Secret

© 2007 by Ariadne; Translation into English by Wu

This page was last modified: 2007/12/11


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"I have returned. After many a year far away, making myself a Master, I have returned. I do not know why, but I needed to be here. There is something in this place, which makes me think about things I should have forgotten. Things that remind me of--him."

He sighed and closed his diary after having written these final lines. Yes, even a Master required an agenda at times, and Camus of Aquarius was no exception. He was a Gold Saint of the Order of Athena, but he was also a man. One with great honour and devotion to his Goddess.

He got up from where he had been sitting and he went for a stroll around the vicinity. There were people there he wished to see, and with whom he wished to speak after all this time.

He began walking, and soon arrived at the Eighth Temple.

He couldn't resist smiling. It was a place, which brought back such good memories.

It was the House of the only one he could call "friend".

The only one he considered such.

Camus expanded his cosmos, searching for the Master of the House, and he found him sleeping. He knew that Milo loved to sleep wearing only a pair of shorts, and so he entered the bedroom knowing fully well that his friend's back would be uncovered, so he cooled his hands until they were quite chilly, and he laid them on the bare back before him.

The Scorpio Saint leapt so high that he almost touched the ceiling and let out such a yell, that Camus couldn't help but laugh loudly. By the Gods, it felt good to be back.

"Arghh!" Camus heard, "What the Hell...?" The other spun round to face the intruder.

"Come on, Milo. Don't tell me you can't take a little joke."

"You! How dare you?!" The Scorpion pointed at him, revealing the Scarlet Needle, which sparkled brightly, but he held back when he realised that Camus was laughing.

He was laughing. That smile was something offered only to him, Milo of Scorpio, who calmed himself down, using every ounce of his self-control.

"If you try anything like that again, I swear, I'll kill you."

"Stop saying nonsense" Camus responded, "you won't do anything of the kind, so stop griping." He returned to his customary coldness, and Milo stood looking at him, discerning something different in him.

He got up and started to get dressed. He looked at him closely. "What's the matter with you, Iceman?"

Milo had known Camus since they had been children, and despite Camus' cold facade, Milo could always look beyond, and know what his friend was feeling at any time. It was a gift no one else had.

"There's nothing the matter with me Milo. Why do you ask?" He inquired in an attempt to drop the subject.

"It's just that-" Milo could see that he was in no mood for talking, so he let it go. "I have a better idea. Why don't you tell me about your journey? And your disciple? Come, sit by me, and tell me all there is to know."

Camus looked at him and sighed again, Milo would never change. He would always have a smile for him, and some words to make him feel better, although the other never seemed to realise this. And he would take and accept them, because they were the only things that helped him carry on.

"The journey was fine. My disciple is fine. Satisfied?"

"Coming from you, that's more than enough."

Milo laughed as he served a cup of hot tea to his friend. Camus would never renounce his coldness, and the little he shared with him was something that Milo treasured. It was Camus' way of saying "I am your friend, and you please me" and Milo was more than happy with that. In fact, it was more than he had hoped for.

When he finished serving the tea, Milo sat by the other's side, and spoke all night. Both friends enjoying each other's company.

* * *

The days went by, and things were going well. The Gold Saints who had heeded the call of the Patriarch were already in their temples and there was an air of peace and tranquillity about the place.

Camus had been made welcome by all, and he joined them in their training, spending some time with each one of them, however he only felt truly comfortable when he was with Milo. He didn't feel irritated or bothered by him in any way whatsoever. But, there were things that were impossible to confide to anyone--especially things related to that subject.

It was something he was unable to face. He simply couldn't.

He picked up the papers and photographs spread out on his bed. They were memories of a time when he had been happy. A time in which he had felt complete. Now the few times in which he felt this were when he was with Milo, and he listened to his friend whenever he could.

It was like being--in family.

The Scorpion arrived to take him to train, like every morning. It was still very early when he felt the cosmos of his friend calling him. He remained a moment, looking at the photos, and he sighed.

"On va parler áprès. Je te promets." 1 He said in his native tongue, completely unaware that Milo was standing in the doorway of his room.

Milo had never seen him that way before. Camus was pale and sad. Yes, sad. It was unusual for him to show his feelings, but he hadn't been aware of Milo's presence. The scorpion felt that he was spying on him, and that he was betraying him, so he withdrew without making the slightest sound. It was painful for him to see his friend in such a state, but the worst part was that he now knew that Camus was hiding something from him--but what could it be? What was the secret?

