After it is not known how long, the balloon began to go smoothly, gradually downwards. It felt like it was planned.
From up there, man saw wide plains, followed by crops and countryside. The place, he didn’t quite know why, but it was undoubtedly familiar to him.
It didn’t take him long to understand why: he saw a castle, a partially destroyed fortress, a knocked down wall from which smoke was still coming out: it was his ancient kingdom.
The balloon landed a few meters from that opening: that place seemed abandoned.
It was a city that had been semi-destroyed by a bitter battle: the Heraculator continued, advancing into what was once his home.
It was his fortress, the city that he had built with such care, together with the houses in which they once lived, those who also lodged in his heart.
But some had abandoned him, and others had been exiled.
He now he lived in a new world, he knew it.
He approached the castle, saw the huge spike that had pierced the walls: he remembered that that spike had stopped right next to Carandass, and he was dead, trying to protect it.
But the heart cannot always be protected from pain …
He entered the empty castle, surrounded by the corpses of the soldiers, of the inhabitants.
An enormous silence enveloped him, along with the stench of death.
In the rooms of the castle, there were the paintings of those who once were in the heart, those that he once loved. Almost all of them were smeared with the blood of those who lived there; he passed, observing everything, impassive.
It was like going back to a place you’ve been to several times, without knowing it, as if he had gotten used to all that pain, all that… death.
And he was getting closer and closer. In the place where he died.
In that room, which he had built, thinking it was indestructible, like a safe, that place that he had closed, to avoid suffering.
A large white room, with only a carpet and a small table, in the center.
Today he understood, that the heart must not be locked up, to protect it. The best way to do this is to just put it in plain sight, so that it doesn’t become something someone can take, be tempted to steal it, no… they could only look at it.
There, he finally found him still alive: perhaps he had stayed there to receive the coup de grace, precisely from those who, one day, would find him.
He was in the center of the room, on a mezzanine, bleeding, dying.
– Here you are …
– I arrived. And you, you still live, huh … old king?
– The king … is dead. Long live the king…
– I thought … I could do it, to have her as queen …
– But the monarchy is dead, isn’t it?
– Like me … I think.
– Very well, my previous “me” … now do you understand that dreaming is useless?
– How did you become … now you talk like them.
– If you can’t beat them …
– I didn’t want to beat anyone.
– No? Did you want to dominate them, since you are the king? See what remains of your… “kingdom”.
– I … I just wanted …
– Whatever you wanted, it doesn’t matter.
– I… loved them.
– Yes. And they went away, leaving us even this destruction as they remember.
– I thought I was strong enough.
– And maybe you were. But it wasn’t a question of strength.
– Forgive me, I … disappointed you.
– You didn’t even manage to protect Carandass like you thought. You said: “nothing to worry about, nothing we can’t handle …”
– Forgive me…
– Of cours, you always have to do it with your past. Rest in peace, old king. Now you no longer need kingdoms and advisers.
The ruler of that fallen kingdom died; he had the same face as the Heraculator. It was, in fact, his past.
The man sighed with resignation and nostalgia; it was his old world, he was so beautiful even in death …
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