Raphael Sorel's seven years war

Beloved

Since Raphael was sent in prison three days ago, Amy was ordered to stay in her room where she was also prisoner, well mostly were she was supposedly kept for her safety against angry peasants even if she was less hated than Raphael, and she was thinking about her father. The duke hasn't allowed her to see him since then and Amy worried very much. She thought that if he was executed, she would kill herself by jumping from the window; she was totally worried over her beloved father and didn't expect any good news. She kept staring at the window, motionless with her suicidal thoughts. Tears were rolling down her cheeks as she thought about her father and their soon fatal fate.

Suddenly someone knocked. Amy didn't want to see anyone so she remained motionless and said nothing.

-May I enter? Asked Siegfried from the other side of the door.

-Non.

-Okay. Then I'll come back in ten minutes.

-You won't be able to enter then either.

-Why?

-Because I want to see no one.

There was a silence then Siegfried spoke again.

-But I'll be back in ten minutes anyway. I have to speak to you.

Amy sighed and rolled her eyes. Annoying nuisance… But she suddenly thought about her father: What if something happened to him? She quickly ran to the door to open it.

-You may enter then. What do you want? Is my father alright?

She tried to speak with a cold tone but she couldn't hide the worry in her voice.

-Yes, your father is alright. It's about you that I come.

-Moi?

-Yeah. The servants told me you didn't eat your meals since three days. They brought it to you and when they came back, the plate was still full.

-So?

-You can't do that.

-What does it matter to you? Eat it if you want it.

She tried to slam the door in front of him but Siegfried quickly put his feet to block it then pushed the door and entered the room.

-I don't want it. It's about you. What are you doing?

-What do you care? You're not my father. Get lost. Only my father can tell me what to do and since he will… be…

Amy turned her head to hide her teary eyes before she looked again at Siegfried with a furious gaze and punched him in the stomach. Siegfried, who did not wear any armour, almost lost his breath with Amy's angry and surprisingly powerful blow.

-You told me you would not kill him!

Siegfried was stunned again at the accusation.

-… He… Your… your father is not dead…

Amy looked at him with an accusing stare.

-The duke wants to execute him!

-But Princess Hildegard will save him… Do not worry… Is that why you don't eat? You worry?

-What do you think? My father will die. If you thought I didn't worry… And if your princesse cared, then why didn't she free him? She doesn't care at all! She is just a pretentious liar! A heartless liar!

Siegfried frowned.

-Don't say that! Princess Hildegard is a noble woman! She always tries to do what is just and fair! She is good! I forbid you to insult her! Have faith in her! She won't let your father down! If she said she will save him, she will!

In fact, Siegfried kept hoping Hilde could do something but he did have some worries himself: Hilde confided in him last day that she wasn't certain she would be able to do anything: the duke seemed really determined to condemn Raphael for his crimes and she completely failed to convince him to let go of his prisoner. She was really down about it. But Siegfried knew she would continue to try and not give up.

-If my father dies, I kill myself.

-Don't do that! Your father would not want that! He is thinking about your well being more than about his own problems right now! He asks the guards about you each day, each time he sees them!

-I do not care what happens to me if he dies… If you are worrying about how I will take care of myself after that, know that I know how to fend for myself. It is only that I do not want to live after that. I have no taste for that. I don't care about life. Existence is futile and meaningless.

-Amy…

Amy coldly interrupted.

-Do not call me like that. Only my father may call me like that.

-I'm sorry.

Siegfried moved toward her and kneeled before her.

-But please, don't say things like you just said… That you will kill yourself… The princess will save him.

-Get out. If you have nothing good to say about my father, then go away. That I let myself die is none of your business. Nor your princess' business.

Siegfried sighed then suddenky asked:

-Do you want to see your father?

Amy looked at him coldly.

-Of course I wish to. A stupid question… He's the only one worthy of my attention.

-Well then, come with me.

-I thought I could not get out? Or see him?

-We'll be discreet.

And Siegfried tried to take Amy's hand to lead her outside but Amy backed away.

-Don't touch me.

Siegfried sighed.

-I have too. In front of the guards, I can't let you alone…

Amy grumbled as she let Siegfried take her hand then they both went out of the room. Indeed Amy was not permitted to go to the prisons, but Siegfried decided to take her there anyway. He would take the responsibility if they got caught. She had to see her father. He first told the guards at the door that he had to take her to the princess. Since he was often with the princess, they believed him. The guards really thought he had Hilde's trust. Siegfried and Amy then walked in the castle and discreetly sneaked into the prisons.


