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For Hearth and Home

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He should have been in a terrible pain. That surge of raw power from the ring helped, but it's not like the damage from two hollow-points or his knee for that matter were completely healed. Not to say about his left arm that was practically burned to cinders. The roaring pain was there somewhere within, but distant and muffled to the point of easily ignored dull ache. Whether it was a courtesy of the Old Kings or a simple body shock he was grateful for the chance to go with dignity and peace, not a delirious agonizing cripple. He fought hard, saved the princess, was deemed worthy to be granted a kingly favor and all in all it was not a bad way to go.

Nyx leaned on a piece of rubble and sighed, closing his eyes against the beams of a rising sun. It was a decent life and good enough end. He did his best and he was finally allowed to stop. He had no regrets. Nyx opened his eyes and starred into the clear dawning sky.

Except that he had. A lot.

Crowe was murdered by a fellow Glaive. Libertus went rogue. The Kingsglaive gone, half of them traitors. Insomnia left defenseless, Lucis open for taking without the crystal, without the King. And commander Drautos... Nyx had many regrets in fact. It all went from somewhat depressing to a total defeat almost overnight. Was he not alert enough? Had he missed the signs? Such a treason must have been prepared for a long time. Was there a chance to change anything if he acted differently at some point? Listened carefully to Luche, obeyed the orders and stayed on his post in the Citadel? Same question all his life. Could he have saved them if he tried harder?

Help... help, brother...

Nyx shook his head to get rid of the familiar voice. The sun was rising but his heart seemed to be filling with shadows. He was not done yet. He still had so much work to do. Help Lunafreya find prince Noctis, keep them safe, get back their land. The hollowing feeling inside him was spreading, replacing previous serenity, despite his best attempts to cling to it. It was not a fear of death but the feeling of overwhelming lack of completion. The princess might have said his destiny was not fulfilled yet. So much for being an oracle. He still had to sit there helplessly watching the ascendence of the sun, waiting to burst in flames. Again. Or however his end was about to come.

The Old Kings sure had a wide definition of the word sunrise.

It wasn't noon or anything, but the sun has already risen quite a bit.

"If it's all the same to you, any time now" Nyx muttered, not sure if they were even listening.

Regrets were creeping around and jumping at him like a pack of hungry wolves. He wanted to see Galahd for one last time. He promised king Regis to deliver the princess to Altissia. He really hoped to die before this thoughts could strengthen and burden him on his final journey, make him wish for more. Also the blessed veil of numbness seemed to somewhat dissipate. The feeling in his body coming back and bringing pain with it.

Nyx looked around, everything was covered in rubble and bathed in sunlight.

"First light of sun, my ass" he gritted, half hoping to annoy the Old Kings enough to speed up the killing process.

The only answer he has got, was a pained wet cough from somewhere behind.

So he was not the only one stuck on the doorstep of death, eager but forfeit from entering that realm. Something was causing the delay.

Could it be, they meant the next sunrise? His mind was a bit foggy about the exact wording the great deities have used, safe from them constantly calling him mortal and insulting his moral capabilities. First light, was it? The sunrise of the next day? Well technically it was still the previous day and the next was yet to come.

It was a useless task, trying to guess the workings of powers he had no understanding of, but he was not about to lie around if there was still one whole day to struggle through.

Cringing Nyx has stumbled on his feet, yeah, the blessed numbness was going fast.

Commander Drautos was exactly as he left him an hour or so ago, when they stopped their strenuous fight. Sprawled on the pavement, half-covered with his enormous armor. Still breathing, the stubborn bastard, Nyx thought without malice, with something bordering on incredulous amusement.

The man has coughed again, blood gurgling in his throat and bubbling on his lips, as his face scrunched up in obvious pain. Nyx moved before the idea of doing so registered in his mind. But even when it did, he haven't paused in his approach. He sincerely doubted, that Old Kings approved of helping general Glauca. But fuck them anyway, he was helping his commander instead. Not as if anyone could punish him more than they were about to anyway.