Camp NaNoWriMo part 22
Genre: family, slice of life
“Is that so?”
That was the Sharoon head’s response after Darius completed his tale. The words were as bland as her face, hiding any emotions she had, if she felt any at all.
Darius was sure he looked pretty bland himself from the outside, but on the inside, his newfound memories and emotions churned within him. Months had passed since his last encounter with the woman, who had only been the family heir then, but to him it felt like only hours ago that the two of them were locked in a furious battle.
“I understand. I will release them to you in exchange for my heirloom,” said Minvera Sharoon.
Darius bit back the urge to shout that she had no right to demand anything. She might have abused her powers, but he was the one who fired the first shot when he stole the Sharoon heirloom.
Between the two family heads, they soon settled the details of the exchange. The Sharoon family would bring the victims out to the Turnery house next to the Beauris main house. There would be no violence allowed from any side, and the heirloom would only be returned after every single prisoner had been set free.
“Where is Amaya?” Baldemar asked.
“Aunty Amaya is in the main house.”
So the previous head was still alive. Darius had expected the worst when he realised the Sharoon family had a new matriarch.
“Will she return to her position after this or will you continue to be the head of the family?” Baldemar asked.
“That will be decided after we finish this matter,” Minerva said.
“I ask because the Sharoon family will need to compensate our families for what has been done. The details will be discussed between the family heads and heirs in a private meeting before we announce it to the rest of the family.”
“Regarding that,” Minerva said, “I will take full responsibility.”
“That’s admirable, but you don’t need to shoulder everything. Your whole family was involved.”
“But I was the one who brainwashed everyone. Every. Single. Victim. Is mine. I knew what I was doing. I already decided that I will atone for the rest of my life.”
The room fell into silence. Darius kept his face carefully blank and his words locked tightly behind his lips. Going into this meeting, he had been fully prepared to force the Sharoon heir to admit her crime if necessary. He never thought they would need to convince her not to punish herself so seriously.
“You are still young. The rest of your life is a long time to atone,” Baldemar finally said.
“I am ready.”
“You’re too young to remember this, but your grandmother decided that as the family head, it was her duty to apologise on behalf of every Sharoon member for any wrongdoing. She was twice your age when she became the matriarch. She died with a broken heart at the end. There is a difference between atonement and self-punishment. Which are you doing?”
Minerva didn’t answer, which was an answer in and of itself.
“I won’t tell you how to lead your family, but talk to them. See what they think. Being the family head doesn’t mean you’re responsible for everything or that you have to make all the decisions. It just means you have the advantage during tiebreakers.” Baldemar cracked a smile. Minerva’s lips quivered, but remained stubbornly flat.
“Thank you for the advice.”
“You’re welcome, Minnie.”
Minerva ducked her head. In that moment, he remembered that she wasn’t that much older than he was.
Crap. Now he was worried.