A Demon Lord had been captured; the word was buzzing busily throughout the entire capital. Not only had this Demon Lord been captured – oh no! – but he was to be executed publicly by the captain of the guard as well! Right in public view, a fight between the master swordsman and a legendary Demon Lord! Well, it wouldn't be a 'fight,' so to speak, but it would be a chance for the public to see something that they had always feared put to shame before their eyes by one of their own. The peasants were atwitter with excitement; but the Royalty was sneering gleefully.
You see it had long been known among the Royalty of the kingdom that the captured Demon Lord had been courting the captain of the Royal Guard in secret. And, despite her outward display of ridicule and frustration towards him, it was apparent that she had fallen long ago in his arms with a willing heart. The Royalty had allowed them to meet, feigning ignorance to the frequent visits of the Demon Lord and yet mocking him and she whom he was courting at every turn. They believed they had some hold on him with his beloved firmly within their grasp, and they found this quite humorous. However, the hearts of the Royals was fickle and they soon grew bored with this game of theirs. This play they believed they were directing had grown dull and it needed a new twist to keep them captivated. Deciding on a course of action, they sat back, feeling quite pleased with themselves.
Just as the romance was about to blossom, they would capture the Demon Lord and sentence him to a public execution that would be carried out by none other than the Master swordsman herself! They would threaten her life if he should do anything, and she would dare not betray their orders. Especially not in public; if she did, the citizens would be in frenzy upon realizing her betrayal.
A prince chuckled from a soft, cushy chair that was nearly as flamboyant as his clothing. Such a despicable thing, to tear at love for their own morbid enjoyment…
Now the only question left was: What path would the young master swordsman choose? Could she live with the blood of her beloved on her hands, if, of course, she could even bring herself to commit such a crime? Or would she expose herself and him and thus doom them both?
Oh, what a tangled web they wove for these two unfortunate lovers…
The people were cheering, ridiculing the fallen Demon Lord without fear now. Erutis wrinkled her nose in disgusted contempt at their attitude. How cowardly they were, to mock and goad their enemy when he could not fight back. If the Demon lord were suddenly to break free, how very swiftly their words of hate would change to plea's for sympathy and mercy. Pitiful…
As she entered the coliseum her steps felt heavy, painfully weighted and yet she felt so much worse inside. Her spirit had turned to lead, dropping to the ground, left behind in the dust as she continued to march forward. Her heart pounded, thumping loudly with each step she took. She was afraid it might burst from the pressure, or plummet to the ground along with her spirit. Her outward composure was ever the same though; she had never been one to allow others to see her distress.
The crowd was going wild, shouting obscenities, jeering and calling out her name as if she were some trained lap dog. Erutis ground her teeth. Sometimes she truly hated her own people.
He was chained to an ancient stone pillar near the middle of the stadium floor. His rich robes had been taken from him and replaced with rags that not even a peasant would wear. It angered her to see him treated thus, but what was there to be done? The Royals knew – of course they did – they could not have captured and held him if they did not know. They had probably used her as some pawn against him; her muscles tightened to a point where it was painful for her.
As she came upon him he lifted his head to gaze upon her. His once beautiful golden locks had been cut away; what was left was dull and ridden with hay from the castle dungeons. The three stars below his left eye shone even less brightly than they usually did. Erutis wondered if he had put a spell on them to make them shine that way.
'No, don't look at me,' Erutis though desperately as their eyes met. The smile he flashed at her was so full of love that she felt like even less of a person than she already did. 'Please…please don't look at me like that. I don't know if I can go on if you look at me like that…'
She might have spoken, but her throat was tight with sobs at that moment.
"Hello, dearest Erutis," he greeted. There it was, a tinge of sadness in his tone. She knew that there was no way he could truly be so cheerful at such a time.
"Why? You can break from that pillar at any time and fly away. Why are you staying here!" Erutis had to turn her eyes from him to gain her voice again.
"You look as radiant as ever, love. Your beauty outshines even mine. I! An Immortal!" he was ignoring her words. In his eyes, in his tone, it was clear that he wished to embrace her with all of his heart.
"Damnit, Krayon!" her eyes were glistening. "Be serious for once! Why are you doing this? If you're just playing another one of your games I won't hesitate to kill you this time!"
He let her catch her breath as he hung his head again.
"…That's good…" his voice was no longer loving or playful and Erutis faltered at his sudden change in tone. She had rarely known him to be serious with her. "Don't hesitate, Erutis…do what needs to be done."
Her eyes shone wet with unshed tears as her heart broke and crumbled within her. She scoffed; choking on a lump that had risen in her throat yet again. "Don't be stupid, nothing's going to happen. They can't kill you."
"No, they can't," he replied with a sad smile and for a moment she believed that he was finally being reasonable. "But you can."
His words threw her completely. There was no way he could be serious — She looked into his eyes and found that he had totally dropped his playful act. She grit her teeth against a sob, hiding her eyes from him by turning her face away. So, this was the way he truly wanted it to be… Still, what remained of her heart was tearing at the hollow cavity of her breast and the pain was nearly unbearable for her. How dare he claim to love her so and then put her through such a trial! Glaring at him, her anger was shown to be something else entirely when two tears shook loose and were flung from her cheeks to the dirt below. Unsheathing her sword, she swung it round her head once before bringing it down in a swift arc.
