Chronicles and Stories of a Melted Heart

Of what your heart asks, what your mind tells, and where your will can take you!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dream Weaver V: The Red Rose

Description: Finally, the Dream Weaver sequel will now reach its end; the final part. As a teaser, I’ll give one hint, the mystery of the red rose! That is the main reason for this part’s title. Remember Janine Edinburg, the girl who always brings a rose wherever she goes? It’s not that she will be the highlight of the story, but you will know in this chapter if why is she bringing a rose along with her and what will be its purpose in this part. So, let’s begin! I know you will like this final entry for Dream Weaver series.

Three months have passed after Kristin’s burial, everything went sad and uneasy for them. Ivan felt so incomplete with no one to talk to him early in the morning like Kristin does when she is still alive. With this long time, still, no anything regarding Chris. They don’t even have any idea if where he is and what is doing in the whole three months. With this long time of moving forward to the tragedy that happened, they have already accepted the fact that Kristin is gone and so is Erin. After a long time of sympathy, still, no mission is given to them, no nothing!

Janine had made a garden of roses near their house which became their resting place to chill and kill time. Janine always picks a rose from the garden every time she goes somewhere; like what she always do before. Rick always takes care of the weapons in their armory. Without them knowing, that he always reminisce the times that Erin is with him, the missions they have accomplished and the bond that they have made throughout the days of being with each other. John is always with Mhart. They always practice with their sword skills that seemed like Mhart wanted him to be better than him.

It’s almost 3:00 in the afternoon of Wednesday; Janine interrupted Mhart and John and requested Mhart to talk to her for a while.

Janine : May I just have a word with you Mhart? John, I’m sorry to interrupt you both but I just want to talk to him.

John : It’s just fine! In fact, I wanted to rest for a while. So, may I leave you both now? I’ll go inside and rest for a moment.

Janine : Thank you John.

Mhart : What do you want with me?

Janine : Are you angry?

Mhart : No! It’s just that, I’m a bit tired. Now, why do you want to talk to me?

Janine : Three months have passed Mhart, I just want to tell you that, I worry so much about you. Everyday, I am thinking if Chris will come back, I don’t want anything worse to happen to you.

Mhart : Thanks for the concern. In fact, he’ll be here after a week, at exactly Friday afternoon.

Janine : How did you know? Did he come here?

Mhart : No, I woke up early this morning, and I got this letter from our door.

Mhart handed Janine the letter that he got, saying:

Mhart Winds,

It’s me, Chris! I just want you to know, I’ll be returning next week at exactly 3:00 in the afternoon on Friday. I will not do this to join with all of you again, but to challenge you and fulfill my desire of avenging Kristin’s death. So long!

Farewell my friend!

-Chris Mortell

P.S.: By the way, don’t you worry about practicing, I am now a sword wielder. You won’t regret my return!

Janine : Mhart!

Mhart : Don’t you worry. I am ready with what Chris wants.

Janine : What do you plan now?

Rose interrupted them; coming from east of where they are.

Rose : Of course! He will never be defeated by Chris who has betrayed us, who blamed us of the sin that we never did!

Mhart : Rose!

Rose : Why Mhart? Am I wrong?

Janine : How could you be so harsh Rose?

Mhart : Enough! Come what may, I’ll be ready for anything!

Janine : But Mhart!

Mhart : We don’t hold our future, sometimes, it’s destiny that calls us to shape it. And we are the ones who make our own destiny! So it is us, who makes our own future.

Janine : But how? How will you shape it, in the way you want it?

Rose : Mhart will kill him! That’s it!

Mhart : Whatever happens, it’s destiny’s call! That’s it! (Mhart walked away from them)

Janine : Mhart, wait! Why did you do that Rose? Are you out of your mind?

Rose : No! I don’t want to do this. But Chris is also a friend of us. I just want to know how he will react if what I said will come true. And besides, I want him to be an aggressive thinker! I know that Chris is also feeling that way because of his anger towards Mhart.

Janine : I understand what your intention is. But I think this isn’t the right way to do it.

Rose : I know. I’m so sorry.

Janine : It’s nothing with me. I think it’s better to apologize to Mhart rather than me.

Rose : I think so too. But, I still think that it is the right thing to do, to push his anger, to make him burst into hatred, so that nothing bad will happen to him, like being killed! (Bowing her head and tears starts to fall from her eyes)

Janine : (Embraces Rose) Don’t cry Rose. He’ll be fine! Trust him and his abilities, just like what I am doing before until now!

Rose : Thank you Janine.

From not so far distance from where Rose and Janine are, Ivan looks at them, wondering what is happening between them and later went to a bench where Mhart is sitting.

Ivan : Hey Mhart. What’s happening with those women out there?

Mhart : Nothing. Maybe some, nasty women talk.

Ivan : Nasty? I am asking you calmly, and you’re answering me like that?

Mhart : Why? Is “nasty” an inappropriate word to describe their conversation? Or should I describe it, “annoying women talk”!

Ivan : What’s wrong with you? Be careful with you attitude or else …

(Ivan attempted to pull his gun from his waist but Mhart already had pointed his sword towards Ivan’s body)

Mhart : Don’t you dare pull that gun or you’ll be left here lifeless!

(John came …)

John : Cut it off guys! We’re friends here! What’s the problem all about?

Ivan : I just came to ask about what seemed to be the problem with Rose and Janine; if they are just fine! Then Mhart started to act like someone we don’t know!

John : What seemed to be the problem Mhart? We can talk things out!

Mhart : Sorry, (pulling back his sword) I just received this letter from Chris. And this bothers me much! I am really sorry guys.

(John and Ivan hurriedly get the letter and read it)

Ivan : Is this true? So this letter means that he will be here, to challenge you to a duel?

Mhart : You read it right. I’m hoping for his return, to be one with us again, to forget what happened after three months of moving on. But I made myself wrong. He still wanted that revenge he had said before. I just thought that I am not even worthy to be a friend.

John : No Mhart! You are just fine. He’s the one who can’t even move forward to what happened! Not you!

Ivan : John is right. We made ourselves moved on with what happened, with the help of each other! He just didn’t realize that we can be a help for him to forget what happened!

Mhart : I guess you are right. But, the only thing that bothers me is the duel between Chris and me.

John : You have taught me so many things! I can’t be this great if not because of you! And you are the greatest warrior among us! So what’s with that “bother” thing?

Ivan : John is right Mhart. And besides, you are the leader of the former 5 Greatest Sword Warriors ever known! You can take him down that easy.

Mhart : That’s not the case. He is our friend. I can’t imagine myself hurting my friends.

John : Maybe you should give yourself a break. That can really help.

Ivan : Yeah right. Go on with your training. I’ll be going to Rick, to help him out in the storage room.

Mhart : Alright.

Rose and Janine were together, having a conversation about their memories with Kristin and Erin. Mhart and John were back to their training, while Rick and Ivan were busy with cleaning up their weapons. Amongst them all, Mhart and John are the only ones who have only one type of weapon, although John’s Sword came from Mhart.

After several hours, they had their dinner. Janine was the one who cooked their dinner. And they are all grateful for the Janine’s great abilities in household chores. While having their dinner, they were paused by a question from John.

John : By the way Mhart, if you will choose among our two women here, Rose and Janine, who would that be?

After minutes of silence …

John : What’s the problem? Did I say anything bad or what? I’m just asking!

Mhart : Should we proceed to another topic or anything disregarding that matter?

Ivan : Why don’t you answer Mhart?

Janine : Enough of that guys. Maybe, he just …

Rick : Just what? Hurt anyone of you?

