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Lyni's Story: Aftermath (another short one-shot)

by Shiny Lyni

Shiny Lyni Less than a day has passed since the events of the "Victory March", and Lyni continues to struggle with everything that had happened.
(For information about what happened that led to this, I suggest reading this log, particularly the last spoiler tag.)

“You're thinking about it again, huh?”

“…”

“That’s what I thought.”

Lyni stared at her reflection in the mirror, combing her fingers through her hair. Her reflection copied her movements, but didn’t respond back to her words. “You’re pathetic, you know,” she muttered, but again, only silence followed. She sighed and walked over to her bed, lying on her back and staring up at the ceiling.

Less than a day ago, she had a brother. She had someone she could care for and love, and trust, and call family. Nothing had felt real since then, but the dagger gleaming on her shelf told her otherwise. Though the scarlet blade was devoid of any signs of magical power now, its mere presence irritated her to no end. She couldn't close her eyes or else the image of blood would fill her mind. Keeping them open did no good either, as the dagger was a constant reminder of her deed. The girl groaned and tried to cover her face with one of the many pillows on her bed, but the flash of crimson took over her vision again. She threw the pillow away and glared at the weapon which had claimed her brother’s life.

“Just keep taunting me, will you?” she spat. The dagger didn't reply, of course. The two of them had a sort of staring contest for a few minutes before Lyni finally relented and turned around, only to spy one of her many empty star jars sitting on her desk. She seemed to hesitate a bit before approaching the jar, not quite sure what she was about to do. Looking around, she found a stack of paper strips and a pen. The girl cautiously unfurled a strip and began writing in it, making each stroke deliberately, before folding it and pinching the sides so that the paper had the shape of a small, inflated star. As the star landed with a light tink at the bottom of the jar, Lyni had already begun on another strip, writing a new message before folding it and dropping it into the jar. She repeated this action many more times, her eyes occasionally getting moist but never actually tearing up, and slowly filled up the vessel. By the time she was finished, the sun was already beginning to set, and the streets were busy with people trying to get back to their homes. The stack of paper was nearly empty, replaced by a pile of used pens.

Lyni slowly got up, putting on her usual blue jacket and holding the jar gingerly. Not wanting to look too conspicuous, she let her pigtails down for once and put on a pair of glasses. She trudged out of her room towards the edge of the city, relying on the smell of the sea to direct her to her destination. The walk was still tough, though, as people could still recognize and would occasionally try to talk to her, only for her to cut them off and explain that she was busy. As she approached the harbor, several of the workers there looked at her curiously, but she waved them off and they, in turn, went back to work. She stepped onto the pier, and the strong scent of salt on the air made her eyes water, whether from just irritation or from triggering her own emotions again, she wasn't too sure.

Taking a breath, Lyni approached the edge of the sea and gently placed the jar in the water, watching it float still for a few seconds before pushing it away from her. The jar bobbed up and down several times, reflecting the first stars that were appearing in the sky, its shape gradually getting smaller and smaller as it drifted away from the pier. When it disappeared, Lyni continued to stare off into the water, finally letting the tears stream down her face and letting her emotions show.

It was finally over. They were finally free. Getting up, Lyni closed her eyes and turned around, walking slowly back to her room. A heavy weight seemed to have been lifted from her shoulders, though the grief stayed in her heart. This wasn't something she could easily forget. But, it also wasn't something that should take over the rest of her life.
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