“Brother,” Lucia called.
Lucia’s brother was quite surprised to hear his sister. He turned around and caressed her face with his hand. The two stood atop the military roll call platform. A few days ago, all of the elves put aside their differences to unite against humanity, expressing their rage and desire to protect their homeland in a war. The elves triumphantly annihilated the human army, an army that numbered enough to squash them without even fighting, in their forest. Sadly, despite the two same people standing atop the same platform that day, there weren’t many elves down below. The war her brother was about to wage on humanity was no different to Queen Sisi’s attack on the elves. Nobody approved of it, and nobody helped. It was a complete gamble.
“Lucilia, my dear sister, I’m so glad you’re still by my side. These elves don’t get it, but as long as you do, then it’s fine. Lucilia, your brother wants you to risk your life to protect the elves and have more. You understand that, don’t you?”
Lucia’s brother hugged his sister, but the instant he hugged her, his body violently jolted, while Lucia’s body began to subtly tremble. She dug her fingernails into his flesh as tears coursed down from her red eyes.
Lucia’s brother broke free from his sister’s arms. He looked at the arrow tip in his belly in disbelief. The arrow pierced straight through his battle robe and flesh, dying the robe once covered in his ancestors’ blood once again with a soldier’s red blood. There wasn’t any pain in his gaze but shock and panic.
“You…” He grabbed the arrow stabbed into his belly and staggered backwards two steps. Words failed him.
“Sorry… Sorry… Sorry, Brother… I… sorry… Brother… I… I’m… sorry… This is wrong… Elves… can’t do this… for elves… Sorry… Sorry… Brother… Sorry… I love you… I will always love you…”
Lucia gripped her brother’s chest and whimpered. Before he could wrap his head around it all, Lucia pushed him off the platform. The elf fell heavily into the land and the forest that elves’ nurtured.
Lucia would never forget the scene. Her brother never took his eyes off her as he plummeted to the bottom. His shock and despair was a scene that was etched into her memory forever. In the end, her brother never considered himself to be wrong. He deemed her a traitor. Her brother dedicated his entire life for elves and her. He strayed from the correct path in the end, but who would tell him?
Blades immediately pierced into the man on the ground one after another. He departed with his eyes open; his gaze remained the same as it peered at Lucia, the blue sky and everything he loved.
The forest didn’t speak. The birds continued to sing in high-pitch voices merrily. The rabbits continued to bounce. The river continued to flow. The forest couldn’t feel the elves’ agony. That was just the nature of the forest. No matter what happened to the elves, the forest would just silently observe them. The forest wouldn’t comfort her regardless of how much she hurt or how much despair overwhelmed her.
From behind, an elf assumed a kneeling posture on the ground and presented Lucia a crown with two hands. She didn’t reach for the crown right away. The elven monarch’s crown was made from the elves’ unique metal. It reflected the scenery of the forest and her face similarly to a mirror. The crown was a reminder to the Elven Queen that she had to see everyone. Listen to everyone, and see the forest. An Elven Queen was expected to take care of everyone. Only if they could do that would they be permitted to wear the crown.
Lucia wasn’t hesitating, wondering if she could make a good Queen. The elves needed her. Therefore, she would wear on the crown. It was just that her mind was still wandering. Just days ago, she and her brother were discussing her wedding. She had her beloved brother and her beloved man. Before she knew it, all she had left was the crown.
The elven throne wasn’t passed down within families but elected. To become the Elven Queen, one had to abandon everything in one’s possession and wholeheartedly dedicate their life to serving elves. Lucia was somewhat confused.
“Perhaps he didn’t fool me into become the Elven Queen. Perhaps it’s destiny. I lost everything in the last few days. In exchange, I’ve been handed this crown. Did destiny lead the crown to me? Should I not resent him, then?” silently questioned Lucia.
Lucia gently took the crown. The elves bowed their heads. From their perspective, it couldn’t be any more acceptable for Lucia to be a Queen. She was the hero they worshipped. No one questioned her abilities. Every elf admired her. She was going to be just and kind. She would be able to lead elves to greater heights. Her loyalty to the elven race was indisputable. A ruler who loved their nation would be willing to give everything they have for the nation.
“My Queen.” The elves called out in unison.
Lucia wore on the crown. For petite Lucia, the crown was heavy.
My aim was achieved with that. Lucia didn’t make things difficult for me as she had to accept reality. Her sorrow led her to despair, in turn, convincing her to accept the role of Elven Queen. She, subsequently, tacitly allowed me to leave. She no longer could think about so much for she had more important things that needed her attention.
Lucia had always devoted herself for elves, and they needed her. She had no room or time to be worrying about romance. Some people were born for others as opposed to themselves. Perhaps Lucia was the former.
I had to admit that it wasn’t true if I said I didn’t love Lucia. Having spent so long with her, there was no way I wouldn’t have any feelings for her. Nevertheless, I couldn’t leave a wound that’d continue to bleed. I wouldn’t return to the elven lands, either. I knew her feelings, our circumstances and who I loved. If I left her with what people liked to call hope and love, I’d be hurting her and myself. The false romance had to end. That was the best way to not hurt Lucia. Giving her false hope would be the most irresponsible thing I could do.
Lucia’s future was a path longer than mine. By having her hate me, she’d be able to forget me sooner. Despair was a better feeling than false hope.
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