Mhart : ENOUGH! Alright. I like the both of them!

Rick : But Mhart, of course, you have to choose only one. The one you really love, the one who you think that can complete you and your life.

Mhart : I don’t want to talk about that! What I am thinking now is Chris’ arrival.

Rick : What? He is coming? Is he joining us again? (after seconds of pause) It seemed like; I am the only one who doesn’t know anything about this thing?

John : Sorry, we just forgot to inform you about this. But, yeah, he’s coming back to challenge Mhart for a duel.

Ivan : Wait guys! We still have a week for his arrival! Look at Mhart, he seems like pressured about that! So now, who is the woman of your life?

Rose : Enough of that Ivan! Look at him, he seemed uneasy! Just let him relax for a bit!

John : Concerned much? With matching holding his arms? And Janine is blushing? Is that because of jealousy Janine?

(Rose removed her hands from Mhart and Janine just ignored what John said)

Mhart : Stop it John and Ivan. I like them both and I care for them so much! That’s it! Nothing more nothing less! Will that be fine with you?

Ivan and John : If you say so …

After their dinner, Mhart immediately went to his room’s terrace while Ivan and Rick took care of the chores. While taking a cigarette, someone knocked on the door. It is Janine. Mhart asked her to come inside. He is standing while looking at the dark starry skies. Janine was as usual, holding a rose.

Mhart : So, what’s with you now?

Janine : What do you mean?

Mhart : I mean, why did you come here?

Janine : Nothing. Just, want to kill time with you.

Mhart : Why me? They’re downstairs. You can talk to them.

Janine : Why? Am I disturbing you?

Mhart : Not really. I just want to be alone. But if you insist to stay, it’s just fine with me.

Janine : Well, I INSIST! So, I’ll stay.

Mhart slightly smiled. Janine smiled too after seeing Mhart smiling. She rarely sees him smile. Still, Mhart is smoking and Janine can’t even make him stop his vices. She knows that she’s not in the authority to make him stop what he wants to do.

Janine : May I ask something?

Mhart : What is it?

Janine : Are you in love with Rose?

Mhart : I love roses. And I like Rose.

Janine : I know right. But what I mean is, Rose, our friend. I bet she really likes you.

Mhart : Are you pushing me to love her?

Janine : No! It’s just that, I like you also! But I think you don’t deserve someone like me who left you before.

Mhart : So you don’t feel the same now as what you feel towards me before?

Janine : I still do! But because of my mother, I have to leave you. To admit to you, when you were the leader of the 5 Greatest Sword Warriors, my mother don’t want me to be with you anymore. She sees you as a dangerous person. But I know who you really are! So I still fight for my feelings. But I have nothing to do but to follow what my mother wants.

Mhart : I understand. And besides, past is past. You cannot go on with your life if you will still allow yourself to be haunted by those memories from the past.

Janine : Alright, if you say so.

Mhart : What’s with the rose?

Janine : Isn’t this you favorite flower? You loved roses even before.

Mhart : Yes. And before you left me, you promised to still bring roses wherever you go to remind you that I will be back. Am I right?

Janine : You still remember. When we were young, you used to pick roses from our garden. And my mother will chase you to hit you with her broom.

Mhart : Yeah! Those were the days.

Janine : By the way, how’s your stories? Are you still writing some?

Mhart : Ever since I was hired to be an assassin, I lost my time to write stories.

Janine : I understand. What are your stories about?

Rose : Dreams!

Janine & Mhart : ROSE !

Mhart : How long have you been here? You didn’t even knock on my door! Lately, it became your hobby to come in surprise!

Rose : I saw that the door is open. So I came in and checked where you are. Then I heard you talking to someone. Sorry about that matter, I just to be with you!

Janine : Sorry for what we are talking about.

Rose : No need to be sorry. I came here about seconds ago. And I heard nothing.

Janine : What were you saying a while ago? Dreams?

Rose : Yes. Dreams! Mhart’s stories are about his dreams. And those dreams often become reality if he adds situations that didn’t appear from his dream. Like going back to who he really is, a warrior! He once dreamed about it and he wrote it as a story. Then that’s it. It came true.

Janine : Is it true Mhart?

Mhart : Yes! But that was my last story that I wrote. After that, some of the situations that we are encountering now are parts of my dream!

Rose : Déjà vu?

Mhart : I think so too. And that is why I am always bothered. Like our mission before with the Drakes. I was stunned because I felt that it already happened somewhere, and resulted to Erin’s death.

Rose : Now I know. I bet you are still bothered because you still dream about what will happen?

Mhart : Not perfectly the same! But it has somewhat clues to what will happen.

Their conversation was so intense. Rose now figured out what bothers Mhart. The reason why Mhart was stunned and almost killed was the dreams that he had which often gives clues on what will happen.

On the three days that have passed, they still go on with what they are doing, like Mhart and John were practicing, Rick and Ivan were in charge of the weapon maintenance, and Rose and Janine were with the chores. Six more days left for the duel of Mhart and Chris. Rose and Janine are the ones that worry much about what will happen. Though they are confident of Mhart’s victory, they still can’t assure that because they know that he can’t hurt Chris for they are friends.

On a windy afternoon of Saturday, Rose and Janine got a perfect timing to talk to each other while the others are busy.

Rose : You know Janine, even now, I still wonder if what is your purpose of bringing a rose with you?

Janine : Oh this? Do you know that this is the favorite flower of Mhart?

Rose : When we were young, I used to see one from him. If I can still remember, he often puts rose petals in some of the pages of his books. He even uses them as a bookmark. But as favorite flower? I didn’t even know about that.

Janine : Even before, I know that it is Mhart’s favorite flower.

Rose : Are you bringing roses because of him or you have other purpose?

Janine : I promised him, before I left, that even though we are apart, I will still bring a rose to remind me that he will be back.

Rose : Is that so? You know what, I envy you.

Janine : Why?

Rose : Because whatever is going on, I can sense that you are still calm. But me, the more I worry about Mhart, the more I get angry with him.

Janine : It’s not what you think it is Rose. There’s anger in me also. But because I care so much about him, I remain calm to make him feel that everything is fine. With that, he will be calm also. You cannot defeat anger with another anger, or hatred with hatred. Remember Rose, opposites attract.

Rose : I know that. But I can’t prevent it. I know I cannot prevent Mhart for any of his rushed decisions. That is why I got angry if he will refuse to what we wanted. It’s for his sake, not ours!

Janine : I understand you Rose. Let’s call them now! I have baked a cake for us hours ago. Let’s eat and complete this day with a smile!

Rose : I’ll be going to call Ivan and Rick.

Janine : No Rose! I will be the one to call them. Please go and call Mhart and John.

Rose : (to herself) What’s wrong with her?

Janine : What Rose?

Rose : Oh nothing! I said “Let’s go now”.

Even though Janine still likes Mhart, she wanted Rose to be intensely close to him. Because of that, Rose remained clueless on what seemed to be the problem with Janine.

It is almost dark and everyone is full because of the cake that Janine had made so they decided to have a small gathering and drink a couple of beverages to spend time and cheer the night out. When everything is ready for their gathering, Mhart grabbed his bottle of beer and decided to drink alone in his room’s terrace, just like what he used to do. But before he even take the first step of their staircase, Ivan jumped in to prevent him from proceeding to his room.

Ivan : Where do you think you are going Mhart?

Mhart : To my room! I said wanted to drink in my terrace to have fresh air while I’m drinking.

Rick : We heard that right Mhart. But, aren’t you supposed to join us here and allow ourselves to bond with each other?

