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To Live is to Die Twice

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Mors Lucis Caeum, CXII, The Stern, King of Lucis, King of Stone, Great Paladin of the Crystal and First Priest of Bahamut, was dead.

He couldn’t remember how it had happened. Was that important? He had a feeling it was. He couldn’t bring himself to really care about it. Sooner or later he would remember, and if he didn't then it didn't seem worth to make a fuss over.

For now he would be content with having done his duty. He had satisfied his nation and the Gods and now he would join his ancestors within the Ring of the Lucii. That thought had something… pleasant. He was glad it was over for him. Regis would be a better King than he had ever managed to be. And a better father.

Strange.

Death had the ability to bring carefully buried truths to light.

Mors knew he shouldn't have kept such a distance between him and his son. Machaerad, his stubborn, foolish and loyal Shield had said so more than once. But it had been easier to bury himself in affairs of the state and trying to keep Lucis safe from Niflheim slowly encroaching on their borders. So much easier.

The usual bitterness upon that thought oddly never came. There was only a steep emptiness, where something important was supposed to be. Something he didn’t remember and had lost without ever gaining it back. Was that normal? It didn’t really bother him.

The dead King didn’t know for how long he lingered within the twilight between the Realm of the Living, the Gates of Death and Dreams and the Ring until searching fingers reached him. They pulled and prodded until his soul drifted towards its final destination.

At last that was what he thought.

What else could it have been?