I silently lied on Mera’s bed with my hands on my chest. I was as calm as if I was dead. The bed felt brand new. There was no warmth and no lingering scent. They must’ve changed her belongings more than once; it was no longer the place Mera lived a long time ago. The house was, well, still a house, but Mera was no longer there. She hadn’t been there in a long time.
The scent on the bed was the scent of the solution elves used for washing. It was a unique scent of lush grass but definitely not the fragrance on Mera. Mera had the scent of flowers on her, not this sort of overwhelming scent. Mera was a distant memory for me. It was so long ago that the me from then, and the me at present were two complete different people.
I silently looked at the roof. There was no emotion in my voice. It was as though I was conversing with myself: “Mera, I honestly thought I was different to you back then, since you said you were a dark elf and so did Lucia. I thought dark elves and the other elves weren’t different, but I now understand how much you suffered as a dark elf. In the past, I was just making predictions, but I really understand now, because I’m actually a dark elf, too. I never thought that we were of the same kind. I was just a more fortunate dark elf. We’re the same, Mera. We’re the same kind. If I wasn’t so fortunate, we might’ve been together.”
I gently placed my hand to one side, seemingly hoping that my hand could rest atop Mera’s, but it was just an empty spot next to me. The bed was just an ordinary single bed. Mera never had a lover or romantic interest. She lived alone until her final day.
I was very lucky. Thanks to my Galadriel heritage, I didn’t have to suffer what other dark elves had to go through. With that said, I wasn’t different to Mera in any capacity. Mera and I shared the same nature. I had to resist my urge to suck blood. I wanted to be an ordinary elf, but it was impossible.
I didn’t want to become a blood-sucking dark elf. Mera desperately tried to be the same as ordinary elves, but she couldn’t physiologically alter herself, while I was an ordinary elf who awoke to his desires as a dark elf. It took all my willpower to resist my craving for blood, which was so excruciating I wanted to die. What about Mera, then? Mera didn’t put up with it for one day or a few days but years. Her entire life.
How much pain was Mera in? A lot for sure. I eventually experienced bearing with the pain that could drown you in despair. She showed me a smile for that small wish of hers in spite of the loneliness and pain. It was awful to imagine how much she put up with.
Mera was much stronger than I am. She bore with so much for her life and because of what Queen Vyvyan said, while I could also die for my dignity and kindness. Did that even us out?
“Mera, you truly were so strong to be able to bear with this pain. I’m the same kind as you, yet I stabbed you with a sword. My Mera, if we had made a different decision and if I knew we were the same kind, I don’t think I would’ve killed you.”
I smiled helplessly, and then slowly sat up. I looked the sunset shining in from outside.
I still vividly remembered the time I first visited Mera’s place after her death. When I came visited back then, her gentle scent and warmth still lingered. Her pen and notebook were also still on the table. Mera’s ink didn’t dry up yet, either. She seemed to have just left back then. Back then, the sunset was the same as it was this visit. Nothing had changed. Alas, the beauty had left. She left me with an empty memory and the pain of despair.
I pondered, “Mera was the first person I killed. After I killed her, I began to kill countless other people, one after the other, and then more. Mera wanted me to become an outstanding King, but have I really succeeded in doing so? I tried my entire life. Did I end up fulfilling Mera’s wish? Was I able to become the King that she hoped for?”
“Mera, I don’t know. I don’t want to disappoint you. You exchanged your blood for everything that came after. I made a lot of turns after you left and made my fair share of mistakes. You wanted me to become an outstanding King, but did I succeed? Mera, we might be able to meet soon. Will you be disappointed when we meet?” I conversed with myself, eyes on the ceiling.
I continued floating in my thoughts: “Will Mera be consoled? She used her blood to allow me to become an outstanding king. I always tried. I changed in the midst of my quest and I made a lot of mistakes on the way. I killed lots of innocent people, because of Luna’s misfortune. Have I let Mera down?”
I almost forgot about Mera’s wish she imparted with me. Then, I was filled with guilt toward Luna. I almost forgot the last words Mera whispered in my ear. Perhaps the blood I was drenched in overpowered Mera’s warm blood and scent. I exuded a bloody aura; therefore, Mera should’ve lost her scent of blood long ago. Actually, maybe blood didn’t excite me anymore.
“When was it that I began to become indifferent to bloodshed…?” I wondered.
I stood up and stamped my feet. I slowly turned around to pick up my cape.
I wondered, if I didn’t kill Mera back then and begged to keep her instead, what would’ve happened? Would Mera be with me? That was all hypothetical. My life wasn’t a game; I couldn’t return to the past to change it.’
What transpired already transpired, and I didn’t have any means of changing it. I couldn’t imagine what would’ve happened if everything didn’t happen. If I didn’t kill Mera back then, Lucia would probably be enraged. My relationship with Lucia might’ve broken down for all I know. Despite whatever one might say, Nier and Ling Yue never harmed me, but Mera almost killed me and Lucia. If I kept somebody who was such a potential hazard with me, Lucia would’ve eventually challenged her to a duel and killed her. Moreover, would Mera be able to accept my suggestion? I would never find out. It was pointless to think about, since Mera was no longer alive. Her last traces in her house had been erased.
I left the house. Gazing at the flowers that were still fresh, I uttered, “Mera, we will likely meet again.”
The flowers were still blooming, but it wasn’t the same young girl taking care of them anymore. She was past tense. All that was left were the houses and me, who was about to leave, standing there.
I questioned, “Will anybody still remember Mera and Luna after I depart? Will somebody, who comes across Luna’s tombstone, find themselves puzzled and destroy the tombstone I, personally, made and destroy Luna’s flower, too? Will there be a day where they tear down the homes here to make the elven imperial capital tidier? There’s nobody living here any longer, after all. All the other houses, besides Mera’s, are also in poor condition now. Will the two be forgotten, then?”
Their stories were written with me in their life. Their story was my story. Thus, they were essentially me. My Mera and my Luna were stories that only I had the privilege of enjoying.
I walked over to my horse and mounted it. I spent long enough in Duargana for long enough. We trotted to the city doors. I went along the street Lucia and I had fun on. The sky and this sunset were the same as were in the past. I took all of it in from atop my horse. I looked at the details of what I remembered and what I had forgotten, bringing everything back into the surface of my mind.
That was everything I had gone through. That was what I once loved. I wanted to see it all one more time before I died. I want to see it all one last time…
Elizabeth looked at the forest ahead of her. The horse she sat on snorted. She was there once again. She ran away to the forest when she was young. She ran into the elven forests, got to know Vyvyan and the man she loved. She still viewed those days as the most beautiful days of her past. She never wanted to forget those beautiful days. She remembered the days of walking barefoot on the leaves; she remembered the sweet lake water and the fragrant fruits. However, she also remembered the blissful feeling of holding her son for the first time.
Elizabeth still remembered his soft face. She remembered his warm body and innocent smile. She could also feel the pain of separation, the pain that could virtually tear her heart open. That memorable painful sensation hit her again as she rode atop her horse.
Elizabeth ran away once before. She hated her powerlessness thereafter. Her regret was because of herself. Her regret was a product of her weakness and powerlessness. When she met her son again, when he called her, “Mom,” again, she resolved to never let go again. She was not going to let her son leave her under any condition except her own death. She still harboured that resolute desire.
Elizabeth had to enter the elven forest, the place she once left her child. This time, if she couldn’t bring him back, then she had resolved to never come back out!