John : Rick is right. This is one chance for us to strengthen our bonds!

Ivan : I got a better idea! Why don’t we bring our foods and beverages outside? Let’s just place a mat on the grass and enjoy the view of Janine’s garden and at the same time, cherish the smooth breeze of the wind outside?

Rick : I agree!

John : So am I! And I know that Rose and Janine will not refuse to that clever idea!

Rick : There’s no point in being alone Mhart! We are here, your FRIENDS!

Mhart : Alright! I agree also.

All : Yeah!

Everyone agreed to Ivan’s idea. So the hurriedly prepared their place outside near Janine’s garden. Without any mission to plan, they enjoyed every minute they spend to cherish their time together. Janine and Rose can’t stop laughing because of Rick, Ivan and John who are fooling around and Mhart smiles to what they are doing. All of them noticed that Mhart is cheering up little by little and expects him to join them. While all of them are busy with what they are doing and with their beverages, Rose invited Janine to have a little talk inside their house.

Rose : Janine, may I ask you one thing?

Janine : What is it?

Rose : Are you pushing me to Mhart? I mean …

Janine : I know you’ll ask about it. I am just afraid of what Mhart told me days after Kristin’s Burial.

Rose : What is it?

Janine : It’s about him. The one he dreamed about. You once told me in front of Mhart about how his dreams sometimes come true.

Rose : Then? Is it about me?

Janine : His dream is about his encounter with Chris. He told me that something bad will happen to one of us.

Rose : Is it me?

Janine : No! He just said to me that he dreamed of someone will be in great danger but he didn’t mention if who it will be.

Rose : Someone? If it is someone, why are you doing this with just Mhart and me who are involved?

Janine : Didn’t you get what I want to say? What I want you to know is that, after what happened to Erin and Kristin, you think Mhart will allow that to happen again?

Rose : I got it! That’s true. He could be injured or worst, die, if he will try to save us from what will happen.

Janine : That’s true.

Rose : That’s all I want to know. I think we should go back to them.

Janine : Let’s go.

Rose became worried so much about Mhart because she believes in his dreams. Because of what Janine told her, he bears in mind that Mhart’s dream must not happen.

Rose and Janine returned to they’re small gathering. They were as normal that seemed like nothing happened to them. Rose still pretends to be alright though she is totally worried with what might happen to them.

The night has passed, and they were so happy with their bonding moments that they had in that night. They seemed so refreshed because of that. After their night of fun, they were back to normal but still, they are there for each other in helping for whatever they are doing.

Three days have passed, and it is already Wednesday. Two more days left before Mhart and Chris’ duel. It is 9:00 in the morning, and Rose hurriedly ran to Mhart’s room and wakes him up.

Rose : Mhart! Wake Up!

Mhart : What?

Rose : You have to see what’s outside!

Mhart : See what?

Rose : Chris came here!

Mhart : What for? I know he’s coming on Friday. What is he doing here right now? It’s only Wednesday!

Rose : I don’t know! And now, he is in fight with John!

Mhart : WHAT! How could that be? Isn’t he after me?

Rose : I don’t know! Just go and help John out!

Mhart : Alright!

Rose hurriedly ran outside to check on John. Seconds after, Mhart stood up and grabbed his sword which is just beside his bed. Lifting his sword on his shoulder, he ran downstairs and later opened the door. After opening the door, he was in great shock of what he saw. It really is Chris! What shocked him most is what Chris had become. He now uses a sword. Similar to what John and Mhart uses. He wears long, leg level cloak and black, metal body armor. Mhart noticed something in Chris’ armor which is very familiar to him, it is his gauntlet. It is a red metal gauntlet on his right arm which is similar to what he used when he was still in the 5 Greatest Sword Warriors.

Chris smiled when he saw Mhart walking out of their house. John was kneeling due to fatigue and difficulty to fight with Chris. Mhart walked towards John and held his shoulder.

Mhart : Stay aside John. This isn’t supposed to be your fight. This is mine.

John : I just … want to take care of him by myself so that … you will not be bothered anymore!

Mhart : Thanks for that. You need to recover.

Mhart is kneeling also while talking to John. After John had agreed, Mhart gave a piercing look at Chris and slowly stood up and lifted his sword. Chris bowed his head and slowly began to laugh.

Mhart : What’s so funny?

Chris : (chuckles) Will he be your legacy? He doesn’t even left a mark on my armor!

Mhart : It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, what matters most is that he gave his best in a fight.

Chris : Losing is just for the weak!

Mhart : So you want to end it here huh?

Chris : Why don’t you give it a try?

Mhart and Chris are just few meters apart from each other. Janine is holding tightly to Ivan due to fear of what might happen to them. Rick is just watching. He knows that he can’t do anything for them. In a bench, Rose is sitting while taking care of John. Mhart held his sword with both hands and so is Chris which indicates that a great battle will start.

Mhart remained to where he is standing.

Chris : COME! Are you scared? Why don’t you attack me first?

Mhart : I am just waiting for you!

Chris : Whatever you say!

Mhart is a type of warrior who usually starts the attack, but in this case, he didn’t do it. Everyone was puzzled of that situation. All of them didn’t know that Mhart doesn’t want to attack because he still thinks of the friendship they had with Chris. He still sees him as part of them, as their friend!

After several seconds of a short pause, Chris lifted up his sword, a sign that he is going to attack Mhart now. He hurriedly ran towards Mhart and started to rapidly draw out strong slashes towards him. As a skilled swordsman, Mhart never let his guard down. Though he can feel that he can block all of his attacks, he still can’t manage to make his own attack. They can see that this isn’t the way Mhart fights. All they think is that he’s maybe in difficulty to fight him because Chris really grew better than before.

Chris : What’s wrong with you? You didn’t even give a single attack! Are you a fighter or what?

Mhart : Why? Are you already tired?

Chris : You’re losing my temper!

Rose : (Shouting) Take him down Mhart! He is not the Chris we knew before!

Chris : She’s right! Take me now or else, you’ll be dead in minutes.

Mhart : Just shut up and fight!

After hearing what Rose have said, Mhart gained confidence to fight just like before. Gripping tightly to his sword, he ran towards Chris. Everyone smiled because they think that the one they’re seeing now really is Mhart they knew who was once became best of the best warriors ever known. The battle is now in favor of Mhart who gives out strong slashes to Chris. Chris knew that this will happen so he prepared for an attack from Mhart and readies himself for a counter-attack. A great strike of swords broke the area’s silence. Mhart was pushed back and took a grip on the ground. Mhart was silenced of that unexpected attack. He managed to stand again ran again towards Chris and gave out an attack. Because of his speed, Mhart made his way at Chris’ back, stood still and pointed his sword to his neck, indication that the battle is done.

Chris : (Laughing) You really are strong! (He held Mhart sword and slowly put it down) Don’t worry, I won’t give an attack. I will fight you fairly, like what you are doing in all of your fights.

Mhart : Tell me, what is your purpose of returning?

Chris : Didn’t I told you before that I’ll be coming back to take you down and have my revenge for Kristin’s death?

Rose : Didn’t I told you that it isn’t Mhart’s fault?

Chris : Shut up you mindless scumbag! I’m not talking to you!

Mhart : (Lifted again his sword and pointed towards Chris’ face) Don’t you dare talk to her like that!

Rose : (Draw out her gun, aimed at Chris and stood up but she was prevented by John) Don’t stop me John! I’m going to kill him!

John : Just leave everything to Mhart! You will just hurt yourself!

Rose : But!

John : Just stay calm!

Mhart : Chris, I admit that I lost concentration in that battle but it’s not my intention not to protect her!

