There it stood before her, an empty battle field strewn with the weapons of war. Not a wounded man in sight, and she had done it. Perhaps her grandfather was wrong.
Her heart ached a little at the thought of the lives that had been lost, but it was necessary. The invaders would have laid waste to the valley and beyond if they had not been stopped.
“No,” a cry came from behind her. “Tell me that this was not your doing! Daughter of my daughter, please tell me.”
“It had to be done, grandfather. Many innocent lives were at risk.”
“Why did you not let our king defend us?”
“The king would have failed.”
Her grandfather fell to his knees. His body shuddered as a sob escaped his lips.
She looked down on his frail figure. “Think of all of the lives I have saved. Look at all of the good I have done.”
“Good? How can you call the instant death of 10,000 men good?”
A spark of anger ignited deep within her. She had never been angry at her grandfather before, but for the first time in her life she caught a glimpse of what he had been all along – weak.
How could she have missed it all these years. That’s why he had always warned against using her gift. He was small and afraid.
“Think of the good I could do grandfather. I could end all war. The daughter of your daughter could bring peace from the ocean beyond to the mountains afar. No more pillaging. No more death.”
“That is where you are wrong, dear girl.” He stood to meet her icy gaze. “I can see it has begun already,” he said with eyes threatening to overflow. “Part of my sweet child has died this day.”
“What are you talking about?” She spit the words out as if she did not like their flavor.
“Make no mistake child, your power is no great gift. It is a curse.”
She turned to walk away. There were plans to make. No longer would she sit idly by and watch the world burn. She had lost her own parents to war, and was not willing to let another child suffer that fate. Not when she had the power to stop it.
Her grandfather knew what was on her mind. “Do not follow this course. I beg you!”
She faced him with venom in her eyes, “Do not try to hold me back just because you are too afraid to do what needs to be done.”
He winced at the pain of her words. “I only fear for you, my little love. Every time you use the power to take a life, a piece of your own soul is taken. If you continue using it, you will fall into a darkness from which you will never escape . All that is good in you will be forever gone.”
“If that is the price for peace, so be it.”