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01-06-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Default Chapter 6: Reminiscence

Erina disappeared from Heku's sight. She ran through the forest, tears beginning to fall from her face once more. Her heart still felt heavy from Heku's choice to stay in Lumisia. However, a strong feeling of determination rose up from her stomach, beguiling her into persuading Heku once more. Yet her next attempt, she must force Heku into a corner: A corner that will place running away with Erina the lesser of two evils.
Why did she suddenly feel such a strong attachment to Heku? She normally did not harbor such feelings towards him in the first place. She though of Heku as a very friend, and almost like a younger brother because they had such a close relationship. Perhaps she saw a tinge of her deceased father in Heku's personality: Unusually cold, yet very kind. Inhumanly powerful and smart, but gentile and modest.
Nevertheless, Erina continued to run, drying her tears of anguish from her face. She continued to run though the emerald green, forested trail outlining the town. Shots of gunfire echoed though the woods. The firefight sounded worse; Erina needed to rush, unless she wished for more innocent people to die.
She continued to run, seeing Vesisian soldiers clad in their red uniforms. They stopped firing at the sight of Erina, somewhat puzzled by her plight.
"Retreat! Retreat!" She yelled.
The men said nothing, only following her in silent agreement. The warriors, strangely enough, wished to run away from the field of battle instead of fighting with vehemence.
Swiftly, the men retreated from the forested town of Roman. Successfully escaping from the Lumisians, Erina and the other soldiers let out a sigh of relief.
"Where to go from here?" Erina grumbled to herself, still in a stupor of grief. "To Lumisade? Or to Vesisade?"
A train came towards a stop near Erina and her soldiers. Almost unwillingly, Erina boarded the train car, strangely filled with Vesisian troops. She spied Kalech, practically half-asleep, on the same booth that they conversed on before she departed. She sat in front of Kalech, startling him awake. He yawned in mild contentment, asking, "So how'd Heku react?"
She did not reply. Her face was full of despair, stained by her many tears.
Kalech shook his head in resignation. "It's his choice, but he'll come around." He spoke comfortingly.
She smiled wryly. She asked, "So do we assist Nuage and the others?"
"Not today." He replied.
Erina scowled in disgust. "But they might be-"
"Back in Vesisade."
"It's all a plan, Erina: First, we make a quick, taunting sucker punch to Lumisade. In reaction, they will send up a squad -namely Heku- and try to return the favor. When Heku goes along with the plan-"
"He already said no to me once, Kalech. What makes you think that he will concede the next?!" Erina argued. The conversation she had with Heku still replayed in her mind. His tone of voice, the amount of anguish he felt, all replayed in Erina's mind.
"And what gives you the right to question me?! Is it because I cannot conform to your ideals? What the hell makes you think that you can change my mind?!"
She clenched her fists, avoiding eye contact with Kalech. She took a deep breath. She sighed loudly, slumping in her chair. She slowly closed her eyes, comforted by the undulating movements of the train riding to Vesisade.
A dark void suddenly surrounded Erina, then a flash of light shined before her eyes. She found herself in the snowing, empty town of Serdin. She looked at her surroundings, spying a familiar row of houses looking over a seemingly endless, crystal blue sea. A salty breeze accompanied by small crystals of diamond dust wafted Erina's curled, golden hair and her long, silvery skirt. A sense of painful nostalgia shot her heart.
Her father left for war on this day.
"Daddy, please!" A young girl pleaded.
She immediately looked towards the sound of the young girl's cry. Erina froze in fright. It was her as a child, begging her father not to leave for war.
"Now, Eleanor." Her father tenderly said, brushing a tear off the child's face with his thumb. "You mustn't cry. I will only be gone for one month, and then I will be back in time for your birthday."
Erina recognized her father's actions, but in the form of Hekutaa, tenderly brushing tears off her face with the same look of compassion and grief.
"Now be a good girl and keep your mother company. I will be back as soon as possible, and I'll send you a letter the second I arrive!" Her father continued.
"Daddy!" The child cried, embracing her father one last time.
Erina felt her heart shatter. She suddenly understood why she never cared about Heku, and why she suddenly felt such an attachment to him: He seemed like a reincarnation of her father.
The poignant scene in front of Erina suddenly faded away, switching to another heartbreaking scene. Erina appeared in front of a small living room in a small house overlooking the Serdin ocean. A sharp cry echoed from the room. A child ran away from a letter, her mother running to comfort her. Erina walked towards the letter, reading,
"To the family of Albert Fidèle,
We regret to inform you that Albert Fidèle had been killed in the line of battle on December 12th, while valiantly protecting a group of innocent civilians from harm's way. We truly regret Albert's Death. Because of his heroic efforts, he has posthumously risen two ranks and has received the title of "Sirius." His body will be sent back to Serdin, where your family can either cremate or bury his remains.
Our deepest condolences,
General Michael "GM" Phoenix, commanding officer of Albert
P.S. To Miss Eleanor Fidèle, your late father wishes you to have his silver locket. With his dying breath he said to me, "In the locket you will find a note. You will know what to do ""
Erina suddenly jolted up from her seat. That dream… why did she suddenly relive the two saddest days of her life once more? She began to calm down, attempting to piece together her memories.
"Heku really is like father. No wonder I couldn't stand having him around me." She thought to herself.
Following her deceased father's wishes again, she pulled out a shining, sphere-shaped, silver locket from underneath her white blouse. She gazed at her small reflection on the locket, then opened it, exposing a folded note in the center. Erina tenderly opened the note, reading the contents.
"To my dearest daughter," it read. Erina imagined her father read the note to her aloud in her mind, with his soothing, gentile timbre, "If you read this, that means that I have already dies, and good old GM Phoenix told you of my final wish. Do not look upon my death with outrage, but with acceptance. Do not fear, my child. Weep no more, child, for your heartache and loneliness will soon disappear. The darkness will come and the darkness will go. What matters the most will be the one to light the candle in the dark."
Erina folded up the note, thinking of her father while she closed the locket. She imagined a tall, muscular man in a turquoise dress shirt and brown pants. A pair of shining, ocean-colored eyes and a gentile disposition colored his face. His hair, a dazzling shade of blonde, topped his head, arching to his left while it touched his eyebrow.
"The darkness will come and the darkness will go." She muttered under her breath.
"I beg your pardon?" Kalech grunted, waking from another map.
"Nothing." Casually replied Erina. "Just thinking."
"I… see." He replied, somewhat puzzled. "So what happened you’re your old man?"
"He died."
"I'm sorry." Kalech said, humbled. "I-If it's any consolation-"
"No, it's fine, Kalech. I just remembered something important he once said to me: The darkness will come and the darkness will go."
Erina gazed out the foggy window, smiling in bittersweet reminiscence of the father she never had.