Chris : So it really is your fault! A warrior never loses concentration to any battles!

Mhart : It really is true! But I am no god to prevent what is destined to happen!

Chris : Enough of this nonsense talk! I just came here to let you see what I have become! We shall continue this on Friday!

Mhart : Why can’t we just end this fight? I can’t see any purpose in fighting a friend!

Chris : I am no friend of yours anymore Mhart! After a very long time of my inexistence, hate and anger filled my entire personality! Don’t expect anything from me anymore!

Mhart : Why don’t you just move on and go on with your life? It’s been a long time! Rick had also experienced such tragic end, but he’s still him now! You’re just letting your self to be eaten by the ghost of the past!

Chris : You are no king to command me of what I must or must not do! I shall go! This will go nowhere!

Mhart : Wait Chris!

Chris : Shut up!

Everyone felt so disappointed not to convince Chris to join them again. Slowly, Chris walked away towards north and he didn’t even left any idea about where will he go. They still care for him. Janine ran towards Mhart and embraced him tightly for she cares for him so much because she is still bothered of Mhart’s dream. Though that dream didn’t happen, Chris will still return and fight him. Mhart slowly walked to where John is sitting. He gave his sword to John and he took John’s sword that he once own, saying, “From now on, you will use this new sword, a sign that you are the one who will continue our legacy and our passion. As far as that sword exists, our legacy will live on forever!” After he grabbed his old sword, he walked towards the tree where he always takes some rest and reminisce the memories he had. With great force, he pinned almost half of the sword to the ground in between the tree and the big rock.

Evening came, the wind started to whisper to their place. After taking up their dinner, as always, Mhart went to his room. Not knowing, John followed him to his room.

John : (knocks gently to the door) Mhart? May I come in?

Mhart : The door is open.

John : I just want to ask you something.

Mhart : What is it?

John : It’s about the sword. Why did you give it to me? Aren’t you going to use it to fight Chris?

Mhart : I won’t need it. I want you to come with me tomorrow. And you will found out why.

John : Alright. If you want, I will do it. I will go to my room and have a rest. I have to recover from that battle.

Mhart : Sure thing!

In the living room, Rick, Rose, Janine and Ivan were having a small conversation.

Rick : Where do you think you are going Rose?

Rose : I just want to check on Mhart if he’s fine.

Ivan : I guess you must not disturb him.

Rick : I agree with that!

Rose : Why not?

Rick : Maybe he want to rest now. You know him so much. Maybe, he’s thinking about what happened a while ago. So just sir here and relax!

Rose : Maybe you’re right.

Janine : Aren’t you guys bothered about Chris’ return? What if Mhart can’t defeat him on Friday?

Ivan : Why are you in such accusation?

Janine : I’m just … you know … not disregarding the consequences that might happen.

Rick : That is true but, you saw their fight right? Mhart still managed to recover. And imagine, all of our missions are successful because of his great fighting skills!

Ivan : I don’t want to disregard the fact that Chris also changed a lot, and even much better than before but he still failed to defeat Mhart. That will be a big probability of Mhart’s success on Friday.

Rose : They are right Janine. If we put our trust in him, he could be successful in their fight on Friday.

Janine : Aren’t you worried about Chris?

Rick : We care for him of course. But he changed a lot! Even thinking of fighting a friend that helped you a lot even in simple things!? That would probably be insane!

Ivan : Rick is right. Chris’ situation had happened also to Rick before, in losing Erin. But, he still grabbed on the brighter side. Unlike Chris, anger and hatred filled his heart and …

(They didn’t notice that Mhart is listening to them from the second floor and said …)

Mhart : Lived on the fact that what happened was my fault!

All : Mhart!

Mhart : I’ve been listening to all of you because I felt so bored!

Rose : Are you alright Mhart?

Rick : It’s been a while since we saw that smile from you huh?

Mhart : (Walking downstairs) I’m just in pleasure to have you guys! You are the best gift I ever had.

Ivan : Haha! That’s the Mhart we knew! That’s the smile that can calm people’s hearts.

Mhart : If you will just allow yourself to be haunted by the past, you cannot pass through the present and even be prevented to see the future.

Janine : You are right Mhart because we live in the present’s existence, not in the past.

Rose : Indeed!

Their conversation made them feel comfortable and relaxed. The laughs, the smiles and the nice talks made them more close to each other and made them feel that they are secured and safe. The night has passed without worries regarding the up coming fight of Chris and Mhart.

It’s already 8:00 in the morning. Mhart woke up and slowly walked to the terrace of his room. Stretching to the warm rays of the sun, he noticed John outside, practicing some sword skills. After seconds of watching, he walked towards his door and went to their dining area. He noticed Rose and Rick talking to each other in their dining table while sipping their coffee. He enthusiastically greeted both of them a pleasant morning and they responded with a greeting and a nice smile. Rose offered him coffee but he insisted and instead picked up a cigarette from the cupboard and lighted it. After a while, he opened the door and went outside. After opening the door, a fast object coming towards him. It failed to hit him because before it does, he already caught it with his right hand. He smiled after seeing that it is only an apple. Laughter started to linger from a distance. It’s Janine and Ivan who are in the garden. Janine is treating the roses from the garden while Ivan holds a basket full of apples. Like what he did to Rose and Rick, he greeted them a pleasant morning and started to walk to where John is at while munching the apple that Ivan threw to him. Meters away from John’s back, he threw the apple towards John. But before it hit him, he turned his back and successfully hit the apple and cut it into half.

Mhart : (clapping) Nice hit John!

John : Thanks but you didn’t have to do that!

Mhart : I know! I’m just testing if you’re alert from an unwanted attack.

John : Of course I am. By the way, it’s only 8:15am! Aren’t you supposed to be asleep by this time?

Mhart : Am I sick?

John : No! I mean, you don’t usually wake up this early.

Mhart : I don’t know. I guess there’s something I must do today.

John : What is it?

Mhart : I’ll tell you later. And that will answer your questions last night. We’ll be departing at exactly 1:00pm after our lunch.

John : Where are we going?

Mhart : Don’t be in a rush! You’ll know later.

John : Alright. If you say so!

Mhart : Hey Ivan! Can you throw another apple to me? John messed up my apple!

John : It’s wasn’t me! You are the one who threw that to me!

Mhart : I’m just kidding John. Chill!

Ivan : Alright! Here it goes!

Mhart : (smiling after a successful catch) Thanks!

While everybody is busy with what they are doing, a very unusual Mhart existed this day. He slowly walked to the tree where he usually takes some rest while munching an apple. Before he got to sit on the rock beside that tree, a quite strong breeze of the wind lifted his hair that made him bow his head and smiled. His emotions are so gentle and calm as if there will be no difficult fight for him tomorrow. Ivan went to John and started a small conversation about what is going on with Mhart. John only answered, “Don’t you remember the Mhart we used to know when we were little?” Ivan nodded his head and smiled. They were thinking that he is just trying to be who he really is. When Janine stood up, she noticed that Mhart is alone. She picked a rose not from the garden, but from the book on the bench which she already had when she woke up and ran towards Mhart. When Ivan and John noticed her, they stopped what they are doing and began to smile.

Janine : Hey!

Mhart : Oh! Do you need some help? (He was stunned when he saw Janine’s rose)

Janine : What’s the matter? Are you alright?

Mhart : Oh nothing! I just noticed that rose. It looks great.

Janine : As what roses should be, they must always look pretty.

Mhart : Sure is! Want some apple?

Janine : No thanks! I just came here to give you this rose.

Mhart : Really? So, do you still remember?

