ACCOUNT 1: An old envelope sealed with the seal of Dyfinea in a plain wooden box that was buried in the dirt on the kingdom’s border, the paper yellow with time. On the outside, the envelope reads “Arana,” the name of the first dark queen, and the letter inside it is signed “Ina,” the name of the first light queen.
You have already died. So I, left clinging to you uselessly, have decided to leave you with my account of what I have done—my intentions that you could not possibly understand in your last moments.
I’d like to say it started long ago, that we had always been together, but that isn’t true. It all started with us only ten years ago, which considering how long we could have spent together before that, feels like so little. Back then, we were only children, just hoping and praying that we wouldn’t die in the face of the adversary. Or even worse, the fear would grow too much, and we would run shamefully away.
Farther away from just being children, we were only helpless citizens living under a disgusting tyranny. I could not stand being beneath the iron rule of the aristocracy back then, so I gathered those who were like-minded.
It was then that the five of us were doomed to meet.
I’m sure you know who I mean: those two boys that always argued about something (I never quite understood why, though), the girl who pulled them apart, and you and me.
I preferred you, with an air of formality and elegance surrounding you, as my second-in-command. Compared to those three, lacking common sense and reaching blindly toward their dreams, I liked to think that maybe if it was just the two of us, we would still manage to overthrow the government.
Of course, I never gave up on those three. Furthermore, I recruited more and more people over time. Eventually, we had a chance to fight back with enough forces by our side that I felt finally, we were ready to strike.
But naturally, we, underprepared and not truly understanding what rebellion meant, lost horrifically.
It was you who called to me that day as I sulked at the mass of corpses that our foolishness had created.
“Ina,” you summoned, “Don’t cry.”
“How could I not?” I asked.
Though you said just the same things to me as everyone else, you still found a way to be different.
“You don’t have to be strong; you have done so for so long. I will never ask such a thing of you so long as you are you and I am me, but I will ask you something else, if I may. Please don’t place all of the guilt on your shoulders. The blame must be shared between us five, yet I’m certain you’ve already found a way to make it your fault.”
How you got it right, I was unsure, but you gave me a pat on the shoulder and a rare intense look. It felt as if your gaze could set me on fire with the way I felt my blood rush at the intensity and meaning behind your eyes.
I did not smile, nor could I stop crying, but I nodded in affirmation. I could not ignore that which was all you had ever asked of me.
When we fought our next battle, we narrowly won, but the casualty count was too great to be ignored. While those three thought battlefield logistics (a role unsuited to them, frankly), it was you and I who decided we must find some revolutionary new technology to ensure that we did not continue our steady downfall.
The king had decided that the best way to keep us quiet was to simply have the leaders of the rebellion killed, so we went into hiding and researched.
You investigated a portion of the land which was rather underdeveloped due to a large concentration of black magic while I looked, instead, to the sun goddess herself, Seresta.
Growing up, I heard many tales of how the goddess would sometimes descend upon the land and give her blessing to those she believed to be worthy, but with the growth of atheism in our era, such things did not happen as often. Still, though I felt most skeptical as to whether her existence was real, there was not much left for me to do.
The next day, I emerged from our hiding spot to look out upon the land, and there was a woman standing peacefully outside, looking as if she was always meant to be there.
She was standing right in front of the only entrance and exit, so I startled away from her, stumbling back.
“Ina, is it?” she spoke.
Her voice felt like thousands of feathers swaying gracefully down, like the light of dozens of suns brushing warmly over my skin, so I knew that my prayers must not have been in vain.
“Yes, that’s me,” I answered breathlessly. I was not sure what else I could do, seeing the sun goddess before me like that. “Are you…?”
“Indeed. Yours is a most noble cause, and I wish to support you throughout the process. Take my blessing within you, and reshape it to your liking. Share it with those you trust, for I believe you will be the one to tear down this world as it is.”
I could only look at her ethereal face, entranced by the otherworldly beauty of a goddess, so I did not notice when her blessing made contact with my body until I noticed my skin seemed to glow slightly, similar to the goddess’ pristine body.
“I shall return. Do not forget what I’ve said: Allow my magic to guide your path, no matter how you shall shape it. Though this magic may be shared, it is ultimately yours; it will form based on your will, though with limits. It will reshape by your will, or by the person who you give control to. That will be all, and good luck, Miss Ina.”
I was so busy watching her leave that I could barely acknowledge everything she had said.
I re-entered our hideout in a slight stupor, my skin still shining with the radiance of the sun goddess’ blessing.
“Ina, I think I’ve made a breakthrough. If we…” You started as I entered, then gave me a strange look. “You look even prettier than usual today. Would I be wrong to assume you have also made a breakthrough?”