Raphael was sitting in the corner of his cell. Some rats were sometimes approaching him, even as close as to smell him but he didn't care. He was too deep into his thoughts. The last year's events and his worries for Amy were still haunting him. He was also worrying about the salvation of his soul: He wondered if he died with his wounded soul, would it do something special? He wondered if he would go to Hell for it or for what he did. Will the last rites do to save his soul? Was there a Catholic priest here? He had never bothered with that before… Was the purification ritual the same thing as Confession? He got purified… there was a priestess… even if not Catholic… So was he free from his crimes before God? Or just not a vampire anymore?

But he also still thought he could not die yet; Amy needed to be protected, to be loved… And he trusted no one to love her and care for her as he did… But yet, not certain at all for his life, he had to find a way to keep her safe without him…

All those problems worried him deeply and everything was bringing him down.

-Now, let me go!

Raphael suddenly recognized the cold feminine voice speaking outside of the cell. He quickly went to the small window of his cell door.

-What are you doing to my daughter?

Hearing the aggressive voice, Amy and Siegfried suddenly turned their head in surprise. Wondering with worry what was happening, Raphael asked again:

-Siegfried Schtauffen, what are you doing to my daughter?

Before Siegfried could answer, Amy ran to her father.

-Papa!

As Amy came toward him, Raphael would have loved to hold her protectively but this damn door was between him and his beloved daughter. Siegfried made a step toward Raphael and Amy. The worried father looked at him with a furious gaze. Intimidated by it, Siegfried stopped and tried to explain himself:

-I just held her hand to guide her through the prisons!

-You're putting her in prison too? Yelled Raphael who was furious and horrified.

-No! quickly answered Siegfried, who looked furtively behind him before he continued.

-… Don't speak too loudly, we are not supposed to be here… I brought your daughter here because she wanted to see you… We didn't know in which cell you were, I just wanted to hold her hand to guide her through the place…

Amy continued on a cold tone.

-… And I wanted him to let go of my hand.

Siegfried sighed before he addressed Raphael.

-We came because your daughter needed to see you and said she will kill herself if you…

He sighed again and looked disheartened.

-She didn't eat since three days! She was so sad without you. She said she wants to die if you die…

Raphael looked at Amy with a sad gaze.

-Why don't you eat, Amy?

Amy looked at Siegfried with an angry gaze to have informed her father about that while Raphael continued:

-Well, I know why but you must not let yourself die. I want you to live, no matter what happens to me… I would be sad if you throw your life away because I would have been gone… You are human again; you can go back among the humans!

-Peuh! Like I wish that…

Raphael sighed.

-You can have a normal life, my sweet butterfly! I really don't want you to die! You are young; you have life in front of you! Please for me, you must live! And make me proud!

-But… without you… I won't have… I don't care what I become if you die! I want to die with you!

-Non, Amy, do not say that anymore… When you were still vampire, I would have accepted but now you are human again… You have a chance to have a good life…

-Then I wish I still was a vampire if that is the way to stay forever with you!

-Amy! Do not say such a thing! You know I love you and I will always be with you whatever the way!

Amy began to sob. Feeling helpless, Raphael was having teary eyes too.

-Amy…

Not knowing what to say to reassure her, he tried to slip his hand through the bars to take his daughter's hand but the bar were too close together to permit him to slip more than his hand so Amy lifted her hand and took his hand in her own.

-I love you, Amy.

Holding her father's hand, Amy started to cry again. Seeing his daughter cry made Raphael cry too even if he tried not to show it in front of his daughter.

-Amy, do… do not cry…

-I love you papa!

-I adore you, Amy…

Meanwhile, Siegfried lowered his head; this scene really saddened him. He thought he should say something to give them hope, but he didn't know what. Amy would never listen to him; right now, she was telling her father how much she hated everybody else.

-I hate them all! I'll never forgive them for what they do to you!

-Amy…

Raphael held her hand more tightly, not knowing what to say to calm her growing revolt. He wanted Amy to be able to live without him. Of course, to leave her was more painful than anything but to see his daughter suffer and alienate herself from everyone because of it, was really distressing. Before that, he didn't mind that she was so reclusive, she had him, he had her, but now, she will be alone in the world… She needed to open her heart to someone else…

Raphael was himself revolted and angry but he tried not to show Amy, he had to give her a good example to reconcile her with the world she will be left in alone… He could not leave her daughter in such a revolted state… Raphael now realized he may not have done the right thing, raising her to scorn everybody… even if people very often deserved it in his opinion… But he knew there was some good people sometimes… He had been selfish keeping Amy to himself, now she had even more difficulties to socialize… He did not give the right example… He had been too antisocial himself… Now his daughter would have to face people… but she seemed to hide even more… She became too withdrawn… Still holding Amy's hand, he then addressed Siegfried:

-Merci, Siegfried, to have brought me my daughter… Merci for telling me about her, and care for her… It makes me feel better to know someone cares about her… I think I haven't confessed to you yet, but I am sorry for accusing you in the past. All the mean things I told you… All I did, you were not responsible like I accused you. It was Soul Edge's fault.

