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Selfish

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Emily's terrified screams tore through the night air, making chills run down Corvo's spine. He rushed up the metal staircase of the lighthouse, grip tightening on his in already blood covered blade.

He was going to kill him.

He was going to make Havelock pay for everything he did.

For kidnapping Emily. For using him like a pawn in his game and betraying him. It didn't matter if he had to kill the entirety of Dunwall to get his way, he would get his revenge, he would make sure of that.

And he would enjoy it, every last second of it, his entire being was yearning to claim that man’s life and finally get this entire ordeal over with.

When he managed to get to the top of the lighthouse he halted. Standing in the doorway, he stared at scene that was playing in front of him.

Havelock stood at the end of the runway, Emily in his arms. Corvo took a step forward, cautiously. The wind was howling, rain thrumming harshly against the lighthouse, he could hardly see a thing.

"Don't come any closer, Corvo!" Havelock called, taking another step backwards, a strong gust of wind making the man topple slightly. Emily screamed in fright and Corvo's heart lurched in his throat. "If you do, I will kill us both!"

The former Royal Protector stood still, grip loosening on his blade, holding up his other hand cautiously. The adrenaline that had been rushing through his body was slowly starting to wear off. All the rage he had felt suddenly disappeared, as if washed away by the rain. He couldn’t help the tremble that was controlling his armed hand.

"Don't do this." He almost pleaded, the yell of his voice booming over the deafening storm.

"I should have killed you myself when I had the chance, Corvo!" The man cut in, voice loud. He tightened his grip on Emily taking another threatening step back, making the child scream once again.

Corvo licked his lips and quickly dropped his weapons, the blade, guns and multiple other devices used for killing clattered at his feet, the metallic sounds almost inaudible over the storm. He now raised both arms, showing his empty hands, trying to make the other see that he was now unarmed.

His heart was racing as blood rushed through his ears and he pleaded to the man to see reason. He couldn’t lose another person so dearly to his heart. Not again.

He let his gaze drift towards Emily’s, even in this cold and numbing rain her face seemed to be flaming red, her mouth agape as she hysterically called for her father to come save her from the man pulling her so close towards death. Corvo’s eyes never left Emily’s as he tried to reassure her, moving cautiously closer to them, arms outstretched as if trying to pull her towards him.

Then suddenly without warning Havelock took another step backwards and let himself fall, Corvo watched his daughter’s face distort as a scream tore from the young child’s throat. He rushed towards them, seemingly taking an eternity to even take a step forward. Corvo wasn’t fast enough, even though it seemed as if Emily was falling in slow motion, he moved even slower. It didn’t even hit him until he was halfway down the runway and he could hardly see Emily anymore, that he could use the Outsider’s gift to cross the gap. He called upon the power of the void, feeling his entire body being catapulted forwards with the use of blink. His hands shot out, fingers grasping at thin air as he watched his daughter’s small form, dressed all in white, disappear into the abyss below.

He could hear her voice carry through the night sky until it suddenly stopped and the wind howled loudly, almost like a wounded animal. Corvo let himself fall to the ground, upper body leaning against the railing, eyes not leaving the darkness that took his daughter from him.

He exhaled shakily, removing his mask. He brushed numb fingers through his hair, pushing his hood aside with the motion, as warmth began to coat his face, accompanying the cold rain.

He had failed. Again.

He had failed both as a Royal Protector and as a father. Emily was dead.

"That surely was interesting." A disembodied voice mumbled from besides him.

Corvo didn’t move to look at the Outsider, knowing he wasn’t actually there. He felt the Void pulling at his body, asking him to come towards it and he didn’t resist, letting it tear at him until he was no longer on the walkway on top of the lighthouse, rather he was greeted by the sight of the Outsider himself.

“Interesting indeed.” The Being said, crossing his arms and watching him. To Corvo he almost sounded amused. “When I gave you my gift, I did tell you to use it however you see fit, but this was not the outcome I had expected. I have gifted many with the mark, but none of them were as entertaining as you, my dear friend.”

The Outsider didn’t move neither did Corvo as he continued to speak. “I wonder what you will do now, Corvo? You have managed to avenge your dearly beloved Jessamine after all, but for the price of your daughter’s life. Was it really worth it?”

The pained feeling that twisted in Corvo’s chest became almost unbearable, as shame and guilt welled up inside of him.

“You’re a selfish fool, Corvo.”

The man opened his mouth to deny these allegations, he had done what had to be done in order to avenge Jessamine!

The conversation was met with silence as the words just didn’t leave Corvo’s mouth.

“You could have chosen a different path to avenge your beloved Empress, you could have even cleared your own name, but instead, you chose the path of vengeance and murder.” The Outsider said and Corvo swallowed thickly.

He had no other choice, it had been his only way to assure he could avenge Jessamine! Hadn’t it? Corvo wasn’t so certain anymore, as doubt started to claw it’s way up his throat.

“With every action, every life, you claimed you decided the outcome of the current events. You yourself paved the path you are now walking, every small little selfish thing you did, set down another stone.”

His heart thrummed loudly in his chest as he felt himself being torn back towards the lighthouse. He still sat at the end of the walkway, rain splashing against his face. He looked downwards again, the mask he had worn this entire time was still sitting in his numb grasp. Now that he looked at it, it did depict him quite well.

His actions? He let the past events leading up to this point replay in his mind contemplating the Outsider’s words. He saw himself claim life’s of people, no matter if guard, weeper or civilian. If innocent or not. He had taken them all, even if they begged for mercy, pleaded for him to see reason – just like he himself did with Havelock – he didn’t lower his weapon. Never did. Why? Because to him they only stood in his way to get his own, hateful, revenge.

He had lost everything because of his selfish actions. Emily’s life was just another one of the hundreds of others he had claimed on this hate driven journey.

He let the mask slip from his wet grasp, watching it follow his daughter into the depths bellow. He leaned forwards slightly, the wind strong in his back, pushing against him, as if trying to urge him on to do it.

But Corvo didn’t, as he abruptly stood up and moved away from the edge. He wouldn’t let himself have such a short and painless ending, he didn’t deserve it. He had to atone for everything he had done, even though, deep down he knew, he never could.

As he moved down the walkway back towards the lighthouse he heard the Outsider’s voice in the back of his head.

“I wonder what you are chasing now, Corvo?” He asked, the voice accompanied by slight amusement. “Or are you perhaps running from something?”

Corvo didn’t answer as he descended the stairs of the lighthouse.