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RETURNING TO THE WIND

(If you meta any of this information I will take your kneecaps and then your liver.)

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An illustration Sohoro made of himself, long ago. 

Spoiler

 

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Sohoro Mochizuki, or, as many knew him, Solomon Takezo, would say that he had been two different people in his life. Firstly, a monster, living by the blade, mastering the hunt, and truly alone. Secondly, a man. Struggling to be so, but learning to overcome his madness and be human, more than he was. 
However, this would be untrue. Every day of his life Sohoro was a different person, learning through trial and error, but mostly error, to be better. It wasn’t his choice, not truly, to be the killer he used to be. Forced by circumstance, fear, and promises with good intent, and then bound by hate and fear again. 
While he may have escaped that forest in body, in mind it never truly left him. His mind and heart had been shattered in a way that wasn’t truly fixable, not completely. Faces would blur, intents and feelings would be unknowable, the eyes of those he had killed would flicker about, watching, ever watching, and in the dead of night they would curse his name, speaking of horrible fates that awaited him in death. Twenty eight times he evaded death by a cat’s whisker, two of those times were only because something, or someone, stopped his own hand. 
Guilt is a powerful thing. Change is impossible when you don't think you are capable of it, and of all his curses, above the bloodlust, above the hallucinations, it was this guilt, his shame, his sorrow for the lives he had taken that was the greatest burden on his shattered soul. Not a day passed that he didn't mourn them or wish to undo what he had done, but it was impossible to take back the past. It took him over fifty years to make peace with himself and truly overcome the aching, ever present depression, but this was not done alone.

 

Sohoro Mochizuki should have died that night, when his father came after him with a firebrand for not being good enough. He should have died to every arrow, to every blade that sought his heart in that forest. He should have died to his grief when in a fury of rage he killed his first love, the only one of all the ones about him he was trying to protect. He should have died to the voices after a mistake he thought he made caused a mess for those he loved. He should have died to the duo of assassins who came after him and his grandfather, newly found. He should have died when the great ‘ker warlord decided Sohoro was a disappointment and tried not once, but twice to take him down. He should have died when one of his closest friends lured him in with a hug, and instead tried to tear out his throat. 


No. Sohoro died to another betrayal. The one person he couldn’t live without, his spine broken and only held together by a gift of one he had tried for decades to convince himself was his friend. He had trusted her, once more, after promising friends and family visits and sandwiches. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, his last wishes ignored and scoffed at as he bled out on the ground. At very least, they allowed him the dignity of taking his own life, fulfilling his promise sixty years ago to his first love to let no hand take his life but his own. 


He drew the curved, serrated hunting dagger from its sheath at his back with a trembling hand. Words fell from his mouth just to pass the time, prolong the dark a little longer, he wasn’t thinking about what he was saying, no. The only thing he could think of was his family. His friends. 

 

There were so many who had accepted him. There were so many that had helped him come to terms with his own existence. That had given him a reason to live. They were the reason he was still here. They were the reason that he had had the strength to pick himself up and continue on, even after every knife, verbal or physical, was driven into his body. They were the reason he had learned all that he had, that he had come to teach, to help, to heal. What was the purpose of strength, if not to be used to lift others up? What was the point in knowing how to kill if not to defend those who could not defend themselves? What good was his life if he couldn’t make amends with the dead through the living, if he couldn’t help, if he couldn’t heal, be there, be good enough, what good was it all? What was his pain for, if not to let him understand how others felt, how it felt to be unloved, lost, hurt, confused, twisted, broken, and help them heal. He couldn’t put himself back together, but perhaps through lifting others up he would understand what it was to be whole. But now, now his time was up. No more second chances, no more escapes.

 

So many had held him together, and in the last moments of his life as Sohoro drove the blade that had kept him alive since he was fifteen into his own chest, he whispered one, soundless, final apology as he split himself apart. 

 

“I wasn’t good enough.” 

 

“I’m sorry.”


