34 – Accident

“… So did you bring Esvera along?” Shoy asked, watching his brother’s face, trying to stir up some conversation to lighten the mood.
Edmond’s response was anger at first, then confusion. But it was all quickly and masterfully covered by a complacent guise.

“No,” the brother replied. “Why would you ask that?”

Shoy abandoned his original thought and became caught in this new string of conversation instead. “You’re not still together?”
Edmond bit his lower lip, “….No,” he said softly. “Can we not talk about this? It’s a sensitive subject,” he quickly added, looking away.

Shoy exhaled loudly through his nose in defeat for the time being. A few minutes passed before he couldn’t help himself, and tried to get a conversation going again.
“Do you think she’d follow you here? She seemed pretty taken.”

Edmond interrupted his brother, growing agitated. “No, she wouldn’t have followed me, Shoy. Why do you keep asking about her all the sudden?”

Shoy huffed. “Because I feel her looking for something. I figured she was looking for Q for you.”

Edmond stopped dead in his tracks. “You… feel her?”
Shoy cocked a brow. “Well, you know. I can feel the Tortoise Eye. It’s being used continuously, and has been for a while. I know that puts a lot of strain on her, to do that, is all. So I thought she must think pretty highly of you to do that. It’s sweet.”

Esvera had been Shoy’s wife. When they split up, she grew close to Edmond. Shoy had been jealous for a long time, but even in his rage he could tell her and his brother had been happy together. He wondered if she had ever forgiven him. Shoy missed her, wanted to see her again. Wanted to know what she had decided to do with her life while he was gone. Or if she even still remembered him.

“Shoy,” Edmond stated sternly, pulling the former Monte Criston out of his thoughts.
“Esvera’s dead.”

Shoy’s mind went blank. Every thought just left.
“She’s… She’s what…?”

Edmond looked at his brother with understanding blue eyes.
“She’s dead, Shoy. I’m sorry. She died three years a go.”

“She… She…” Shoy couldn’t think right. Then he finally understood. “That bastard!!” he screamed, pulling out his umbrella to swing at Edmond’s head with it. “How could you let him kill her?! How could you! You KNEW! And you used HER?!!”

Edmond had not been expecting a blow and tried to block it with his arm, but his reflexes were no match for his brother’s. He fell to the ground, a bloodied dent remaining from the hit.

“How could you?!” Shoy screamed, kicking his temporarily stunned brother in the stomach. “It was bad enough you laid her, but you had to give her to that monster too?!”

Edmond continued to bleed, the crimson flow running to his ear from his hairline. He had managed to take the hits to his gut without too much trouble, but breathing had become a problem as he lay on the ground.
“I… I didn’t know,” he managed through grit teeth, his brother finally stopping to take a breather.
“I didn’t know he was the Soul Stealer.”

At this point, Shoy had tears in his eyes as he glared down at his younger relative.
“How could you not know? You’re such a liar!” He convicted.

There was a moment of stunned silence, only filled by the occasional passing car and heavy breath of the two men.
Finally, with blood beginning to drip into his mouth, Edmond whispered his reply.
“She was the first one, Shoy. I didn’t–” But he was interrupted.

“You lied about Eiki, the Phoenix, Father…” Shoy just seemed to be listing things, lost in his own train of thought. Why should Shoy believe Edmond now?

“I didn’t know he was the Soul Stealer. It was an accident. He couldn’t control his rez– I– I got there too late to save her. He didn’t murder her, Shoy. He was crying. Nobody knew.” Edmond put his hand to his face with a grunt, only to take it back away to look at the damage. He shook his head slightly and after willing the stars he was seeing away slowly got back to his feet.

“You’re such a liar,” Shoy whispered, the umbrella shaking in his grip.

Edmond began to walk back to the castle again, having a hard time keeping his balance.
“I know,” he forcefully whispered, while he winced. “But I’m not lying about this.”

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