Juno looked out upon the group of Scissors, etching each of their faces into memory as they’d done time and time again. To forget any of them would have done them great injustice for fighting so doggedly for retribution. The rapid turn of events over the past week, however, still left Juno reeling. They gripped their naginata and ventured a glance towards Sir Rokusho, whom they still regarded as somewhat of an outsider, as he worked with the other Scissors members. Juno could understand his actions, but they still couldn’t wrap their head around them. Was sparing them truly an act of mercy or a life sentence? Juno couldn’t answer.
That was something to be revealed in due time.
As Rokusho continued leading them, Juno kept their pensive gaze on him. He obviously cared deeply about his charge, the young prince, more than he let on. It wasn’t any of their business, of course, but they were wise enough to sense a certain spark between the two. A small pang of sadness crept into Juno’s chest, fearing what the future held for those two. If anything happened, Juno likely wouldn’t be able to help in the least. Despite the uncertainty that the future held, they still felt some gratitude towards the strange Scissors knight.
“Rokusho,” Juno finally interjected.
“Hm?” Clueless to Juno’s musings, Rokusho slowed and looked up from a map. “Yes?”
“If you need any help… we might not be able to do much, but let us know,” Juno slowly offered.
Rokusho gave a polite nod, not quite expecting it. “Thank you. I appreciate the gesture.” He quickly resumed looking at his map before starting off again. Help with what? He wondered. He was already dedicated to helping them build their future home. Despite this, he gave a grateful smile to the commander.
“One last thing... “ Juno added after they had already taken a few steps, turning back to face Rokusho once more, “While I was serving under General Patina…”
“Yes?” Rokusho responded, unconsciously folding the map in his hands. What was Juno getting at?
“While I was under Patina, he mentioned… having a son. It wasn’t very often, and he only mentioned it in passing, but he always seemed… proud.”
“... So you guessed correctly.” Rokusho said with some measure of incredulousness. His father was still somewhat of a sensitive topic, especially when brought up like this.
“Well, you just confirmed my suspicions,” Juno replied with a small smirk, “but I had thought so. You were able to out-strategize me, even under such duress, and… you have his eyes, Rokusho. When you confronted me in the grand hall, with mercy, I saw my own superior staring back at me.”
Rokusho’s ruby eyes glistened brightly as he stared at Juno. He felt something he couldn’t quite describe... Like the world moving gracefully about him as he reflected on Juno’s words, which had struck him deep at the core. He let go of a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding to wonder, “Is that so…” The young knight looked off into the far distance with a hopeful smile, having momentarily forgotten the task at hand.
Juno couldn’t help but mirror his smile. Though he usually acted maturely, Rokusho was exceedingly young, even in comparison to the other survivors, so young that Juno felt somewhat guilty for causing him so much grief. Despite seeming a bit odd, he gave Juno hope that the future was bright for the Scissors and for younger generations to come.
Once more, Juno beheld that starry-eyed knight, who held the map with both of his hands, pressing it close to his chest as he was lost in thought. “Come on, Sir Rokusho ,” Juno gently reproached, lightly tapping his forehead and snapping him back to reality. “We’ve still got a long way to go.”
“R-right!” He skipped ahead briskly, with a bounce in his step and a warmth in his heart.
Thus, they all resumed their long journey, onward to the many trials ahead.