The news still shook me. The casualties in Gronder Field, with Dimitri being one of the dead… I couldn’t hide my shock as my mouth dropped wide open, but in order to not make people worry about me, I quickly pushed my own woes aside to focus on the further discussion.
We had an Empire to take down, after all.
Here I was, standing outside, somewhere far from my quarters.
I couldn’t sleep, not after hearing that...
I was unable to lend a hand. Our armies were small, and Seteth was right to stop me from doing so. I couldn’t be too rash, not after that victory. I couldn’t place my allies at risk, it would be selfish of me.
The night was cold in the monastery. Tonight was the time it was too cold for me.
As cold as how I was feeling right now: helpless.
I could feel myself wanting to shed tears. My body shivered slightly, but I wasn’t crying. I wish this wasn’t preventing me to sleep and ponder about our next move.
My thoughts were drifting towards him.
Was I regretting not siding with him from the beginning? At this point, I wasn’t sure myself now…
The place was deadly silent. There was no one nearby that could see me now. And yet, I heard a voice… An awfully familiar voice… A voice from the dead…
Am I seeing a ghost?
I expressed my disbelief, I thought you were dead? And yet, he wasn’t. Dimitri was alive and well, save for the bloodstains and marks all over his body. He was living, he was breathing. The rise and fall of his chest, and the very presence of him was the proof of that.
Like myself, he, too, was filled with dread.
He lost his allies, his friends… Everyone that he held dear. Yet he didn’t blame me for not being able to lend a hand, he didn’t express his disbelief that I couldn’t join him, no… He shared me his grief, he trusted me for offering advice that may help him understand what others had been telling him.
I listened to him. My attention was undivided. He was about to tell me what he planned to do, but another voice intruded upon us. When I came to be, I was lying on the ground. I moved my head to see Seteth kneeling down. He helped me stood up, and I asked him where Dimitri was.
His answer made my heart dropped.
There was no Dimitri, only him.
Seteth snapped me out of my wishful fantasy, a bittersweet dream.
He probably noticed my vulnerability, as his face softened. My sadness was now upfront, after all.
Seteth told me something that hurts, and yet, it gave me great joy as well.
That person only wanted you to see their face.
As I prepare to steel my resolve and focus on the matters at hand, a small smile slipped out from my lips. A bittersweet smile, filled with as much happiness I could muster.
I wanted to see Dimitri one last time… even if I couldn’t say goodbye…
When I blinked my eyes, I was somewhere else entirely. The ceiling was the image that greeted me, and I felt the softness of the mattress behind my back.
When did I came back to my bed?
I glanced to the source of that voice, that voice I was just trying to accept I would never hear again, I saw him sitting nearby, the dark bags under his eyes less prominent. He told me he was worried because I wasn’t awake on my usual time, so he checked up on me.
I asked him if he was real, if he was alive. His face greeted me with shock, he was confused. He asked me if I had a bad dream.
I told him everything. I failed to save you, Dimitri.
He lowered his head, concealing the view of his face. It was a hard thing to swallow, I could understand him for that. I knew his worry about me had increased.
Speaking this with him, my resolve to defeat the Empire had strengthened.
I would do anything to protect Dimitri, we would defeat her, together.
My scowl disappeared when he reached up and took my hand. When I glanced up, he gave me a comforting smile. Like me, he expressed his resolve in fighting the Empire together, and we would succeed.
We would succeed. We had each other, and we would lead our troops to victory, together.
I squeezed his hand tight. A hand that was larger from mine… had they always been this warm as well?