"On y va?"2 Milo said when he saw the other come outside, it was the phrase that Camus always used before training, but there was no answer.

Camus didn't just look sad, he looked sombre, and it was if he bore a great weight on his shoulders.

Milo wanted to respect him, so he remained silent while they trained. Camus deserved it, although for him it was painful to see the suffering in those eyes, which had never shown anything different to coldness.

They trained hard until it was physically impossible for them to go on. Camus was still silent, and Milo didn't want to push him by asking questions about what was the matter with him.

After the training session, both of them retired to their temples and didn't speak again for several days. Which had Milo visibly worried.

* * *

Athena's Sanctuary had several places, which were known only by a few people. The waterfall was one of them, and it was Milo's favourite place. It reminded him of the humanity inside him. He who was Sanctuary's assassin, felt alive and human while he was in that place. The same as he felt in Camus' presence.

He had many companions in Sanctuary, but the only one who really concerned him was Camus of Aquarius.

The coldness of the one contrasted with the fiery character of the other. "A strange combination" he thought, although he didn't mind, it was a pleasant sensation despite what they said. Everyone in sanctuary laughed at him. They said that one would end up poisoning the other, only to be frozen himself by the one he had poisoned. Now everything was different.

The moment that Sanctuary was going through was something previously unheard of. Sanctuary was on the alert. An adolescent who claimed to be the reincarnation of the Goddess Athena, was threatening the sacred place.

And one of Camus' disciples was at his side.

"How will you feel when I tell you, my friend?" He mused, believing that by saying this, he could possibly avoid the horrible moment of speaking to the other.

Camus arrived in the place on time, as was his custom. Milo had wanted to speak to him, and had chosen his favourite place to do it. "Something terrible must be happening for him to do something like that." he thought. He saw Milo in the distance. He looked beautiful but his cosmos was upset for some reason that he couldn't identify, breaking the harmony of the place.

"You only call me to this place to speak when it's important. What's happening, Scorpion?"

Milo just looked at him and sighed. He didn't know how to begin, but he did so without beating around the bush.

"Rumour has it that there is a girl who says she is Athena. His hands were cold, and he looked at the ground, searching for the words to give him the rest of the information. "It is also said that the Swan Saint is with her, that he protects her."

Aquarius' face didn't change, although in his interior was not the same, blood was quickly rushing to his head, and he felt that his heart would explode from sheer outrage.

But not even in that moment could he fool Milo.

"I know that all this affects you, I know that-"

"Enough, Milo. I am well, as always."

"He's an Aquarius apprentice; he's your apprentice, Camus. Don't lie to me, you hear?" He approached him, but the other didn't seem to care, and he didn't even flinch.

"If he's protecting the False Athena, then let him die for his cause. For her."

Milo looked at him in surprise.

Camus turned around and let his gaze drop to the ground. Those memories were tormenting him again. "I'm sorry, Milo, but I have to go."

"Camus, please--talk to me."

"I don't know what you're talking about, Milo." He wanted to go away; he didn't want to face him. "I've got things to do. Be seeing you."

Milo watched him leave without showing his worry. He could almost reach out and touch that which was troubling Camus. He had never seen him like that, making such an effort to hide what he felt.

"I will be here, my friend, whenever you need me."

He sat down, feeling his heart more oppressed than ever before contemplating the sunset.

* * *

Camus returned to his Temple and started walking in circles around his room. How was it possible, all that was happening? In what forsaken moment had Hyoga become a traitor?

He hated that word. He had already seen one of his friends suffer too much because of it, during the long years, without being able to help him, considering himself a traitor.

"Il y a long temps que nous ne sont pas parlé"3 He said softly, while he took a picture frame, which contained a moment from his past. He stayed a while, looking at the photograph, and he wept. It was a pain he had shouldered for many a year, since the moment he had earned his Gold Cloth, and had been conferred the title Gold Saint of Aquarius.

A pain which while he understood it, hurt no less, anchored in a past he had tried, unsuccessfully to forget. Something that would die with him.

A pain he knew would come back to him in the form of his pupil.

In Hyoga.

* * *

Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces could be found in Sanctuary. Aries and Libra had rejected the Patriarch's call. Sagittarius had died, and Gemini was missing.

