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A Cruel Fate

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Beads of sweat dripped down his wrinkled face. The muscles he once used were now nothing more than bags of sag. His arms charred and full of dents. He had overlooked the farm throughout the last days of his life. He was bestowed a cruel fate: he had fought for all his life for a single purpose, and now he wastes away, knowing that the blood he shed had been for naught. Now, all he can do is wait for the end.

As he looked at his crops as they swayed in the summer breeze, he saw a woman approach him. She didn’t seem like the usual farmer he had been accustomed to. Rather, a collection of spare clothes and armor parts that were clumsily slapped together and called a ‘uniform’. He knew what kind of woman she was just from her archaic clothing style. He groaned and sat up straight on his rocking chair.

“Are you Hazel Rainart?” The woman asked. He simply nodded as she took out her sword. “My name is Helen Shields. You killed my mother… Prepare to die!” She stood her ground.

“… Do it then.” Hazel rasped out. Her legs buckled a bit.

“… What?” Her arms shook just a tad.

“If you’ve come to kill me, kill me.” Helen looked to Hazel as she lowered her sword.

“I…” Hazel looked into her eyes. Nobody has to die. That was his motto throughout his life. However, he was forced by Salem to kill people. He was aware of how these people have had loved ones. He knew that at some point, someone would come to kill him, just as he would vow to kill Ozpin for his sister’s death.

“You’re right. I did kill your mother. And I’m not sure if I regret it. Regardless, you came for a reason. So do it. Kill me.” Hazel stood up. His legs shook and wobbled a bit. Helen winced as she saw his knee bend. “What’s wrong? You came to kill me, right?” Despite his bite being long gone, his bark was just like it was in his prime.

“I… I…”

“Where are you from?” He asked.

“M-mistral.” Helen’s pupils shrunk a bit.

“You came all the way from the city. For what? Just to look at me funny?” He knew just what kind of look she had in her eyes. “I know that feeling you’ve had. You thought about it throughout the trip. The moment where you’d have my life in your grasps. Where I’d pathetically beg for your mercy only for you to cut me down like a Grimm. You didn’t expect this to happen, did you?” Hazel knelt and his hand reached to Helen. Despite it being wrinkly and frail, Helen backed away. “I’m not going to disappoint you. I know who your mother was. I know the names of every person I’ve killed. And with it, I know the potential people who would be out for my blood.” He sat down. “I know what it feels to have lost a loved one. My sister died by the hands of someone I despised. I dedicated my entire life to killing him… and yet… I failed.”

“These,” he showed her the scars on his arms, “are all I have as proof of my conquest. Revenge… it’s a fruitless endeavor. You really must push yourself to a whole new low to get what you want. You talk a big game of killing me, and yet you can’t even hold your sword right. Had you found me twenty years ago, then you might have decided to strike me down, but as I am now… you’re afraid. You’re scared. You’re now wondering if it’s even wroth it.” He saw Helen drop her sword. “I will tell you this: if it’s worth it to you… kill me. I’ve prepared myself for this day when I killed your mother.” Hazel looked at Helen as she stood. She lowered her arms… and backed away.

“…No… It wasn’t supposed to be like this…” Helen’s voice cracked. Hazel sighed.

“There’s a world of difference between saying you’ll kill someone and actually doing it, especially if they are a defenseless old man like me,” he closed his eyes and went back to his chair, “when you are ready to go through with it… I’ll be here.” Hazel smiled. Helen just shook her head and ran off. Hazel just looked at her as she ran away from his farm, the quaint little plot of land that Ozpin gave him once Salem had been dealt with. In a way, it felt like a punishment.

He wasn’t gifted with the same immortality that Ozpin had, but this was the seventh time someone had declared their intent to kill him to avenge their loved ones, only to back away. The first was a little girl named Ruby Rose, though she managed to change her way of thinking during their fight. No one wished to kill him. And he couldn’t provoke them now that his body was too frail to work. His aura waned by the day. He felt like he will just die on his chair, but every night he falls asleep, he just wakes up the next day, ready to live another painful day at the farm.

He was bestowed a cruel fate. Now, all he can do is wait for the end.