Posted by Darth Krzysztof
12 Wealsun, 595 CY
Liberty lay on her stomach in her smallclothes, legs up and ankles crossed, considering the words on the scrap of paper she’d found tucked into Mom’s journal. The words, barely visible in the candlelight, read: ‘Know that your kindness and compassion can win out over your drive and passion. Not occult them, no, but temper them and keep them from causing unwanted harm.’
I’ve struggled with this for so long, she thought, and he knew it better than I did. She’d taken his lessons to heart (as best she could), and was finally learning to control her impulses. She’d come to care about people, too – not just her family and companions, but people, even the ones who’d called her a witch, or worse.
‘The best I could do was to be there for you when you needed me and I am most deeply sorry that I cannot be there for you now.’
You’re always with me, Mom. You always will be. His sacrifice had shown Liberty the way she needed to go… to choose forgiveness and mercy over vengeance, hope over despair, sacrifice over greed. And Signore di Mezzanotte would guide her as surely as Mom would have; Liberty planned to find out everything she could about Pelor’s ally, the fiery Joramy, as soon as her other business was concluded.
She wept a little less for his loss – no, for her loss – each day, for Mom hated to see her cry. But the last part of his message made her weep anew:
‘I have long loved you and longed to watch over you and protect you… to you, Liberty, I leave my heart, for there is no other more worthy to carry it.’
She had never known… had never had the slightest idea. Mom kept his deepest secrets better than Constance ever did. Liberty had never thought of him that way, had never considered it. No, that wasn’t entirely true – she remembered him walking shirtless on the road to the Free City, remembered how her thoughts had become more than a little wicked by the time the trolls attacked…
But it didn’t matter now. Mom was gone from her life, just like Ilya and Ekaym. Perhaps someday, once the Age of Worms was averted, Liberty could find the Honest Minstrel in the Amedio Jungle, and ‘fraternize’ with him, now that their business was concluded.
Yeah, right. Then, afterward, I can ride a gold dragon to Bahamut’s palace. Maybe I should have gone for a tumble with Korush, before I betrayed him.
I’m not like that anymore.
She turned the pages of Mom’s journal, getting to know a man she’d thought she knew, when a soft knock came at the door. Behind it, the din of merriment in the Crooked House’s common room had ebbed, but not died out entirely. Who could be bothering her at this hour – whatever hour it might be? Well, it can’t be Xan. Xan would just let himself in.