The game board was set, and the pieces had started to move.

And Milo could not help but sigh deeply.

A new war, blood to be spilt on sacred ground, and he didn't mind at all. All of his thoughts had but one name: Camus of Aquarius. He wanted to speak to him, to find out what was the matter with him. He had started to follow him, to spy on him, but he had discovered nothing apart from cold phrases and eternal silences.

Milo needed to do something urgently to make him speak.

"Desperate situations require desperate measures."

As he was leaving his Temple, he heard the news that the Patriarch wished to see him urgently, so everything to do with Camus had to wait. When Milo presented himself before Sanctuary's head and maximum authority, the other explained the situation to Scorpio.

The Sanctuary was at war, this was inevitable. Milo had been called to do away with the Bronze Saints, but he had no wish to spill blood unnecessarily, many Saints had died by that time, and he refused the mission.

Aioria of Leo presented himself in turn, and demanded to be the executor of said mission, to which the Patriarch agreed, and gave another mission to Milo.

Before departing, Milo passed by the Temple of Aquarius, he wanted to find an answer that would help him to understand Camus' strange behaviour.

Perhaps if he could understand him, he could help him.

"Camus, we have got to talk."

"There's nothing to talk about, Milo."

"How can you say that? Look at yourself, you're thinner and paler, don't tell me not to worry, Iceman!"

"That's how you see me, is it, Milo? That's al I am to you, ice. I thought that you could see beyond my face, but I can see that you cannot. No one can." Camus thought while he watched him coldly.

"Camus, please-"

"Go, Milo. You have a mission, don't you? What are you waiting for? Go!"

"Cam-"

"If you can't leave, then I will! May Athena be with you, Milo." Camus left, leaving Milo alone in the Eleventh Temple, feeling devastated by his friend's rejection.

Camus appeared to be colder than ever, and Milo could not see beyond that or discover the reality of his friend's feelings. This time the barrier was greater than ever before. He only knew that it all had to do with Hyoga of the Swan. Ever since the exact moment when Camus had spoken to him about his disciples, many a year ago, when he had taken them under his tutelage, Milo had known that they were his weakness.

He looked around the chamber, his bed, as always was impeccable. Nothing was out of place, although, when he looked carefully, he noticed that something was. On Camus' desk, Milo saw an exquisitely carved wooden box, with the key still resting in the lock. Even if he had been bold enough to pry into others' affairs, he would never have violated Camus' privacy. He respected him too much to do so. However, on the floor, near the desk, there lay a photograph. There were four people in the photograph, a couple and two young children. Milo recognised Camus as one of the children, and in the photograph, he was beaming a bright smile. The couple and the other child resembled him, they must have been his parents, and the other boy seemed a little older than Camus was, but who was he? Aquarius had never spoken about him.

He turned the photo over, and found a written inscription on the back

"Marcel, Philippe et Michel, mon petite famille,

mon époux, mes fils, mes grands amours

Le temps va passer, mais l'amour va rester dans notres coeurs.

Je vous aime beaucoup.

Eloise"4

"By the Gods... Michel... that's Camus' real name." Milo left the photograph on the desk. When he got back, he would speak to him.

* * *

"How could I explain that to you, Milo? How could I tell you about the pain that lives in my soul? I can't, Milo, you are very important to me, and I cannot allow myself to lose you; not because of my past."

He was walking along the beach. He loved the sensation the wind caused on his skin. The hot Greek wind that reminded him of Phillipe, as much as it reminded him of Milo. Aquarius was afraid to open his heart. He had always been alone. Always above feelings. No one had ever been there for him--

His name again--Milo.

He sighed while tears circled his cheeks. Despite his cuirass, Milo had always been there for him. Always. However, the fear would not leave him.

He couldn't tell him, Milo would look down on him because of it. Because of his treachery. And he couldn't bear the thought of losing his friend.

This time he wouldn't bear any more pain.

When Camus had decided to train Hyoga and Isaac, he had adopted them as his sons and despite his coldness; he had always looked at them as a father would. He had raised them; they had not only grown up as Saints, but also as people, although he had failed in his intention to make them worthy of the Aquarius Cloth. He could never change the things their own parents had taught them before they had died, but something had remained with them: To fight for what one believed in. Even at the cost of one's own life.

