Beta-ed by Gimei.
Disclaimer: LSK is not mine.
"Sun's missing." explained Judgment as soon as we all assembled in the meeting room.
"His sword." he answered, and placed the sword on the table, blood-stained.
It was a repeated cycle. All effort we poured in searching for Sun only leads to disappointment. The citizens started to wonder where did their Sun Knight disappeared to. We all agree that hiding his disappearance would only hinder our search, and hope someone would send news of seeing Sun, now that they knew he was gone.
Correcting the last piece of paperwork, I look at the letters that piled neatly at the corner of the desk. They were from Ann, in which I didn't have time to read, much less to reply.
I'm not planning on going to the meeting only to report he was nowhere to be found, but a slight hope that the others have some news about him dragged me there.
I was disappointed again.
We still knew nothing about his whereabouts. Blaze and Ice had already went to Kissinger yesterday while Stone and Earth will departed to the neighboring kingdom tomorrow. I knew Judgment wanted to go to the neighboring kingdom himself (it was highly unlikely for Sun to still be in the city undetected - it's been days already) but his position wouldn't allow him to do so. Being a leader sure is tough.
Returning to my room, I sat on the chair and started correcting paperwork. Well everyone does, this except Sun, because any paperwork assigned to him will definitely be dumped on Storm (half of them will eventually be passed back to Adair).
With both Ice and Blaze gone, plus Stone and Earth's departure tomorrow, our load of paperwork nearly doubled. Fighting the urge to sleep while correcting paperwork was a torture in its own right, a completely different one compared to the time when I forced myself to eat Ice's sickeningly sweet sweets while discussing about Sun's disappearance. A sudden knock on the door startled me awake.
Who? It was already late. Given the situation, perhaps it was something urgent?
"Leaf, there's something I want to tell you." Stone said after I welcomed him in.
"What is it?"
"Well, you see..."
He was wavering. I waited patiently for him to continue speaking. Sealing his mouth for the longest time, at last he said, albeit a little hesitant, "To be honest, Sun..."
To be honest, I'd never want to learn the truth.
I just want to die.
I'd really want to die.
He said Sun was blind.
He said even if I dig my eyes out, it won't help Sun gain his sight back.
What should I do, then?
To revert things back to its original place?
"I'm not trying to ridicule Sun or something, but you... you didn't have to carry Sun all the time? So why? I mean... he must be heavy, and - "
"He's not heavy."
She didn't seem convinced.
Staring straight at her eyes, I reiterated, "He's not heavy, Ann. He's my brother."
That was what I told her. I'll do anything for him. That's what brothers do. And yet...
Why did things end this way?
"I'm sorry for worrying you. Thanks for telling me the truth."
"No problem. But you won't attempt something like that again, right?" Stone cautiously asked.
"I won't, I promise. I'm just a bit… upset." I quickly replied, trying to force a smile to assure him I'm fine.
"Be careful!" I said to both Stone and Earth. The sun was yet to rise and they've already prepared to leave. Perhaps part of the reason was to avoid Judgment, whose expression gradually grew worse for each passing day.
"Are you okay, Leaf?" Stone asked in concern.
Smile, Leaf. Don't make others worried about you. Don't be a burden to them.
Just a smile will do.
Smile, you have to.
I nodded, faking a smile.
"Captain, wake up!"
Shouts of 'captain' was heard near the vicinity, with no signs of stopping. Just which knight-captain ignored the calls of his subordinate, interfering with my sleep?
The call was lowered a bit, as if its reacting to my words. Thinking back, his voice was quite familiar, just like my...
I blinked. Right, no mistake there. He was crouching, looking all worried. I immediately sat up, leaning against the wall.
"I just want to rest a bit. It was quite comfortable here." I explained.
A rest that turned into a nap.
"So, anything you want to ask me?"
He stared at me, long and hard. Finally he said, "Nothing. I was just checking on you, since you're not in your room."
Smiling, he added, "You always come here if you want to be alone."
I returned his smile. This prayer room is the furthest from our rooms, which also serves as my sanctuary, and he was the first to find me here. Sun may claim Adair's the best, but I'm always glad I chose him to be my vice-captain. Well, he was not my vice-captain yet at that time, and I was still not the official Leaf Knight, I still had another two years before I replaced my teacher.
Why did I start to come here again?
Ah…to escape from Sun's small favor.
Feeling quite refreshed after the nap, I looked through the window. Surely I didn't sleep for long? At most it must be an hour or two.
"It's evening already?" I muttered in disbelief.
"Already? Captain, how long did you-"
"Later. I still have works to do!"
The paperwork was due tomorrow morning and I don't have the confidence to finish them even if I stay up all night! This was all my fault to stop correcting them as soon as I heard the truth from Stone. And spent the next day napping.
"The paperwork on your desk had been sent to Knight-Captain Storm." my vice-captain informed just before I stepped outside the praying room.
I stopped on tracks. Dumping paperwork to Storm may be allowed at times, but to do that now? Everyone was burdened with works and I really didn't like to have the easy way out.
"Don't worry, I've already corrected all of them."
I'm really fortunate to have him as my vice-captain.
He casted a concerned look at me.
"Captain, if something troubling you, allow me to help."
