From Drag-on Dragoon Prelude
Translation by kho-dazat
One - Mirror mirror
I had to be here.
But I couldn’t stay.
I had to come back here.
But I couldn’t remain.
All for the sister who watched over me…
I had to be here.
My room is located in a tower in the cathedral. It’s small, with only a few things in it: my bed, a little chair, the iron door, stone walls and a single window located so far up I can’t see the sky from it. Yet it was my entire world.
Only my sister knew of me and my room. I’ve never spoken with anyone other than her and her dragon, Gabriella. And Gabriella mostly spoke only to Sister, not to me. She had a rough way of speaking and could be mean to me, but I didn’t hate her, because Sister really seemed to love her.
Sometimes Sister would take me out on Gabriella’s back and we’d fly through the sky together. We’d travel to battlefields. The world was still all messed up back then and Sister had lots of enemies to fight. I’d help her. I’m not sure how long we were fighting for, but it was also to help me get stronger. I had to be strong to defeat Zero. If Sister lost to Zero, then it was my job to kill her.
"Don’t worry; you’re my brother. You can do it."
Sister probably said that to reassure me, but she didn’t realize I’d figured out something important. If I had to kill Zero, that’d mean Sister had already been killed by her. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want Sister to die. If Sister went away, who’d visit me? Who’d talk to me? If Sister went away, I…
The reason I was frowning wasn’t because I was scared to fight. It was because I never wanted to have to use the sword made of dragon fang that Sister gave to me. I didn’t want the day where I’d have to leave my room to ever come. I wanted Sister to keep visiting me there like she’d always done, holding me gently in her arms each time, forever and ever. That was my only wish. But…
But I couldn’t stay.
Because the day did come. I knew it was the day my sister was going to fight Zero to the death when she came to see me with a strained expression.
"It’s okay. I’ll do just as you taught me, Sister."
Sister looked surprised when I said this since she hadn’t said anything herself yet. But I could understand her without the use of words. I’m not as smart as her, so I can’t understand things that are too difficult, but I could always tell what she was feeling… whether she was happy or sad or mad… I could tell just by looking. I’m her twin, after all. Of course I’d be able to. Of course I’d know… that even if she beat Zero, I’d never see her again, because she was planning to die either way. I knew, so just that once, I tried to stop her. I threw a tantrum, sobbing and begging her not to go.
"It’s all right. I won’t lose."
Sister looked troubled. I hadn’t meant to trouble her. I just wanted her to understand that I knew we wouldn’t be seeing each other again, that this was our last meeting… I wanted her to know that I understood everything, and not to worry. Sister, I understood so much more than you realized…
Sister was killed by Zero, and I killed Zero just as I was instructed to. Now all the Intoners had been slain. But Sister, you didn’t tell me what I should do after that. You didn’t tell me what I should do or where I should go. My head was so full with how you were going to die and how I had to kill Zero that I didn’t think to ask. I regretted that now, but it was too late. Sister was dead so she couldn’t tell me.
What caught my eye as I stood amongst their corpses was one of the stained glass windows of the room we were in. It had been cracked, but it still shone beautifully in the light. It gave me an idea. I’d start a new religion in my sister’s name. I’d re-create this church as a place of worship for her. I couldn’t think of anything better than that. For my sister… I tried leaving, for her. But the world outside was too big, too scary, and without her, too lonely for me by myself. So I ran back here, to my room, where I’d be safe. Where I didn’t have to do anything at all.
I had to come back here.
No one knows about this room. As her trump card, Sister couldn’t have anyone knowing about me. She probably didn’t even tell her other sisters. She cast a spell on the door so it couldn’t be seen from the outside, to make sure no one accidentally opened it. It wasn’t locked, you see; Sister wasn’t keeping me prisoner. But I never thought to leave on my own. I never wanted to. I’d only go out if Sister was taking me somewhere.
But she won’t be taking me anywhere, anymore. So the first thing I did when I came back was to make it so the door would never open again. I destroyed it from the inside so I’d never have to go back outside. There is nothing for me out there. I may have been able to help my sister, but I can’t do anything on my own, aside from killing Zero. Reading the books she’d given me, practicing my sword work… that’s how I used to pass the time in my room between Sister’s visits. But she’ll never come to visit me again. I’ll never see her ever again.
No! I want to see her! I want to see my sister! I want to see her, I want to see her, I want to see her…!
Ah… that’s it. I can’t really see her again, but I can see her in a way. Since I was made from her, we look the same. We have the same face. So if I put on some of her clothes and stand in front of the mirror, then…
Just as I thought! We’re mirror images of each other. It’s as if Sister is really standing before me.
"I wanted to see you, too." Said my sister from the mirror.
But even though she was right in front of me now… even though it seemed as if I could touch her… all my fingertips felt was the cold glass of the mirror. She’s there, just beyond it. Why can’t I step through myself? Why do I have to stay here, on the other side of the looking glass?
Why do I have to be all alone? Why did sister leave me behind? No… she hadn’t meant to. I’ll bet she meant to take me with her.