Isaac had died. He had believed in Hyoga, and he had died for him.

Phillipe had believed in him, and he was also dead, although--

Hyoga believed in the false Athena, and he would die for her.

He sat on the sand, near the waves. He was barefoot, and the seawater washed up between his feet.

"It is time, Camus; it is time to forget and to carry on. It is time." He thought.

He let himself get lost in the seascape before his eyes.

"Perhaps it is time, but I am not ready. Not yet."

That night Camus returned to his House very late.

* * *

Several days later, Milo had returned from a successful mission. Andromeda Island had been destroyed, and the traitor Albiore was dead. Although that death caused him many doubts, which he would have a long time to come to terms with. At the very least, Sanctuary had one enemy less.

He entered his Temple, and left his things there; he didn't want to think about anything else, except resting. The Patriarch had called him to an audience the next day, so he had the rest of the day for himself alone.

He showered quickly, and felt an insatiable hunger, when he arrived in the kitchen to prepare something to eat, he found Camus waiting for him.

"How could you, Milo?" He asked angrily.

"Hello, Cam. How are you? The journey was fine, and my mission is now complete. What on Earth are you talking about?"

"You were looking at my private things, don't deny it, Milo?"

"I'm sorry, but I don't know what you're talking about."

Milo sat down in the kitchen, he was tired and worried about so many things that the stifling sensation he felt, aggravated by Camus' reclamation, showed no sign of going away.

"The other night when I left you in my Temple, you went through my belongings and you saw things I don't want you to know about." Camus also felt exhausted. When he had arrived at his Temple that night, he had found the photograph resting on his desk, and he was completely sure that he had put it away. Now he felt betrayed.

"I need you to tell me that you didn't do it, that you didn't take the photograph, and that I can still trust you, Milo." His voice broke, and his cold face was no longer emotionless.

Camus of Aquarius was crying.

"Cam, I found a photograph on the ground, that is all. I didn't open anything, and I didn't go through your things. I never would. You know me too well than to believe that."

"I killed him, Milo."

Milo looked at him, overwhelmed with astonishment, watching the tears stream over the other's cheeks.

"What are you saying, Camus? We've all killed someone--what are you talking about?"

Camus took a deep breath and looked him in the eye.

"I killed Phillipe.

"I killed my own brother."

* * *

It was the first time that Camus had opened up to him in that, way and now he understood why he had never done it before. Milo could only imagine what his friend was going through, and yet, he knew that it didn't come near in his imaginings.

"Come with me, we'll sit down, drink some wine, and you can tell me all about it."

Milo walked with his friend to the Temple, and once there, Camus sat down, while Milo brought a jar of wine and two glasses. His friend looked devastated, and for the first time Milo could see a deep pain in his eyes, something he didn't want to see ever again. When he came back, he sat down, serving Camus one of the glasses of wine. He could hear Camus sob, and his heart ached. He didn't know what to say, or how to help him, his chest felt oppressed.

"Very well. I'm all ears."

Milo smiled slightly. He wanted to show his friend that everything was all right, but the expression on the other's face didn't change. In fact, when Milo gave him the glass, Camus emptied it in one swallow.

Camus looked at him. He knew that his friend wanted to give him strength, but the fact of the matter was that it had no effect on him whatsoever. He had said it. He had murdered his brother. Now, how to tell Milo the story?

"Camus--Camus--Michel!" Milo shook him, a soft warm hand on his shoulder. Aquarius looked at him, puzzled. It had been a long time since Milo had called him Michel, or since anyone had.

"Phillipe was my elder brother." He started, if he wanted to get that pain out of his chest, he would have to stop beating around the bush. "Our parents wanted to send us to Sanctuary, so that we could become Saints of Athena, but our Master, Nivoe, took us straight to Siberia." He sighed. "Our parents died some four months later, but we learnt the truth years later. Phillipe wanted to be a Saint; he desired it with all his heart. I merely wanted to be with my brother. He was what I wished to become."

Milo shifted on his chair, encouraging him to continue.

"Our training was especially hard. Nivoe was a good person, but he was a little colder than you see me."

"'Remember, both of you, the Masters of the ice should be like the very ice itself!'" Nivoe would say to us, although I never understood very well what he wanted to say. I wanted to throw it all away so many times--so many--but Phillipe always smiled, encouraging me to continue."

