This is the unedited version of a story. Currently fixing it though it'll be long before I update it.
"Did you really love her that much?" Alexis looked at me while leaning against the floral-patterned walls of the living room and said, "Even when Laluna cursed you for all eternity to remain on this plane for a sin you did not do?"
I could feel the disbelief under his indifferent facade, courtesy of the curse that Laluna had placed upon me due to her jealousy. Immortality was such a thing—both a blessing and a curse. I learned many things, but I couldn't get what I wanted the most. Sadly for her, I got the second-best thing that I could, and I protected it to the best of my abilities. She couldn't have done anything about it. Even the temptations she sent my way only strengthened my resolve to give her nothing she wanted.
"I loved her, and I still do. Regardless of what happened, I'd still stay and take care of the fields she had left in her passing."
My reply seemed unsatisfactory as Alexis looked at me with a warped expression. His arms fell out of each other's embrace as he stepped forward towards me and twisted his head in confusion. The sun shone through the window and landed on his seemingly frail frame, casting him in a halo of gold and silver, and presenting him in a manner somewhat more worthy than his status.
"You may be a Lord, but hell no." I just pushed him away, shrugging once and crossing my arms when he began to walk back to where he had been standing earlier, before joking, "This is exactly why you still aren't married."
He frowned and shook his head. Alexis would act like he didn't care, but the more indifference was forced, the more he showed he really cared about that. "Mystra was right in calling you a lovelorn teen. It's been years since she's been gone, Deriad. Years. Centuries. Why do you want to stay in this god-forsaken place?"
Why indeed. I lowered my head and sighed before I raked a hand through the mess of curls I'd always forgotten to comb. She always did it for me; I don't. I could say that this was for the sake of our memories together. I could say that I just did it on a whim and nothing else, but... I've thought up too many reasons over the years, and not one has stuck except for this one. It seemed to me that this one was the truest in every sense.
"Because this place is the last remaining trace of her."
Alexis sighed at my reply and began to pace around the room. Soon, the surroundings were just a mess of his footsteps and the quiet rush of the wind. He seemed to have noticed it too, seeing that he stopped walking around and sat on the sofa before me.
"I have an offer," he stated, as seriously as his child-like face can be. I looked up, surprised, but, nevertheless, still tranquil. The wind blew noisily through the pale slate-blue linen as I leaned back to look at him, crossing my arms and tilting my head slightly.
"What is it?"
"If you had the chance to reverse the curse from way back then, would you do it?" Fate asked with his head lowered, gaze boring into mine, "I don't mean your curse. I meant 'hers.'"
It was like thunder sounding out of nowhere inside my mind. All this time, I thought there was no way I could've saved her. But there was one, and this dumbass didn't say anything at all before.
My shock must have been fairly apparent since his serious expression flipped into something I'd call victorious. "I knew you'd be interested in that." He smirked and crossed his legs, settling his hands on his knees while rocking back and forth in slow motion.
"Is it possible?" I asked, unsure whether I was shaking from excitement or from the frustration of him keeping this bit of information from me. Fate didn't seem to have seen what was wrong, as he just smiled and giggled while saying, "I wouldn't have said anything if I wasn't sure."
I lunged at him and grabbed his collar before saying in the calmest voice that I could muster with the least murderous expression I could muster, "Then why did you not say anything in the first place?"
He shrugged helplessly and tapped my hand. "Mind letting go first? I don't think you'd be able to hold yourself back from hitting me if I did explain."
It looked like he finally understood what I meant about loving her too much. I threw him back into the seat and calmly sat down, taking the deepest breaths that I could while he rearranged himself properly.
"You see..." He began and paused, observing my face with cautious eyes before continuing, "I forgot."
I managed to keep a straight face, but my hands couldn't help but reach toward him. He leaned back, watching my hands with more playful terror than fear, saying repeatedly, "I'm sorry, okay?"
I retracted my hands and gestured, "Continue." He glared at me for a moment and coughed, shaking his head continuously until I started to move again.
"Alright, alright," Alexis raised an eyebrow and watched me darkly, "the thing is... you have to convince Aramarin not to pick a fight with Laluna."
This time, I raised an eyebrow. "Convince her?" I asked, "Hasn't any of you been able to do it?"
"That's exactly the reason why we're all asking you," the other said, looking pitifully at me, almost like a dog asking for food, "None of us can do it."
I blinked at him, wondering whether it was by a fluke that he landed in his current status. If they, the Rulers of this world, couldn't do it, what more could I, who never even managed to achieve their level? Is Alexis an idiot- No. Are they all lacking in their top sides? Perhaps. I'll just answer that question and keep it to myself.