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

He would imagine the Norlandic Tax-Men would be the first to find his last note. Annoyed by the odd lack in payment, they would likely begin to move out his things, and on the top-most floor of his home, open on the lectern, would be a book. Likely they would read it, and quickly deliver it to his daughter, Ancelie.

Spoiler

(Ooc- This is a brief summary of notes to all those who made a significant impact on his life, and a few other more personal things. The purpose of this is not to promote any meta information, and I have specifically made sure all notes, add ins, and all else are from at least 1-3 days before his death. I have oocly been working on this document since just the before the transition map to Almaris, and have been adding to it as things happen.)

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NejT6AaQ8EKo7XENkLs_Br82yCdOgYFKbQXYCTvTvIM/edit?usp=sharing

 

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reserved

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A goblin within the forest is sad she couldnt greet her friend 

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An elf too young to feel so old lights another candle at a friend's passing.

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A pale, burnt elfess with a slowly slipping mind would mutter a few words to herself, as she mourned the loss of two she had known now. One death old, one fresh, it all felt the same to her. "I guess it's best I return sooner than later, isn't it now?" Her eyes shut as she hummed a tune, a tune she only vaguely remembered her mother singing to her when she was young.

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A disheveled elf , upon receiving notice of his passing paused, taking in a breath and raising their oddly shaped hand to their face.
Siruonn's refusal to cry was in no way out of spite or out of anger, but out of fear, fear that someone that similar to them had come to an end, doubt about how and why bounced inside their mind like a pinball machine, rattling the inside of their skull, they had spoken to him few hours before the fact, yet they did not know how his story ended, and perhaps they did not want to know either.

 

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6 hours ago, Sevastiel said:

Norlandic Tax-Men would be the first to find his last note. Annoyed by the odd lack in payment

Sylvia Camian, self-appointed Master of Keys of Norland, did in fact take notice of the failure to pay taxes and promptly marched over to the residence in question,  several neat stacks of bureaucratic hell (known to the common man as paperwork) in hand. Unfortunately, upon letting herself into the home, she found nobody to extort taxes from. In fact, the place seemed to be completely deserted, and the counters and shelves decorated with a layer of dust from at least a year of neglect. "Well ****."

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Chen Yunya took a look at the letter, pointed ears drooping back and sagging against the ground, distraught at the thought of her dear friend gone from this world. She still remembered when she met him, of that night of cruelty and chaos and just how many he saved with his actions. She could only hope he is happy now, pain-free.

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Musashi looked upon the letter, having already done his own investigation on the matter. He had called Solomon a friend during his lifetime, and though he was mainly absent, he was a friend nonetheless. To further his ire at the prospect of his death, and the knowledge that he had gained from his investigation, the poor Lady Saiko would have to live in a world where her brother did not exist. That is unforgiveable. 

 

The appropriate people know the story, and Musashi's blade grows restless. Crumpling the paper and tossing it aside, the samurai stood from his seat and stared out towards the sea. His eyes affixed towards their domain, the fire raging from deep within, though he feigned a neutral gaze. 

 

 He awaited the day when he could watch them all burn. 

 

 

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Ciliren had lost patients, before.

 

Many times, in fact. She remembers the tears vividly. Over children she couldn't save, and people who's bodies she had to carve to keep them in a vague sense of being alive. She remembers each of their names, and their faces as the light left their eyes.

 

Years of suffering abated by the blade of a scalpel, and the frustration and endless nights of design.

 

Solomon's design took four years.

 

She looks to herself, over the fact that she herself has lost half her body to similar surgeries. The prosthetics helped, sure, but true peace cannot be found in an incomplete body. The leftover pain reminds her every day that she isn't a complete person. The pain in her dreams remind her that she isn't a complete soul.

 

Another name to the list, locked away for no eyes to see. The body given to the land, to return the life it took from the world. Two months of meditation devoted.

 

Until she was called back to work. Lives continue to end, and she continues to scold death for taking them so soon.

