Judas doesn't cry. He wouldn't cry even if he could; crying is weak and childish and something he gave up years ago. But each step he takes is too heavy, clumsy, like his legs refuse to work right without the steady weight of Chal's sheath on his hip.
The others ignore him, too wrapped up in their own heads to see, but when Harold turns to look at him, her eyes are bright and they feel like they're carving into Judas' ribs with a scalpel. He tries to glare at her the way he usually does; she says nothing, but she turns away.
Chaltier. Chaltier. Chaltier. Chal's name beats like a drum alongside the rhythm of Judas' heart, because there's nothing else to keep him close. Now that the deed is over, Judas keeps thinking of things he wanted to say that he never said, but his mouth is full of cotton and his words would be empty without anyone to say them to.
He thinks of Marian. He thinks of Chal. He thinks of Finley. He thinks of Stahn and Kyle, of their bright smiles and cheerful laughs, and he wonders what it is about Judas, about Leon Magnus, about Emilio Katret that makes it so impossible for him not to hurt the people he loves.
But this is different. Chal should have been safe. Chal was always supposed to be the safe one, trapped in steel and the magic of the Core Crystal where he couldn't bleed, he couldn't die. Chal stayed alive for one thousand years until I killed him, Judas thinks, drawing the thought like a blade over his own heart.
If Chal were still here, he would try to cheer Judas up. He would try to get Judas to eat something new, or something sweet, because Chal knew all of Judas' weaknesses. When Judas killed a man for the first time (Finley's blood was warm and killing him had the same give as stabbing a monster; it was too easy and it should have been harder, but Judas had managed to make it home before he threw up) Chaltier had been there to talk until the emptiness started to fill, a slow steady drip of humanity filling him back up.
But Chal isn't here anymore, and Judas is the one who killed him, because saving the world is more important. But right now Judas feels like the world has already been lost, like he's stumbling along just waiting for the end.