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"All I have to do is say the words you told me with a deadpan face so that I'll get a general overview of what's happening and attempt to convince her right there and then?" I leaned forward and repeated, feeling as confused as a squirrel in the middle of winter with no nuts after having stored so much during autumn. It sounded like a preset role-playing game where you only need to say what has already been prepared.
"Yes. That's all," Alexis confirmed, nodding his head with a self-satisfied expression, "Don't you dare add anything more to what you have to say."
Yep, a role-playing game. The similarity made my lips twitch in mirth, though not a sound of laughter escaped aside from a snort. Fate looked at me with forced indifference yet again, causing me to burst into laughter.
He glared at me for a moment, then sighed. "You have to go now to prevent any more delay," Alexis coughed and raised a finger, waving it around in a lazy fashion towards the door, "don't forget."
"I'm not you," I remarked casually and stood up, walking over towards the door, "You may forget, but I don't. I won't either."
"All of us thirteen won't be existing then. You'll be meeting our predecessors instead if you went against them, so I beg you to be careful."
He waved me goodbye, the faint smirk hanging on his lips giving me a bad premonition of what might happen next. If anything, I don't trust those 'gods' that call themselves Lords of something, but if she can be saved with this, then I'd gladly walk into hell myself.
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What met my eyes was a distinctly decorated room, familiar in every sense, with fairly similar furniture to the one that I'd just left.
"What are you doing? Come on in."
My entire body stiffened. That voice. That was the voice I'd longed to hear for centuries now—a voice that I had thought I would never hear again with her passing.
"Hlie- Ahem," I forced a cough just before I called out her name. Entering the abode proved to be a lot more intriguing as compared to before, but it felt like I couldn't take that step. There's no way it would be her; I knew that much. But hope hanging alongside curiosity is an interesting thing. I can't help but go in just to confirm, knowing that whoever was inside this house would never be her.
"Are you okay?"
A swish sounded out to my right, drawing me to look over and gasp. She was a beauty, for sure. Too beautiful to be human, too beautiful for her to be real. It wasn't 'her'. 'She' had her own charm and her own kind of beauty, unlike this ethereal princess who looked to be a queen from the heavens who descended down to the earth.
I quickly recovered myself, bowing slightly while facing towards the left with half-closed eyes. "Apologies," I said, "I was simply astounded by your beauty."
She laughed. It was that kind of laugh you'd mistake for bells—tinkling and resounding. I raised my pair of eyebrows for a moment and reassumed what I thought was my most indifferent expression before standing up straight.
"Well, you aren't the first," she smiled, bowing back in a similar fashion, "and, certainly, you wouldn't be the last."
She gestured towards the living room, pointing at a chair and saying, "Have a seat."
It felt surreal for some reason, how she acted. I didn't react too much, however. My feet led me to the chair, and I sat down, watching her as she also seated herself.
"Introductions are in order, I believe," she murmured, then stated in a louder tone, "I am Aramarin, the First Maiden. You are...?"
Fate's instructions usually lead to some sort of issue, but, for some reason, I couldn't find anything wrong with what I'm about to say.
"Deriad, the Recorder," I replied and added, "I'm here to ask for your knowledge regarding several past events-"
Something about her expression made me pause. I stopped speaking and waited for Aramarin to speak, but she remained silent while just waving her hand at me to continue. There was a pause as we both looked at each other awkwardly before I continued what I wanted to say.
"I'm here to record the past events and would hope to have your aid for this piece," I finished and went silent.
The wind began to blow gusts through the curtains, bringing small whispering sounds to this otherwise deathly still silence. She didn't seem to look at me the same way as before; there was this feeling of distance that she gave off.
A few moments passed with both her and me just staring at each other before she finally moved and whispered slowly, "Which Lord from the future are you?"
I blinked and subsequently realized that Fate meant for me to know why it happened rather than prevent it from happening. Still, it's fine. There seems to be a chance that I can persuade her to stop. He couldn't see that; all of them couldn't. I could, and I'm not sparing this opportunity to save her.
"I'm not one of them," I replied softly as soon as she'd asked, raking my hand through my hair once again. Silence ensued soon after my reply, as she did not deign to continue the conversation. It was that still kind of quiet, where only the song of wildlife rang clearly through the cover of silence, peaceful, but the tension hung in the air, ready to strike when you've let down your guard. So quiet...
Then, just as I thought that it would last forever, she moved. Her dress swished when she stood up, the cloth of it falling exactly down to her ankles as she headed towards me. "You aren't?" Aramarin repeated, her voice now emotionless and cold, "Where's your proof?"
I leaned back when she neared me, feeling a wave of disgust coming through, though I managed to smother it back down into the depths of my mind. Emotions were coming out like waves from her body, and I could feel them with magnified efficacy. They must have pestered her so much about some unimportant thing for her to act like this.
