Eris didn't need to say anything, but the devastated looks on their faces when he reached were enough to keep him shut for a while.
The feelings of hate and anger went out of his head as grief filled it. It was now that he was really hit with the animosity of the crime the king had committed. It was now that Eris realized how he should have tried to stop the gruesome act. It was now that Eris realized that this was all his fault. His cowardliness had failed them all.
“Rogue, Aerys...” Eris started. But he couldn't do this.
He felt as if Aerys' brothers blood was on his hands. It was all his fault. And it was up to him to prevent further killings and sacrifices. He would have to learn how to be brave, and he would have to learn how to fight. But first he would have to help these two humans he had brought so much grief upon.
Eris noticed Rogue. Tears filled Rogue's eyes. All he wanted to do was console the two of them. Say things would be better. But he couldn't bring himself to do it. He couldn't bring himself to receive their disappointed, grief stricken faces. For the first time Eris felt fear so strong. It came like a wave, filling up his mind and clouding his senses.
Eris then looked at Aerys, who was slumped onto the ground, his back against a tree. The blank look sent chills into Eris' body. It was the look of a broken man. A man who had lost everything. Eris could feel the grief, more like see it even though Aerys was blank. Aerys' eyes were filled with grief, and he stared ahead possibly reminiscing memories.
The feeling of despair added to fear was making Eris desperate. They had to something about Satanic followers, the demon. But for that they needed allies, and army of a band of people that would help them. He had to find the Anti Satanists. The people who would help fight the king. But first he needed to learn how to fight, and he had to get a weapon.
They would have to get out of the forest and find shelter and a kingdom first. Over there, they could set about finding people. But first, he would have to recount the tale of Aerys' brother’s death.
“How did he die?” Aerys asked Eris in an emotionless voice.
The time had come, he would have to explain the details.
Eris pictured the gruesome scene and started. “It's hard to describe the scene, but your brother was killed in a satanic ritual. He was sacrificed to Satan along with two other boys and three girls. Their throats were slit.”
Aerys groaned. “I’m going to kill that bloody king and his entire cult. You see.”
Eris was nodding. “I'm going to help, but first we need to learn to fight and also find good weapons.” And then to Rogue he said, “That dagger of yours won't help against him, hey have swords and a lot of followers. We need an army.”
“This is all your fault.” Aerys started but was stopped by Rogue. “He couldn't do anything”
Eris knew this was coming.
“It was my fault. I should have done something.” Eris started but was stopped by Rogue.
“The past is past. Let’s work towards the future. We have all sinned sometime or the other. But let’s work together to work against the evil. Fighting between ourselves isn't going to help. We need to work together. He needs us and we need him. Admit it. So let’s just work together and find a way out of this cursed forest.”
Eris and Aerys stared at Rogue. She had a point there. They had to work together to make it out and defeat the damned king. They had to work together.
“Let’s do this.” Eris said and with that the three of them joined hands in unison, a final stand. A final stand to defeat the devil.
Night had fallen quickly, and it was time for rest. Eris went to his usual position on top of the tree and kept a watch as Rogue and Aerys lay down on a bed of leaves.
As he stared at them, he suddenly realized that Rogue and Aerys were the closest he had to friends. The closest he had ever been attached to any human beings.
He had always thought of friendship, love and other human feelings as trivial, but now he was beginning to realize that there was more to humans than the occasional scuffle. Friendship wasn't just for the sake of it. It was for the love of it. Having someone who cared for you, who wanted you alive, who depended on you was pleasantly different feeling in the good way.
Love on the other hand was yet unknown, there were many types of love. Eris was yet to discover them.
Rogue and Aerys had depended on him, and yet he had let them down. Their disappointed expressions had made Eris wish he was sinking into the ground. He had dreaded facing them, and more than their anger, their disappointment was more shocking. They had believed in him, and he had let them down.
Rogue snored softly as she tossed and turned. She was probably having nightmares. Rogue was someone who had the capacity to forgive and forget. The first thing that had come to his mind when he saw her was a broken soul. Her hair, her gaunt face, all of that told a tale about horror. She looked broken, and she was broken. Her parent’s dead, her family gone. She had been part of the cause of her own misery, and yet she had endured. She had assassinated her father under the influence of a satanic cult, and yet she had risen up strong. She had held her head up high, albeit with tears but high nevertheless. She had struggled on, and on, and shown her strength, foregoing the beliefs and ideologies she had always believed in. She was a remarkable example of how the broken can rise again. She had given up everything, everything in her life, leaving no traces behind. Aerys was the last link to her old life. To the life she wanted to forget. She was a person whom Eris knew he had lots to learn from.
Aerys on the other hand was also remarkable, though a different kind. He too was broken now, but only now. Ever since Eris had met Aerys, he had felt the vibe of a strong young man. A man who was ready to face the horrors of the world ahead, a man who was ready. He had given up everything, leaving behind his old life to be with Rogue. His selflessness surprised Eris. Never before had he seen someone so committed to something. Never before had he seen a man who had so easily forgiven and helped someone to forget. He was like the handsome prince of the books, except he had no lands.
Eris sighed as he looked at the two young people in front of him. They were so much better than him and yet they were younger. Age didn't contain them as they displayed a sense of understanding even normal adults wouldn't have had.
He was lucky to be in their presence, lucky to be their friend. Lucky to be part of the band of three. He would do anything to help them. Anything at all.