During my early years of adventuring, I traveled throughout the Far East, places like Yanxia, the Ruby Sea, and I even had tread carefully through Reunion in the Azim Steppe. While the Azim Steppe was never particularly warm to me, the people in Doma had always done their best to be hospitable in the midst of a dark time. There was this one trip I remember very vividly. The road to Namai was not a new trek to me by now; I was a regular to these parts of the Far East. I knew where to watch for Garleans and how to avoid the local tigers. This time, however, as I was walking along a stream, I spotted a man who had been mauled, laying dead on the ground. The man seemed like he’d only just died and I cursed my luck that I’d been too slow to arrive even though I knew that I probably couldn’t have done much to make a difference anyway. I stood over the body for a moment and looked around hoping to find someone else nearby who may have been able to help me move him. I found myself very alone, however.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the man held a journal. It was stained with blood and the paper had turned a tad scarlet from the exposure. I began to flip through the pages, looking for some kind of clue to identify the man before me. Instead, I found a letter and what looked to be the last journal entry and a picture that was wedged between the last page and the back cover. The journal entry read…
I often wonder if you have come to resent me for leaving you behind. Every moment spent without you by my side causes my heart to grow weaker and weaker. There has been many a time where I almost gave up, abandoned hope. But I knew I could not until the day I fulfilled my promise to you. The fact I now know this day shall never come pains me more than I could ever express using mere words. Luck has carried me back home, but it does not seem it can carry me any further. I would not protest were you to think me a coward. I wanted nothing more than to gaze into those beautiful eyes and tell you just how sorry I am. Tell me, do you still await my return where we swore we would be reunited someday?”
The picture itself seemed to be of a woman near a small lake. I recognized the area immediately. I’d been there many times to relax or take walks while I was in the area. I read over the journal entry again. I didn’t know if I remembered a Keiko living in the village.
I hiked to the small pond in the picture where I found a woman I only sort of recognized from the village. I approached her and explained about the man I had found and I showed her the journal. She gave me a saddened look. She was not Keiko, but her younger sister. She led me to a tree nearby under which Keiko had been buried five years prior and began to explain the other side of the story.
The man I had found was a major figure in the rebellion, so he had left Namai to keep the Empire from finding him. Keiko remained ever faithful, doing everything she could to raise her younger sister and keep up with the Empire’s taxes. She eventually became ill from the stress and strain of it all and passed away.
I listened to her story and agreed to leave the journal with her. After all, who was I to keep it? Out of respect for Keiko’s faith in her love, she visited this place from time to time. Angry as she was about his leaving her sister, she was ready to forgive him now having learned of how he felt. We walked back to Namai in general silence. Once we arrived there, she went to speak to the other villagers and I went on my way, continuing on to travel all over the world. I later learned that the man was buried next to Keiko. I hoped that now they would have peace.