Guilt and Forgiveness: The Unavoidable Feelings Part 4 “He’s a master marksman.” Titania replied, taking off her helmet to comfortably rub one of her ears. “And as for melee, he’s a better fighter than me.” “Could Faith take him on, if she was trained well enough? I’m only offering this as a suggestion. Some people are better suited for specific fights than others. I’m purely asking for your input.” “No… I don’t want my daughter to be in danger, especially not with Koz representing the danger. Faith… if… she got hurt or worse… I… I wouldn’t be able to cope with that.” “Understandable. Do you think that nobody in this guild is capable of defeating him?” Zodiak inquired. “Wilhelmina could… Eraqus would be seriously wounded, but he could do it… maybe Erin… or Kva…” Titania pondered, sighing as she looked into Zodiak’s eyes. “I don’t want anyone hurt over this. My life is not that valuable, and as a Hunter, it is my job to save lives, not potentially have them lost over me.” “If the job of a Hunter is to save lives, then why can’t a Hunter save the life of another Hunter? I think that’s a little backwards, not to mention the fact that you put no value on your life. If you think that people wouldn’t want to help you-- no, your friends wouldn’t want to help you--, then you should really reconsider your relationships with people. If you’re willing to sacrifice your life to save someone else’s, then you have to understand that the feelings often times go both ways with Hunter friends. You can trust your friends to help you--” Zodiak was prepared to become inspirational, but was cut off. “You think I don’t understand that?! That I have plenty of friends to help me out?! Jay almost died the last time Koz came for me, and I could barely do anything! All it take for him to start killing off my friends is a dab of poison on a bolt and they’re gone! And that monster will kill far too many of them!” Titania roared in both pain and anger, her eyes watering. She took a slow breath and continued quietly, “I… I don’t want to see anyone I care about or love die… I… I couldn’t live with myself if I did. So if I have to fight him alone, and if the risk is dying alone, so be it.” “There’s no purpose in dying like that. This fight should not be taken personally. While I understand that you don’t want them to risk their lives to protect you, I honestly don’t think that’s your choice. If you let them know about this opposing threat, you should let them decide what they want to do. If this is stressing you out as much as it is, then you should let off some of the burden to your friends. They are there to help you, not just to stand around and look pretty. I hope you take what I say to heart, and yes, I have listened to what you’ve said. I’m just saying that nobody wants to see you die either. It’s natural to feel like you want to protect them, but how do you know that your friends aren’t in danger either, whether they’re on the battlefield with you or not?” Zodiak explained as calm as possible, trying to help her understand that the battle is best taken on as a team, not solo. “I appreciate your input, but no. No, this is something I have to do. I’m not going to just lie down and die when I see him. Instead, I’ll try my damnedest to kill him. I’m sorry but that’s how it’ll have to be.” Titania stubbornly replied, offering a rueful smile as she closed her eyes. “If that’s how you need it to play out, then let me give you some pointers. If he’s alone, trying to kill him through stealth could be your best option. Attack him when he least expects it. If that doesn’t work, try using a strategy besides just brute force. Use the land to your advantage. I know these are Battle Tips 101, but I just wanted to remind you of them. It seems to me that you usually just improv your way through everything. I don’t want you to not do anything, but I do want you to have a plan, whether you bring your friends or not. Just… don’t die. Please. You’re one of the nicest people I’ve talked to here.” Zodiak’s voice changed from instructional to pleading by the end. “I’ll try not to, Zodiak. I like living and so I will try everything to keep existing.” Titania replied, leaning down and kissing the man’s cheek. “Try not to forget that.” Zodiak’s face lit up, a slight tint of red dotting his cheeks. “I shall do my best, Miss Titania. If there’s ever anything you need, do not hesitate to ask me for help. I would help you in your fight with the man stressing you out, but I feel like you told me specifically because you didn’t want me to, which I can respect, albeit hesitantly.” “Thank you, Zodiak… wait…” Titania inspected his cheeks, before confirming her suspicions, “Are you blushing?” “Uh-uhm… heh… Uh, maybe a little?” Zodiak’s smile turned into a more embarrassed laugh, unsure of how to respond. “You blushing… it’s kinda cute to be honest…” Titania responded, offering a warm smile, and a wink. “Uhh… Thanks, I guess. Heh…” Zodiak looked away from Titania, trying to calm down by taking a deep breath. “I’ll let you ‘cool off’ for now. I’ll try to visit you when I can.” Titania winked once more, before walking away and out of the room. “I-- ugh…” Zodiak cleared his throat quickly. “I’d appreciate it!” he called, hoping Titania would hear him. No response came. “Oh well. Guess I’ll fuckin’ sleep, then.” Zodiak closed his eyes, hoping to accomplish just that.