Warcraft Fan Fiction ❯ Turning Red ❯ Heart and hate ( Chapter 33 )
“Get up,” Alexandra says harshly, in anger.
She has won the fight, though she didn’t do so fairly. That annoys her somewhat.
Phoenix is also not as light as she seems. Alexandra has never found dragging bodies fun, but she needs to move her to a secluded place before spilling her guts and ensuring her heart beats its last.
She gives up lifting Phoenix by her armpits and moves her by her feet instead. She begins dragging the body towards the door to the lower deck. The thought of throwing her unconscious sister overboard to drown is wickedly tempting, but ultimately foolish. A drowned body full of water is a heavy body, and she is heavy enough.
She will be out cold for hours, so I will have more than enough time to break open the door and move her to a quiet place first, Alexandra thinks to herself.
A normal mind may have been knocked out for hours. But Phoenix doesn’t have a normal mind. Hers is fractured, imperfect.
Free from her dream, Phoenix blinks and feels the water soaking through her clothes. Reality comes crashing towards her. She gasps and realises where she is.
Phoenix kicks her left foot, followed by her right, towards Alexandra.
Stunned, her sister falls forwards to the floor and grabs hold of Phoenix’s neck with her hands. She begins strangling Phoenix, gripping her neck tightly, her eyes an inferno of intense hatred.
Phoenix chokes. She tries to punch Alexandra in the face, but she evades it easily and sits back, keeping her arms stretched out as she strangles. Phoenix desperately looks for her weapon and cannot see it.
No. She looks for it, but while her rapier is not there, she sees. She doesn’t need to find her rapier. Because she sees, she remembers, and hope flickers, despite her vision swimming, her breath failing. For one of the first times in her life, without looking, she properly sees. There is no rage here now, just a calm, assertive realisation.
Struggling, Phoenix sneaks her left hand beneath her tunic, and grips. She removes it again, with great effort and determination - and thrusts Seven’s dagger deep into the heart of arrogance, of hatred, above her.
Alexandra lets out a sharp cry of pain, followed by a sharp intake of breath, as she releases Phoenix. Her lifeblood swims onto her sister, onto the deck as blood blends with water. Phoenix twists the knife and pushes her off to one side.
Alexandra breathes her final breaths. She remains still as death comes for her quickly. Too quick a death for someone as evil as her, Phoenix thinks to herself, as she coughs and catches her own breath, face down on the watery deck of Fate.
She pulls herself up, soaked, tired and physically and mentally drained. As she leans on the edge of the ship’s wooden railing, she thinks about all of the needless death and loss she has experienced over the past couple of days, including her own dicing with death. She sheds a single tear, which is swiftly washed away by the rain. Her sadness is replaced with immense relief.
Phoenix walks to Alexandra’s lifeless body and leans over her. She pulls off her brown leather boots, rather forcefully.
“I think these belong to me,” she says, finally reclaiming what was taken from her the day Alexandra and Norros assaulted her on the outskirts of Eversong Forest.
Phoenix looks down at her own red boots, dyed by her and Trixie. On second thought, she thinks to herself, she prefers what she has now. Maybe she will keep her old ones as a spare pair. The mundane thought distracts her mind from her brush with death. She drops the boots. Her eyes fall to something else on the deck: Alexandra’s rapier. She walks over to it and picks it up, holding it slightly aloft.
Phoenix never had a chance to look at it properly before. Not that she’d want to. But curiosity gets the better of her. She studies it and finds herself angered by its mere presence. Like an extension of Alexandra, the blade feels arrogant in her hand. Spiteful, with hatred. It is more ornate and shinier than her own. The silver guard above the hilt is brash and bold, coiling around itself multiple times, like a snake. On closer inspection, there are gaps within the thin circular guard as it circles around itself, leaving the user open to attacks to the hand, Phoenix realises a little late after the fight. The rapier’s handle is wrapped in black leather. The sword is pompous and cocky. She doesn’t like it. And yet. If she is to improve her swordfighting in the future, she should practice dual-wielding. And if she doesn’t like it, she can always sell it. She’s sure it could fetch a decent price.
Phoenix forces herself to slide the sword into the left side of her belt. Part of her feels wrong for doing so, another part tells her it is right.
Her mind traces back to Trixie’s advice - that every weapon needs a name. This one falls easily into Phoenix’s mind.
Hate. There can be no other word for it, bar arrogance, but that’s a little long, she thinks to herself. And it doesn’t capture its previous owner’s entire nature. She picks up her own sword up from the floor and it feels more comfortable, satisfying even. She withdraws it into her scabbard.
Heart and Hate. Two swords, perfectly at odds with one another.
In taking her sister’s blade, she knows she is taking part of her sister with her. ‘Alexandra’s hate will live on through me’, she thinks to herself, and though she doesn’t like the thought, she feels it is necessary somehow.
Is hate so different from the anger that fuels her in battle? Life is not always what you want it to be, she understands. In having this sword by her side, it will act as a constant reminder of this, a reminder that with the good comes the bad. Perhaps understanding this, with both swords by her side, it may help give her some kind of bitter harmony. A jagged sort of balance. A way to overcome whatever tribulations life - fate - may throw her way.
She looks out to sea, the rain falling hard onto her hair, her face, her clothes and her swords. Though she doesn’t quite feel reborn, she feels as if she’s been granted a second chance.
Curious as to what lies below deck that Django hinted about, she heads down the steps and uses Trixie’s key to unlock the door, before opening it and softly clicking it closed behind her. She walks quietly down more steps inside the ship and along the corridor, through the mess room.
A goblin awakes, startled. He makes a sudden movement in surprise and stares at Phoenix, a bloodied, messy elf in red.
She lowers her mask and rings her hair, gently, sending water and blood dripping onto the floor. She does so with confidence, as if the goblin isn’t there, but she spots him as she does so.
He lights a torch by the wall and she turns to look at him again.
“You’re Trixie’s girl,” he says. “What are you doin’ here?”
“I’m afraid I have some bad news,” she responds.
A few other ship repairers begin to stir. They listen to Phoenix’s full story as she relays it honestly and painfully. She shows them the letters, Trixie’s inverted triangle brooch and her new sword, gaining their trust.
After telling the story, she throws the keys of Fate to the first goblin who awoke.
“Sorry, miss,” he says, looking down at the keys. “As much as I’d like to sell the ship and take the coin for myself, it’s not mine to sell.”
He throws them back to Phoenix, underarm, and she catches them awkwardly, before looking up at him again.
“With Trixie dead, and the captain gone, you’re the next in line,” he continues. “Ship’s yours. As are we - as long as you pay us of course.”
She doesn’t outwardly react. But inside, despite everything, a flutter of hope rises. A chance to make anew, start over again.
“Tomorrow, we set sail for Stranglethorn. I want a list of everyone who knew my father,” she says.
“Yes captain,” the goblin responds.