Janine : Remember what?

Mhart : The promise.

Janine : Oh yeah! “The promise from a rose …”

Mhart and Janine : (Started to state a poem, while memories of them being together before were flashing back from their minds)

“will always be in our heart,

Knowing that we’ll never be apart,

You and I together,

No storm can make us wither,

No cold breeze can make us shiver,

For a promise of a rose,

Is you and I forever”

Mhart : So you still remember the very first poem I gave you?

Janine : Of course! Thinking that you will give me a rose, and not knowing that you wrote this poem in one of its petals, you think I can forget that?

Mhart : I never did that to anyone, only you!

Janine : I even used a magnifying glass to read that poem of yours!

Mhart : Really?

Janine : And that is the most important reason why I always bring a rose with me. Take a look at one of its petals.

Mhart : WOW! You did almost the same as what I did it before!

Janine : I just thought that, it can give you inspiration to your fight tomorrow.

Mhart : Of course it will! Thank you!

Importance of memories; that’s what came into Mhart’s mind. He never thought that with what Janine had shown, he will realize that very important experience, to reminisce the memories he had not just with Janine, but all of them. After their conversation, Janine returned inside of their house. Before she can grab the door knob, it already opened. Without any sign of surprise, she greeted Rose who’s on her way outside. Rose greeted her back and continued her way out. While walking to where Ivan and John is at, she noticed Mhart alone and he is holding a rose. A question puzzled her mind that instead of seeing Janine holding a rose; it is Mhart who holds one.

Rose : Hey John and Ivan!

Ivan and John : Oh hi!

Rose : Why is Mhart alone?

John : Maybe he just want to calm himself for his duel with Chris tomorrow.

Rose : Is that so? I just came here to have some fresh morning air.

Ivan : Is that really your intention or you just want to see Mhart?

Rose : Of course not! That’s why I asked you both if what is he doing under a tree this early?

John : Ivan is just joking around. Don’t mind him!

Rose seated in a mat that Ivan brought while he was with Janine minutes ago. Rose and Ivan were eating the apples that he bought from the market when he woke up this morning. Though a bit tired, John still continues his practice with his new sword that Mhart had given him. Janine was inside of their house, preparing for their lunch. Rick helped Janine with the chores and later went to their armory to do his stuff in cleaning their weapons.

It’s already 11:00 in the morning. Janine had finished preparing their lunch. Everyone was inside their house except from Mhart, who is still under tree for more than two hours. Out of curiosity, Rose immediately went outside to call him for their lunch. She almost laughed with what she saw. Mhart is sleeping! His head was bowed down; his right arm is resting in the sword’s shaft while sitting on the big rock beside the tree. With no one around, Rose slowly walked to where Mhart is. Few meters away from Mhart’s back, Rose ran and hurriedly jumped to his back and hugged him. Luckily, he didn’t lose his balance and still managed not to fall from that surprise. He was shocked with what Rose did. Still, Rose is hugging Mhart.

Mhart : Are you alright ???

Rose : Of course I am! I was just shocked that you are sleeping under this tree. And take note, you are sitting!

Mhart : Is that so? I didn’t even notice that I fell asleep here.

Rose : It’s minutes passed 11am! I just came here to call you for our lunch! Then I saw you sleeping, so I thought of surprising you!

Mhart : (laughing softly) Thank you for that anyways!

Rose : Let’s go now so that we can have our lunch! They’re waiting for you inside!

Mhart : Alright.

Rose turned her back from Mhart but did not walk. He was puzzled of what might Rose is planning now. He tapped her right shoulder and in a flash, Rose turned her back facing Mhart and started to kiss him. Though it was just a fast one, he was shocked of what she did.

Mhart : What’s that for!!!

Rose : A “Thank You”!

Mhart : Thank you for what?

Rose : For everything you have done for us! You’ve been a very great man and friend for us!

Mhart : Are kisses made for thanksgiving?

Rose : Of course! And a part of it is my admiration to you!

Mhart : (speechless) …

Rose : I know that you are speechless. So, can we go inside now?

Mhart : Alright.

Mhart was silenced by what Rose did. She walked as if nothing had happened while Mhart is still speechless. He never thought that Rose will do that.

They started to eat and they noticed that Mhart is being so silent again.

Rick : What’s the problem Mhart?

Mhart : Oh nothing!

Rick : You seemed uneasy again.

Mhart : I just woke up and a still, little bit sleepy. That’s it!

John : Did Rose hit you in the head?

Mhart : Oh no! She just surprised me while I was asleep and I was just in shock until now.

Rick and John : If you say so!

Mhart : Don’t mind me guys, I’m fine! Let’s eat!

All : Sure!

Rose smiled when she saw that Mhart is still in shock! After drinking some of the water before he eat, Mhart smiled and shook his head. He still never thought that she will admit what she feels in front of him.

After taking their lunch, they rested outside. It is cloudy that day. Ivan helped Janine to wash the dishes. As usual, Mhart took a cigarette and went outside with John. After 10 minutes of rest, Mhart went to the bench where John is sitting with Rick.

Mhart : It is almost 1:00pm. Maybe we should go now John.

John : Where are we going?

Mhart : Have you forgotten about the answer to your question?

John : Yeah! I remember.

Mhart : Let’s go now. We will be walking for 45 minutes.

John : WHAT? Are you freaking serious?

Mhart : Of course I am! Rick, I have no time to tell you and everyone about this. Just tell them that I’ll be away for a while.

Rick : What will you do? Don’t tell me …

Mhart : I know what you’re thinking! No, I won’t! I won’t go to fight Chris. I will just go get something.

Rick : What’s it?

Mhart : I can’t tell you right now. You’ll know that when I came back.

Rick : Alright, if you say so.

Mhart : Thanks! Come on now John.

John : Should I bring my sword with me?

Mhart : Yes. Bring it with you.

John : Alright!

Though confused about where Mhart will go, Rick slowly walked to their armory to do his usual chore and that is to clean up their weaponry. On the other hand, Mhart walks with John northwards. John is still thinking if what is Mhart’s plan or what will they do. The path they are taking is quite rough but seemed like a savanna due to leg high grassland but the difference is that the place is full of huge trees. They didn’t even stopped or even take a minute-break in walking. After 25 minutes of walking, John was paused by a stop signal from Mhart. Mhart noticed something moving inside a bush from not so far distance. John kneeled and held the hilt of his sword. He prepared himself for any surprised attack. Mhart started to slowly go near the bush after it has stopped moving. After a while, John slowly followed him. Mhart inspected the bush but he saw nothing. He just thought that it must be a wild animal lingering around the forest so they continued walking. After another 20 minutes of forest walk, John saw an underground cave. Mhart leads the way and John is following him. The cave is not that dark but still, Mhart lighted the torches hidden behind some rocks. The cave was like a maze for it has few passages from almost all directions but Mhart still knows the way. After an almost 1 kilometer walk inside the cave, they finally got into a huge rock that blocks the way in.

John : Are we here? This place seems like a dead end.

Mhart : Yes. We are already here.

John : I can’t see anything aside from rocks all over us.

Mhart : Give me your sword for a while.

John : Don’t tell me, you will break that rock with that sword? That rock is almost twice my height.

Mhart : No of course! Wait and see.

Mhart walked to the right corner of the rock with John’s sword on his shoulder. He lifted the sword and inserted the sword in a horizontal hole beside the rock. After he pinned the sword, the huge rock moved a bit to the left part of the cave and made a small opening to its right part, enough for a single person to crawl through. John was shocked that by just inserting the sword, the rock was moved.

