Watering pedals, I focus on him.
“I do not know to this day who killed my father… I never saw his blade enter my father’s flesh. I hunted him and his clans, I murdered so many of them, I lost myself in the process… I do not even know who I am anymore, hah. But as for Strano, I never found him,”
“He always slips through my fingers,” He bends the memories away, “I miss him, s-so badly, all this time I waste trying to revenge him, I waste so much time hunting him I lost sight of what life has to offer…”
I cannot imagine going through something like that, it’s heartbreaking. “I am sorry, Cardio, I never knew…” He pressures the hold on my hand.
“You know I spend years trying to find the bastard that killed my father, nobody else cared, not even my own brothers, they moved on… the only one left with the regret, the revenge, the memory, are this moron,”
I try my best to comfort him, to keep him calm, it is not easy, but it is all I can offer to console him, “It was not your fault dear, Cardio, you could not have known,”
He peeks at me, “I-I did…” His tone sounds sour and dry to me, the pressure he has on my hand stays there, “W-what do you mean? You knew who was going to attack?”
He turns to me this time, not bothering to remove the remaining tears.
“Before the war… no, a few weeks earlier, I was minding my business in the tavern one night…”
--Draining myself in my beer is all I can think of, I care little for their spitting laughter and anger, “Are you interested in a job I have in mind?” I peer at the drunk blond-haired man before me, “No,”
He takes his seat, slamming his mug against the table, beer splatters everywhere, leaving his mug half-empty and my frustration through the roof.
“I said no, so back off,” He swings his finger in the air, “Just hear me out kind Sir,” He chuckles toothless at me. I look at him blankly, “I have a job which can make you wealthy, walking out of this one can change a life forever,”
“What job?” He grins once again toothless, “You want in?” I throw myself back in the chair, “What are the details?” “It involves killing a few chumps but I am sure y-you can handle yourself… can you, not kind Sir?”
My patience is not one of my best traits, and this blond-haired man are testing it, he laughs again and shift a little forward, moving his two fingers.
“Just get to the point,” “Jeez, it is a farm, a land which we are going to raid at dawn, we need a few strong chumps to handle the leader. The land is full of gold, lots of gold,”
I peer at him with attention, “Who is the leader?” He also peers at me suspiciously, “We rarely deal with names, if we get a job, we do not complain,”
I snap his shirt and pull him over the table, along with my stand, “Give me the fuc-ing name,” He panics in my strength, “Okay, okay, Desmond Scott,”
His skin lands on the ground and my knuckle joins his red substance, I stomp my foot on his stomach, “You want to raid my father’s land?”
“Y-your father?” I turn to the crowd, battling their weapons position, “None of you will leave here tonight,”
I focus on him open-minded; everything enters my mind all at once, the things he did, just because his father left him aside, he is the finest warrior there is and his father cares little about that.
“I should have protected him, I should have killed Strano right there when father told me too, but no, I wanted to be like father, walk his footsteps, kill with his sword, but I knew father cared little about that, I could never live to his standards,”
I squeeze his hand for comfort, I never knew Cardio went through so much just to prove his worth.
“And after everything, I still returned to the bar…”
--“Son, you look like you could use an ear,” I peek at the elderly woman taking a seat before me, “I am fine, thank you,” She shakes her head, swinging her index finger, “Nobody is fine dear, we all need one sometimes,”
I peer at her demanding, rattling voice, I can see the color in her eyes have faded, her wrinkling skin shakes variously, “I do not need a listener, I am perfectly fine by myself, thank you,” She takes her stand and stops next to me,
“Your father was exactly like you, stubborn yet naive, he lost his own thoughts in the battles no man can control, but to say one is fine, is far from the truth,”
I snap at her choice of words, “You knew my father? How do you know of me?” She smiles gently at me and within seconds… her figure changes into a younger version of herself.
“The seeing one knows everything dear, I can help you cure those problems, I can help you fight those battles,” “How can you possibly help me with that?”
Her presses pressure into my shoulder and something changes inside of me, my anger became me, I became this special side…”
I pull away from her, almost tripping in my stand, “What have you done to me?” “What I did to you father, with this gift you may find it to bring you luck or disasters. Either way, it will help you in the battles you can’t oversee, but know this son, you can never run away from this,”
I battle my look, “W-what special side?” He blinks the confusing thoughts away and make the stained wall his focus, “I rather not get into that princess, some other time,”
Key rattles outside the door, fear tickle down my back, I never imagined myself to hide behind a man I once knew as a mere child, “Stay behind me, princess,”
I peek at the door swinging open, “The boss wants to see you two, come on lads,” Cardio keeps his statue, not bothering to move, “Are you, death? I gave you an order,”
The figure stomps toward us, the closer he gets, the more I panic but without warning, Cardio snaps his neck and slams his head into a crack.
The figure falls from his hands, “Come on, princess,” I glance back at the figure, shivering… “Dawn,” I follow behind him tightly…
My hair pulls back against the wall in a moan, “C-Cardio…” My screaming echoes throughout the walls, he turns around and fights against the figure, I flutter toward the scene playing before me, “Damn it,”
He sweeps me, and start running, “Stay with me, Dawn,” They threaten to surrender, “Almost there,” He kicks the bars of the sewer gate open, and before the hands can grab us… air flies past us. “Cardio!”
I flutter toward the sensation of icy water slamming against me, pain bolts through every part of my bruised skin, “C-Cardio…” My knees bugle on the warm sand, “C-Cardio… help…”
I peek at Cardio running my way, he shifts next to me, “Dawn…” “W-we jumped off a… why would you do that?” “I just saved you and this is the thanks I get?”
“Where are we?” He helps me upward, squeezing my little air out, “Dawn, forgive me, I am a terrible friend and an even worst warrior, I-I should be protecting you but instead…”
I pull away from him and cuff his wet cheekbones, “Cardio…” “No, no, I mean it, I am horrible at keeping promises,”
“Calm down… you are not horrible, and neither are you a terrible warrior, you are my best friend, we have been through a lot, Cardio, I can never ask for a better protector,”
I can see the drowning in his eyes from my word choice, he exhales in a weak smile, “Yes, you are right princess, thank you,”
He helps me stand and scan the surrounding area, “If I am corrected, there should be a set of farmhouses not far from here, but we have to pass through the forest,”
“N-no, Cardio…” “It is not so bad princess; I know the stories but what other choice do we have?” “Not again…” I swallow the knot in my throat, “This is where w-we… no, I cannot go through it again, Cardio,”
He cuffs my cheekbones, “We will just run through it, no matter what, we do not separate hands,” Even for a warrior I can see he fears the forest just as much as me, I do not want to know what is in there and I do not want to lose him again.