Chapter 28:

Chapter 28- A Flowerless Fern

The Husband and Hero

Risking it all, I bring myself to my feet.

This is my last chance to possibly change the outcome of Eri and my future together.

Tonight I will kill Fern for Robal's sake. 

Placing my textured knife in my pocket, I glance around the room at the supplies I've gathered.

Everything I need for a flawless attempt is right here. A blackened hood and a box of matches. Quickly I place everything within a bag and begin to put my plan into action.

Knight A: "Good evening Commander Devilynn! Where do you want us stationed tonight?"

Shaken by the possibility of being caught, I try to clear my voice.

Devilynn: "Our other knight is stationed on the Western side of our site. Please take the Eastern side, I can manage the rest."

Knight A: " Yes, sir"

Giddy making his way, I find my eyes darting deep into the woods nearby.

There's no time to fret on the possibility of getting away with it.

With this thought, I begin to pick up my feet and head towards the Northern forest with my bag in hand.


The time is now.

Everything is set up and ready for this execution. All that's left to do is to put everything into action.

Standing in front of my empty camper, I glance my head around in every direction looking for any of the other guards.

After waiting for a few moments, I reach into my pocket and bring out my box of matches and grab as many as I can in my hand.

Earlier today I completely filled my camper with unholy amounts of charcoal, so the moment I drop these matches into it, it should go up in flames.


 mThe matches are swaying heavily in my hands. Looking at the small flame in my hands, I reflect on all the memories I've shared with Fern.

Taking in all the bad memories, that outweigh all the good, I take this action as burning all that we had.

Throwing the matches, I watch as my camper, that was already mostly ruin, goes up into flames.

Taking a step back, I let out a quiet but appropriate  scream to alert nearby campers of the flames.

As soon as I scream, I begin to run off into the distance towards Fern's camper. With the sudden stomps of the other two guards on duty, I hide behind one of our supply barrels.

Knight A: "What was that?!"

Knight B: "I'm not sure but we should go check it out."

Knight A: "Right. Let's move quickly."

Quickly making their way to the other side of site where I just came from, the two guards rush off.

Squinting my eyes, I can't seem to see them anymore. Taking this chance, I bring myself out of hiding and inch my way over to Fern's camper.

Her camper is completely isolated from the rest of the troops; most likely due to her royal status. The entire area is silent with no signs of her being awake.

Grabbing my knife out of my pocket, I hold it tightly in my hand. Taking in a deep breath, I erase my emotions and put on a cold resolve.

Getting closer to the entrance, I extent my arm out to the flap of the door.

Grasping the flap, I quickly flip it open and move my feet forward in a swift pace.

Her camper is letting of an eerie aura due to the darkness filling the room. You can only see the outline of her standing bed, the desk, her chair, and some stacks of papers.

Despite the heavy armor I'm wearing, I'm not making too much noise as I move. Taking one step at a time, I find my way to her sleeping bag.

Tightening my grip on my knife, I bring my arm backwards. This is it.

This God forsaken war is over.

Eri and I will be able to live together peacefully in the new world.

I'll get to see Ereb-Birch and Crowriff again.

Fern, you're heartless and you're cruel...I know because we're one in the same. I'm sure you've been brainwashed by the Kingdom of Frostala, but regardless of your redemption, you're in the way of my happiness.

Taking one last look at her, I begin to bring my arm down steadily.

But before my knife can make it's way to the sleeping bag, the harsh grip of a hand grabs my arm from behind.

Fern: "What do you think you're doing?!"

Recognizing the voice, my face drains.

No. This can't be. Why wasn't she in her sleep bag? Why is she behind me? Why-

There's no time for why. Just because my plan failed, doesn't mean I can't still defeat her in the dark.

Taking my arm away from her, I nudge her with the back of my elbow. Hearing her body hit the floor, I whip myself back around and lower myself on top of her.

Although I'm much heavier and more structured than she is, she pushes my entire body off of her and into the side of the camper.

The sound of metal extracting from it's sheath hit my ears. She's now armed.

My soul is screaming that I'm in danger. My eyes are startled and shaking vigorously as I try to make sense of the outline of shapes in front of me.

