She smiles at him sweetly, azure eyes shadowed by her doubt as he pulls her closer, allowing her to lean on him, her feathered wings wrapping around them both in a silent show of support.
“Are we doing the right thing?” She whispers as his heartbeat quickens at the amount of trust and love in her soft, soothing gaze.
He stares out at the burning towers of gold and onyx, the war they’d brought about simply by falling in love, the casualties that littered the battlefield, and kisses her forehead, cold obsidian eyes fading to a luminous, warm green.
He’s surprised when he meets her, a perfect physical replica of his goddess, but different, somehow. Where his Elizabeth was gentle, she was rough. Where his Elizabeth was soothing, she was harsh. It was like that saying the humans had:
‘Goodness is not kindness. And there is nothing crueller than virtue.’
He’d been so happy to see her again, in whatever form she’d come in. He hadn’t cared about why or how, as it was possible for certain special people to be reincarnated. (He should have cared.)
She had some rough edges, sure, but when she was with him, she softened, and the weeks they spent together were heaven until he’d slipped up, told her of their past life together.
Her dying words?
“Don’t let them win.”
She was poor, a beggar on the streets, and he’d have given her money and sent her on her way with a wish of good luck if he hadn’t seen her striking blue eyes.
Instead, he’d given her a home in him, where she’d flourished under his wing, and they’d lived enough years together to fool him into naively thinking that their curse wouldn’t activate if he didn’t tell her about her reincarnations. Blissfully, they’d been married for only a year before her power had awakened, the Goddess Clan symbol gleaming in her left eye, and he’d shocked himself by the sheer amount of hate he’d felt for the Supreme Deity and the Demon King, a fiery rage he hadn’t even known he was still capable of.
She wasn’t a human this time, nor a goddess like her first life. This time, she was a fairy, with their temperament to match; trusting, fierce loyalty for everything she believed in, mischief dancing in her eyes and a kindness most people didn’t have the capacity for anymore. She hadn’t had the wings the Faerie Folk were known for, but he’d loved her all the same.
However, the day her gossamer, iridescent violet-and-silver wings had bloomed from her shoulders had been not a day of celebration, not something to revel in, but a day of mourning as her eyes lit up amber, the rune he hated so deeply swirling in their depths.
He just didn’t understand how something so beautiful had been borne out of terror and despair.
This Elizabeth was the first out of all that he had met so far that was the most similar in both looks and personality. They’d met when his human friend had demanded for him to go to a hospital for his broken arm, not knowing about his rapid regeneration, and he’d instantly known that it was her when the healer there had locked eyes with him. No, not because of sentimentality or any of that pathetic drivel he’d grown to despise—happy endings were not real—. Rather, it was because for the first time, one of her eyes were already a rich, gleaming orange. She’d already awakened her true powers.
He’d sighed, and felt his heart clench (surely he should leave now, before his heart broke again? Surely he didn’t need to put himself through more suffering?), but then he’d seen the passionate, determined look in her eyes that he’d never stopped loving and fell.
(He’d never stopped loving her, not even once, but the way she’d died in his arms made him wish—)
He met her in the dead of night, a girl cloaked in shadows and the distinct stench of death. This one was the strangest by far, the furthest from the first Elizabeth. She was an assassin, wildly sought-after in the underworld. This was the first time an Elizabeth had tried to kill him, and with a flash of amusement, he wondered whether he should let her. It wasn’t as if it’d work anyways (lives 5, 14, 28, 42 and 48 had been spent trying to die—well, trying to die made it sound like he hadn’t succeeded. He’d succeeded, and woken up in Purgatory, only for his emotions to be taken from him, little by little. A shame, really).
He’d let her get a few slices in, her katana as deadly as her spirit, before stopping her. He’d spent the next few months getting her out of her shell, ripping her cold, cruel mask into shreds, and the way she’d opened up to him made him wonder if all of this was worth it.
(It wasn’t, of course. She’d died three days later.)
He met Elizabeth (Lizzie, as she was called in this life) when she was but a child in his eyes, fifteen and already a beauty, with her stubborn cerulean eyes and wild silver tresses. He taught her how to fight, how to barter, when to stand up to others and when to back down.
She’d grown into a beautiful young girl, young and bold and brilliant as she quickly made a name for herself in the world. He’d fought with her, side by side, the demon with startling green eyes and messy golden curls and the ex-goddess with hair like moonlight and eyes like sapphires.
Despite all odds, the men who laughed at her and said she’d never amount to anything, the women who advised her to give up and just bear children like a good little housewife, she fixed her fierce blue eyes on their disapproving faces and defied all odds by becoming the land’s greatest Holy Knight to date. But of course—his goddess would never have settled for anything less than perfect. It was one of the many things that had led to them falling in love, after all.
She’d lived til the ripe old age of 68 when the curse awakened, and when he’d tried to leave, not wanting to see his one true love die before his very eyes again, she stopped him, begging him to stay by her side even in death.
(She was perfect, but she was selfish.
And so was he. It was one of the many things that had led to them falling in love, after all.)
A Druid maiden.
He laughed when he found out, his hollow chuckles despairing and exhausted and downright haunting. What a joke.
