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Carmine wrapped her coat around her as she walked through the graveyard in Mistral. She had traveled back to her home kingdom alone in order to do something that she needed to get done. And better sooner than later. As she walked among the graves, her mind began to wander. She recalled her youth and the years that followed. How many people had met their end by her hands? How much blood was really on her hands?

She really didn’t want to think about all the chaos she had brought upon Remnant; all the fear and terror that occurred just with the mere mention of the name society had given her. In the past, she knew she wouldn’t have cared, but she was no longer the same. She had changed, and for the better.

She had been given a second chance and she took it without hesitation. Funny how it came in the form of a man who seemed to have seen straight through her, straight to her core; the same man who still does so to this very day. How different would her life had been if someone had done so sooner? Would she had found peace sooner if someone had looked pass the facade back when her murder spree first begun? What about if her childhood had been different? 

As she walked passed a few gravestones, she gave a weak laugh at the thought. Had things gone differently, she wouldn’t be where she was now. She wouldn’t have met Rex and experienced what love is truly like. She wouldn’t have experienced the happiness that came with seeing his face every single day and the peace that washed over her whenever she laid in his arms. Whatever other outcomes would have been possible, she wouldn’t change anything. Not as long as he was still in her life.

She was brought out of her thoughts when she stopped in front of the gravestones that were off on their own, a makeshift one placed next to them. She knelt down in front of the graves, carefully dusting them to expose the engravings, especially on the makeshift one. There, she saw the names Cyclamen Vigdis, Scarlett Vigdis, and Cerulean Love. She looked at the name of her father on the makeshift grave before looking at her mother’s grave that was right beside it. She softly sighed and sat down on the ground, making herself comfortable.

“I...I guess it is a bit of a surprise….seeing me here...especially….especially after everything.” She said out loud, almost as if she was speaking to the residents of the graves.

“I...I’m rather surprised myself….I thought...I thought I would never return here for as long as I still lived….but...life seems to be full of surprises.”

Carmine was silent as she pondered over her words carefully. She didn’t really come with a speech or anything prepared. She didn’t even come with anything in mind on what to say. Sighing again, she looked directly at her mother’s grave, pain clear and evident in her eyes.

“I guess…..I guess I am here….to do something I should have done sooner. I don’t….I don’t regret what I did….not in the slightest…..after everything you put me through…..was this of any surprise? You drilled it into my mind that I was a monster….a freak…..and you abandoned me when I needed you most….you left me alone with the true monster..” She said, tears streaming as she looked towards her stepfather’s grave.

“But….despite everything the two of you put me through...the abuse….the torment….what you had turned me into since I was a child…..I….I forgive you….I am not the least bit sorry for what I did that night...but I do forgive you for what you did to me..”

She took a deep breath before looking towards the makeshift grave she made for her father.

“I….I know I can tell you this to your face but….well….this might be easier…..even if you don’t really hear what I have to say….at least...not yet….but….when he first met face to face…..when you met the monster I had become….you said something that stuck with me ever since that night….you had said...I would never find redemption….that I was beyond it...and…..I had believed your words….just I had believed Sc...Mother….when she had said I was a monster….”

“If you saw me now...would you still say the same thing? Would you believe I am still a monster, that I am beyond redemption? I’ve turned my life around…..Father….and I am no longer the same Carmine you met in those woods in Vale. I have found my path of redemption and I do not intend on straying from it.” She said, determination set in her blood red eyes.

“I...I met someone...he….he saw through everything and...and found that part of the real me that was drowning in the facade I made to live up to everyone’s expectations of me….He saved me and gave me hope. Because of him...I feel like...I feel like I can just be me….and….and I think I now understand what love feels like….and...and it is simply amazing…”

She paused for a moment, smiling fondly as she remembered the man who had become her everything.

“Funny thing….he actually keeps me in line….makes sure I stay out of trouble. I wonder….I wonder if you would be proud of who I have become….of the new me…” She said before looking at her stepfather’s grave.

“I...I don’t know why you...why you did what you did to me….and I may never understand….but….what you stole from me that night….my innocence….I got it back….I got it back with his help…..and you better believe I am never…..NEVER…..letting it be stolen again…..it’s something that...that honestly should have gone to him to begin with…” She said, a hint of bitterness in her voice before she sighed.

“I don’t expect any of you to….to forgive me…..but….I at least hope…..you are at least….proud of me for turning my life around….” She said before standing up.

She placed a black rose on her stepfather’s grave, a red one on her mother’s and then a blue one on her father’s makeshift one. She gave a small side smile as the breeze blew through her hair, closing her eyes as she took a deep breath.

“From this day forward….I am only Carmine Vigdis….the Carmine that everyone else knew….the Murderous Temptation….is dead….for good…..that monster has been slain and will not be coming back….ever….” She said proudly, smiling before turning away.

She began to walk away but stopped and glanced over her shoulder. She gave the graves one last look before making her way out of the graveyard. She had to return to Vacuo and to the man who had become her entire life. The Queen needed to be reunited with her King.

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