The crowd roared, having held their breath at seeing the human and the Demon Lord so close. They sheered and cried in jubilation and relief, believing that the Demon Lord was finally about to be cut down. There was a general stirring of unease when they saw the ropes fall away from the Demon Lord, leaving him unbound and unscathed. Several called out rudely to Erutis, fearing for their worthless lives now that the monster was free, but their harsh words were lost. Erutis could not hear them, though she could sense the thousands of eyes on her, wondering what in the seven hells she was doing. Had she been possessed? Was she a traitor? The people were confused and several were running from the arena in fear, but the rest were still curious enough at this spectacle to stay.
Erutis' teeth were still grit so that she would not sob aloud, but she could no longer hold back her tears. She hated crying, it made her look weak, and yet there was nothing she could do. It hurt so much… Anyone close enough could have been able to tell that she was in emotional strife.
Krayon got to his feet, not even bothering to brush the dirt from himself. He faced Erutis, fully exposed and waiting.
"…Don't make me do this…" Erutis pleaded softly, finding it harder to control the waves of emotion that crashed upon her. "Please…please…don't ask me…to do this…"
He said nothing, forcing himself to remain silent and still so that he did not go to her. It was unbearably hard for him though; it took nearly all the strength he had to keep himself from embracing her. It was the first time he had seen her cry and it was killing him to not hold on, to not be able to comfort her. He wanted all of her pain to go away… Was he truly saving her by allowing the Royalty looking on to lead him around like this? At first he had thought it was the only way, since back then they had had a direct hold on Erutis. But now…he could whisk her away if he wished…
He couldn't do that; he was being selfish now… If he truly loved her, he would not put her through such a thing. He had already gone too far by allowing her to get caught up in this mess. He would not have her undergo even more hardships so that she could stay by his side. To be ostracized by her own people would be too harsh of an exchange. They would be chased every day of their lives, and, while he was used to such things, it would strain her. She was strong, but he did not know if he was strong enough to support her if something should ever happen. No, no…this was the only way he could guarantee that she would remain safe.
Erutis attacked, thrusting her sword forward with an intense speed. She struck at him this way again and again, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her neck was already wet and sticky from those tears which had not fallen to the ground or been swallowed by her clothing.
Her sword finally fell at her side, limp and immobile as she gasped for breath. She usually had more stamina than this, but the unusual circumstances made it hard for her to keep at any physical attack on him. Her breath rasped in her throat and nostrils as it rammed against blockages caused from her crying. She was frustrated and stricken by now, not understanding what Krayon was thinking at all. All of her blows had missed by mere centimeters, and yet he had still not made any effort to dodge them. He just kept watching her with those sad, understanding eyes. As if he were saying 'it's alright.'
"What in the hell is the matter with you!" Erutis cried, throwing her blade down in the dirt like a child. His expression did not change.
The crowd uttered a collective gasp at seeing Erutis throw down her weapon. A murmuring arose in their ranks and they shifted uneasily. More people began leaving, fearing the worst. The Royalty, from their balcony overhead, raised their eyebrows in suspicious surprise. They had certainly not expected this…
"Why are you letting this happen!" she cried, balling up her fists until the knuckles turned white. When he still remained impassive she felt a cry rise from in her gut to her mouth in one swift motion. Her mind screamed with confused aggravation. "I – I hate you!"
A hush fell over them both; Erutis started as the words fell from her lips. Her eyes were wide and her shoulders stiff with tension. She could hardly believe she had said it. That wasn't true…she didn't hate, she lo-
She looked up at him in time to watch a single crystalline tear slide from his chin. It slipped into the dirt and almost immediately seemed to evaporate. "If you hate me, then cut me down."
Erutis' mouth was opened, as if she wanted to say something, but no words would come out. Her body trembled, her fingers twitched as they subconsciously began to reach for her sword. She stopped suddenly, realizing what she was doing and struggled to regain her composure.
"It has to be this way then, does it?" she managed to say between her teeth. He gave an almost unnoticeable nod. Erutis swallowed, a wicked smile crossing her features as what few tears remained inside of her body rolled down her cheeks. She felt weak and tired; her hands were shaking uncontrollably. "They would have never let such a taboo exist anyway…"
Her tone was hopeless as she picked up her weapon and looked at it with empty eyes. Everything within her told her this was wrong, that she was making a mistake and yet she could see no other way out of this mess. Taking a deep breath, she attempted to calm herself somewhat, though it did not work. How was she supposed to remain calm after all this?
"Promise me you'll save me a spot in hell," she said.
He gave her a haunted smile. "Of course."
What remained of the crowd grew quite still as they saw the Captain of the Guard launch into the air. She came down, her blade sang as it cut through the air at an angle. The Demon Lord and the human held each others eyes the whole time, she dare not look at what she was doing, she wanted only to look into those eyes forever. Maybe if she looked long enough, she'd be swallowed up and forgotten by the world… She might have kept her composure until after the deed was done, had he not spoken those words.
"My only regret is not having loved you more."
Love Conquers All
Nyu… I tried to upload this last night but my computer kicked me off. Stupid computer...
Anyway, I really need to stop writing so much angst for this pairing. They really don't deserve so much angst from this one; and besides, there's absolutely no angst in the manwha at all. Heh, I should definitely get to work on something more fluffy and light-hearted for them. All of this angst is just making me dreary too.
Well, much to do here abouts unfortunately, so there isn't much time for a long author's note. I'd like to stay and chat a bit more, but pressing business, hm? Ah, yes, well, off I go then. Ja'ne!