Angels Can't Die

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Chapter 34

Rogue sighed as she watched the tribal women fetch water on their heads. Everything here seemed so peaceful, so unrealistic. Their husbands were of fighting a war, and how could they sit here. The very thought of Aerys and Eris fighting made Rogue gnash her teeth in anger. How could they leave her like that? How could they be so heartless.

She had dragged herself outside the hut to sit and watch, but there seemed to be nothing to see, except for the children playing with sticks and stones.

Rogue stared into the forest. Tomorrow, when she was better, she would head towards Ashanti. Even if she couldn't fight, she wanted to pick up the pieces of her father’s past and put them together. Surely there was something in his room that would help her know him better.

Rogue had thought about this last night, as she realized her father wasn't the man she knew him to be. She hoped holding the things he held, sleeping in the bed in which he slept would help her remember him much better, and so she would go to Ashanti and find out her father's past and try to scrounge for any diary or letters he might have written.

Rogue realized that even if one of the two died, she wouldn't be aware. She would find her father, and then find Aerys and Eris. She wondered how the battle was going, and hoped that both of them were alive.

Uncertainty and doubt gnawed at her mind, as she wished she hadn't gone into the hut. Her legs were much better now, and she was able to walk. She had dressed her hand burns with cloth and they didn't seem to show. She could cover them when she walked, and so it would be just right to make her move the next day. She would first go to her hut and then move forward.

The entire day passed fast as Rogue made preparations to move ahead. She packed ointments and multiple dressings so that she could keep tending to her wounds.

In the night, all the women and children gathered around a fire, and Rogue dwindled on the sides. She still couldn’t bring herself to move closer the fire. However, much she wanted to listen to the stories these women shared, she had to get going. She ate quickly and moved to her hut to get some rest. She lay down on her bed and looked up.

She wondered where Eris and Aerys were and hoped they were okay. She soon slept, Aerys and Eris commanding most of her thoughts as she was worried about them.

In the back of her mind was her father, as she wanted to find out more about him and what he was like before and his feelings. She also wondered what was so special about their family that the witch would specifically require her blood.

The next morning, Rogue picked up her bag and set out quietly, trying not to wake anyone. She walked into the forest once more. Her legs ached, but shed have get at least a bit deeper before she could rest again. She looked around her, keeping a watch for any animals of any other forces that may attack her. She couldn't afford anything now. She could barely walk, fighting was far away. She was literally dragging her feet along, and she soon stopped for a rest once she was quite deep into the forest.

She sat down on a rock, tired. She wondered what was going on. Was the battle still taking place? Was the king alive? She hated being left in the dark like this. Rogue dressed her burns, wincing as she rubbed some paste on it. The paste had been given to her by a tribal woman and so far, it was very helpful as it stopped the wound from stinging.

She had learnt a lot about the tribals, had even heard a few of their stories and their songs. Even though she hadn’t been able to understand them, the enthusiasm and fervour was enticing, and the way in which the woman said them was eye catching. She had listened with rapt attention.

Rogue thought as she walked about everything they had done. They had done so much together only to be separated at the final ultimatum, at the point she had worked so hard to get to. Oh if only she hadn’t gone into the hut. But there was no point in remorse as what was done was done and she had been trying to help someone. How was she to know the wicked witch was going to be there?

She thought about their planning, all their discussions and battle strategies. She had been an integral part of the plan, and she was supposed to be a part of the team that would be sent to assassinate the king. It was not to be. Everything bad had happened to her, bad luck and death walked hand in hand behind her, and Rogue wondered when something good in her life would take place.

Whenever she got to close to something, she lost it. She just hoped she could locate here father’s room and find documents or papers that would have some answers for her.

The sun was high up in the sky, as Rogue slowly trudged through the forest. She hoped to make it to her house before nightfall. Oh it would be good to go home at last. It had been a long while, and at last Rogue could go to sleep on her own cot. She knew things wouldn’t be the same as there was no Aerys but the very fact of going home lifted her spirits.

Suddenly, Rogue heard a soft growl. In the distance and looked up to see a leopard on a tree branch. No, this was not what she needed now, she groaned as she remained silent, hoping it wasn’t hungry. She remained silent and still, and it soon went away bored. She was safe, and it had been a close one. Rogue had to get out of the forest before nightfall or else other animals would come for her.

She increased her pace, and could soon see her hut in the distance. She ran forward at last and opened the creaky door that she had used so many times. She took in a deep breath, taking in the scent of home at last. She had waited ages to come back and she was finally here. She stepped inside, taking in everything, feasting her eyes on the walls, on the chairs, on the tables, on every single small thing there. She feared she might never come back, and she wanted to spend one last night here. She sank down by the fireplace, tears filling her eyes as she felt nostalgic. She thought about her time with Aerys here. Sitting at the fireplace, sharing each other’s warmth, simply happy. It was all her fault. She had lost all of it. She thought of how after a day’s work she’d return home, she had always loved the feeling of calmness and tranquillity that filled her when she came back. She slowly ran her hand across the floor. Everything seemed the same, and Rogue couldn’t help but sob. It looked as if they had never left. She could still see the mugs they had placed on the table before leaving.

She leaned against the wall as she felt herself crumbling on the inside as well as the outside. She wished Aerys could be by her side now. She sobbed harder as she realized Aerys might even be dead. She had never even got to say goodbye.

After a while, she rose wiping her face. It was time to go to bed she thought sadly. Tomorrow she would make a move to the city. She lay down on the soft mattress after dressing her wounds. There was not a moment when she didn’t regret her actions. Her own father, she had killed her own father. She had chosen her faith over the man who had raised her and given her everything she had. She had killed the person who made her the person she was. Her friends may have forgiven her, but she hadn’t forgiven herself. She still hated herself every single day. She woke up with shudders, she always had nightmares about him. She had never told anyone about this, but one of her common nightmares was when Rogue was in her father’s place and her friends stabbed her. She tried to push the morbid thoughts out of her head, but she couldn’t help it.

Being home should have made her happy, but she couldn’t help feeling sad and nostalgic. Her home revoked old memories and made her wish she could go back to the times when she was happy and had everything she wanted. She had led a carefree life with no worries and she wished she could go back, but there was no turning now. She sighed as she tossed and turned in bed. Sleep just wouldn’t come, but she had to try as it was the only option she had.

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