There's not much else I can do, rather than bringing my knife to my side and await for her attack.

Fern: "How dare you attempt to attack me!? I am Fern Lilifine Harness the Princess and rightful heir of Frostala!"

Hearing her feet stomp heavily over to me, I find my heart racing faster and faster with each step.

Suddenly, the flaps of the camper swing it's way open letting in the moonlight onto this fight scene.

Fern is wearing a face full of pleasure as she stand above me with her sword in hand. The moment her eyes make it's way to my face, the pleasurable face disappears into a disappointed frown.

Knight A: Lady Fern, are you alright!? "

Completely ignoring the two guards at the door, Fern begins to laugh uncontrollably.

Fern: "What the hell do you think your doing Devilynn Lafair!? We're you trying to-"

Quickly opening my mouth, I recite the lie I've been practicing these last few nights in the case of this moment.

Devilynn: "A dark figure had set my camper on fire and rushed this way through camp! I saw him enter the Northern side of camp and thought he entered inside your camper!"

Fern: "Ha! Do you truly expect me to believe that?! You must be full of donkey shit!"

She's too far gone for my words to convince. Her eyes of full of mistrust.

But I don't need to convince her. I need to convince the guards.

Fern would never do anything that may harm her reputation in front of others.

Knight B: "Lady Fern please wait! Devilynn, is telling the truth!"

With an unbelievably stare, Fern turns her head over to them.

Knight A: "Commander Devilynn is right! Other men we're just alerting us to mysterious figure running over to this side of the site. He ran off into the woods!'

Fern: "Okay, if this truly happened then how did three trained Frostala knights not caught one man?"

Devilynn: "I was able to strike him and then he ran off. He was insanely fast."

Scoffing at my remark, Fern clearly doesn't believe my words.

Knight A: "The hood the man was wearing and a trail of blood were found leading into the forest your majesty! "

Fern: "Then how do we know it's not Devilynn's blood? He could have set the whole thing up!"

Putting on the saddest expression I can possibly do in this moment, I open my mouth and talk directly to Fern.

Devilynn: " Fern I'm hurt that you think so little of me after all this time. I'm your commander, I have and always will stand beside you. If it puts your mind at ease, please, I'm more than happy to show you I have no open wounds on my body."

With a look of hate, Fern bites her lip.

Knight B:" That should proof him innocent!"

Fern: "Hmpf...I suppose. Then show us Devilynn."

Awkwardly undressing myself down to my boxers, I stand there embarrassed.

Unimpressed, Fern analyzes every inch of me.

Aside from my wounded shoulder, there is no sign of even a paper cut.

Knight A: "Commander is cleared! There's no way he'd ever hurt you your majesty!"

Unable to apprehend me, Fern angrily glances over at me. She knows exactly what I did but it's too far of a reach with all the other evidence in place to convict me.

Earlier before the fire, I ran around camp and place my hood a few feet into the forest outside of camp. Taking my knife, I reopened my shoulder wound and bleed onto the ground path before pacting it back up. In a world with little medical advancements, its realistic to believe that my wound could reopen due to poor stitching.

Putting my clothes back on, I know that I have successfully talked my way out of being executed. However, my plan horribly failed and Fern caught onto me.

Fern: "Guards I want three personal knights to stand beside my camper for the rest of the time we are at war. Devilynn you worked extra hard today so you are excused for the night. Since your camper is ruined, I guess you'll have to sleep on the ground."

Almost pushing me out of her camper with her words, Fern closes the door on myself and the two other troops.

Making my leave, my heart stings at my failure.

***As the sun shines brightly onto our station, I bring my left hand high into the sky.

My shoulder is still in horrible pain, but imagining the later outcome of today is unmeasurably more painful.

I'm sorry Eri. I couldn't be you hero.

Heck, I'm even a hero in Frostala. I'm just a supporting character to Fern's plans...

Stop thinking this way.

You've gone this far already.

You still have one more chance to be a hero.

One last day.

That's right. The war isn't over yet. I have one last opportunity to make this right.

Eri, I promise, today is the day I will become your hero. 
Sujin 崇神