Ascension Rebirth – Echo of revenge
-A FEW WEEKS AGO-
[Eternum Calendar Year 496]
My name is Echo.
Since my birthday is about to come around soon I will be turning 5.
I live on the outskirts of the western capital. My parents are not here anymore but in their stead my older sister has taken care of me. She is very kind to me and I love her very much.
The way she hugs me when I am sad or lonely and the way she smiles at me when I’m happy. She is the world to me.
However because we are poor, my sister often has to go out to work. She works as an apprentice merchant and soon she says she will be able to open her own shop. When that happens I can help my sister and we will be together more often.
However as of late, there is something worrying me.
My sister has been coming home very late, because of her job sometimes she finishes late but recently it has been every day.
She would come back after the sun has already long set and I have already been put to bed. When she comes back she is always very tired and bags have been growing under her eyes.
She is still kind to me but I worry she will collapse if this continues.
“Soon, Echo. Soon we can fulfil our dream of opening a shop. Just the two of us. Then we can live happily.”
I pretend to sleep while she speaks to me. She gently strokes my hair and looks down at me with soft gaze.
Strange men have came over to my house.
My sister says they are friends so it’s okay.
However the way they’re dressed I do not like them. They give off an ominous vibe just by being near them.
Their red armour stands out brightly and their weapons are sharp.
I have never seen these men in the place that my sister works at, however because sister said it was okay I will not take it any further.
One night my sister brought one of those men again. Because I was worried about my sister I had only pretended to be sleeping.
“Are the preparations complete?”
The man asks my sister.
“Yeah, we’ve gathered enough divine energy. All we need to do is infuse it with the monolith and we should be able to recreate the phenomenon from 500 years ago.”
‘Phenomenon from 500 years ago’?
Does this have something to do with my sister’s merchant apprenticeship? Maybe it’s a new product that they’re trying to make.
“Don’t screw this up, you’ve been chosen as the acolyte so you have to fulfil your job at all costs.”
“I know that. This is all for my sister’s future so I’ll accomplish it no matter what.”
“If you have that much resolve then I guess I can stop worrying about it.”
“Hmph, rather than me shouldn’t you worry more about that brother of yours that went missing? What was his name Ryland Lancaster?”
“That fool’s dead. Along with his entire squad that was left behind in Karta village to salvage the residue divine energy.”
“We found some traces of battle, but we aren’t exactly sure who the enemy was.”
“I’m… sorry about your loss.”
“Don’t be. That fool deserved it. He was being far too cocky for his own good.”
“Even if you say that you still have that sad expression. If you don’t mind, I can…”
“Stop, your sister’s here.”
“Sorry, I’m not in the mood for it. When you finished your job then we’ll do it then.”
“Okay, it’s a promise.”
“What are you blushing for?”
“Anyway, the place you will proceed with the experiment is a remote area near Cherm village.”
“All I need to do is observe the phenomenon after I’ve activated the monolith right?”
“Yeah, if we’re successful then our goals may well be realized, so don’t let us down.”
“Who do you think I am? I’m the illusionist Noel. For my sister’s happiness I will accomplish this task.”
The next morning I woke up with a heavy feeling.
I’m still unsure what is happening but it doesn’t look like my sister is doing anything merchant related.
Why is she hiding things from me?
I want to help out as well.
However I didn’t have the courage to confront my sister about it. Her soft smile made me think twice.
After breakfast my sister sat down and spoke to me.
“Echo, listen. Sister will be going out for a few days. During that time I want you to keep safe.”
“Where are you going, sister? I want to come too.”
She gently placed her hands on top of my head and looked at me with a sad expression.
“Sorry Echo. I want to take you along but it might be a little dangerous for you. Don’t worry, I’ll be back and when we are we will be able to open that shop that we wanted to for so long.”
“You want to help me with setting up and running the shop right?”
I nod my head furiously.
“Then you’ll have to wait for me to return and we can run it together. Okay? So be a good girl and wait for me to return.”
I couldn’t refuse my kind hearted sister.
I decided to place my trust in her and wait for her return.
Once she does we will be able to open a shop and live happily.
I can’t wait for that to happen.
We will sell all kinds of things. Maybe weapons for adventurers, or books and scrolls for mages.
We might even be able to sell some medicine, ah but I don’t have any knowledge on what kind of plants can be used for it.
Hmm, maybe my sister might know, she knows a lot of things.
A few days after my sister had left my sister’s friends had come to our house.
One of the men I remember. He was the one that my sister brought that one night. I don’t know his name though.
“…? Sorry, my sister isn’t here right now.”
