123 Guy“s talk
Marcus was sitting on his bed inside a room all by himself trying to process the day he just had.
Not too long ago he was finally reunited with his personal hero, the crossbow mage. The one who saved him from the shackles of his cruel mother who would constantly force him to hunt demons in some kind of crazy mission to bring world peace, or so she kept saying.
He was feeling excited to see Evlin again, after all, the two only spent a brief amount of time together, and most of it was dedicated to fighting against the great demon leader that had taken over the southern kingdom, who according to the story he just heard, was actually the demon of sloth, one of the eight demons that lead an army of creatures empowered with cursed energy during a war that happened many years ago.
Before that, most of his memories with Evlin were about the lad swearing to hunt her down and cut her head in order to protect his mother. Just thinking about it made Marcus want to slap himself from just how stupid that scenario was. He's the one that should be protecting people from the goddess of the East, and he couldn't even do that, he himself ended up needing to be saved instead.
All he wanted right now was to start over, try to create new memories with Evlin in order to forget his past and leave it all behind. He was really looking forward to coming to this world.
But, as he keeps finding out the more he continues his journey, things don't always turn out as you wish.
He was almost killed immediately trying to save Evlin from a crystal monster due to not being prepared to deal with the lack of magic energy in this new world. He was so careless that Evlin was one step away from being crushed by a giant fist right in front of him.
If it wasn't for Evlin's niece, who somehow could use magic without a staff, something that the whole group was still trying to figure out the logic behind, Evlin would have died right there.
After that, he was hoping he could simply enjoy a little break before returning to action in case he was needed, but seeing his mother inside Evlin's house was enough to bring back many painful memories from his past. He almost felt he was just a little kid again when their eyes met.
He knew Evlin had taken East with her to free him, but he assumed she would have been in some kind of prison or locked in a dungeon. But there she was, just walking around inside her place like she was part of Evlin's family.
As if that wasn't enough, he tried to take his mind off of all this by keeping company to Evlin's niece, Ellie, maybe try to help her just like Evlin helped him. But the moment the girl found out about Marcus and his history with her aunt, she simply declared him as her enemy.
And now, the woman he admired the most, the woman he feared the most, and a girl that could not stand him, were all sleeping in the same room, right next to him.
He just couldn't stop thinking about how weird it would be to face all of them in the following day with a straight face.
"Maybe I shouldn't have come..." He said to himself, trying to clear his mind and resting his head on his pillow.
He then began to think about his conversation with Ellie, and how she assumed he had some kind of crush on Evlin.
"... Evlin..." He whispered.
The idea of him and Evlin being together started to blossom thanks to her niece's comment. It was true that Marcus was holding a strong admiration towards Evlin, but he wasn't really sure if there was something more behind it.
When he first saw her after she exited the hospital his heart started to beat much faster and he could feel his face beginning to burn. The lad simply assumed that this was a result of being in the presence of his hero. He hadn't really placed too much thought into it, after all, they immediately were forced to rush back Evlin's apartment to grab her gear and in were attacked on the way back. Then, they met with East and started to discuss about Mia and her true goals.
This was the first moment Marcus had to take a deep breath and consider what his true feelings really were.
Could he possibly hold feelings for Evlin? And if he did, what would this mean? They were literally from different worlds. And even if they weren't, does she even liked him?
He kept asking more and more questions to himself and proceeded to burn his brain thinking about things he had no idea how to approach. He needed some help to clear his thoughts.
"Marcus... You awake?" And just as he thought that, he heard Daren's voice coming from outside his door and gently knocking it.
"Ah! Daren... Just a second!" Said Marcus as he rushed out of the bed.
After the battle of the demon kingdom, Daren had basically become like an older brother to Marcus, probably as a result of how close he was with his father. The two had a really easy time getting along.
Hearing Daren's voice calmed Marcus a bit. He was glad to have someone he could talk to in times like this.
"Hey man... I was just wondering if everything was ok with you..." Said Daren as Marcus invited him to enter the room.
"I'm not sure, to be honest... A lot to process... How's Lilith doing?"
"She's holding ok... She is feeling a little down that she couldn't help much in the fight with the crystal monster... But I told her there was nothing that could be done..."
"I see..." Marcus nodded in agreement. He was familiar with Lilith's obsession with always trying to give her best for everyone. Sometimes he felt she tried too hard to compensate for something that nobody was charging for. "Looks like we really will face some troubles in this world without magic energy..."
"Yeah... Without magic, many of our biggest strengths will probably be cut in half... Lilith's blessed armor, your living-weapon abilities, Evlin's transformation powers... This will be much harder than our regular missions..."
"All because of Mia..." Said Marcus with a could voice.
"That girl really is something..."
"You two managed to fuse once right? When you were in the southern kingdom...?"
"Yeah... We didn't get to use that ability much because we never found an opponent that pushed us enough so that we needed to use it..." Answered Marcus while diving into his memories of his time with Mia.