John : How did that happen Mhart?

Mhart : The 5 Greatest Sword Warrior made this specific part of the cave. Look up there!

John : Where in the hell did that metal block came from?

Mhart : By inserting the sword, it triggers a gear below this hole to make that metal block move. This right part of the cave wall is a hollow area before. We constructed a mechanism to make that rock move a little and we dug that hole that will lead us to a small room. Before, there is another way through, but because we wanted this to be a secret, we closed that path and instead, made this hole as the only way inside.

John : Room? What room?

Mhart : It’s just right at the end of this hole. This is just enough for a single person to crawl inside.

John : Did you make it or it already existed before?

Mhart : Sir Raven, a member of the Sword Warriors discovered this when we were in a battle in this cave few years ago. He tried to hide when he was almost cornered by the enemies. When he got in this area, he saw this hole when he sat beside this rock and tried to crawl in.

John : Really? So what’s inside?

Mhart : Let’s go inside and you will find out.

Mhart lead the way inside the hole. The hole is not that far. It only took them a minute of crawling to get inside. When John successfully reached the end of the hole, he was shocked with what he saw. In front of them, there are four swords pinned to the rough ground. On his left were some books and some swords hanging on the wall and two tables parallel to each other. What shocked him most is the right part of the small room. A framed old withered rose hanging on the wall right above a sword hanged horizontally and some dead roses arranged side by side. Beside that area are books and tables also. When he walked to get closer to the withered roses, he saw a glass covered box which he thought at first was a long table. When he glanced inside it, he saw petals of withered roses inside it. Unnoticed, Mhart walked and stood beside John.

John : What in the earth is this box Mhart?

Mhart : This is where I put rose petals whenever I get back here.

John : Does it all came from Janine?

Mhart : You got that right! Each sword warrior owns a specific area in this room. Though this room is small, it’s just enough to accommodate all of us. See that there are just 5 table-like boxes here. Each table is owned by each sword warrior. And I own this corner of the room.

John : Really? How great! How I wished I was a sword warrior before too.

Mhart : When they died, I brought their sword here and pinned them all there. Take a look at this.

Mhart pulled up the glass cover and put it beside the box. John just sees nothing but dead rose petals. After a moment, Mhart moved aside the dead petals. John was shocked with what he saw. Mhart held the hilt and pulled a sword. The sword is the same size as what John uses. The hilt and the opposite side of the bladed part of the sword was bright red. The bladed part is still sharp and a quarter part of the blade was like teeth of a saw. The blade was quite lighter than what John uses.

John : WOW! That is one hell of an elegant sword!

Mhart : I know. This is the first sword I used when I was still in the 5 Greatest Sword Warriors. That black medium sized sword hanging on the wall was the second one I used. I don’t use that sword usually because this sword is the best sword I ever had. And I named it as “The Red Rose”.

John : Why is that so? It’s not made from a rose isn’t it?

Mhart : Of course not! The day I got this sword is the day that Janine gave me that rose. (Pointing on the framed rose on the wall)

John : Really? So you kept both of them?

Mhart : Yes. I framed the rose so that whenever I will go to a mission, I will be reminded that Janine will wait for me after every mission.

John : Why?

Mhart : Right after she gave me that rose, she left me. Her mother doesn’t want me to be with her because she believes that I am a dangerous man to be with Janine. Those roses on the long glass box were the roses that Janine gave me even before she became my girl and before I became a sword warrior.

John : Really? So you are still haunted by the past?

Mhart : No! I just treasure the priceless memories of the past. For every piece of your precious memories are irreplaceable and worthy to be treasured.

John : I got your point. What about these rose petals that cover your sword? And why didn’t you get and used that sword in our previous missions?

Mhart : Those petals were from Janine’s garden before. I asked her to give me the removed roses from their garden when we were young. And some of these are petals that I used as bookmarks. With this sword, I just don’t want to use it for a thought that I can use other swords rather than use this again.

John : I got your point. The books, what are those books form that corner?

Mhart : Those were the books that I wrote. My co-warriors love to read my stories so those books are scattered from each corner of the room. There are a total of 23 books in this room. 10 are written by me and 13 are books by other authors.

John : This place looks so great!

Mhart : I know you’ll say that. I left this sword here before when I decided to quit being a paid assassin; a warrior! Now that I’ll be facing most difficult battle as a warrior, I decided to get it now and use it once more.

John : You won’t be defeated by that bastard! You’re the greatest among others!

Mhart : John, we are chosen not because we are great. We are chosen because there are people who believe in our capabilities and strengths but remember that there are still people who are greater than us.

John : I will.

Mhart : We should go back now. I guess they are waiting for us. I will just cover this sword with this cloth. Now, your question had been answered. So the sword I gave you is now yours. Only yours!

John : Alright! Thank you for that!

Mhart : One more thing. Whatever happens in my battle tomorrow, as my legacy and as a best comrade I ever had, I want you to be the one who will return this sword in this cave.

John : I’ll do it for you, my friend!

Mhart : Thank you!

Before Mhart began wrapping the sword, he pulled a small box from his pocket. John was shocked with what he saw. It is a new rose. Mhart removed the rose from that box and later placed it in the lane of roses. Afterwards, he began wrapping his sword again.

After wrapping Mhart’s sword, The Red Rose, they make their way outside of the room. Mhart asked John to hold his sword for a while. John was shocked that the sword is lighter than what he thinks. It is even lighter than his sword. Mhart pulled John’s sword and handed it to him. The rock slowly closes and once it was closed, Mhart smiled.

John : Why are you smiling?

Mhart : I’m just happy to see this place after a long time.

John : I can feel what you feel Mhart. And I know that you feel so relieved.

Mhart : You are right. In this place rests my memories as a warrior and as a lover. And I know that my comrades’ spirits and memories are also here.

John : You are right! By the way, the rose that you put in the long glass case of roses, does it come from Janine?

Mhart : Yes. She gave me that rose this morning.

John : Is that a sign that she already returned?

Mhart : I guess so. But not like before, when we intensely loves each other.

John : I don’t want to talk about such things. Let’s just go home!

Mhart : I know.

The memories of who Mhart really is lay within that cave, a warrior, a comrade, a lover and most of all, a friend. They finally made they way out and continued to walk back home.

After another less than an hour walk, they reached home. They seated for a while in the bench of their home and rested due to fatigue. No one was outside but them. After several minutes, Rick went outside and was shocked that Mhart and John are already home. So he shouted inside to tell them that they already arrived.

Rick : What the hell is that Mhart?

Janine : Is that a sword?

John : Yes! Mhart got …

Before John continued what he was suppose to say, Mhart covered John’s mouth which prevented him to continue what to say.

Mhart : I bought it. Yes! I bought it. That’s why we were away for more than 2 hours.

Rick : Is that true John?

John : Oh yes! Last night, he asked me to come with him to buy a sword.

Rick : Why didn’t you just asked one from Mr. Wilson?

Mhart : I don’t want to bother him anymore. So I decided to do that on my own.

Ivan : But where did you get the money to buy a sword?

Mhart : I … uhm … I had savings. Yes! I got savings.

Rose : Whatever you say Mhart!

Mhart winked at John and stood up to go inside of their house. Mhart didn’t remove his sword beside him that made the whole group in deep confusion. After several hours, they began to take their dinner. Same as before, they are still in normal mood as if there will be no battle tomorrow afternoon. They all seemed relaxed and cool. Hours passed, they all decided to have a rest. They all went to their rooms and as usual, Mhart is the first one to go to his room. Rose was left for a while to check on the whole first floor of the house. When Mhart got in his room, he placed his sword beside his bed. He didn’t notice that Janine followed him and when he turned his back, he was shocked that Janine is there and in seconds, she kissed him. Mhart blushed and began to be speechless.