I tell them that but they have a heavy expression on their face.
The man crouches down to meet me at eye level. He gives me a sad expression.
This man has seen a lot of battles, I can tell by the light in his eyes.
“Listen Echo. I don’t know how to tell you this but, Noel isn’t here anymore. She perished in battle.”
I don’t understand.
“Echo you have to be strong. For your sister’s sake.” S
“I don’t understand.”
“I DON’T UNDERSTAND!”
I rush out of my own house. I didn’t even know where I was going to go.
It didn’t matter where, I just didn’t want to be there.
I have to go to my sister. She’s waiting for me.
However before I can even make it much farther the man stops me. He picks me up while I try to violently kick him to get away.
However I since I am weak he doesn’t even budge.
Tears started running down my face.
Soon, I couldn’t even see properly.
“Why did my sister leave me?”
The man looks at me.
“Who was it the one who killed my sister?”
The man doesn’t speak.
Don’t I have the right to know as my sister’s younger sibling?
I want to know!
I want to know who took my sister away from me. I want to know why.
And then I want to take them away from the world!
The man doesn’t speak but one of the other soldiers came after us.
“Sir, this could be a chance. The one who killed Noel was that Tetrarch’s daughter wasn’t it? We could deal a huge blow to the West Tetrarch if something were to happen to his daughter.”
“Are you really saying that?”
“I, no, but if we could, then it might help us in our next step.”
“Let me do it.”
As I say, the men look at me.
“If you’re going to take revenge for my sister, then let me do it.”
“… Are you sure? If you do this there’s no turning back.”
The man looks at me with a firm gaze. I silently nod my head.
If I can have revenge on the ones who took my sister away from me then it doesn’t matter what happens to me. They’re the ones who took away my entire world, I can’t forgive them.
I was taken to the inside of the western capital. It was my first time being here.
There were many different people. Adventurers, merchants, nobles and soldiers.
They were all busily walking around and talking to one another.
This was the place that my sister and I wanted to open a new shop. We were supposed to sell goods to these people as well.
“Why are we here?”
“To show you the one who took your sister away from you. You need to know who it is for you to go along with the plan right?”
I give my consent.
I was taken to a small alley way that was barely visible to anyone.
“The Tetrarch’s daughter frequents this area as a shortcut through the town.”
The man points towards a small child no older than me.
“That’s the one?”
No, impossible, that small child killed my older sister? How?
“I can’t believe it either but reports say she was in the same place as when your sister died. Logically speaking that can only mean one thing right?”
“Then why aren’t we attacking her now?”
“Not so fast. She’s usually with a guard. We did once have an attempt on her life but her guard was too powerful. That’s why it’s better if we set a trap.”
After that we quietly left the scene without being detected. I took one last look at the girl who took my sister.
The plan was for me to befriend her and look for an opportunity when she isn’t with her guard. Once I’ve found a suitable opening I will lure her into the base where the men will be waiting for her and we will kill her.
That night I was all alone in my house.
The house seemed bigger and more silent than usual. My sister will no longer be returning no matter how much I wait for her.
Why did my sister have to leave me?
I want to be with her. I want to see her again.
I cried myself all throughout the night.
When this is all over I will kill myself as well, then I can be with my sister.
The man from before came over during the night to see how I was doing.
“Are you asleep?”
“… I just wanted to ask. Are you sure you want to go through with this?”
“Noel wouldn’t want you to stain your hands like this you know. She only wished for your happiness. You won’t be able to get it like this.”
“I don’t care. I will see my sister after this.”
“You know, I lost a younger brother. He was always noisy and annoying but he was still my brother. Sometimes we’d fight, sometimes we’d do things together. In the end I never even got to say goodbye to him. Even then I haven’t even thought about taking revenge for him because he died doing his duty. Sometimes things happen whether we like it or not.”
“You only say that because you don’t know who it was that killed your brother.”
“… perhaps, but I think it’s better to think to prioritize your sister’s wishes for your happiness rather than sate your thirst for revenge.”
“Your sister and I were to be married after she finished her mission you know?”
“She wanted to prioritize your happiness before everything. So I feel it is my responsibility to help her realize her dreams.”
“Enough, I won’t change my mind.”
“… I see. Then at least let me tell you. Every decision you make will be your own. Do you think you can live with that after everything is over?”
“We will go through with the plan but I want you to think carefully about it.”
After saying no more the man left.
What does he know?
I’m the one who knew my sister the best. Perhaps my sister would not want this but I want it. If it is my sister, I’m sure she would want for me to do what I want the most.
For my sister, I will do anything.