AN: Thank you very much to my reviewers Equilibrium, tabiscus, Esther Jade, GrannyP, soThenMegansaid, FreakierThanThou, LucienofShadow, MaDMaS22, sugaplumprincess, Nemonus, Imalefty and concerto49 for their detailed reviews and tremendous support in the last chapter. Thus, I conclude this experimental piece with the final installment below. Thanks for allowing this story achieve its true purpose of letting me test out this writing style.
Willing Tool – Epilogue
It was just as her master had described it; the night when the young girl left for her destiny was just like the night when her master had chosen his. He really wasn't her master, but she called him one anyway. He had taught her many things beyond simple combat which she'd mastered well before the meeting during which she had cut the notch in his blade. He had taught her about his past; how he chose his death and his lover's on the night of the crescent moon. It was that night that her master had offered to give his lover three years of happiness and a death of dignity with the cost of his own life.
The country of Temire had a tradition. The ruler of the nation was referred to as the Heir or the Heiress depending on gender, a title that paid respect to the one who founded the ruling clan. The only Emperor was that far ancestor. To utilize the expertise of both sexes, the gender of the nation's rulers alternated with every generation, the males ruling the odd numbered dynasties, the females ruling the even. In exchange, there were advisors, called Kiri, who were of the opposite sex to the nation's rulers. To prevent power abuse when the kingdom was placed in the hands of a single individual, the Heir or the Heiress would pick a Kiri, who would in turn pick the next Heir or Heiress to succeed them. Her master, Haito, happened to be the Second Kiri who had once chosen his lover as the Heiress.
In the child prodigy's mind, this Second Heiress was a rather stupid woman. She fell in love with a man who used her as a tool to gain power. When she failed to comply with his demands, he plotted to assassinate her while she was out of the palace under his advice. Luckily for this woman, who the child secretly referred to as an idiot, she was saved by Haito who had promptly killed off all the assassins in a display of his ultimate power as the Kiri. Though the child's master had offered to take his lover along with him, promising her protection for an eternity, the woman refused because she loved the man who wanted to kill her. It was at around this point in the tale when the kid genius was starting to get frustrated.
Her master knew that by killing off the assassins, the coward who the Heiress loved would not dare to kill off the Heiress for fear that he would avenge her if it were to happen. However, he also knew that the manipulative enemy could not wait to execute the plans to take over this country. In order to satisfy that man's thirst, her master promised to aid the Second Heiress in picking the Third Kiri who would succeed him. But why would that manipulative bastard, as the kid genius called him, agree to such a plan? That was because allowing the Third Kiri to succeed the position required Haito's very death.
Once the Second Kiri was dead, the manipulative bastard would be able to kill off the Second Heiress and ask the Third Kiri to choose an Heir who would be in his own favor. In addition to all these advantages, the Third Kiri would be such a strong warrior that she could defeat Haito, the manipulative bastard's nemesis, while being only a young "brat".
The child genius snickered. Perhaps that manipulative bastard thought she was easy to use like all the tools he had in the past, but unlike them, her young age was not an obstacle for her exceptional perception.
Not only because she was by far more intelligent than all those adults in question, but because she would forever have to bear the pain of taking her beloved tutor's head and carrying it to the altar on the capital city.
"Eleanor, don't ever be a tool to anybody."
"It's too late to regret now though, Master. Reminding me of such trivial matters would not make your life any less wrong than it already is."
"That's not true, child…you don't understand love. I know it was meaningless, but I threw myself head on into the flames, letting my ugly moth wings burn in the glory. Yet, I don't regret, ever, because…"
"Because in the end, dying in the light is better than never having escaped darkness…is that it, Master? You're naïve, but such a dream…it is rather beautiful, right?"
"To be called naïve by a child…I wonder if I should be ashamed. But yes, you're right, that's why I don't regret. In the end, I'm a willing tool, always…forever…"
She stood underneath the steps that led to the heights of a tall structure atop of which two people sat beside a roaring fire. Even in the brilliance of what would become her master's funeral pyre, that dumb woman looked nothing like the angel that her master dreamt of each night.
But knowingly, she closed her eyes; her hand tightening the grip on the hair which she used to hold onto her master's severed head. He had begged for her to become the next Kiri, begged for her to kill him so that this woman could live on just a little longer…
Just a little more happiness, even though it would be living as a willing tool like him…
"Master, she's here; the woman who you love for the image she reflects."
AN: Thanks for staying with me for the epilogue. Sorry if the introduction of Eleanor seemed very abrupt, and even unrealistic. I understand that much of this story seemed quite exaggerated, possibly due to the lack of back story. I really thank you all for pointing that out to me. I'm sure to keep this in mind when I write my next story. Either way, do tell me what you think of this last installment. I'm especially interested in what you thought about the writing style of this short chapter and any other mistakes that you've caught. Hope to hear from you soon!