-Thank you for telling me that… Each day, I regret everything I did… Now, I'm so sorry about your troubles… It's still my fault… I'm sorry…

-Don't feel too bad… Yes, you did infect me with malfestation, but first, I didn't have to go for Soul Edge, it was my mistake and second, I still had my mind when I became vampire, well, most of it, I can't blame you for everything I did then. Of course, Soul Edge influenced me but you didn't control me… Soul Edge was controlling us both in a way…

-Thank you… You are really kind to tell me that. Huh… Raphael… I would also like to tell you that the princess really tries her best, she would like to free you but you must understand her… She has her kingdom… her duty… Its hard… It's not that simple for her…

-I know. I understand. But you have to understand me too… I'm a father… I worry about my daughter… If I was alone and about to be executed for my crimes, I couldn't care less about it, but… now… to know my daughter will be left alone…

-I understand and believe me, Princess Hildegard understands too…

Amy suddenly interrupted.

-Wait, what were you two talking about?

Amy wasn't sure of what she understood. She looked at Siegfried.

-Your fault? Responsible for what? You infected my father? I thought it was Nightmare…?

Siegfried looked at her with an extremely embarrassed gaze and lowered his head. Amy didn't know about him being Nightmare.

-It was Nightmare indeed, Amy… confirmed Raphael. Amy was now confused. They were speaking like if Siegfried was Nightmare…

-But then…? Wait, I don't understand… Isn't Nightmare destroyed? You destroyed him, papa!

-Yes, I did.

-But then, what…? Who…?

-Siegfried was the first Nightmare. There have been two Nightmares.

-What? He is Nightmare? He is the one who infected you?

Amy backed away from Siegfried while Raphael was stunned at her surprise.

-Yes, I thought you knew…

But he now remembered he never told her before. Amy was looking at him with her eyes widened.

-Why didn't you tell me before, papa?

-I didn't remember I haven't told you… and there was no use to tell it… My poor Amy, you just discovered… It must be a shock for you… I hated him so much too…

Siegfried was keeping his head down: He was very uncomfortable and embarrassed while Amy now looked at him with horror and disgust. She then addressed Siegfried in an angry tone:

-Why didn't you tell me, liar? When I asked you who you were, you could have tell me! You're all liars! Your Princesse and you! The priestess and the monk who told me everything would be fine! Everybody! Liars!

Siegfried looked even more embarrassed. Raphael tried to calm Amy.

-Amy… Please, listen to me, my beloved butterfly… Do you think I'm a liar too?

Amy turned her gaze toward her father and when she looked at him, her gaze softened.

-Not you, papa, of course not… But, how can you still speak to him?

-I told you, Amy, I hated him at first… but… I'll try to explain to you… It is a long story but I shall try to make it short. He is not Nightmare anymore. He never really was Nightmare…

Raphael looked at Siegfried who lifted his head looking surprised of this statement and continued.

-I hated him so much before, yes, but once I understood and accepted the facts… There are some things you must understand, Amy. This bo… man is also a victim of Soul Edge. You know, the day I killed Monsieur de Savoie because he tried to kill me? Well, that was the day this boy took Soul Edge and got possessed by it.

Siegfried lowered his head again in shame while Raphael continued.

-He made a lot of slaughters, but it was not his fault, he was possessed. When I tried to get the sword, I didn't fight Siegfried but Inferno, the evil spirit of Soul Edge, possessing Siegfried. So it was Inferno who infected me while using Siegfried's body to fight me. But Siegfried saved me. Apparently, he got his will back, well, just enough to stop Inferno from giving me the coup de grace. And it allowed me to hit Soul Edge's eye which made Nightmare flee in pain while I fainted. Then when I woke up, he was gone… and didn't come back to finish me off… So I could come back home.

Siegfried then spoke too.

-Nightmare didn't come back for you because you saved me too, Raphael… If it had not been for you, I would not have been able to get out of Soul Edge's grasp… Your courage and your determination during the fight, in front of death… I admired you, it gave me the strength to fight back to regain my body and stop my arm from killing you…

Raphael interrupted.

-You admired me?

-Yeah. You really have a lot of courage.

