Farewell, My Friend



  • There was a very obvious reason why Peace chose the Plains to build her home. It was the tranquility in the sight of tall grass swaying to the cool afternoon breeze, in the scent of flowers permeating the air from the seemingly endless fields, and it was something that couldn’t be experienced anywhere else in Valcrest. There was grass in the forest, there were flowers, sure, but it wasn’t the same. Everything there was hidden in shadows, buried within the depths of the land itself. Its beauty was shrouded in mystery, whispered into the hearts of mortals, but often imperceptible to their eyes. The plains were open land, vulnerable to the touch of the elements. The fields basked in the golden rays of the Sun, glowed silver under the influence of Moon’s light, danced with the wind’s cold touch... Even amongst ruins, even in the wake of War’s destruction, the Plains still breathed Life. And the forest... The forest whispered Death. There was beauty in that as well, there was Peace in that as well, but it wasn’t the kind of beauty most people would understand. No. It took a special kind of soul to endure the weight of such a reality. It wasn’t meant for everyone.

    An assassin’s footsteps, although usually light, felt inexplicably heavier crossing those sunbathed fields, and uncharacteristically brutal while crushing innocent blades of grass against the cold hard ground. More so than any other, this one assassin felt even heavier and more brutal than she normally would. The weight wasn’t in her physical body, but rather a burden on her soul. The silence, the tranquility, and the sheer beauty of her surroundings made a mockery of the inevitability of her actions. In the end, no amount of light was enough to obfuscate the sheer darkness of some situations. No amount of truth, no level of justification, would make light of a friend forced to hunt down a friend. It was inevitable. Like the pull of gravity acting upon the sand falling from an hourglass; unavoidable.

    She stopped in the middle of the fields, breathing in the scent of lilacs and feeling the wind’s soft touch. She wasn’t seeking peace there, only fighting the pull of gravity. It was pointless. She took one more deep breath and pulled back the hood of her cloak, running her fingers through her long brown hair and setting it completely loose in the wind. The sun felt warmer on her skin now, and the breeze felt colder, causing a small shiver along the length of her spine. It felt pleasant. Soothing. Sobering. She wasn’t just some girl with a heavy heart, she was the hand of Death. There was peace in that as well.

    The wind picked up as the Sun began to lower in the South. Heavy boots took their first steps across the borders of a small village and a cloaked figure drew the curious eyes of the children playing in the center square. The smallest of them; a little blond girl, smiled and waved before being ushered home by a watchful parent. The assassin smiled at the scene. Only a child’s innocence would smile and wave at Death when it stepped into their home. The adults were wiser, however, and slowly but surely, the whole of the village retreated into their homes. They knew why she was there and much like the assassin herself, they knew this was something beyond their control. Peace demanded acceptance after all. The inevitability of fate wasn’t something to be fought but embraced. The assassin had always admired that about these people. They knew that sometimes the only possible course of action was to stay your hands and avert your eyes. And there was nothing wrong with that. Not everything needs to be a battle.

    The heavy boots finally stopped. Dark blue eyes scanned the surface of one particular door. The house to which that door belonged was something small and simple. Irregular stones made up the walls, dark wood framed the door and windows, and straw covered the roof. Without even trying, the assassin could feel the signs of life beyond the wooden door. Light footsteps grazing stone and the sweet musical humming of a very familiar voice slowly added to the heavy burden of responsibility. She pressed her right palm against the door, a heavy breath pushing its way from her lungs, her fingers grazed the wood in a gentle caress as they curled into a fist. She knocked once, her left hand curling around the hilt of a dagger.

    The door creaked and slowly parted until fully open. The only thing separating blade from flesh now was an empty threshold. An invisible line waiting to be crossed. The dark blue eyes met a much lighter pair of blues. One stood in the dim light of the moon, the other flickered under the light of a fireplace. Words passed behind them, between them, accusing betrayal, demanding answers, shouting curses... Begging forgiveness. None were spoken because, in the end, they changed nothing. Two full spectrums of emotion conveyed in one moment of heavy pained silence, the dark blue eyes fell into a state of resignation, the light blue ones into one of peaceful acceptance. The woman who answered the door retreated a few steps into the house as a sign of welcome. The heavy boots crossed the threshold and the door closed behind them, fingers tightened around the hilt of the dagger. There, flickering in the firelight, stood the smiling figure of a dear old friend, the stone-faced silhouette of a heavy-hearted girl, and the life-shattering burden of inevitability. The hand of fate. The sand in the bottom of the hourglass.

    The blade pierced skin. Sunk into soft flesh. Blood permeated the air with the unmistakable scent of death. Dark blue eyes shut as the dagger twisted, the assassin now heavy with not only the weight of her actions but the physical burden of a limp body. The physical burden of a fallen friend. She retracted the blade and let it fall to the ground. The sound of metal hitting stone echoed and bounced off the walls around them. She cradled the dying woman in her arms and gently lowered her to the ground. Ragged breaths resonated, growing ever weaker, casting the last shreds of life from a weary body. Light blue eyes pierced into the assassin’s dark gaze without a shred of resentment, only that same acceptance mixed with a shred of sympathy. And it hurt, but there was Peace in that as well.