Janine : (smiling) Don’t worry, it’s alright.

Mhart : What’s that for?

Janine : A goodnight kiss and also to remind you to do your best tomorrow. Will that be alright?

Mhart : Thank you but you don’t have to do that!

Janine : I just thought that you will be motivated if I’ll do that. I guess I got myself wrong.

Mhart : No you’re not! It’s fine.

Janine : Alright. So, I’ll take a rest now. You must also! You still have something to finish tomorrow.

Mhart : Thanks!

Though in deep shock, Mhart smiled before going to sleep. After minutes of being asleep, Rose silently went inside his room and kneeled beside his bed. She kissed his forehead and arranged his blanket and whispered to him that she loves him. She made his way out and returned to the room where she sleeps with Janine. The whole night passed so gently with secret worries about Mhart; a care that doesn’t want him to worry about anything.

Mhart woke up late. It’s already 11:00 in the morning. Every moment went smoothly and normal. The lunch is already prepared. When they saw that Mhart is already awake, they began to go to their placed so that they can begin to have their lunch. Mhart didn’t start to eat but rather, he sipped some coffee first.

Rick : You woke up late Mhart. Are you alright?

Mhart : Of course I am. I just maximized my time to rest and prepare myself for this afternoon duel with Chris.

Ivan : I knew you’ll say that. We believe in you. We know that you can do it!

All : That’s right!

Mhart : Thanks guys! Let’s just eat first and wait for him to arrive.

After having their lunch, still, nothing happens. Mhart just stares at his sword. But after minutes of wait, it’s already 2:30 in the afternoon, Mhart stood up. He went to his room and changed his clothes. After doing so, everyone was shocked with what he wears. It really looks like what Chris wears when he first showed in their place. He wears long, leg level cloak with long left arm sleeves and black, metal body armor. He also wears almost the same gauntlet as what Chris wears, a black and red metal gauntlet on his right arm. His armor is the same armor as what he uses when he is still with the 5 Greatest Sword Warriors. He makes his way downstairs when John went near the stairs.

John : That armor looks like Chris’ armor!

Mhart : Indeed! I don’t know where he got that armor but I know the only one who can make this kind of armor.

Rose : My Parents!

All : WHAT???

Mhart : She is right. I secretly asked Rose’s Parents to make this armor when I was still with my comrades. Her parents are the greatest makers of armors in our place. Her father is a smith, and her mother is a tailor, and that made them the greatest creators of armors.

Rick : But … how did he acquired such armor same as yours?

Mhart : Maybe, he intentionally asked Rose’s parents to make him one. This gauntlet was personally made by her father for me. I never imagined that her father can create another one, almost the same as what I wear.

Rose : I am so sorry Mhart. I didn’t know that my parents will make almost the same armor as what they made for you.

Mhart : Don’t feel sorry. Maybe Chris used my name for your parents to be convinced to make another one.

Ivan : That is what came into my mind also. Rose’s parents are great people. And they are so kind to us, especially to me and Mhart.

Mhart : Just ignore it guys. I’ll just wait for Chris’ arrival.

Rose : Alright.

Everyone was in deep shock to know that the one who made Mhart and Chris’ armors is Rose’s parents. Though Rose felt a little shame to admit that her parents are the ones who made their armors, she still struggles to forget about it and focus on giving support to Mhart.

After more than an hour, Mhart sensed that Chris finally arrived. So he carried his sword on his shoulders, slowly walked to the door and opened it. He was not mistaken, Chris finally arrived. Indeed, they seemed like twins because of the armors that they are wearing. They just differ from some of their armors’ colors.

Chris : What is wrong with your weapon? Why is it covered with a cloth? Is that a trick of yours? (Laughing)

Mhart : Did you came here to insult me?

Chris : Sort of!

Mhart : Whatever you say!

Just like what Chris feels, everyone was also confused if why Mhart’s weapon is covered with a cloth except from John who looks so calm by just standing beside the bench. Minutes of silence filled the outdoor of their house, only the sound of the breeze of the wind exists. After a couple of minutes of silence, Chris pulled tight up his gauntlet and slowly drew his sword, a sign that he is ready for any attack and also to provoke Mhart to do the same. After Chris has prepared his stance, Mhart gave a look at his friends who are at his right side and gave a smile. Everyone felt confident because of that smile. Mhart gave Chris a fierce look and later pulled the cloth off his sword. Everyone was shocked, including Chris because of the new sword that he holds.

Janine : That! That’s the …

Mhart : Yes Janine. The very first sword I owned, The Red Rose!

Rick : First? You said you bought a new one?

Mhart : I lied because I want this to be a surprising one.

John : (Smiling) He holds now his best sword he ever had. Also, the sword is named after the first rose that Janine gave to him.

Janine : He is right. Before I leave town, I gave him a rose. And that is the same day that he received that sword.

Rose : And that sword was made by my father!

Mhart : And because that Chris copied my armors, I decided to use this once more to be a lot more different with him, for this is the last piece to complete my entire attire as the Leader of the 5 Greatest Sword Warriors. And you can never be a doppelganger of me!

Ivan : Rose? The Red Rose? Roses? Is it named because of Rose, because of the rose of Janine or by the color of it?

Mhart : All of your conclusions are right Ivan. This Sword carries all of those reasons, for they are the reason why this sword carries my dignity, my honor and my valor as a warrior!

Chris : Whatever the history of that sword is, I am here to defeat you!

Mhart : Why don’t you begin now? Scared?

Chris : You …

Because of that insult from Mhart, Chris hurriedly ran to where Mhart is standing. While he is doing so, Mhart just formed a defensive stance and waited for him to get close. Chris released a powerful attack but Mhart only blocked his attack.

Mhart : Is that all you can give?

Chris : You!

With great anger, Chris leaped backwards and gave a one by one blow of attack to Mhart. But Mhart just blocks his attacks. Everyone is quiet and looks closely to a slow but yet, powerful battle of Mhart and Chris. Janine, who’s beside John, holds to his arm tightly because of the fear that Mhart might be hurt by this battle. Before Chris can release another attack, Mhart slides to his right and aimed to give Chris a powerful blow. Before he will release his attack, Chris moved his sword to his left arm to block Mhart’s attack. But he was fooled by a fake attack from Mhart and he was shocked that Mhart’s sword is pointed at his face now. Everyone smiled and felt confident that Mhart can win this one. Chris doesn’t seem to be happy with what’s happening. So he rotated his sword to sway away Mhart’s sword from his face. Chris can’t imagine the great speed that he has now. After a while, Chris rushed to him again and gave another blow of attack. Mhart just evaded the attack and he gave an attack that wounded Chris’ left arm. Though in pain, he turned his back and rushed again to Mhart. Again, he evaded Chris’ attack and he kicked his back that made Chris to fall to the ground.

Mhart : Now, are you going to give up?

Chris : (Grinning) You bastard! I never give up!

Mhart : But you already did! By leaving your friends and let anger to fill your heart.

Chris : I am not here to talk to you! So stop that nonsense talk!

Chris managed to stand up and formed a stance. Mhart did the same. Because of deep anger, Chris gained a bit of speed and rushed to Mhart. Chris aimed to give a slashing offense to Mhart. Mhart blocked his attack but his sword slid from that attack and accidentally wounded his right leg. All of them were shocked to see that Mhart had been wounded by an accidental attack. Though his leg is bleeding, he still endured the pain and waited for another attack from Chris. With an advantage of wounding Mhart, Chris rushed again to Mhart and they exchanged multiple attacks. After a quite long exchange to attacks, both of them were wounded at several parts of their body. With great fatigue, they are grasping for air hurriedly.

