Crown of the Queen

This was the last place he would visit before he would depart from this region. Shanza’s home. He had come quite familiar with the small dwelling during his illness. He was sorry that he had to return for more somber reasons. First disease and now the passing of a friend that was very close to her. 

He knew that he owed it to the little wanderer a token of remembrance as well. He just wasn’t sure how this encounter was going to play out. He had promised to Shanza that he would escort Habibah safely on the journey to the Summit and he imagined this meant that he had to escort her safely home, too. He did, but the destination had changed. That was his job. To take the dead to a resting place of closure from their lives.

He approached the tiny house, his lip beginning to quiver as the reality of the soon coming confrontation hit him once more. The first time with Hasan was hard enough. This would be the continuation of seeing pain that he felt along with them. There was no separation this time. He would be right there with them in grief.

He crouched down to his knees and called out to her quietly, hoarsely. {}|/Miss Shanza..? I have news to bring you. Please come out to meet with me..\|{} He almost hoped that he was speaking to just an empty house. He hoped she was out on a dig or meeting with her sister in the Undergrounds, but logic told him this wouldn’t be the case. She had seen them off when they left this house for the journey. She would be waiting for them to return. With the hat Habibah wore clutched in his hand, he waited for her to come out to meet with him.

The Awakening of an Ancestor


That’s what the ancestor felt as he opened his eyes lazily, blinking a few times before everything came into focus. It had been so long since he had actually been able to breathe.

He sat himself up and groaned, this body feeling beaten and sore. {}|//Azrael… What foolishness you’ve put yourself through.. You are more of an idiot than I believed when I watched over you..\|{}

The ancestor stood his vessel up and brushed off the sands that had settled on the grey robes.

{}|//At least you will be fine once I deem it acceptable to let go of your body. Please do relax your screams. We both cannot crowd this mind with thoughts. Rest,\|{} he said aloud, his frame relaxing and straightening as the ancestor took complete possession.

He moved over to the body of Habibah, still wrapped in bandages. With a frustrated sigh, he crouched down to her and began to remove the bandages from her face. {}|//Let’s see if your foolishness was worth it, dear Azrael.\|{}

And his sacrifice was worth it, it seemed. A tangible and beautiful face was revealed once the bandages had been stripped from her face.

She was breathing, her skin warm to the touch with life once again.

{}|//Still unconscious, but that hardly matters. I do not wish to hear you speak so loudly as I take you back to Miss Shanza. She will be happy to deal with you more than I. Perhaps it will finally be quiet in the calm of our existence again, even if it was not supposed to be.\|{}

He would definitely enjoy the quiet, though still was bitter of Azrael’s choice.

{}|//The mask… He had your mask…\|{}

He patted against the vessel, finding the mask tied to his right hip.


He placed the mask on her face to conceal her again before he slipped off his cloak. He laid it aside and carefully sat the Queen’s frame up and clothing her with Azrael’s robes. They practically swallowed her up, but better to have her covered than carried in bandages alone.

He secured the cloak and began to pick up her still frame from the sands, standing tall, and looking around at his surroundings before he would set out back towards the settlement.

He was curious, though he did not approve of this creature, of Nephilis’ whereabouts.

He had a few thoughts he would love to share if he had ended up in the same area from the dark journey Azrael had embarked on with him.

Azrael narrows his eyes for a moment at the question. He found it to be a rather personal question considering she had only just left from this world. {}|/I.. I’m not really sure I enjoy your question considering what ‘love’ to you more than likely means.\|{} 

He paces around in front of the grey cloaked traveler. {}|/If you must know.. I did love the Queen, but not in the sense that a lover would. It was purely platonic, you understand?\|{} He sighs, slouching his shoulders.

{}|/I’m sorry.. You do not deserve my anger. I serve the dead, grey cloak. She had, in fact, been dead at one time. I respect the dead. As I learned more about who she was on our journey, I grew to love her as a servant grows to love his ruler. If I dared, I would call her my friend. There is no romance between us. I have only loved one woman in my lifetime and have not felt the same feelings of a lover since that time. It isn’t that it isn’t possible. I merely only was a servant to Habibah.\|{}

{}|/She… she was my friend in the end. It is something I didn’t know I wanted until the climb. Forgive me.. I do not wish to speak anymore about this.\|{}