Though such formalities are unnecessary, given the situation, I feel as though I must adhere to them. I am the only thing I can control. Though life is unwilling to involve me, and death is unwilling to claim me, I shall control how I lead my life. I choose to adhere to such formality because I can choose to.
I'm the only one with a choice anymore.
Zelda is beautiful, even when cast against the dark shadow of Twilight. Only we remained untouched by evil, by the plague of worlds that sweeps across the land. Only we know the truth, only we stand to comprehend a grand scheme larger than ourselves. In that fact, I find some comfort in.
"Princess." The mountain accent has become so natural I find it difficult to speak without falling into the guise of Ashei.
Zelda abandons formalities. She embraces me with more strength than I'd thought possible. She's too pale, too thin. Even with such strength behind her, she feels breakable. And though I reciprocate the affection, I do so with much less force, whispering in her ear words unaffected by my false accent: "I missed you, too."
She withdraws. "Did you do as I asked?"
"And the sword, you have it with you?"
I am forced to disappoint, for my sword arm remains empty. "No, princess. I could not draw it from its pedestal. I don't believe it will awaken for anyone but the hero incarnate, regardless of whose blood runs through their veins."
What happiness she'd gained through our greeting was now absent. "Are you sure?"
A pause. "The gods demand a cycle. Though I continue the bloodline, it isn't blood they care about."
She hides her disappointment behind a mask of regality. "He's your son. Do you believe he will be able to bring light to our darkness?" She turns to the window and pushes aside the shredded curtain. Through it, I see a world of death, of men dying for honor, of children slaughtered by monsters.
…Twilight. Our Twilight. Our twisted version of the sister world.
And my son. Though he remains such in my thoughts, it is strange to hear the words uttered by another. Is he my son? The boy I found in the burning village, the boy I took into my arms, only to give him up before he could reach infancy. I was not the one meant to raise him. It was not my role to play.
I have no role to play. My very existence is blasphemy.
My thoughts finally return to the conversation, to Zelda, to inevitability. "I know he will. He always has." I hover to the bed that Zelda has been provided, one of the few comforts her tower offers both in peace and during occupation.
It doesn't look to have seen any use.
I sit on the edge of the mattress and do my best to unloosen the armor that defines the perception my companions have of Ashei. Even when it has finally fallen to the stone floor, I do not feel lighter. Knowledge weighs down on me, knowledge I have only shared with one other, knowledge I was too keep from everyone.
It is a strange feeling, that I'd like nothing more than someone to hold, someone to cry on. I wish I could. I wish I could let myself grow close to another. No matter how slowly time passes, it always ends with death. Everything ends with death. Why begin? Why begin apocalypse?
My response is delayed by memories. "He is the hero of Time incarnate. Of course he will."
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