Exhausted, I go back into my bedroom and remove my cloak. I pull the key from my pocket, hold it to my chest and close my eyes. I don't know what I was doing but somehow it makes me feel calm. I am summoning some sort of strength from this object. Maybe it is real. Maybe I am just imagining it, holding onto to everything and anything I have.
My dear cousin means the world to me. He is my only ally and I lost him. Deep in my heart I know he didn’t want to blame me but his heart is set on that training and I had been beginning to think that took priority over family. I hope he would see reason but I can't not blame him if he doesn't. Breaking free from this castle is a dream not only held by me.
But I can't imagine having to reason with someone who stole your future.
I think, actually I know that it's overwhelmingly possible for men to conduct such atrocities as to kill a man in cold blood, to burn towns and to parade with the the dead on the tips of their swords. People who think they are doing something for the good of all are the most dangerous and stirs their intent deeper. There might have been a time when I thought differently and I would have answered with a quick no but that time had long passed. Do I think it's in human nature to be violent and to succumb to it? Sure I do. It's to justify it, that I think is inhuman.
The way he moves-a singular motion with such ease-put me in awe. He takes down one, two and then three without even bending his back. Knocking down a man so gracefully was nothing I had ever seen before and this red dance drew me in as it did the others around him. He could have easily killed those men. This is a man who has control over himself. This is the kind of man I need.
I have my own. I don't believe in religion, just as you mentioned. I think it does more harm than good. Believers see it as the one truth, non believers see it as trash and king's use it for power. Not one of them is right.
When I go to describe something as remarkable as what I saw that day, I could only say it was a place of dreams. The water is crystalline clear, a mixture of opalescent colors and frosted with white tips. It surges forward and crashes up against the rocks below us as the sun cast a fire-like glare in the distance. Adding to my reverie is the salty smell in the air that lingers and enlivens senses that seem to have been dormant before this moment. I don't recall moving in this dream-like state but my hand moves up and cups the wind as if trying to capture it's essence. If I could have pocketed every smell and sound of this place I would have and I would defended it with my life.
You know when it comes to who should govern themselves, we have old people talking around tables,” Jimmi says. “When you throw religion into the mix, you have a whole new set of problems. You can't say one has nothing to do with the other because that is simply not true. You have to change the government before we set religious freedoms. People like Firo and Clavis, they just don't want to suppress people. They want wealth and power. It's hard to find those who don't.
Abel grabs my shoulders to steady me. “You can do this,” he say. “I won't lie. Part of me was hoping you would abandon this but we've come this far. You're special, cousin. You're going to do great things. Just promise me that you won't love it someplace else and leave me here alone.
I believe that we should all be free to believe what we want and not be condemned for it,” I say without a thought. “I believe in a higher power and that it works within us. Whatever the name doesn't matter, it's the thought behind it that matters. It's the way we live our lives that matter and as long as I believe that there is someone in the sky there to protect us, no one here will ever break me.
Dead. The words fall from my tongue and linger there like poison. A slow death hanging from my lips. I shake the thought away and swallow but I can still taste the remnants in the back of my throat. It's sour and I gag a little as tears swell behind my eyes.
Just as I had done, my father sleeps off and on for days. Sometimes I sit by the bed in Marta's house and stare at him until I feel like it isn't a dream anymore. Sometimes Jimmi joins me and sometimes, when I'm alone I weep and I am not sure why. Maybe it's because of everything I had been through to get to this point or maybe it was for everything I had lost. Part of me thinks that I should be glad for all of the things I had gained.
But the hero doesn't get the reward. The hero pays the price. As it is in every story.
I begin to cry as my walls of my resolve break down. I don't know how long I can hold on. The pain is horrid and I curl into myself wrestling with a wish to die and a wish to live. Both have their perks. Only one will release me from this agony.
Grin is still beside me. His arms are hung tightly as his side and I take his hand. It is like touching stone and he turns stiffly toward me as we begin making our way back to where Rosso had camped the horses. We are both quiet but I know we were both thinking the same thing. That we wish we were out there and that we wish this wasn't happening at the same time. I suddenly feel the need to apologize to him too. It is because of me that his father and brothers are in this situation but that was their choice. When he looks at me, I can see forgiveness in his eyes. Neither of us have to speak to understand and neither of us look back at the people we leave behind.