-Well, that is… Merci. That is very kind of you…

-But not only your courage helped me but the strike to Soul Edge's eye completely broke the hold Soul Edge had on me. I would not have been able to escape without you… Thank you. I can tell you now.

-So you saved me and I saved you…

-Indeed… In a way… Yes…

Amy looked at the two men and was surprised they seemed so friendly. But she could not forgive. Siegfried continued:

-But I'm sorry, Raphael, to not have been able to save you more… I tried to find you after I got my will back, I came back in the chapel, but you were gone.

-I would not have stayed one minute more in this damned place… As soon as I regained consciousness, I crawled out of there… I hate Ostrheinsburg… And to be honest, if I had seen you coming back toward me, I think I would have died in fear… added Raphael while chuckling.

-I'm sorry…

-It's alright…

Amy was still looking incredulously at her father.

-So… you forgive him, father?

-Yes. I told you, he is not an enemy… He is like us…

Raphael hoped he succeeded in calming Amy's anger and resentment. This was really the time Amy needed him more than ever… but he could not be there… If only she could have someone by her side… If she could accept someone… It pained Raphael to try to find someone else for Amy but since he could not accompany her any longer, she had to have someone. Raphael wanted to be the one with Amy, he was her father, but he had to be realistic: he may die soon… And if he did, Amy had to have someone. He had to let her go… She should not remain alone, angry and bitter at the world… But it also pained Raphael to try to send her away with somebody else… Nobody was trustable and worthy of Amy… Yet it would be worse for her if she was alone… Raphael addressed Siegfried.

-Siegfried… I do not know if you would accept but… Could I ask you something? If…

Raphael looked at Amy sadly, trying to see her reaction.

-… If something happened to me, could you protect Amy? Could you take care of her and protect her? You have been kind to her…

But before he could continue, he was interrupted by an outraged scream.

-What? You want him to take care of me?

-He is the only one I know who really cares about you, Amy! Him and this Setsuka you told me about, but I do not know where she is. The monk and the priestess were kind too, but they are gone, so I ask him…

-Papa! I do not need anyone! I only want you!

-But Amy, I have to prepare in case of bad news… I have to secure your future… in case…

-Non! I don't want anybody! I don't want you to die!

-Amy, you know I do not have the choice!

-I don't want him! He's Nightmare! I hate him! You may have forgiven him but I haven't! You helped him, you freed him, and he infected you! Everybody is disgusting here! Everything is so unfair! I'd rather be alone in the streets than with him! But I'd even rather be dead!

-Amy… please, listen to me… I do not want you to die… He is not an enemy…

-Well, enemy or not, I do not need a guardian. I will kill myself.

-Amy… please, do not say that anymore… A child is not supposed to die with her parents… Promise me you will survive and you will live…

Amy seemed frustrated and sulky.

-I don't want you to die papa!

-It is not for me to decide, Amy…

Amy started to cry again.

Siegfried was embarrassed while Amy and Raphael were discussing and Amy was completely refusing his help and rejecting his presence while her father was completely helpless in convincing her. But Siegfried also felt that he was not exactly the best person to take care of someone… especially not of Amy since it was his fault that they were into this trouble… Amy hated him more than anything now and Siegfried understood. Raphael really had to be desperate to ask him… He then told Raphael:

-Huh… Raphael… If Amy accepts my help, I will help her. I swear I will protect your daughter from any danger.

Raphael weakly smiled.

-Merci, Siegfried.

He then tried to convince Amy again but then two guards came.

-You're not supposed to be here! Get out!

-Just a moment, please… asked Siegfried as Amy and Raphael were still holding each other's hand and talking together. But at the guards' insistence, they had to go, leaving Raphael alone in his cell after Amy promised him at least to not kill herself and to eat something. Once his daughter and Siegfried were gone, Raphael fell on his knees and asked out loud:

-Why are you doing this to me? This is really the worst torture…


In the courtyard, Siegfried wanted to make up things between him and Amy.

-Amy…

-I told you not to call me like that.

-Then how?

-Mademoiselle Sorel.

-Okay, mademoiselle Sorel. Look, if you do not want my help I understand but it would take some worry off your father's shoulders. I swore to him I would protect you and I will.

-You will protect me from myself?

-Please, stop this! Your father asked you not to do it! Will you respect his wishes?

Amy said nothing. She then asked after some time:

-… If… I accept… Could… Could I go see my father again tomorrow if… he is not… executed yet?

-Yes. You will. He won't be executed. Don't worry. But like your father asked you, you have to eat now.

Amy nodded and let herself be led to the kitchen by Siegfried to eat something.

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