It wasn’t something that she had done. No, it was never something she had done. It was always the opposite.
It was what she hadn’t done.
What she had allowed others to do.
All because she was weak.
There were those that said differently, that said what she had allowed to happen was a kindness, was mercy.
“You could have sunk to his level, ma’am, if you had killed him.”
“You granted him the mercy that he did not grant others.”
“You are more forgiving than many.”
What they did not realize was that there had been no mercy in her heart, no forgiveness that had stayed her hand.
It was cowardice, pure and simple.
She’d never been alone, not truly alone, as she’d always had her other half with her. Even if they were on opposite sides of the globe she would still hear and feel her other half in the back of her head.
Her other half was gone now, sent away to give her a chance at finding more than just her life, but her very sanity.
She could no longer hear her in the back of her mind, could not longer feel whether or not she was happy or even still lived.
And so when her cousin, the one who was her brother almost in spirit if not in blood, had knelt before her, hands chained behind his back and a defiant look upon his face and bruises scattered about his frame, her hand froze.
Instead, she had him banished and his abilities locked.
But though she was older than most empires and countries and the written memory of mankind, even she was not omnipotent nor all-powerful. Her abilities, while stronger than his, were not as tricky.
It wouldn’t be until much, much later that she learned that he had found a way around the binding. The fullest parts of his abilities were still out of his reach, but he had enough to cause more than just mischief.
One of the things he had been partially successful in undoing was the runes that would bring him to her or her to him. She would still be able to find him, but it would be a hunt across space, time and the dimensions throughout them.
“I didn’t spare him because of mercy or forgiveness.” she would whisper to the night sky, “I left him alive, because like me, it is hard for him to die and I did not want to be the last of our kind.”
Inspired by this week’s quote from Light and Shade Challenge.
Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do. –Voltaire