What was lacking was intensity. I realized it from the beginning.
It was a strange galactic feeling of triumph and sweet victory, a victory I had longed for ages. My enemy was standing at the very same place where he had started all this a long time back. It felt eons ago. But now he was there, all alone, cornered, dying. I loathed his every move earlier, his every meek decision, and I was proud that I had tricked him, him of all people. The great Master himself, the Supreme Commander, the All Forgiving, The Leader, my father. Yes, my own father, I tricked him to achieve my greatest goal, the summit that only I had dreamed of conquering. No other mortal was as bold or gallant enough than Ramdir’s own son, so had the High Priest for seed. But he remained silent in ascertaining which of his two sons. I was thrust this destiny by my own family, even though they knew the consequences that lay ahead. They knew that if I grew vary of what I was to gain from this venture, I would cross all barriers to attain it, be it murder or, as I always thought of it, sacrifice. It was a sacrifice indeed, one so terrible that only God himself could commit and be forgiven, and if that is what was required, if it was necessary to act like God Himself, then I would willingly do it for the greater boon that was to be gained.
But this victory tasted as sweet as it was bitter. I got it as I wanted, all perfectly done, but now at this precarious position I was having a change of heart. Why? Was it pity? Was it love? Or was it simply not the end he had imagined? It was cold, cold as a plunge in frigid water. I looked at the old man, the man I looked up to all these years, idolising, patronising, even worshipping, and I looked at the burning stacks of wood onto which he was about to jump. The person whom I loved so dearly was going to die, and I was responsible for it, I alone.
I continued to gape at that weak figure, growing even weaker as he trotted close to the burning amber, and it was then that he turned and looked up at me. Tears made runnels down his pale, hollow cheeks as he stared at me through those piercing eyes, and as those drops made for the floor, I followed them, for I could no longer look into his eyes. It took me a while to summon all my energy to look up again and I saw a concerned look on the person standing beside my father, and by the looks of it, he knew that I was going to change my decision. He knew that even after all the hatred and jealously, loved still prevailed in me, love for the person to whose head he had pulled a gun. I marvelled at the crossroad in which I found myself, and it was a situation that I had always dreamt of. I was dreaming of it the previous night too, and on waking the next morning I promised myself never to think of it again. I would not listen to my heart; I assured myself and my colleagues, for it was weak and fell prey to emotions far too easily. There was no place for weaknesses in this endeavour none at all. Any loose step could have lead to cataclysmic results that would fail my purpose. But that man, harassing my father, knew that I was going to have feelings like these, for it was I, myself, who had warned him. I had foreseen these events and knew the outcome, but as of this moment, I wanted the future to change.
I gave a dire look to the man downstairs and a meek look of helpless to my father. I knew it was too late, and Fate itself could not prevent him from dying. I closed my eyes and for the first time in ten years, I prayed. I prayed like a man begging for water. I opened my eyes and quite strangely, found myself in a situation quite similar to the one twenty years ago. The irony of life was such that it had to end, and we still call it death, forgetting that it was through life, and only life that death is achieved. And so it shall be, I thought as I signalled my apprentice to make the final move.