One thing always leads to another.
That is the essence of life.
It is how life came to be.
And it is how life comes to an end.
Hence why every decision is much more important than people think.
There are so many roads associated with each choice one makes.
Which road is right? Which road is wrong?
In the end…
That’s not for anyone to decide.
Niko quickly paces through the hospital, trying her best to complete all of her daily tasks. As she scans and takes care of each of the patients with her spirits, she hears her name being called from a distance.
Niko: “Yes, what is it?”
“A man claims he is here to see you. Mr. Kato Izana.”
“Should I ask him to leave, my lady? We are pretty busy, after all.”
Niko: “No need. I will go and speak with him. Make sure to let the doctors know, so that they can cover for me for the time being.”
After a few minutes, Niko walks down the staircase of the hospital, coming from her designated wing on the top floor. She is taken aback as she sees the back of Kato’s head when she turns the corner. Kato sits comfortably on the edge of the staircase leading from the top floor to the second highest floor of the hospital, resting his arms on his knees.
Niko: “You truly felt the need to call for me in the middle of the day? Such gaul you have had recently,”
Kato: “Apologies, Lady Niko. I just thought you would want to hear what I have to say.”
Niko walks up to Kato and stands beside him. As she looks down to Kato, she sees his eyes fixated on the floor.
Niko: “And you couldn’t have found a more appropriate venue to speak?”
Kato: “Apologies, again. Unfortunately…I no longer have the luxury of time on my side.”
Niko stares at Kato briefly. She then looks at the space that is right beside Kato, and sighs before taking a seat.
Niko: “So then…what is the matter?”
Kato says nothing.
Niko: “Is it really that bad, Izana, Kato?”
Kato: “...not at all.”
Kato turns to face Niko properly, causing Niko’s eyes to open in shock. Unbeknownst to why, Kato now has the look of the happiest man she has ever witnessed throughout the generations she has been alive.
Niko: “Don’t tell me…”
Kato: “...I’m going to be a father.”
Niko gasps. Kato smiles even brighter and tears begin to fall from his eyes. Niko then embraces Kato in that moment, surely happier than ever for the man she has grown to admire.
Niko: “Congra-tu-lations! Have you two thought of a name?
Kato pulls his head back from Niko’s embrace, and looks back towards the ground.
“No. no at this current time. I would rather achieve the goal we set out first, before we truly get to celebrate.”
“I take it that the prince has postponed yet again.”
“Right. That makes it the third time he’s done so since he proposed.”
“Surely he is running away from marriage, then. I don’t like to partake in human affairs much, but I don’t believe he is the type to be attracted to-”
“Well, it’s not as if the prince tries to hide it. But if it turns out that he is, then he is not doing a very good job.”
“So then why do you think he proposed?”
“He must have been cornered. Forced to make amends for the rumors he built for himself.”
“Or perhaps he was persuaded?”
“Considering Corinthian is the only one with authority over him, I say it was him.”
“Right. But what reason does the King have for forcing his brother to do what he doesn’t want? The King would gain nothing from it.”
“Unless he was given an incentive. A rumor far beyond what the people have already heard.”
“A rumor far beyond what the people have heard would only make the prince a criminal.”
“And such a stain to the royal name would be detrimental to the Crown’s legacy. Nothing that I haven’t seen before, although it has been centuries.”
“Then it seems that the King was fed information far beyond the grasp of the rumor mill.”
“I agree. But who? The only person I know with that level of knowledge about everything is Diana. But I can’t possibly imagine her going out of her way to do such a thing.”
“Right. It would take someone with access to the royal family, but with excessive amounts of information about them as well-”
Niko looks at Kato.
Kato’s eyes darken once again. Much darker than before.
Kato: “...Finally. I get it.”
“Get what? You know who it could be?”
“Not only that. I understand the play.”
“You’re going to have to be clear, Kato.”
Kato grabs the back of his neck and squeezes tightly.
“I have a friend…an old friend. He seems to have the wrong impression of me. But I could never get it to falter out of his mind. The more things I did to cause the impression to waiver, the more it strengthened it in the end.”
Niko lifts her eyebrow. Kato lets go of the back of his neck, but continues to stare at the ground.
“Kato Izana. A human that defies the balance, and is only drawn to the same two elemental affinities that the goddess of the moon governs. And on top of that…defies all concepts of time by seeing ahead before calamity occurs…similar to that of a hero in a legend…or a greater being in disguise…”
Dante walks towards Kato with a sinister smile.
“It all points to one answer. You are from the same world in which the gods are from…Kato…you…are a god.”
*END OF FLASHBACK*
Kato rips off the dog tag that Dante had issued for him when they first joined the Militia’s ranks following the Elected draft. He stares at the writing of his name, and then focuses towards the writing supposed to be labeled as “dog tag”. But instead, Kato’s tag had always read “god tag”, which he had always passed off as a spelling error, or perhaps a simple joke between friends…
Kato grips the tag. His mind races.
Kato: “Everything leading up till now…it was all him. It’s always…him.”
Niko: “It seems you found another answer on top of the one you were looking for.”
Kato looks at Niko. His expression was full of frustration, causing Niko to worry.
Niko pats Kato’s head: “There, there, Izana, Kato. Whatever it may be, I’m sure you will be fine.”
Niko then sighs: “Is that all, though? I should really get back to work-”
Kato softly holds Niko’s light hands in his own, and stares directly into her eyes. Niko pauses.
Kato: “I came to ask one thing of you. It can only be you, Lady Niko. You are the only person I have been able to confide in aside from my Aurelia. You are the only one who knows of our secret. So I beg of you…”
Kato rests his forehead on their hands.
“...please help deliver our child.”
Niko softens her gaze as she looks towards Kato’s plea, and smiles. They had both come a long way since they first met…but she knew it was for different reasons altogether.
Niko: “When he first came to me about his relationship with Aurelia, I had no choice but to scold him. But of course, his stubborn nature refuses to give in to reason, even more so now than before. He’s changed. Not for better, but for worse, proving that all humans truly are motivated by their emotions. He was right along…he is just a man…but a sincere one…a very sincere one…”
Niko’s main spirit, the falcon with large angelic wings that rests on her shoulder, caws loudly, causing Kato to glance up to see Niko’s beaming smile.
Niko: “...that means yes.”