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An old elf sat back, looking over the newest paper delivered to his home. He lets out a soft sigh, olive eyes trailing across the familiar writing and the words. His fragmented memory drifting back to years of grief. Of chances squandered. Tears shed and shared. He'd had so much hope for the easterner. He seemed so bright, and creative.

But that was part of the lie. The mask.

And the lies never stopped, he saw them and thought for moments that he was crazy. Was only he seeing this? The behavior changing. The starts of arguments shifted and changed. Different reports. Different stories.

 

And finally- his Student admitted to it all.

Ex-Student.

 

Honeyed words. A shameful phrase for a sweet treat the old druid enjoyed so dearly. But so fitting.

 

The old elf stands, and picks up his own weathered journal- slipping the letter between the pages among so many other loose sheaf's of paper.

He murmurs softly, not to the Aspects, but to the winds when he visits the soil about a new sapling.

 

He gazes down at it, with a solemn expression.

He's so tired.

 

"Apology Accepted."

 

~:~

 

The raven-haired elf was surprised to see a note at the door for him. He took it to the table, stroking his hand over the hair of one of the children, darting by with a joyful giggle. He smiles, and sits to read the letter.

Odd.

He didn't know him long.

 

But, he was there. He saw the man jerk, the delicate surgery falling into ruin.

He stood back, his usefulness squandered by his own stomach.

He remembers it too vividly.

 

"Live free. Choose your own path, be happy. You deserve that, alright?"

 

It goes without saying. He looks up from the paper, folding it away.

He won't need to look at it again to remember.

 

~:~

 

When he was first told, it had to be repeated. The signs slowed, serious, blurred through his tears as he tried to see them.

He cried, a wail, more like. The man usually self-conscious of the noises he makes. That was thrown out the window swiftly.

 

They held each other, and cried together for the one they cared for so much. His hands pressed over his eyes while he cried.

 

It seemed to come in waves, the sorrow would hit him while he was trying to work, to carve or to draw.

He found sketches of hawks. D-I-F-F-I. a carving half-planned. And they began again.

 

It'd been a few months since, the tall elf given way from sorrow to melancholy, when the letter arrived.

 

He read it partway through once, before he couldn't see it properly and had to set it aside.

Try again later.

 

S-SMILE was one of the people he wanted to hear. His voice. His flute. His laugh.

 

He put the letter away, with other mementos of family he'd lost.

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Ancelie was grief-stricken. She would clutch the note that had been delivered to her tightly to her chest, and particularly left it upon her nightstand when she let it go - and there it would sit.

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Tavish would stare blankly at the note that Solomon had written for him, an odd flurry of emotion swelling inside. It seemed apparent to him that the dead had nothing but sweet words on the final chapters of their lives. He didn't know Solomon when he was Sohoro, and only through vague statements did he understand the man's past. He knew Solomon as a troubled soul looking for redemption in an unforgiving world. 

 

Tavish folded the missive and set it down on a nearby table. Through the scope of his faith, and of his own life experience, he felt that a guilty conscience would seldom allow itself to feel redeemed, no matter how far it had come. It happened all too often for it to be a coincidence. What terrible atrocities did Sohoro commit early on in his life? Tavish couldn't say. But to Tavish, Solomon was kind and earnest. He was gentle, despite his size and stature. Even in his last words,, he encouraged people to be happy and to love one another. He tried, which is more than what could be said of most... and Tavish could appreciate that.

 

Killers, reapers, saviors, defenders, good, evil... the distinction eventually becomes lost in translation. Lines shift, lines blur, and meaning is meaningless. Was Solomon a good man? Had he redeemed himself? Tavish would say so. Solomon was a friend. He was a brother who understood things Tavish would spend his lifetime trying to grasp... Yeah, Solomon was good man... And Father help anyone who told Tavish otherwise.

 

He'd throw the note into the fire, the last words of a man with two names burning into Tavish's mind forever.

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