Smiling a painful smile, he continued, "Rely on me, please?"
If only I can make Sun promise me the same thing.
"Share these sweets with the other knight-captain."
My vice-captain has thrusted some sweets and bread to me when I confessed I had dozed off early afternoon, which means that I still didn't have my lunch, or dinner. Repeatedly apologizing for not saving me some dinner (which was not his fault in the first place) he makes me promise him to have my late dinner with someone.
"At least he can assure you finishing your dinner before you doze off."
It was just a small mistake of napping in a prayer room. Why must he make a fuss out of it? But since he already helped me with my paperwork, and to ease his worry, I don't think it's a big deal to have someone eat dinner with me.
Sweets and bread...can still be considered a dinner, right?
I mean... The definition of 'dinner' itself is something you eat in the evening, I believe?
So to find a partner...
Storm and Judgment were out of question; both were too busy with works. Cloud was impossible to find, Blaze and Earth was not here, and so do Stone and Ice. So what was left were Hell, Moon and Metal.
There was something I want to ask him. Arriving at his room, he immediately opened his door at the first knock.
"Was it better if I died?" I subconsciously asked as soon as I saw him.
Seeing the confusion in his eyes, I quickly amended, "No, it's nothing. I'm just talking nonsense. Please ignore it."
Really. How could I ask such a question to Hell? I should leave. There's no need to bother someone else by asking strange questions.
"I'll... just go back to my room." I said, scratching my head seeing Hell stood still, staring at me.
You don't have to stare that much!
Perhaps I'll share my dinner with either Moon or Metal.
"It's not your fault." he suddenly said.
"That's a lie!" I snapped.
Why? Why everyone keeps saying that? Stone said the same thing! And even Hell?
"Come in first?" he invited. I obediently entered his room.
Leaning against the wall, as if undisturbed by my sudden outburst, he continued, "Grisia made his choice. It's not your fault."
"I asked him." Hell cut in, interrupting my words.
"If he ever regrets resurrecting you. If he'd rather make a different choice, knowing full well the price of Resurrection."
"He won't. Because he's the idiot who thinks he can save everyone. He really didn't have to. It's not his fault that I died!"
I already know his answer, Hell didn't need to tell me all that.
"And it's also not your fault for him to be blind." he said calmly.
"He won't let you die. He can't, not when he has the ability to save you. Isn't that's the reason we all love him?"
I shook my head hard.
"No! That's why I hate him! He thinks it's fine if he's the only one who gets hurt! How stupid. And look! Who knows where he ran to, causing everyone troubles!"
Why did Hell apologize? He didn't have anything to do with Sun's disappearance... damn!
"Don't worry, he'll be fine. He can even save a princess alone! Nothing bad will happen to him! Besides, it's not your fault he's an idiot."
Stupid! I'm so stupid. Hell must be blaming himself for Sun to be missing while in his care.
"An idiot? But you still like him, right?"
Hearing the question, I honestly answered, "It's impossible to totally hate him. The same thing applies to everyone. Even Earth! And Storm too."
It was ironic but why did it seems like it was easier to hate when being from the same faction?
Looking somewhat nostalgic, Hell softly said, "When I first met him it was always the two of us. I'm glad he has you guys now."
"You sound like a mum!" I can't resist say it out loud.
Just like a worry-wart mum that saw her lonely child finally has some friends.
Why? Was he your son or something?
"But I'm a male?" he asked, completely puzzled.
Are you for real?
I've never though Storm was being serious when he said I can never joke in front of Hell.
"I mean... You look like you're his big brother!" I immediately corrected myself.
If I change 'mum' to 'dad' I bet he's going to say he's not married yet.
He's more like an innocent child rather than a freaking Death Lord..
Are you sure we're the same age, Hell?
"Big brother? That would be Grisia. Because he claimed I'm a month younger than him."
His eyes were gentle as he speaks fondly of his childhood friend.
"No one's going to believe that!" I immediately exclaimed.
Who would believe Sun is the big brother if they saw him snatching his didi's blueberry pie? Sun is more than capable in doing so.
"Don't let him hear you. He'll get mad." Hell cautioned in a relax manner.
"Oh, but he's not here." I shrugged.
"Yeah, he's not here." his voice turned gloomy.
Why did it seems like I'm the idiot big brother who makes his didi sad?
"Hell, look here! You see... I...um... "
"Well, it's a little late but I guess I've never properly introduced myself? I'm Elmairy Leaf. Nice to meet you!"
It's an absurd thing to do; an unneeded introduction, but I hate seeing the guilt in his eyes, the thought that he's the reason Sun was missing. I understand the feeling all too well, because I too, suffer from a guilt.
It took him a long time before he continued, "Roland Hell. Nice to meet you, Elmairy." He stared straight at me, his voice was soft, and I believe he was smiling beneath his mask.
"Dinner?" I offered. He seemed a little reluctant but eventually took a piece from me.
"Don't worry too much. He won't be missing for long, because we're going to find him fast!"
"That's for sure." Hell nodded. His voice filled with confidence, fierce determination lacing his words.
Where are you?
I hope you're fine, wherever you are.
Wait for us.
We'll definitely find you.
It's a promise.