In the Healer's Block inside the city of Gerodia, two priestesses garbed in hooded white robes and white masks hastily threw orders and demands to their assistants. They were doing everything in their power, from traditional healing methods to ancient healing spells, to save this baby who was brought in earlier by a panicking father.
But sadly, nothing had worked as they ran out of options, forcing them to apologetically give up on the child.
Silence filled the whole room as one of the priestesses removed her mask, sorrow shown on her wrinkled features.
"I should go," she said in a slight whisper.
Everyone else nodded. The priestess nodded back and turned, sauntering through the curtain and into the waiting area.
In there, there were 3 benches lines up on the West wall. Only one man was occupying one of it. Sitting on the edge, rubbing his hands together, and constantly licking his lips. These subtle actions were signs of anxiety and impatience.
She gazed him from head to toe. Garbed in long black coat, this man possessed dark hair, which was tied into a long tail, emerald eyes, and fair skin. Judging from the slender, muscled frame and the lack of lines around his eyes, he was definitely a young man, perhaps no more than his mid 20's.
As soon as his eyes caught her, the priestess wanted to hide in a dark corner and shed tears for his son. With two breaths, she reluctantly approached him and carefully told him the news.
"N-no..." He tightly crossed his arms against his stomach, as if trying to resist killing her. "Are you sure you did everything?"
"Everything, but nothing worked, and it pains me to even tell you." She tightened her grip around her mask. "I'm truly sorry for your loss, Keith."
"Gods, don't let me head home like this. My wife, she's bedridden, and her health affected the child. It's no surprise, but still..." He placed his head on his hands, sighing with tears welling in his eyes. "What will Serah say?"
"If there's anyway I could help--"
"No, just..." He looked up and met her gaze, tears rolling down. "Just give me my son. I'll bury him myself."
The thought of burying your own flesh and blood was akin to physical pain. As Keith stood, his body felt weak and heavy, like he had worked in the farms the whole day with no rest.
The priestess nodded, going back into the room and returned a few minutes later with the baby wrapped in white cloth, cradled in her arms.
"Cullen," Keith said his son's name, reaching out. Once the baby was given, the unusual weight of him in Keith's arms, the head and arms that no longer moved, made the young man's heart sink into his stomach. Despite being a veteran, this death was the most unbearable.