The Palace was turned upside down and the Knights immediately restrained me and dragged inside the prison. They imprisoned and tortured me to death.
The three Princes were exiled to the Land of the Dead for conspiracy because they tried to lift me up from my judgement.
I was tortured to death for I did not know how long, without proper food and water. Every night, the Prince would send someone to torture me by hands and feet or by whipping me all over my body.
I did not had enough strength left in me to even whine. My lungs were dried out and I barely open my eyes. I could smell myself and it was awful, from the dried blood and dirt clinging onto me.
The only thing that I knew were night and day through the the small window with a size of a hand. I lost count of the day I stayed here, not that I care.
YEAR 678 of Asthal's Calendar
Tomorrow is my execution day, the day I had been waiting for.
I did not know how long I was jailed and tortured inside that prison. There was no time my wound and/or bruises healed. My bruises were turning dark violet and I never get treatment. Old bruises and wounds were being covered with another.
The Emperor finally announced my execution last four days and the day before my execution, he did not sent a torturer to 'my' prison. They even gave me a piece of bread and a glass of water and splashed me with water to rinse myself a bit. They gave me white plain dress to change.
The only thing left in my prison was the unpleasant smell of the blood and dusts scattered and left everywhere.
How considerate of him. Huh.
That night, as usual, I could not sleep a wink. The unpleasant smell of the place and my wounds and bruises were bothering me. I could feel the pain on every position I did that made me whine.
Maybe, even without these bruises and wounds all over me, I would not get a good night sleep because I would surely have nightmares anyway.
I was about to close my eyes when I heard a silent footsteps.
What now? Did the Emperor changed his mind and could not bear not to torture me until the end?
The footsteps stopped just infront of my cell but I pretended to be asleep.
"Maxine..." said in a low and deep voice. The name I did not heard for so long and forgotten.
The voice sounds hoarse, deep and full of sympathy... and a familiar one.
I quickly sat with the help on my hands. I felt a sting on my every limbs when I moved but I bit my lip to stop myself from making any sound.
I threw my head behind me where a man infront of my cell being illuminated by the light from the moon on the small window. He was standing but immediate crouched, sat on his legs to level me.
Am... am I... dreaming...?
He was wearing a casual black polo-shirt that hugs his chest and biceps firmly, a brown lose trouser and a red cape on his back. He has a pair of deep blue orbs that reflects the moon and like an unsteady waves of the ocean that was about to be struck by a typhoon and his red red hair just like my eyes. His silhouette looks steady, broad and strong.
He was an existing destruction that perfectly sculptured by the Graces.
He looked at me with a mixed emotion in his eyes, pity, anger, worried and hurt. He looked at me with those eyes of his like he was the one who feels what I was feeling and suffering in my sufferings.
I blinked many times to confirm if he was a real thing or my imagination was just playing with me.
He looked more matured than the last time saw him. The built of his body broaden and he also grew little mustaches and beard.
His hard and grim features soften on the reaction I showed him and just like what he always did in the past, he smiled at me, telling me that everything gonna be alright.
I did not say anything because I felt that everything that would escape my mouth would be a sin. I want to call him but his name was too precious for me to call and be a sin.
"Maxine... Its me..." he whispered like telling me to believe him based on his tone.
I slowly crawled towards him and held between the bars. He slowly reached for me with his two large hands. His hands gently landed and traced my face like he was examining my whole face to be sculptured and painted. The look in his eyes was now serene as he stared at me longingly.
I could see him hurting while doing this because my face was not an exemption to the bruises and wounds I got from the beatings.
After doing that, he held my hand holding in the bars. His calloused and warm hands held mine.
He leaned his forehead on the gap of the bars and closed his eyes so I did the same thing. I closed my eyes and savour the moment of peace I was yearning for. All this time, it was someone like him I want to have beside me.
My chest was momentarily lifted from a heavy burden that I knew, would not last…
We stayed like that for a moment, no one was talking and just leaning our head with each other while we closed our eyes. The silence was not awkward and in the truth, I felt like time has stopped while we were at it.
I felt everything around me became peaceful and calm just by being with him.
"Maxine..." he called out. I hummed with a question mark because I did not want to stain him with my sin and my voice just really dried up because I did not talked for so long all this time. My voice just would not came out.
"I have the power but I am no one's follower now, I can..." he paused. I think I know what he was trying to say...
We separated from each other and I sat with my back facing him. He also leaned his back to mine with the cell bars between us. Maybe he sensed that I did not want him to see me in this kind of state.
"... If you want..." he continued and paused, even so, I already know what he wanted to say. I did not mutter a word and I assume, he got the answer I would want to say.
"... Why...?" he asked after a long silence but I still did not answered him again this time.
"M-Maxine... I-I... I-" I could hear him stuttered due to restraining himself from crying.
"If I did not left you, will you end up like this? It was all my fault... I should have stayed with you or took you with me so, nothing like this will happen. Blame me, Maxine... Blame me for ending in a state like this. Shout... Shout all your anger to me. Blame me... Blame me for leaving you alone." he said with his shaking voice. I know how hard he was trying to suppress his tears so I would not think that he was being weak while he was with me.
"... I am sorry, Maxine. I am truly am sorry. I was damn late!" he apologized and the emotion he was trying so hard to hold back bursted out like a dam.
No... Please do not cry... None of the things happened was your fault. I do not blame you at all.
I held unto my chest when it tightened and it was like I am short of air because of the pain. I brought my legs nearer to tighten my fist in the chest.
No... I am sorry... For not giving you back what you gave me... For what you deserve.
A tear escaped from my eye, at last but I could not totally cry when I know, everything that happened to my life, my family's, his and the life everyone around me was my fault. I am at fault here and I am ready to drag all of my sins to my own death.
It was painful. It was too painful. My chest hurts. The sorrow was overwhelming that made my lungs in pain for stopping myself from crying so hard.
"Maxine, I promise you... Even in a different era, different time, different space or from different dimension... In the eternal cycle of life... Remember that... I will always wait for you and I will always love you even more... I will make you fall inlove with me and when we meet again by chance, I assure you that I already have gathered more power and all the people who will tarnish your name and harm you in any way shall die by my own hands... I am ready to dirty my hands again and that time, its not for the Emperor, not for any Lords nor for any other but you. That is my resolve... "