"You know..." Said Daren with a more serious tone. "When me and your father used that power... I could see some of his memories... What about you?"
Marcus rested his chin on his palm while pondering about the question.
"When you combined with Mia... Did you got a look at why she is... Well... The way she is?" Asked Daren.
"You wanna know if I ever found out why she is so crazy...?" Said Marcus with bluntness. "Sorry... I don't like invading other people's privacy, so I tried to avoid looking into it..." Marcus then turned his face towards the window. "Especially her... The idea of looking into her memories terrified me... As if there might have been something that I could never forget even if I tried...".
Marcus noticed that Daren was looking a little down. "What's wrong?"
"... I was hoping... I was hoping that maybe... If we knew more about her... We could... I don't know... Find a way to deal with her without..."
Marcus stared at Daren wondering what he was trying to say.
"Without killing her..."
"Marcus, you killed demons right?"
"Yes... Many... Many demons... So many demons..." Said Marcus as he stared at his own hands. The same hands he would often turn into blades to slay his enemies.
"But you never killed a human... Did you...?"
"No... My mother never requested me to... Except for Evlin I never tried to harm any person..."
Trying to kill Evlin was one of the biggest regrets in the lad's life. He desperately wanted to do anything in his power to correct that mistake, the mistake of unleashing his own anger and frustration on others, and causing pain. Ever since he received his change of heart, he started to truly value a human life.
"Lilith... She killed many people during a war once... And that memory still haunts her, even today..."
Marcus looked at Daren once he realized this was actually a very important topic.
"She's getting better with each day... Especially after Lance came into our lives... But the memory is still there... Poking the back of her head, appearing in front of her when she least expects it..." Daren said while looking at the wall as if trying to imagine Lilith in her room with Lance. "This whole thing with Mia... It might end up driving Evlin to go through something similar... And I trust Evlin, I do... But she was not born in the same world we were..."
Marcus then understood what Daren was trying to say.
"If she ends up killing Mia... She might change who she is... Forever..."
"Evlin never killed her enemies before?"
"Evlin never had enemies... She had people that would try to capture her or kill her... But these people always did it to get her power, it was never personal..."
"But this one is... Mia provoked Evlin in a way no one ever did before... Even when we were going after East... That was our grudge that we were dealing with, not hers..." Daren stared directly into the eyes of the lad in front of him. "I don't want to see Evlin suffer like Lilith did... Not after all she did for us... I don't want to see her lose herself."
"Me too... But I'm sorry Daren... I don't think there will be an easy answer for this one... Mia will never stop until she gets what she wants... That's just who she is... Who she has always been, ever since I first met her..."
"I see... Then... In that case..." Daren stood up and came closer to Marcus.
"...?" The silver-haired young man started to worry about the situation. Daren was looking at him like he was desperate.
""Can I ask you a selfish request...?" Daren said while clenching his fists.
"I don't want to see Evlin Become a killer... But I also don't want to place more blood on Lilith's hands... And I myself can't do anything now that I don't have my curse anymore..."
"Daren...? Where are you going with this?" Marcus asked while starting to sweat.
"Marcus... Could you please help me kill Mia...?"
"..." Marcus didn't know what to say. He never expected Daren to drop this kind of request on his lap like this.
It's not like Marcus really cared about Mia that much, but he was trying to be a better person. A person that wouldn't just declare that he would kill a young girl and her friends just because they were on a quest to defeat his mother.
He felt that accepting to kill Mia would bring him back to who he used to be, who he was trying to avoid becoming again.
"I know this is unfair to you... But you're the only one who can do it... I don't have the power you do... If I did I would do it by myself... But..." Daren started to shake as if making that request was killing him in the inside. "But if you lend me your power... The same way your father used to... We can spare both Lilith and Evlin from this burden!"
Marcus knew that feeling. It was the same feeling he had when he first met his father, Marceus. At that time, his father also looked in pain while asking him for an impossible request, to take his place as the living-weapon.
And now, Daren was doing the same thing. Asking the lad to do something drastic while looking like he was about to shatter at any moment. Marcus wasn't the same as before. He had long since decided that he wouldn't just follow people's wishes so blindly. Evlin taught him that he had the right to choose who he wanted to be. But he still felt that this was something he should do.
"Ok..." Said Marcus in a low voice.
"I want to help in any way I can... I wanna help Evlin the same way she helped me... If saving her family from Mia while avoiding her from turning into something she shouldn't be can do that... Then..." Marcus closed his eyes before making his resolve, and then opened them again to stare at Daren. "Then I'll do it... I'll be your sword to help you kill Mia!"
"Thank you, Marcus..." Daren said, with words of regret, wishing he could spare the lad from the burden as well, and secretly wishing Marceus could forgive him.
Marcus stood up and extended his hand towards Daren. Daren himself in return shook his hand, and the two finished their secret agreement.
They were going to kill Mia, so that neither Evlin nor Lilith had to.