"I don't have their powers," I answered, thoroughly bewildered as I stared indifferently back at her glare, "I don't have their status, and there are only thirteen of them in total."
She seemed to smile faintly at the last sentence. I looked at her in askance, and she said, "Indeed, you'd be the thirteenth."
It didn't register just as fast as it should've, that sentence. Fate told me all of them had gone to try and convince her, yet, there was this one being exempted from the list. My thoughts whirred around, on and on as my eyebrow twitched up and I tilted my head, saying, "Only twelve of them came to visit you?"
Her face changed upon my remark, the expectant gaze gone and replaced by a slight confusion. The tension was broken, as is the serenity of our surroundings. I just observed her, watching her as she took a step backward and looked me up and down as if checking me out. It seemed like she saw what she needed, because of the sigh she exhaled moments after.
"You don't know," she stated, simply, "You actually... aren't one of them."
There was a breath of relief in her voice—a subtle clue to her true emotions hidden behind an emotionless facade. I held back a smile and fixed my position, crossing my legs and arms to assume a more comfy pose.
She didn't speak for a while, just standing there with a thoughtful expression, waving her hands about in a slow, dreamy manner. It seemed like she was too deep in thought to notice how I just staring at her. With my mouth slightly agape, too. Then she suddenly stopped, pausing mid-motion before turning around and walking to the sofa. The trance broke and I coughed lightly to hide the embarrassment I felt.
"It's nothing," she remarked casually, regaining the former poise she had when she'd first greeted me, "Well, then... what do you want?"
So direct. My lips curved upward slightly in response. See, I'd rather be spared the roundabouts if it isn't necessary than endure a story I have no will to hear or read. By the time I spoke, however, my face has recovered its facade of indifference.
"I came to convince you not to fight with the Lord of Love and Lust."
Aramarin blinked, "Convince me? How about... no." She leaned onto the sofa's backrest, smiling slightly with a slight glint in her eyes.
I replied with a forced 'shocked' look. I was more confused than surprised, actually. She didn't even bother to listen or let me do anything and, instead, just went through with her opinion immediately.
"I do what I want and what's best for this world.," Aramarin explained while picking up a cup of tea from the table between us, sipping it lightly before placing it back, "Convincing me, with your meager talent, will take eons, and I doubt you have that much time."
"What about your descendants?" I asked, my brows furrowed. Surely, she wouldn't just do something with such drastic consequences without considering them. And, immediately after I thought that, her words dashed my hopes.
She just laughed. "They will understand. And accept. It is for the world after all," Aramarin grinned, and said gravely, shaking her head throughout her response.
"Wouldn't you at least bother to consider?" I pleaded softly.
Aramarin looked at me with a stone-like gaze before it suddenly just warped into disdain as she answered, "I already did so earlier."
My hands shook slightly as I asked in a small voice, "What about their lovers? Those people that loved them and admired them?" I didn't want to believe how selfish this person before me is but what can I do when she was so blatantly showing it off?
Her reply was a combination of a glare and a snort. I just looked back at her, feeling so lost and confused. Maybe it's because of how I looked at her, but her voice faltered slightly when she retorted, "They have to learn to understand as well."
"All because of what YOU did?" I yelled out, surprised at my own anger and rage, "Generations will suffer."
Perhaps my words have finally gotten through to her because she paused, saying nothing as the wind rushed past us. It was a silence that I'd never heard before—a peace that seemed like it would swallow you down and leave nothing. My gaze never left her face as I watched her pick up the cup again and drink, slowly, so slowly, that even time felt like it stopped.
"What of the lives of a few dozen when it spares the majority of the realm?" She said, her voice softer even than the whispers of ghosts in the surroundings, "This is the responsibility belonging to me and all those that hereafter take my position."
I just looked at her, ashamed of my rage and my inability to stop what I knew would eventually happen. Leaning back, I sighed and, as calmly as I could, asked with a shaking voice, "Is there anything I can do to change your mind?"
She looked up at me, smiled faintly, and looked away, considering the notion for what seemed to me a fair amount of time before replying with surety, "Nothing. My decision has always been final."
I just sat there, blankly staring at her, and spacing out while she added, "They just don't want you in that era."
The moment I heard her, I regained my clarity. My thoughts revolved around 'So that was the reason'. They didn't want me to interfere with anything? They could've just told me unless... they want to touch something that was 'hers'.
I looked at her and smiled sadly, saying, "Apologies, I should take my leave."
Aramarin just nodded, saying, "Mhm, take care."
I left the house, walking away on the dirt path that looked so new now, but had looked so decrepit and old then. It was all as if nothing had happened at all as though it was only just a meeting of old acquaintances.