


This is Fern's fault. She's the reason he's this way-I'm sure of it.

Standing up with a stern yet confirming stance, I bring myself further into the camper towards a desk table.

Zaro, I took your heart, but I won't take your head.

Fern's head will be sufficient.

There will be no happy endings. I will not let myself stand beside you Zaro but I will create a pathway for both of us to live.

That is the last act I will do, for the love I still have for you.