This was a city-state even more remote from than the island where Medea had lived. In recent years, water demon assaults had rendered it increasingly difficult for the fishermen there to go fishing in deep water. This did not change until they encountered Medea, who helped repel the water demons when they attacked the ship on which she had hitched a ride.
Homeless, Medea was yet to decide on a place to settle; she had just been drifting about the realm, living a roaming lifestyle. “Vengeance” did not bring her satisfaction, but instead, it brought even more of the intolerable “emptiness” inside. Medea decided to stay in this city-state only because the people begged her not to leave. She thought to herself that she could somewhat fill the inner “emptiness” through helping these people.
“All hail Lady Medea!” Medea walked down the streets to cheers and applause from masses standing on both sides. Even she herself no longer remembered how many times she had triumphed over the water demons and was cheered upon her return. As the commotion drifted into her mind, it overlapped with the cheers from the people of her home country; Medea recalled the days when she and her brother made triumphant return from expeditions —
Wreaths commemorating the victory would hang everywhere around the city. The people had even gifted Medea a bouquet of black dahlias, her favorite flower. Upon seeing the present, her brother teased that she should be the one gifting the flowers instead of receiving them; after all, this was the flower of death. What better flower could there be to gift the enemy’s general? Medea grumbled a rude response at him, prompting laughter from the nearby soldiers; their laughter and that of the masses merged into one...Medea had volunteered herself for battle not to flaunt her magic prowess, but to protect the people. Only then would those smiles never be consumed by the calamity of war.
At the moment, though Medea did not receive any black dahlias here, the citizens were no less passionate than those in her home country. The emptiness in her heart was gradually filled; yet, this was accompanied by a shortness of breath, and the sensation of pins and needles in her heart. Medea knew that this was a feeling of guilt.
Medea had killed her own brother out of blind love. Later, when she had moved to another city, she was betrayed by her own beloved; hatred had permeated her, which had driven her to burn down the whole city with her lover in it without considering the consequence of civilian death. Medea’s burden of guilt could only be eased little by little every time she assisted the people of this city in repelling water demons.
“Ha! I have got you now! You wicked witch ruined my homeland!” A sword none had seen coming thrusted at Medea. Although she managed to evade frontal impact, the sword slashed her left eye. The man attacking her was immediately pinned to the ground by the masses.
Medea could already guess that the man was a survivor from the city she had burnt. The man yelled about the evil Medea had committed, hoping that the masses would loose him and and allow him to take revenge. In the beginning, the people found his comments dubious; yet, seeing Medea’s silence at his accusations, they gradually became suspicious.
Disregarding the injury at her left eye, Medea gestured for the masses to release the man, and apologized, “I know that no matter how many times I apologize, I cannot make up for my mistake. But regardless, I must do so: I am sorry”
Upon hearing her words, the man once again thrusted his sword at the motionless Medea. At this critical moment, many in the crowd rushed forward, shielding her behind them. Fortunately, the man was able to still his blade before hunting the innocent. It was not until that moment did Medea realize that she was not only carrying the burden of her past sins, but also the hope of the citizens standing before her — she could not die yet this way.
“I won’t ask for your forgiveness. But, if you are willing to let me atone for my sins, I promise you that for the remainder of my life, I will live on bearing the blood of the innocent on my back , and help those in need. If I break my promise, you can take my life anytime!”
Medea knelt as she spoke, prompting the crowd to do so the same, as they pleaded for the man to spare her. Upon seeing this, the man slammed his sword onto the ground before turning to leave — an act that led Medea to assume he had acquiesced.