Sister had to kill Zero, and she had to die right after, since Intoners harbor the flower that will destroy the world if left to take seed in their bodies. Sister wanted to destroy the flower for good, but the flower will try to preserve itself. That’s where Zero made a mistake. So that she wouldn’t fail in the same way, Sister came up with a plan to make sure that regardless of who survived their battle, the flower would be wiped out. I was that plan. In this room, Sister would have me practice killing Zero. She drew the shape of a person on the wall and crossed an X over where the heart would be, so I wouldn’t miss when the time came… so I’d be able to take Zero out with just one thrust. Soon a hole opened up in the wall where the X had been, so it was like I was actually stabbing through someone. I’d stab the hole over and over… swiftly, precisely… again and again until Sister told me to stop.
But I wasn’t training just to kill Zero, was I? I was practicing to kill you, too. If you’d survived… if the flower had somehow kept you alive… you’d stand behind the wall and have me stab straight through the hole like I always did. And you’d die. If I had to kill you myself, I couldn’t keep on living. I’d have killed myself right after. Since I was made from you, the power of the flower isn’t as strong in me and I’d probably die easily. And once I had, all traces of the flower would be eliminated from this world. That’s right… Sister had never intended to leave me alone. She trusted that I’d follow after her. After all, I’d had the one weapon capable of killing Intoners. I’m not a true Intoner, but a normal sword couldn’t kill me. I know, because I tried using one on myself as soon as I’d come back to my room. I’d forgotten the sword made of dragon fang back where I’d killed Zero. I’m so stupid. I went and destroyed the door, so I can’t go back for it. I can’t leave. I have to stay here, in this safe room. I made a mistake. Everything is my fault.
Sister, please scold me. Tell me what a bad brother I am. I am bad. So why won’t you scold me? The Sister reflected in the mirror was silent, regarding me with sorrowful eyes, as if about to cry. I know that expression. I’d seen it before. It was the same face she made whenever she was in bed with me. I never understood why she looked so pained while what we were doing made me feel so good. When I asked, she told me it was because it was wrong. That siblings shouldn’t be doing what we were together. But that even knowing that, she couldn’t stop herself. Her voice was so sad. I didn’t understand. If it’s wrong for siblings to do it together, then does that mean it’s okay for strangers to? That seems much wronger to me. When I told her that, she looked at a loss for words for a moment before making such a gentle expression it made my heart skip a beat.
"Yes… then it’s all right, if it’s with you…"
Sister, your face right now looks just like it did then.
Yes. You’re even furrowing your eyebrows a bit. That’s a habit of yours. Did you realize?
"No, I didn’t."
I didn’t think so. I didn’t want to tell you.
That’s just the same, too! The way you tilt your head when asking me a question! I memorized all your expressions and tics… I wanted to keep them all to myself. I noticed things about you even you didn’t. And not just on your face, either… the way your body moves, the tone of voice you’d use, even the way you’d breathe… I loved them all.
"I… I can’t stand this…!"
Feeling agitated, I shook my head from side to side the way I would when throwing a tantrum. Heh heh… it looks cute when you do it, Sister. No one but me will ever see that. Now you belong just to me… Yes, that’s the face…
So I can see you whenever I want. It’s easy, since we’re twins. I can’t believe I didn’t realize it sooner.
"I won’t go anywhere."
That’s right… you promised. I remember the night I woke up crying after having a nightmare… Sister, you were up. I guess you were probably trying to leave while I was still sleeping, but when you saw me upset you stayed with me until dawn, holding my hand and comforting me.
"I’m here with you."
Really? You won’t go anywhere? You’ll stay with me?
I don’t have the weapon that could kill me anymore. I can’t die, so neither can you. I didn’t make a mistake after all. If I live, then so will you. And all I want is for you to live. I don’t care if everyone else in the world has to die. Is that wrong? Does that make me bad?
"Of course not. You’re a good little brother."
Sister, listen. I’m going to make a new religion, just for you. For you, and… and Gabriella, too. I remember how you loved her.
"Not just her. Gabriel, too. I loved her even after she reincarnated."
That’s right. So I’ll create a church that will venerate all three of you.
"Tell me more."
Sure! See, thanks to Zero, the Capital got all messed up, right? But I’m going to build everything back up again, from scratch. Then I’ll instate this new religion, and gather followers. Oh yeah, and I should come up with a symbol for it, one that represents us. How about this?
"This might work."
You think so, too? The image of Sister and I pressing our cheeks together, as if we’ve become one… as if we’re reflecting one another.
"It almost looks like we only have three eyes between us."
You’re right. Really, I want to become even more as one… I want the division between us to collapse, and for us to melt together… so that we’ll never have to be parted again. I don’t care if we can never go back to being separate. I want us to be One… Ah… but…
But I couldn’t remain.
This room that no one knew about got discovered. Destroying the door broke Sister’s spell and so it and the hole in the wall were found.
"Lady One! To think you were here all along…!"
Strangers broke down the wall and stood before me. I suppose they were the clergy of the church.
"We’re so glad you’re safe!"
Every one of them had tears in their eyes. So I… I answered like this:
"I’m sorry to have worried you all. Everything is all right now. My wounds have all healed."
My sister (My brother) is always with me. We are One.
"Shall we go?"
Now she (he) and I will go outside. Together...
"I plan to build the church anew."
Now the two of us shall become the harbingers of a new faith.
"To honor the Watchers..."
I’m certain many will gather to venerate the Intoners and the Angels they called forth.
All for the sister who watched over me...