I hate you more than anything in this world, and yet, you’re the only one I empathize with.
Sasarai could hear those word whispered in the wind. Only Luc never whispered. He was never soft-spoken, but never loud either. Still, Luc’s voice embraced the wind the same way he always did. Sasarai never embraced the wind. Instead, he’d grit his teeth and hold onto anything that wasn’t firmly fastened to his outfit whenever the wind blew.
You’re the only one I empathize with.
Wind carried a variety of things, supported life, and eroded mountains given enough time. Sasarai knew the necessity of all the elements, but if he had to choose which one would vanish, it would be the air element. He knew that of all the elements, wind was the only one that could never be fully controlled and the Earth in him couldn’t stand what was ultimately beyond his control.
“Are you thinking of him?” Albert Silverberg asked, standing beside Sasarai. The wind didn’t seem to bother him much. He seemed to revel in it as it picked up his black and white overcoat.
“I can’t help it,” Sasarai replied. He opted out of telling his strategist what happened in the lower chamber of the Temple. He knew Albert had secrets to side and certainly wouldn’t reveal them. Not that it would have made a difference to Sasarai. Sometimes recounting painful events was worse than keeping it buried. “After what happened, I can’t help but think about him.”
“I see,” Albert nodded. He stared at the plains ahead of him, watching the breeze sway everything that wasn’t nailed down.
“Do you love the wind?”
The question seemed to startle to often stoic strategist, but he regained his composure when he shook his head. “Not particularly, but I don’t hate it. My brother loves the wind.”
Sasarai couldn’t help but chuckle. “Does he now?”
“Yes.” Albert shrugged. “Maybe that would explain why he is the way he is. It was damned near impossible for me to discipline him. I can’t imagine how others deal with him.”
“He’s doing great as the Head Strategist at Budehuc.” Sasarai noted how Albert’s eyes widened. “He helped a lot of people there.”
“I shouldn’t be surprised. He is a genius, after all. Still,” Albert pressed his lips together. “I’m better. People like me are far more reliable.”
Are they now? Sasarai wondered. He remembered the times when the elder Silverberg was nowhere to be seen and has long suspected him of possible double-dealing, but Sasarai could never quite prove it. He couldn’t imagine Caesar ever even thinking of doing something like that, but Luc did it. Yet, they could both be considered “of the wind”. Not that he was surprised since air could be many things, including a force capable of massive destruction.
“Yes, I imagine you would be.” He finally answered. “At least you’re better dressed.” Sasarai smiled.
“Hmph.” Albert remained impassive. “I think your brother had a stronger personality than mine and yet I think he was more vulnerable.”
“Oh.” Sasarai didn’t know what to say to that as he recalled just how strong his younger brother often was. Wanting to change the subject, he asked, “Do you hate your brother more than anything in this world?”
“Of course not.”
“Is he the only one you can empathize with?”
“No.” Albert frowned. “Is there something you’re not telling me?”
Sasarai shook his head. “It’s nothing. I was just wondering, that’s all.”
“My brother...” Sighing, Albert shook his head as the wind played with his red hair. “I don’t know what to make of him. Your brother was someone I...” He suddenly fell silent.
Sasarai raised his eyebrows, “Is there something you’re not telling me?”
“I just wish he could have been saved, that’s all.”
“Saved? Eh, how...?” He could finished the question because he found himself agreeing. Regardless of his feelings, Sasarai knew that his brother was at heart a good person who did what he thought was right. Except it wasn’t right. Not to him at least and certainly not to Geddoe or anyone else, except for those who worked with Luc. “Yea, I wish that too.”
The wind didn’t whisper this time. Instead, it called out to anyone who heard and it carried enough force to silence both Sasarai and Albert.
You’re the only one I empathize with.