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A Year Ago Today

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A year had elapsed since Fractos made his strike on the Seven Realms.

A year had elapsed since Lazarel and Teresa- Cesar's childhood friends- were found to be the twins of the prophecy, who were further crowned the new High King and Queen of Accordia.

... And a year had elapsed since the murder of his father.

Cesar found himself overlooking his kingdom from his bedroom balcony, sipping out of a wine glass. Probably his... third one that night.

Maybe fourth? He didn't care. He didn't care about anything right now, really.

This day a year ago- that dreadful, sickening evening- he found his father. Knife in his back, bleeding out on the floor of his bed-chamber.

Yet still, he worked up the strength to whisper his last, dying words to his son.

To whisper that he loved him, something Cesar had never recalled him saying before. At least to him.

It's funny, isn't it? He trained all his life to make his father- his entire lineage, for that matter- proud of him. Not even an ounce of recognition from his father.

And here Cesar thought that he wouldn't be the one to screw up everything his line worked for.

He was doomed from day one with that temper, though it ran in the family.

Goddess- why?

Why did he have to go and start a damned war with an innocent country?!

Harba didn't do anything wrong, yet Cesar was still lead to believe that one of the most kind and just leaders in the Seven Realms would kill his father. To leave him there without a second word for it.

Dammit, why didn't he realize that it was all some- some ploy to doom their world!? If it weren't for him, maybe the King of Harba would still be alive!

Maybe... maybe if he didn't disband from his only friends years ago, he would not have started a war in the first place. Perhaps Lazarel and Teresa would have aided Cesar in his time of need; helped him keep a level head.

... But no. No, no, he just had to go and screw it up!

Cesar had to go and fuck things up, making an utter fool of himself in front of everyone for being a selfish, impulsive child!

Selfish in starting the war without a single care about who or what got in his way, which ultimately ended with the demise of thousands of lives, the King of Harba's included!

If Cesar had done more than plot his revenge, maybe those lives taken in his wake of brutality would still be around, leaving peacefully with their families! Families that were torn apart because of his foolish actions!

Hell, maybe he should have let Donk rule Dunisia! At least then they would have someone who was worthy enough to protect his people!

Cesar shouted in anger and crushed the delicate wine glass he had been holding.

The plum beverage spilled all over the place, glass lodged itself into his hand. He bit back a cry of pain, letting his tense, bleeding hand fall open.

Warm tears streamed down his face. Cesar rested his arms on the railing, dipping his head down in defeat. Dammit, Fractos!

Even though the evil was exterminated, its presence still plagued Cesar's mind. It never seemed to leave him be, attacking him on his worst of days.

It consistently gave him a reminder that the crown he wore upon his head should still be set upon that of his late father.

Cesar did not earn his title as Dunisia's king, it was handed to him on a blood-stained platter.

With a heaved sigh, he took a moment of silence for all those lives lost in his wake of anger that fateful year ago.

His mind cleared, and everything was still. No noise to bother him, no person to grab his attention.

For the first time, he felt as though nothing bad were to come upon the Seven Realms any longer.

Sure, that was stated in the prophecy, but this time he truly felt that nothing could be of a bother to him any longer (aside from his building loneliness.)

Just as he began to return to reality, the painful thoughts returned.

More violent this time, screaming at him with such detest and spite, he felt as if his head were going to explode.

Cesar collapsed to his knees, holding his head with one hand while the other laid weakly on his lap.

The tears kept running, the voices got louder. Why did he even accept the crown? He doesn't deserve to rule Dunisia after all he has done to hurt the realms that surrounded him; the realms said to be his aid.

None of the other rulers wanted to speak with him, surely! He had threatened their lives, their kingdoms! What do they owe him, hm!?

What care are they required to have; to worry about what the young, unreliable King of Dunisia woes about?

Nothing! They owe him nothing! Not a single living soul should be required to care about what he is going through.

In their eyes, he is a mere child, incapable of caring for himself or his kingdom, for that matter!

Why did his father have to die?! Was it he who should bear the blood of his own father? For not protecting him in his time of need?! Why-

Cesar hadn't noticed his cries had become audible, that of both pains outwardly and inwardly.

Unbeknownst to him a person stood there in the doorway leading back to his own room. He wore nothing but a sheet and a familiar silk purple cape.

"Hey, hey! What's wrong? Cesar! Look at me, what happened to your hand?!" he quickly came to Cesar's aid, crouching next to him before examining his hand carefully.

Cesar's turned his head slowly, meeting the worried eyes of Lazarel.

He couldn't find the words to sound proper, he couldn't- he couldn't be this strong, prideful king.

Not now, not while he was at the disposal of one of the most powerful people in the Seven Realms (who also happened to be his friend with benefits.)

This wasn't the time to be vulnerable, Cesar knew, but what other choice did he have? Making up a lousy excuse as to why glass was lodged in his hand and why he was screaming wasn't going to work on Lazarel (as gullible as the High King may seem.)

A choked back sob was all Lazarel needed to hear before hugging Cesar, one that was warm and comforting. Nostalgic to the days when they were in the academy.

The only thing Cesar could will himself to do was to hug him back with his free, unpenetrated hand, his tears soaking the sheet and purple fabric.

Coos and hushes filled his senses. Cesar began to calm down, albeit only a little. He met Lazarel's soft, worried gaze, drifting down to his hand that still had glass sticking out of it.

"Let's talk about, uh... why you were upset a little later. That's gonna get infected if we don't get you checked up. Come on." Lazarel said as he steadily helped Cesar to his feet.

Cesar silently took note that Lazarel was literally wearing nothing aside from what looked to be one of his bedsheets and his cape, but that was irrelevant for the moment.

He wasn't exactly calm per say, but Cesar could stand on his own two feet so for now, he would call it a battle won.

Still... did he really deserve to be called a king?

Personally, Cesar didn't think so, but knowing his close acquaintances they would attest to that.

His actions are not just, despite being fooled time and time again by an ancient evil.

Cesar started a war over a quick glimpse, a feather, and the body of his father. He could never atone to his feats, but if only for a moment he could let himself lead a carefree life, perhaps these constant episodes and mood swings of his would stop.

A year had elapsed since Cesar had become the new King of Dunisia, and a couple more it would take for him to own his title proudly with his head held high.