It was then that we began to develop our respective spells. I derived from the blessing I received the magic of light, and from the black magic that you harvested from the land, you created your dark magic. Though meddling with that which humans were not meant to touch might have killed you on its own, I shared my newfound power with you as well, and it intermingled with the pure black magic and formed a manageable dark sort of power that humans could wield.
We shared this magic with our forces. Most took on my “more reliable” light power, formed to include restorative spells, but some took on your damage-dealing type, judging that a strong fighter would be more worthwhile than a jack of all trades.
The king and his forces stood no chance against our new ability, so through a series of continuous victories, eventually, we had managed to overthrow the tyranny.
From then on, it was history. Us five leaders formed our own kingdoms based on our ideals from the land we had gained control of and continued to reform the gift that Seresta gave me.
But developing your power came with a price.
I derived light magic from the sun goddess’ blessing, and fire, water, and nature-type spells were derived from my light magic. But your dark power came about as a result of my light spells and black magic mixing. While in most cases it was safe for the user, you were merely human, despite everything, and you could not truly escape the consequences of using black magic.
You took over the portion of land that you had taken excess black magic from, and using your power, you began to slowly purify the land so that your citizens wouldn’t suffer. But eventually, you stopped doing so at all, and the land remained relatively unsafe.
I went to confront you about this, since many of my citizens had heard from yours that you were out of sorts recently.
I could not have anticipated that you were corrupted by the land as well.
“Ah, it’s you,” you said coldly, your dark eyes piercing into me. “Ina.”
Your voice, which had always held warmth when addressing me, was instead so distant, as if it were across the sea, unfamiliar and without a hint of your usual demeanor.
I didn’t like that side of you.
“You’re not Arana, are you,” I whispered, “You’re not even looking at me like you normally do.”
“Leave at once,” you demanded, drawing a sword from seemingly nowhere, wrapping it in the darkness that must have long since enveloped your heart.
I wish I could claim that I didn’t expect it, but as I drew my own sword, I realized that I always knew what I must do to save you.
It’s rather a paradox, ending your life to save you, but if nothing else, I might protect your citizens, which I knew you had always strove for.
“I don’t want to do this, Arana. So please, put down the sword and listen to me. Can you do that much for me, please?”
“…How worthless. Leave now, or I will tear you apart.”
I had no choice but to stand still, putting on a brave face.
Then you lunged forward, and the rest is history.
History is anything that happened in the past, so though it’s barely just ended as I write this letter, I could still consider it a bygone time.
The details of the fight are like any other: swings, slashes, well-aimed hits, but for us, there was the addition of magic. Not much else to add, and time is quickly slipping away from me as I write this, so I shall write the conclusion: you are lying dead on the floor of your own palace, and I am currently dying from an injury I attained in that very same battle.
It would be worthless to heal myself, since you hit me with your magic. I would only die more slowly if I were to try to heal myself now, so I must accept my fate as it is.
I only want you to understand why I have taken this path.
You have always been there for me, guiding me along a path that was riddled with thorns. Admittedly, I’ve grown rather dependent on your company for my decisions, so now that you’re gone, I find that there must be nothing left for me, anyway.
Yet I have always believed in your goodness, even as you mortally wounded me. So protecting you from yourself and carrying out your wish to protect your citizens is the least I can do in return for all you have done for me.
For now, I will use my last bit of strength to aid in your efforts to purify the land so your people can live with far less worry than they have.
There is no more hope for our lives, but even still, I find myself hoping that I might see you again.
Selfishly, I may ask you to fulfill that dream for me.
ACCOUNT 2: An unnoticed note sitting in a forgotten corner of Vixnero’s palace, the ancient text written on it faded and smudged on the brownish paper. It is clearly so old but has never been touched even once. On the top left corner, in scrawling cursive, the presumed author, “Arana,” reveals how important the text truly is…
There is no need for me to explain what has occurred since I am certain you already understand. I only wish that I could have protected you from the aftermath.
You may never understand everything that I have done, the meaning of my actions, or my feelings, and I don’t have the time to decipher everything for you as I don’t doubt that I will soon forget it all myself. But I believe you will figure it out. Perhaps it will be years from now. Perhaps you may die long before you can begin to comprehend my existence. Or maybe, just maybe, you already understand.
I have been destroyed again and again, and I have lived on, but what I cannot stand is that I have brought down the world alongside me this time. So if I must die to repent, I will. I want only for you to understand that my potential death will be one that I have made peace with.
There is much left unspoken between us, but I will reduce my thoughts and feelings towards you to this, which is the most I can offer now.
I am sorry. Goodbye. And may we meet again.