She looked different, too; her eyes were the same steady teal, but this time her hair was longer than usual, past her waistline and a strange white-blond that reminded him of her, yet another casualty of the war that he’d brought about, yet the one casualty that would haunt him for the rest of his life (for he had lost his Elizabeth, yes, but he’d also gotten her back, in a strange sense. But Gelda, daughter to King Izraf, future heir to the throne to the Vampire Clan, fire-user, Daylighter, the Thousand Temptations and his younger brother’s lover—she wasn’t coming back. And it was his fault that Zeldris had had to kill his own beloved. He didn’t know what he’d do if he had to kill his lovely Elizabeth—actually, he did.
He glanced at his wrists.).
“Demon! Stay away, foul being!” She spat coldly, hands glowing with the familiar holy light that he’d seen so many times, and he’d turned tail and ran.
No, he hadn’t run because of the pulsing, powerful Ark that had been aimed at him, nor because of the silver-gold sparks that had danced around and between her fingertips screaming danger to his demonic side.
It had been the sheer hate in her dark eyes, the fury and horror and disgust that had been mingled, swirling in her hard gaze. She…hated him? Just because…he was a demon?
(He’d ran and ran and ran and ran until his legs couldn’t support him anymore and gave out beneath him, had doubled-over and puked, angry and terrified tears streaming down his face. It wasn’t fair. Elizabeth should never be scared of him. It wasn’t right.
It was his fault.)
Liz, as she’d chosen to call herself, was different. A slave from Pase, she’d had a rough childhood, strength humming powerfully in her veins. As a female, she was looked down upon by her ‘masters’ and superiors, but she had shown them all that a woman could do her job just as well as a man, leading to her promotion to the status of General. She had led a raid against Danafor, the kingdom he’d chosen to reside in, and had been captured and sentenced to death. As the acting Great Holy Knight, he’d instantly recognised her and ordered for her release.
She’d been skeptical, untrusting when he’d invited her to his home, a humble house just by a river, thinking that he only wanted her for her body (and he swore to execute anyone and everyone who had touched his Elizabeth in that manner without permission). But over time, she’d opened up to him, and made friends with the Knights he led. One night, she’d cuddled up to him after a gruelling day of training.
“…His name was Namar.” She said out of the blue, her eyes stony and cold as he glanced down at her in surprise.
“He worked at a booth in Pase, and he was my owner until he sold me to the military.” She didn’t need to elaborate any further as his emerald eyes hardened, green shifting to black as his demonic powers surged.
“Is he still there?” He questioned curiously, as to which she gave a short, stiff nod. Sweeping her pink bangs out of the way and kissing her forehead, he nodded firmly.
“Okay.” The next day, he came home, his clothes and gleaming broadsword speckled with blood. She took one look at him and pulled him gently into her arms, one hand carding through his messy blond curls as she rested her chin on his head, closing her eyes.
“Did you kill him?”
“…No.” He replied after a moment’s hesitation, Liz sighing in both relief and disappointment. He knew she didn’t want his hands stained with blood, but she wanted revenge at the same time.
“Did you hurt him?”
“Yes.” She lifted his chin so their gazes could meet, satisfied, trusting blue meeting firm, resolute green as her azure eyes blazed with wild, untamed, fiery passion, a slow, determined smirk of victory spreading on her face.
(It wasn’t an ‘I love you’, but somehow, it was better.)
Crimson lightning crackled around his slumped form as he gently knelt, pulling the baby into his arms. She was barely a year old, but he already recognised the stunning blue eyes. Bitter tears snaked down his face as he held in a choked sob, the memory of Liz dying fresh and painful in his mind. Yet another Elizabeth that he’d been too late to save.
His head pounded agonisingly as he uttered a soft curse, pulling the baby closer to his chest protectively and stumbling out of the smoking crater that had once been Danafor.
Dammit, Meliodas, you lost control of your powers again! He hissed at the dark thoughts swirling around insistently in his head, forcibly willing them away as he clutched her closer.
The sound of hoofbeats echoed in his ears as he walked closer, dragging his feet. Someone was speaking to him, but he could barely concentrate, what with Liz’s death and the child he carried securely in his arms.
“-I can look after the baby for you-“ He snapped to attention at those words as unfamiliar hands reached to take ahold of her, and snarled viciously, eyes darkening to a cold obsidian as he slapped the stranger’s hands away, unsheathing his sword in one fluid move with one hand and holding her in the other.
“Don’t you dare. Get your hands away from my Elizabeth.” He growled lowly, eyes flicking upwards to glare at the stranger like a cornered predator. Everything after that had been a blur—he’d been invited to stay at their castle to recuperate, apparently, but adamantly refused to let go of his goddess, taking care of her like a concerned mother would.
As he rocked her gently in his arms from where he was standing next to the windowsill, he peered out of the castle window and at the slowly-dimming sunset Elizabeth had always loved, the hues of pinks and oranges and silvers mixing together prettily, smiling softly down at the child.
This would be the last reincarnation. He’d make sure of it.
After all, the Demon King and the Supreme Deity may have thought they had won by cursing their children to eternal damnation, but they had severely underestimated them both;
After all, Meliodas has always had a love of defying expectations, and Elizabeth would do everything in her power to keep the people she loves safe and happy.
The world never stood a chance.