Thoughts and Frustration (Not What She Expected XXXIX)

22 Apr 2023  C. chou  5 mins read.

Xev sighed. Unfortunately, for her own good, he had to be harsh. He’d rather her hate him forever than watch her lose her life to a moment of shock or impulsiveness. Why encourage her to dedicate her life to a lie, when he could open her eyes to the truth? Sure, it may seem worse at the moment, but at the very least, the suffering would be short term. He shook his head. He didn’t want to consider the alternatives.

Anything was better than having his sister die a gruesome death by discovering the truth at an inconvenient moment. He clenched his fist. He wasn’t going to let that happen. Still, somehow it didn’t feel good helping her either. Ignoring the audible banging from the other side of the door, Xev sank to the ground, closing his eyes as he slumped against the wall.

Xiyana had always been a passionate one. A lively little gremlin that was prone to letting her emotions run wild and letting those turbulent waves guide her actions. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as she had managed to survive all those years outside of his direct guidance. However, it did mean that she depended heavily on luck. Luck that definitely wasn’t on her side this time around.

He leaned forward, burying his face into his palms. The banging was finally quieting. Either she was giving up or growing tired. He wasn’t sure which, nor was he certain that he wanted to know. He never liked to see her suffer, and caging up her free spirit was the last thing that he’d preferred to do. But the combination of her mental state and his present schedule left him with few options.

There was no easier route. She had to know the truth. She had to learn to overcome it. And until then, the only thing that he could do was ensure that she was well-cared for.

Despite his worries, he forced himself to stand and think about his upcoming assignment. After all, an agreement was an agreement. If everything went as expected, he would be back by the start of the coming year. Though it was less than ideal, considering Xiyana’s current instability, a year’s worth of time in exchange for his sister’s safe return was more than a fair trade.

He glanced back at the door. He couldn’t imprison her forever. A spirit like hers deserved to be free. He sighed. Perhaps one day she would come to understand.

Her final expression, as the door shut between them, flashed through his mind. But perhaps he wouldn’t mind it so much if she didn’t. At least, this way, she would be alive. Even if this was the last time she would ever see him as her brother, he wasn’t going to risk having her leave the room until she came in terms with the worst and most probable possibility.

Remembering her previous departure letter, he turned to leave. He wasn’t taking any chances this time. Until he returned, she was going to remain in the room. He could no longer trust her. Sylin made her too volatile.

When he returned and things settled, he would personally train her. If she still wanted to go to the forest then, at least she would’ve had some time to cool down. At least, she would be better equipped to protect herself. At the very least, she would have a chance of coming back alive.

He reached into his pocket, pulling out the report as he walked. There were still no updates on Sylin. Since their escape, he’d made sure to station some of his men around the forest perimeters at all times. But for weeks now, there has been nothing. Had there been the slightest whisper of the man…

Forget it. There was nothing more he could do about it now. That man was more than likely dead. He, of all people, should know better than to give in to false hope. Still, so long as there was the slightest probability that Sylin lived, he couldn’t abandon any chance of meeting up with the man. Even without his sister in the picture, the results of the recent investigation suggested that the man either had excellent observational skills and reasoning, or knew more than he let on.

Combined with his performance in the forest, Sylin was too valuable of an asset for the military to simply pass up. Likewise, the man was also too dangerous to leave as a potential enemy. Either way, Xiyana couldn’t be given hope. If Sylin lived, but allied with any other side, he would become an enemy. At that point, even if the man managed to survive the dangers of the forest, Sylin would still be exterminated.

Xev sighed, looking down at his watch. He didn’t have time to be contemplating these things. Regardless of Sylin’s fate, his mission would begin in less than a few hours. Now outside, he glanced up at the building, in his sister’s general direction, and silently bade her goodbye. Then, shoving other thoughts out of his mind, he climbed into his car and accelerated toward the camp, where his superiors were undoubtedly already waiting.

C. Chou
C. Chou

A writer that loves cabbages and bamboo, but also enjoys writing and sharing fiction (particularly the fantasy genre). Find me on Medium at: