ALL THAT COULD HAVE BEEN
Within the Kortrevich manor, an aged bull found himself alone in his room. The dimly lit space was cluttered with empty bottles and torn pages. It was late at night as Aleksandr was seated at his desk, penning various letters. He had been sitting there for hours now, wide awake, tormented by his thoughts. Aleksandr had never been easy to handle, let alone reasonable. The death of his wife, however, snapped something within the man. He could no longer love, no longer smile, no longer feel joy. He remembered the nights he spent with Nataliya atop the Jerovitz towers, enjoying the sunsets. Those moments of serenity were something he had long been craving for. One by one he saw those dearest to him fall, either through his own doing or events beyond his control.
What little he had left he felt slipping from his grasp. His own children he no longer saw as his own, the family he had once helped lead estranged completely. Perhaps Aleksandr was never destined to succeed, perhaps he failed so that others may learn from his mistakes. He knew all too well he had burned the bridges he still had left. The Kortrevich flock he cared for so dearly saw him as nothing more than a crazed man filled with nothing but rage and contempt. What legacy would he leave behind? Would anyone remember him for the good he had achieved? For the times he spent with his family, for his reign as Baron of Mondstadt? He doubted such, as if it mattered little in the end. He knew that he had pushed everyone around him away for good, his relations damaged beyond repair.
He eyed the papers before him, contemplating what to do with the unfinished writings. Was it even worth it at this point? In the middle of the night Aleksandr, carrying with him the letters. As he turned to shut the door of the Kortrevich manor one last time he paused, memories flooding to him. Ileana, Yankova, Anastasia, Fabian, Sergei, Irena, Elena, Leonid, Larissa, Dimitri. He could hear them all, for a moment wondering if it was too late to fix things. In the distance he spotted the blue columns of the Amador storefront. Nataliya, Liridona, Magnus, Albus, Henrik, Poppiya, Karl, Magnus, Matyas, Theodosya. He once abandoned the Kortrevich name for House Amador, in the end unsure if it was ever worth it. He would set out to leave Valdev behind one final time, knowing that wherever he was going, he would soon again meet those he had been missing so dearly.
A single letter, found within the Kortrevich manor was all that would remain of him.
To whoever may find this, an apology is all I can give. I failed you all as an uncle, a cousin, a nephew. Hurt has been all I brought upon this family in the end, and I can no longer live with the guilt that has been eating away at me. Wherever I may go, never will I forget House Kortrevich. You have always been, and always will be my one true family. The future is bright for all of you, but it is a future you will have to face without me. I don’t wish for anyone to mourn me, for I am not worth grieving over. Take good care of yourselves and of Irena especially.
“Tiz Dzuty, Triek Caezk”