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Words To Bend Or Break

Three words. That was all it took to wreck my world. Three words that should have made my heart sing and my soul soar. They were the last words I expected to come from her mouth. In millions of years, across thousands of lifetimes, I never would have expected –

“I love you.” Charna breathed, blood flowing from so many wounds, gathering beneath her like one great rippling violet blanket. Beneath the soft glow of my sword, I clearly see how she smiles; soft and sweet, like a fragile secret. An expression meant to be worn by lovers who had been lost in affection for years, not — not people like us.

Unable to move, unwilling to utter a sound, I stand poised, the stained tip of my blade kissing the fragile skin of my mortal enemies neck. How was I meant to respond to such a declaration? And such a painfully honest one too? What did she expect me to say? Did she expect any reaction at all? It was always so easy to read Charna, for as destructive and villainous as she is, she is also, so very honest. Lies have no place in Charna’s world. In her Lord’s world.

Even knowing that, I still can’t believe — She says those words like she knows what they truly mean. And what they could mean for us.

But how could she? How could a harbinger of genocide, of death, of chaos, understand love? The demoness who haunts the cosmos, the warning call of the Dark God’s approach; how could she ever understand such a beautiful and kind thing as love? Softness and sweetness could not hope to cling to Charna, let alone pierce the jagged armor she wears around her black heart.

How could she look at me, like I am her everything? When her everything is her God and the death he brings. Her everything is pain, horror, and desolation. How? Especially when just a few seconds ago we were attempting to kill one another? How could she — How dare she —

Charna blinks, tears rolling down the sides of her face — oh. No. No those aren’t her tears, they’re mine. She blinks again. I’m crying. Why am I crying? I should be angry, brimming with righteous fury as I end her reign of terror —

My blade trembles, and between one damp blink and the next, it slips. A new line of violet blooms across Charna’s throat, too shallow to be a killing blow. My blade falls, clattering harmlessly across the stone beneath, echoing violently in the silence. Splattering itself with violet as it lands in the pool beneath Charna and I. I’m left hovering, hands dangling in the air, above Charna. Weeping and weaponless. It would be so easy to kill me, not that I don’t already feel like I’m dying, but.

Charna blinks, slow, bright violet eyes staring into my own glowing blue. She’s still smiling, so soft and understanding. Honest. Loving.

My wings twitch, the muscles of my back flexing almost painfully. The sudden urge to flee, to fly far and fast from this place, from her, rises like a tidal wave in my mind. My knees quake as the equally powerful urge to drop down and wrap Charna in my glittering wings, rises and collides with the first wave. Run or stay? Which desire is stronger? Which force will win? My mind buzzes with the conflict, bringing forth even more tears.

Run or stay? Fight or fall? I don’t know what to choose. I don’t know what I want. I —

Charna’s smile drops. Or rather, her lifeless lips slip with no strength left to hold them up. My internal conflict crumbles into dust, rushing to fill the sudden void in my chest. Charna is dead, at long last, by my hand. Her reign is over, my supposed eternal war against the darkness and chaos, is over. I was only ever meant to fight her, while the real battle was settled by our Lords. Our Creators.

My trembling hands rise, stained with violet and my own crimson blood. Something cracks in my chest, and as I press my stained hands to my eyes, I scream. I do nothing but scream.

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