The Husband and Hero
Sneaking my way inside our campsite, I find my heart racing at the smallest sounds.
My mind is wandering on the endless possibilities that could have taken afoot while I was missing.
Has Fern found out I left our grounds?
Does she know I met with Birch?
Unsure of those answers, I find myself tiptoeing into my camper. Despite the tears on the side, the camper is stable enough to be used. As I stumble my way into the camper, I find the edges of the armor rubbing against the campers’ fabric, making a terrible amount of noise.
As I bring myself forward to my desk, I place my darkened hood around the chair neatly placed nearby. Unlike how I left it, the camper is cleaned and arranged from the recent attack.
For a moment, I silence my voice and listen for the troops on guard...
Letting out a sigh of relief, I spread my body down onto the rough sleeping bag lying on the ground and brought my hands over my face.
Trying to settle the horribly fast beating of my heart, I feel my breath getting heavier and deeper by the second.
As my breathing continues to worsen, I find my head spinning and my eyelids drooping down, unable to stay up. Exhaustion takes a hold of me.
And finally, I fall into a long deep sleep.
Where am I?
I awaken in a blank canvas. While there is no distinct features or setting, the atomsphere is warm and welcoming.
Squinting my eyes, I lay my sights on a small pact of grass. It's flowly with a pleasent sweet smell. And sitting alongside the pact is the people I love dearly.
Crowriff is sitting beside Birch drinking a pint of our favorite dirty pleasure. Both of them are smiling happily while laughing over one of Birch's notorious jokes.
And sitting beside the both of them in her effortless kind way, Eri is sitting delighted at their conversation.
I want to stand beside them. To be beside them but...
Looking at the event in front of me, I notice that there's no room for another person to sit alongside them. There's no room for me.
I don't belong alongside them, at least not anymore.
But, I know what I have to do to make this right.
Turning her head over to me, Eri stands up in the spot she was just sitting in.
Excitement rushes through me at the sudden movement.
Her eyes are beaming with love as her feet begin taking her over to me.
As she opens her arms in a loving way, welcoming a hug, I begin to extend my arms out.
Looking into her eyes, I'm quick to notice that her eyes are facing away in the distance.
For a moment, I can feel her soft hair run by me before she passed by me.
Bring my hands down, back to my side, disappointment rushes through me.
I know she may never accept me again. I know I may never be her person again.
But I'll try my best to be.
Awakening from my dream, I immediately submerged myself into planning for Fern’s assination. At this moment, there are two days until the final battle will take place...so I’ll have to execute my plan tonight. I’m one of the three on night duty; it’s the perfect opportunity for this. After countless hours of flaunting over Fern previously, I know her schedule precisely. At exactly 10pm every night, Fern enters her camper for the night and continues to stay up until 11pm where she turns off her lantern.
I just have to wait until then. After everyone falls asleep for the night, it's the perfect time. No one would ever expect me, their commander of murdering her.
Sitting aside my desk, I clench my fist together.
But, can I kill Fern?
This whole time I've been thinking only about how to win Eri's love back but I haven't considered my own feelings.
I know I've been manipulated. I know she doesn't care about me in the slightest....but she still has been here for so long beside me. I can't help how my heart and my head feels. If I never saw Fern again, I think I’d be able to live happily without a single thought about how she was doing. But never seeing her again and killing her isn’t the same. Can I carry her blood on my hands?
But I know it's no longer a matter of can or can't I, I have to. If I don't take her life tonight, it may result in Eri's-and the others-deaths.
Swallowing a huge gulp, I find my hands moving into the drawer of my desk. Pulling the drawer open, I find the sharp knife engraved with the royal saying of Frostala lying there.
Thinking back on the moment I received the knife, a sense of guilt floods through me. All soldiers of Frostala have to devote their souls to the Kingdom after a year of active duty. They take the engraved knife from one of the Royal families and stab the tip of their thumb to allow blood to drip down it. This event binds the soldier to the royal kingdom for life, or rather retirement.
The day I received my engraved knife, I was ecstatic to have Fern bind with me for the ceremony. I felt a strong sense of community and easily prepared myself for a life protecting the people of Frostala.
But now...it brings me guilt.
Firmly grasping onto the edge of the knife, I find myself bringing it closer to my lap. Feeling the strange metallic texture on my fingers, I think over my decision one more time.
However, regardless of how I feel, my decision will not change. I have to do this. I have to kill Fern before the final battle. I can’t keep her promise. I can’t win this war for her when I know who stands on the other side.
Standing upwards, I put the knife into my pocket and hardened my face for the troops I am about to face during the day.
Using this knife that binds us, I will cut our ties.