~ Chapter 73: Tears for a coward (Part 2) ~
[Illsyore's point of view]
To be honest, I had yet to come to terms with accepting my own demise, but I wanted to offer my farewells properly to all of them. Each and one of them deserved this. With Tamara, it would be the easiest, and the last one would be Zoreya. Despite the strange way she ended up joining our group, I couldn't see her as anything less than a friend.
The first one I wish to take out on this date was Nanya.
It didn't take her long to get ready, but she appeared before me wearing clothes suited for a noble lady of this era. Her skirt was fluttery and pure-white. It was decorated with yellow flowers at the bottom. On her top, she wore a white chemise, and over it, a bright-yellow outer dress with a pattern of white leafs and petals around the edges. Around her waist was a golden rope, which acted as a belt.
“You're... beautiful.” was the only thing I could say.
“Thank you...” she replied while looking down shyly, with a tinge of pink in her cheeks.
Seeing how The Darkness stopped me from using the materials inside my Inner Mind, I went and bought some fashionable clothes from a local store. It was the most I could buy with the gold I had on me. Thus, I wore a pair of blue silk pantaloons, a red silk shirt, a dark-blue jacket, and pair of sturdy black boots. The shirt and jacket had small golden embroideries, which gave it a feel of wealthiness and beauty.
Compared to my jeans and cotton t-shirt, this set of clothing was rather uncomfortable. Like a proud man, I endured it.
Our date consisted of us spending the time together like any other ordinary couple. We ate at a fancy restaurant, compliments of Zoreya for threatening the owner to make sure we had a table waiting for us, and also Shanteya for providing the much needed security against all sort of annoying scoundrels.
My el'doraw wife, although she didn't have to, she insisted on helping us out so that no interruptions would occur during our date.
We finished our date by taking a walk outside of the city. It was a clear sky, and all the stars could be seen perfectly up there. Too bad I had no idea how to recognize any of the constellations. Some people named certain stars, but none bothered with what the ancient Greeks once did back on Earth. That or maybe I had yet to meet or heard of those who did.
As we walked, I began to tell Nanya why I asked her out on a date...
“It's beautiful tonight, isn't it?”
“Mhm.” she nodded and took a quick glance at me.
I raised my head up to the sky and took a deep breath. It felt like I was trying to release all of that invisible weight on my shoulders... little by little.
“This date... was a bit sudden, wasn't it?”
“True, but I'm guessing you are now going to tell me the reason why?” she asked.
“You know me well.” I smiled and took her hand into mine.
Looking back into her eyes, I told her “It's alright to show your true form here. I wish to be together with the real you.”
She nodded and deactivated the illusion ring. Before me now stood the tall demoness with a long sharp tail and dangerously sharp claws. Even in this form, she was quite beautiful in my eyes.
“You know, I never thought that I would end up married to you... or having this date.” I confessed.
“Is it that impossible?” she raised an eyebrow.
“No... maybe. Who knows?” I shrugged.
“You are here with me now. It shouldn't matter at all whether or not it looked impossible back then.” she smiled.
“True...” I lowered my eyes to the ground.
Living in the present... it's still hard for me... I thought and then let out a sigh.
“Why did you call me out on this date?” she asked me and stopped.
“It's...” I looked into her eyes and then took a deep breath.
This moment felt like an eternity, and I had no idea how to make it less painful.
“Hm?” she squinted her eyes.
“It's a farewell gift...” I told her.
“Fare... Farewell gift? I don't understand... Why do you say it's a farewell gift?” she asked furrowing her brow.
I closed my eyes for a moment.
“Because soon enough, I won't be around anymore...” I told her with a calm tone of voice.
“What?” she asked confused.
“The Darkness... there's no way to stop it. Nanya... I'm losing against it...” I told her.
“W-What?” she asked with a trembling voice.
“I tried... I tried... but I can't win. Before it's too late, I asked Zoreya to stop me. I know neither you, Ayuseya, or Shanteya can harm me, so I asked the only one who can.” I said.
“What do you mean? You asked Zoreya to KILL you?” she asked taking a step back and raising the tone of her voice.
I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
“Why?! Why, Illsy?! Why?!” she asked shaking her head as tears formed in the corners of her eyes.
“Because The Darkness is too strong, and if I don't do something about it, it will kill you and everyone else in this world... It won't destroy me... it will let me watch from a cage. It will make me suffer... So, before that happens, I have to make sure this body of mine is destroyed.” I explained to her in a calm tone of voice.
“But... there has to be something! Why can't you defeat it? Aren't you the one in charge? Aren't you the stronger one there? Aren't you the main mind?” she asked clenching her fists.
“I am... but I can't defeat it. It's impossible for me...”
“NO! I refuse to believe this! I refuse to accept this! You just gave up! You abandoned yourself to fear and depression! You... didn't even TRY to fight!” she shouted at me at the end.
The Magic Energy of her body started to become unstable and a strong pressure could be felt around me. The ground at her feet cracked a little under her immense power. By all means, she was an entity with more Magic Energy than most Supremes out there.
“I did... but I can't... it's too strong, and I'm just a weakling when compared to it... Please, try to understand... There's nothing else I can do...” I said and approached her.
“NO!” she jumped back and glared at me with tearful eyes.
“Nanya...” I looked at her and pain gripped my heart.
“You can still fight... if you want to. You can win... You just need to find a way.” she said.
“But...” I tried to take a step closer, but she raised her hand up.
“Stay away... If you give up and let yourself be defeated by The Darkness, then... then you are nothing but a traitor of our love and a coward in front of your own self! You are not... Y-You are not the real Illsyore, the man I know and love!” she screamed and then ran away while crying.
“Nanya...” I said in a low tone of voice.
I knew I hurt her and that these words of hers were those of grief, but there was nothing I could do about it. The matter had been settled. Once I was gone, she would be free to search for another man to love and cherish, maybe someone better than me... Or if I was lucky, I would once again reincarnate into that man.
“I made her cry...” I told myself as I rubbed the back of my head.
Suddenly a sharp pain struck my chest, and I knelt down.
It won't be long now, Illsyore... The Darkness... I... WE shall claim your body! Muhahaha! it laughed while I stood there with a ragged breath.
The crystal on my chest was slowly turning dark-red. I didn't have much time left...
[Nanya's point of view]
I said those words out of grief and anger. I didn't hate Illsy...
Even if he was a coward or a loser, I still loved him, but dealing with this, accepting his farewell was too much, so I ran... I ran as fast as I could.
Maybe I was a coward as well, but what was there left for me to do?
I was confused, and I had no idea how to help him out... It hurt... but what hurt me the most wasn't the news of The Darkness winning ground in this battle, it was Illsy giving up on the fight.
Inside, I was still hoping he would win, that there would be chance or a way for him to defeat that monster eating him from inside out, twisting his personality, and corrupting his soul. I was still hoping for him to fight till the bitter end for himself and for us, but maybe I was wrong about him? Maybe the strong and fearless Illsy wasn't like that?
“Illsy, you big idiot...” I said as I hoped over the rooftops, heading back to the inn.
Even if he gave up on the battle, I, on the other hand, refused to let him do so. Even if I died, I wanted to help him fight, to find a way out of this mess. Maybe magic wasn't the solution, maybe Zoreya had a clue, or maybe even the gods had forsaken him, but I didn't... I didn't want to forsake Illsy!
He was my husband, my lover... and the only man I cared about so much in my entire life. I wasn't ready or willing to let him go.
I was certain both Ayuseya and Shanteya wouldn't dare to either.
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