    Seconds passed slower than ever before until one last breath faded into a dead silence. The hand that once held the dagger now extended, shaking, to gently close a pair of dead blue eyes. The assassin retrieved her fallen dagger, sliding it carefully in its sheath, and leaned into her now deceased friend, briefly pressing her lips to the woman’s forehead. Of all the words never spoken between them, only one now remained. “Farewell, my friend,” she whispered.

    The assassin rose from her knees and pulled her hood over her eyes once again, a bittersweet smile concealed under familiar shadows. It wasn’t what she wanted, but it was closure. And there was definitely some small amount of Peace in that.

    The left hand now reached for the door but froze with a tense grip on the handle, every part of the assassin's body held firmly in place by the most unexpected of sounds: the high-pitched sound of a wailing child. The realization shook every last shred of resolve holding her steady, crushing it under the weight of a burden far heavier than Death...

    Life.

    =======================================

    So. This is a thing. That I wrote. :|

    I'm gonna be honest, I random-wrote the first half of this at 5 am this morning and it's not at all my usual style. So it feels like it's trying to be a lot more poetic than I'm comfortable being. I kept it up mostly because I thought it best to not really name or fully describe the two characters involved. Besides, if I use this in the future it'll probably be a dream added to one of the character development chapters in Shadows Rise. ^.-

    Musical inspiration for this (I don't know if the song fully fits the situation, but I did write to it):



  • In order of importance:

    1. wait she had a baby? that's awkward. (no I loved that twist)

    2. I guess now I have to listen to Crywolf, except it's late here, and I have things to do in the morning -.-

    @Blackbird said in Farewell, My Friend:

    The wind picked up as the Sun began to lower in the South.

    1. Do they have a different orientation for directions, or does the sun set in the South in Valcrest? I had to literally pause and highlight that when I read it so I didn't forget to ask.

    Actually the song kinda fits? I thought that at the line "You got what you wanted, / But not what you needed" and listening to it I can imagine it describing both the context and the characters' emotions in the scene itself.

    There was a lot of new info on Valcrest (for me) because you took a more separated approach when you were writing it which was really interesting for me.



  • @typical_demigod

    1. Yeah, that was just half the awkward involved in this situation. >.>

    2. Good luck, my friend. :)

    3. Yes, the Sun sets in the south in Valcrest, behind the mountains. And I love how you picked up on that because I like to insert that fact in random places and NO ONE has ever brought it up before. lol

    And yeah the song does kinda fit. :/


  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    I really loved this piece! I think "trying to be a lot more poetic" than you are comfortable with actually quite suits the scene. And it's ok not to describe the characters involved, it works really well.

    The only thing I would point out, but I think is minor, is that while the opening descriptions are great, it feels a little bit like you are delaying the action or the core of the scene. Just a little bit, not that much.

    Otherwise, when you said you are going to use it as a dream, does it mean it never happened, or it's some sort of remorseful or prescient dream? I think this bit would make a great story on its own, I would love to read about the characters that are involved, maybe a back story for the mother and how she abandoned a live of killing and got the kid, or the story of how they were friends and what drove Death to kill her (or both!).



  • @jaycano said in Farewell, My Friend:

    Otherwise, when you said you are going to use it as a dream, does it mean it never happened, or it's some sort of remorseful or prescient dream?

    This actually happened, yes. The character that is involved in Shadows Rise is the child from the end of the scene, though. So she doesn't actually witness any of this. However, she does have the ability to see into other people's memories. And this would be a dream she has the night after she's told this story. Basically, her mom will tell her about having to kill her birth mother and then deciding to raise her. It's literally the most awkward 'you're adopted' conversation you can imagine. :/

    The only thing I would point out, but I think is minor, is that while the opening descriptions are great, it feels a little bit like you are delaying the action or the core of the scene. Just a little bit, not that much.

    Oh yeah, this is probably because I didn't know what this scene would be until I woke up later and got back to it. It started as my half-asleep brain randomly going off the above-mentioned music. ^^


  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    Kudos to your half-asleep brain! It's a very cool scene. Shadows Rise, the whole Valcrest and the Wolfpack and Wolf Hunters are looking more and more promising! :)

    It's literally the most awkward 'you're adopted' conversation you can imagine. :/

    I think awkward doesn't even begin to describe it xD



  • @jaycano said in Farewell, My Friend:

    Kudos to your half-asleep brain! It's a very cool scene. Shadows Rise, the whole Valcrest and the Wolfpack and Wolf Hunters are looking more and more promising! :)

    Thank you. ^_^


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