Mhart : You are improving Chris!

Chris : I know you are not. You still fight the same as before.

Mhart : Yes I am, for I just trust with what I can do as warrior.

Chris : Trust can never save you this time!

Mhart : Whatever you say, MY FRIEND!

Chris : I … am … not … your … FRIEND !!!

Chris still doesn’t seem to give up so he rushed again to Mhart. He is only meters away from Mhart. Everyone seems to worry about him for they are both tired of their intense battle. Few meters away, Chris formed a stabbing stance. He never stopped though he knew that Mhart just might evade of block his attack. A meter away, Chris couldn’t stop! He wanted to stop upon seeing that Mhart is smiling and pinned his sword to the ground. Chris strongly stabbed his sword to Mhart’s body. In deep pain, Mhart looked up the sky and smiled. He seemed to see Erin, Kristin and his comrades waiting for him. Slowly, while holding to his sword’s shaft, Mhart kneeled down and Chris felt a full rage of regrets with what he has done that made him kneel down also. Everyone was shocked with what happened that started to make them cry extremely! Janine lost consciousness. Though John wanted to go near Mhart, he and Rick stayed to look for Janine while crying intensely. Before Mhart lose grip of his life, he uttered words with Chris.

Chris : Why did you do this! You told me that you will fight me fairly!

Mhart : I … have done … enough. I … wanted you … to … look for all … of … our friends. You … asking apology … to them … will be … a great … thanksgiving … from me … to … you.

Chris : But! You didn’t have to do this! It’s my life that should be taken, NOT YOURS! Because I know you can defeat me, I chose to fight you for a chance that I can be with Kristin again!

Mhart : You don’t … have to. I … know that … she’s happy … now … wherever she … is. Don’t worry … I’ll tell … her … how much … you love … her! All I … want … you to … do … is to look … after Janine … Rose … and the others … PLEASE! (Gripping tightly to Chris’ shoulder) Please tell … John to … continue … what we have … started! I … want you … to guide … him … whatever happens …

Chris : I will! I promise! (Tears started to fill his eyes)

Mhart : Thank … you … my … fri …

All : MHART !!!

Mhart slowly lost grip to Chris’ shoulder and his body began to fall. Chris held his body and slowly pulled his sword. Ivan and Rose reached the area where Mhart and Chris are. Rose started to throw punches to Chris’ body but he just allows her to do it. Ivan tries to calm Rose but he can’t stop the burst of emotional breakdown that Rose is feeling right now. They never stopped crying. Janine finally gained consciousness again. She stood up and saw Mhart, lifeless. So she hurriedly ran to where they are. John and Rick followed her slowly while crying so hard. Janine pulled Mhart’s body and hugged him. Rose can’t stop crying that made her embraced Ivan and cried on his shoulder.

Chris : This is my fault!

John : Now you know how it feels! You felt how he felt when Kristin died even if it’s not his fault!

Rick : Mhart chose this fate! We shouldn’t be blaming anyone! I saw that Chris tried to prevent his last attack.

Chris : I tried! But I didn’t have much time to do so! I am so near to him when I saw him smiled and pinned down his sword to the ground.

Ivan : Why do you have to do this Mhart!

Chris : I am sorry!

Rick : I wanted to get mad at you Chris. But I know that Mhart planned to do this at first! He wanted to sacrifice his life for you to realize something.

Janine : So this is what is your dream about Mhart! Is this it? WHY!

Ivan : What dream are you talking about?

Rose : So this is the danger that he is talking about?

John : It came true. But he can prevent it to happen! Why did he want to do this!

Chris : Before he die, he even called me FRIEND. He wanted me to look after you guys, especially you, Janine and Rose. John, he wanted you to continue what you have started.

Rick : We cannot find any answer to all of our questions. Only he knows why.

They wanted to blame Chris for what happened but they cannot stop crying with Mhart’s death. After minutes of mourning, it began to rain. It seemed like a sign that the heavens also feel sympathy to what had happened. They can’t accept the fact that a great comrade, friend, adviser, brother, lover and an honorable warrior have to pass away. John still imagines his last moments with him and how he trusted him to be his legacy and to continue whatever he had started. After a loss of a great hero to them, the moments they had with Mhart seemed to reminisce and be refreshed to their minds. After more than an hour of mourning under the heavy rain, Chris and Ivan carried Mhart’s body to give him a rightful funeral. John carried The Red Rose and covered it again with the cloth.

John asked Janine to come with him to the cave where Mhart kept his sword. Rose came with Chris and Ivan. Rick prepared everything that they will need. After less than an hour, John and Janine reached the hidden room of the 5 Greatest Sword Warriors. He still can’t hide the tears. While removing the cloth from Mhart’s sword, he can’t stop crying. He carried the sword and pinned it to the middle of the four swords of the former Greatest Sword Warriors to fulfill his promise that he will return The Red Rose to where it belongs. Though crying, Janine saw the corner that Mhart owned before.

Janine : John, does Mhart own this corner?

John : Yes Janine. And that is the very first rose that you have given to him. And every rose petal you will see here was from you. He kept them all.

Janine : So, he really waited for me. I am so blind not to realize that!

John : He still loves you Janine. He really does!

Janine : He became so quiet and didn’t even told me about this!

John : Maybe, he just wanted to move on.

After almost an hour of stay in the cave, they left prayers and later went out of the room. John gave a look at the big rock where he was first with him. He visualizes a Mhart who’s smiling at him and he began to cry again. They left the area to return home.

They never let the funeral to reach 7 days. On the third day, they decided to bury his body to let him rest forever peacefully. Though Janine and Rose didn’t want his body to be buried too early, they can’t accept the feeling that the Mhart they are seeing now is lifeless. On the burial day, Mr. Wilson is also there to give respect upon receiving the news that Mhart died in a battle with Chris. They just ignored the anger they feel towards him for they know that Mhart entrusted him to watch over them. Chris started to change and be the Chris they have known before. Everyone that Mhart had helped and his loved ones came to the burial to give a final glance and goodbye to the person that made them feel special and worth loving.

Less than a month have passed after Mhart’s burial, they all decided to retire to be hired assassins and to start a new simple life being with each other so they returned all of their weapons to Mr. Wilson. John didn’t return his sword to Mr. Wilson but rather, he pinned his sword to the tree where Mhart always takes a rest. Rather than to be a warrior, John decided to be a writer like who Mhart is after retiring. He frequently acts like who Mhart is. He usually writes his stories under the favorite resting place of Mhart, the tree and the rock. Janine and Rose became really close to each other and never let a day to pass without bringing roses to Erin, Kristin and specially, Mhart’s tomb. Rick became Mr. Wilson’s assistant to his newly established business. Chris works there also but still, they both live to their house. Janine decided to stay at home with them and still, she is a frequent gardener for she knows that Mhart wants roses that came from her. Rose is now a businesswoman to a small place in Dehi City. Ivan became the cook of the group. He even had a special friend who lives in Dehi Small Town that sometimes visits their place. She’s Norie W. Shindels, a third-degree cousin of Mhart, and yes, W. stands for Winds; Norie Winds-Shindels. After the struggles and pains they had embraced and experienced throughout their lives being with each other, they kept in mind the lessons that Mhart Winds had left them. They realized that without him, they cannot become who they are now. Even though he’s not physically present, he will always live in their hearts and their minds FOREVER.