A year like this passes so strangely
somewhere between sorrow and bliss
Home. That is why she chose it, right? A life in a secluded tower, surrounded only by dusk and servants who did their best with her, that was not home. Hoshido was. That was what they all said. Stolen away young, and kept secret and secluded- that was never the life the world intended for her.
Her heart had fluttered when she was shown the festivities in Hoshido, culture and activity bubbling. Savory and sweet scents wafted off various food stands, chatter and activity could be heard for miles, and with family that had led her around, she was not just basked in the light, but felt at home in it. Now she cannot help but wonder if it was that feeling which caused her to betray the land where she was raised in seclusion.
Or maybe it was her mothers eyes. Soft as she recognized Kamui's features, and etched in pain when the sword Kamui bore wreaked havoc in the form of her life. Perhaps it was Garon's betrayal that led to Kamui's.
Whatever it was, the decision was made. The hatred cast in Marx's eyes- the loss in Camilla's- told her there was no turning back, not even if she regretted her decision. She didn't. She couldn't. For too long had her fate been carved out for her, and this was her chance to change that.
She feels at home, in the arms of a family that wept for her and missed her for so long. Sure, she had known the company of Leo and Elise in her youth, but rare was she to see much of the elder Nohrian siblings... and family? She didn't know if she could call them that. Yet while she had been wary, Hoshido had proven warm and loving. Even Azura, the supposed Nohrian princess, stood steadfast by her side, hands woven together, trust deeper than anything she had given before.
Warmth did not negate war, however, and she was soon accosted with the severity of her choice. Even basked in the dawn of Hoshido, her world fell dark when encounters came to a head, and her darling Elise died in her honor. She was always so sweet, her truest regret in leaving Nohr, and even with Kamui's betrayl, Elise had not turned coat on her. Blood stained her hands, just as it did Marx's, and his death was swift to follow suit.
It wasn't meant to end up like this.
She was supposed to bring peace.
Why couldn't this all stop...
She was fading away herself, after a hollow final battle. It wouldn't change the outcome, loss would still trickled through her veins with each aching moment. But that warm grip, the lace of familiar fingers with her own, a melodic whisper of her name, it brought her back. She listened, momentary disbelief, as Azura told her there was another way. It did not have to end like this.
Together, they completed an incantation, a summon of power to grant this quest, and suddenly they shifted into surroundings chilling and warm, enveloped in light and dark.
Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.
And who decides from where up high
I couldn't say I need more time
oh, grant that I can stay the night
Eyes flutter, everything hazy for a moment in time, until she realizes where she is. Waking up in Hoshido again. Surely, she is still dreaming, right? This time when she sees Azura, however, it is clear she is not the only one who remembers. This is reality, again.
Events reoccur in a blur, and she is once more faced with that same decision. She swears a soft apology to everyone from Hoshido before she speaks. Another betrayl. This time, everyone who had shown her so much warmth in an ongoing battle- not that they would remember.
She returns to a world enveloped in dusk, stricken with poverty and crime. But that playful look on Elise's face... it was worth it. Any world where she was still alive was worth it. For all the animosity and politics, she showed everyone love, and the world did not deserve her- just as the world did not deserve to be robbed of her.
Kamui falls back into line playing with Elise, teasing Leo, and it feels like it always did. She saw the most of them, but at least there was a little more freedom allotted to her now. She knew Nohr's faults, and she knew what Hoshido believed, but she could prove to everyone that Nohr was not nearly as insidious as it was believed to be.
She could still bring peace.
Then the assignments from King Garon came. She knew much of what he wanted her to carry out was a test. It would further agitate what peace there was, and cause Hoshido to think even less of them. She had to find ways to do everything her way, without tipping Garon off.
Soon did help come, first in the form of Marx. She had never known him well, yet had always admired his bravery. He did not yet take up arms with her, though Camilla did shortly thereafter, but later proof of Garon's ill intentions pushed Marx to follow suit.
Kamui began to truly learn all the ins and outs of Nohr, including the decisions of their ruling king, Garon. The Dusk Kindom seemed truly dark, but she could not let go of her beliefs. No one deserves this war, no one deserves to struggle the way so many of them have been made to. Hoshido and Nohr were meant to get along. She had to keep fighting, she had to fix this. These two nations needed to coexist.
But then the casualties started to come. They are hurtling towards a final battle and things do not seem much better. They face up against Takumi and his guards, but it is clear he has become possessed... corrupted. Later does Ryouma take his own life to allow them passage to defeat the empty king, but even such a battle does not put an end to this bloodshed. Takumi, taken over by some dark force, is who ends it all.
Their victory feels hollow. She is still alongside the Nohrians... they are alive... but was victory meant to feel like this?
When celebrations come to a halt- the two nations agreeing to coexist- Kamui retires to a moonlit lake. Azura, present once more, takes her hand and promises. It does not have to end like this.
There has to be a better way.
There has to be.
Don't let this be the cost of peace.
And who cares if I'm coming back alive?
So what, at least I have the strength to fight.
No. Not again. Not this way.
This still wasn't right.
Just stop. Stop. Stop.
Her lungs fill and empty with the air of the battlefield. More times than she has been able to count has she made this decision, has she altered the decisions she makes along each route, countless times does she try to change the outcome. She does, but it is never enough. It is never enough. Always too much bloodshed, too much sacrifice, too much death. Red has begun to stain her vision- her hands- and she cannot wash it away. All she can do is try again, and again, and again.
She closes her eyes and breathes again, steady and deep. She makes her choice, perhaps the hardest one she has ever made, and turns her back on both countries. They cannot keep destroying each other and putting her at the wheel. She cannot keep making the same contrived choices over and over, and watching her loved ones die every single time. The only way out is to get out now. She cannot fight from within, as they refuse to see the corruption she has grown so intimate with. She has tried to warn them, she has tried, but if she speaks the truth then she will forfeit her life, and no one believes what she tries to tell them now.
No one but Azura.
Before she can become lost in the endless ocean of time she has seen, all the sacrifices she has made, all her failed attempts, a hand rests on her shoulder. Gentle- never asking anything of her.
A weak smile is cast, meeting one warm and reassuring. This is the right choice. As weak as she feels, as low as she has been cast, she knows they both feel it. No one is willing to stand with them, no one but her faithful guardians. But for as alone as the four of them are, Kamui knows they all feel the strength of this choice. Jakob and Felicia, oblivious to all her prior efforts, she knows even they feel it.
That is not to say this path is easy. Winding and long, they had an uphill battle to climb, but Kamui saw light at the end of this tunnel, and unlike her hopes which had prior been dashed time and time again, the conviction in her heart told her the end was nigh. While they fought alone at first, slowly did troops from Nohr and Hoshido alike take up arms until their army was fully built. They could win this fight, unified and rocketing towards the truth.
A shock comes to her system.
It does not stain her hands, but rather pieces her heart. Not again.
She weeps and screams when she has a moment to herself, but there is that familiar hand on her shoulder. Forehead pressed to her own, Azura reassures her. Sometimes war had casualties. They could not let Crimson's sacrifice be in vain, for they were on the right path this time. All the stars were aligned, dusk and dawn fading together. They would win, they would do it in her honor. No other soul must die today, and no soul must forget.
The truth of Valla is told, and while she cannot unleash all she came through to make it to this point, she finally feels relief. Unified are their lands, and at long last would confrontation with Anankos come. They were ready.
She was ready.
She was the new Queen of Valla.