Musings of a Ruined Dictator

By ArtikGato

Author's Notes: This was inspired by the famous Episode 25. Obviously, it contains spoilers for Episodes 23, 24 and 25. This is a short little piece I wrote one day at work when I was bored and needed something to do to relieve my boredom from constantly sealing envelopes (which, by the way, is VERY VERY BORING!!). It's from Ilpalazzo's point-of-view, about Excel. Oh, beware for small amounts of FLUFF!! Okies, that's it. If you like, review. If you hate, don't. But just in case you decide to flame this story, you can just direct all of your flames to that Puchuu. (points to a rabid Puchuu.) Have a nice day!

Perhaps that punched knocked more than that strange evil shadow out of me. I mean, I know I'm not used to being punched in the face (who would hit someone this good-looking?), and I may not be thinking in the clearest of ways right now, but that is no explanation for the wave of...feelings I'm experiencing.

Perhaps that punch knocked all sense out of me?

Or perhaps it knocked some sense into me. But whichever it was, I don't like it.

Or maybe I do? This is so confusing...

All I know is that she is telling me she loves me, and with all sincerity, and this time I believe her. I truly believe her. And for some reason, those words bring me great joy. Even greater joy than that I experienced when I finally succeeded in conquering the city. And then I realize that I want to tell her the same. But why?

When I shot her before, and nearly killed her, I wanted so badly to believe that it wasn't me aiming that gun, or pulling the trigger, or staring coldly at her as she fell to the ground with a blood-covered hand and a confused look on her face. I wanted more than anything to blame it on someone or something else...but until I realized what a monster I had become, I didn't even so much as regret it. That is something that now I terribly regret, that I felt not even a shred of remorse for nearly killing her...until it was too late.

Now that I know for certain that it really wasn't me pulling the trigger, but some evil spirit I had allowed to possess me, I feel relieved, and even a little happy, but most of all, I feel terribly weak. How could I allow some shadow demon to possess me? For years, all I thought about was city conquest and my ideals. I never stopped to think what effect that was having on me...or on her. She foolishly and thoughtlessly followed all of my orders, climing to the top of a mountain, commiting murder, and even going so far as to transport deadly bombs across the city, all for my sake. No, it was never for the sake of ACROSS. She only cared about ACROSS because I cared about ACROSS. I know that everything she did, she did for me. All of the constant battles with whatever aquatic beast or evil creature I kept down in The Pit, all of the missions, failed or not, everything...for my sake.

She even came back to me, after I betrayed, shot and almost killed her, nonetheless. She stood up to a demon I could not...and she saved me. She saved my life, my soul, and she said herself that she would have died if I told her to die. Her loyalty is so fierce that she would compromise everthing, her values, her morals, her ideals, and even her life, just to make me happy. Though her success rate is low and the pitch and speed of her voice is high-VERY high-in the end, when your dreams and ideals are shattered, when your fortres is crumbling, when everything else is gone, loyalty is all that really matters.

"Love and loyalty are the same to me!"

Right now, what more could a ruined dictator like me ask for than someone as loyal as her?

Maybe that is the source of these new, strange feelings of love. She is here for me, she and

no-one else, in this my darkest hour. She is here, still declaring her love and loyalty to me, even after all I've put her through. I want to hold her in my arms now, to apologize, repent, ask for her forgiveness, to comfort her, to try to ease her pain. But I can't. That would mean admitting to myself something I never thought I would: I love Excel.

I want so badly to tell her all of this, but I just can't. Not yet. So instead, I simply reply,

"Excellent, Excel."