"I always thought that he would be the Aquarius saint, not me."

His tears dried on his face but now he wasn't so cold. His face expressed--relief. Milo continued drinking his wine in silence, looking at him closely, taking note of his expressions.

"I believe I need this." Camus said after drinking another glass of wine. He helped himself to another glass.

"Take it easy; you'll end up inebriate." Milo looked at him with concern. "Continue." He said waving his free hand.

Camus sighed and did as Milo requested. He had gotten himself into the problem, and he had to resolve it himself.

"You are right." He cleared his throat before going on. "Years passed. My brother and I grew up, and the moment to obtain the Cloth arrived. He who won that morning would be called Saint of Aquarius. The other would obtain the Crystal Cloth, and would be proclaimed a Silver Saint."

"My brother was very powerful, much more than I was. Every time he attacked me, it was impossible for me to stop him, and as a result, I ended up badly hurt; I on the other hand, was unable to cause him more than a scratch. He was too much for me. I was petrified with fear--while he, on the other hand, was so calm-. I was lying on the ground, covered with my own blood when we heard Nivoe's voice."

"'Kill him, Phillipe. Finish off with Michel. Now!' Nivoe shouted.

Phillipe looked at me, his hands in the position to perform Aurora's Execution; I was looking at him, frozen with fear, when he broke down.

Milo looked at him with understanding, while Camus moved his hands and spoke in a way he had never seen before.

"My brother was crying; his arms dropped to his sides." Camus swung at the air while he looked directly at the Scorpion. "He was crying, Milo. Can you imagine how I felt? How ashamed I felt seeing him that way?" He brought his hands to his face.

"'I can't!'Phillipe screamed. 'I can't kill him, he's my brother, and I can't do something like that!'"

"'Do you feel compassion, Phillipe? Do you pity your enemy?' Nivoe asked him, as he approached the two of us. 'Listen to me well, the two of you: Your feelings are your strength, but also your perdition, however, the only truth is that you must not let them interfere in your judgement, or you will be dead as warriors. You will be killed. Michel could have finished you off during your irrational and lamentable demonstration of the little understanding of the teaching I have given you all these years, Phillipe.'

"I listened to them, Milo--I saw them. Phillipe wept inconsolable, while Nivoe looked at him impassively, although I could say he was disappointed. He had also expected that Phillipe would obtain the Cloth, but he never treated us differently. In that moment, I swore I would never go through anything like that again. If he had to do away with me, I wouldn't let him do it easily. We went back to the house, and we didn't say a word. Nivoe had remained outside, in the snow, meditating, and I decided to go and spy on him, I spent a terrible need to do so.

What I saw surprised me greatly. My Master was there, in the snow, but he had lost all trace of coldness. He seemed calm and peaceful. He was--adorable. Just as I see you when you are in the waterfall." With each word, Milo knew that Camus was opening up more and more.

Both friends smiled, although the Scorpion couldn't help but blush. But he didn't want to ponder on the compliment, so he asked him to continue.

"When I saw my brother meditating, I never saw that expression on his face. I never saw the same as in my Master."

"However, I have seen that in you, Cam. Many times, in fact." And he took another mouthful of wine, noticing how Camus looked at him sweetly while continuing his story.

"I returned to the house and found Phillipe sleeping; I stayed awake until my Master arrived; just before dawn.

'What are you doing awake at this late hour, Michel?'

'I was waiting for you, Master.'

'You should be sleeping, with your brother.'

'Teach me.'

'What are you saying?'

'Teach me. I saw you. That peace emanating from you--there is more that you have not taught us--I need--I need to learn how to achieve that. Teach me, Master.'

"My Master looked at me with sadness."

'Find the answer yourself, Michel. Everything I had to teach you, I already passed on to you and to your brother. The rest depends on you.'

"He left me there, full of fury over his response, and his refusal, and my heart aching for my brother. When I went to bed, I was so dazed by what had happened the previous day that he didn't wake up until the next morning. We never spoke about that matter again. Ever. But I knew he was watching me carefully.

"Phillipe and I continued training. He pushed himself more than ever and I did the same. During the nights, I went to the place where I had seen my Master meditate and imitating him, I began to do the same; but my spirit was never calm, on the contrary.

"One night, I heard a voice inside my mind. 'Why are you so agitated, Michel? Why?'

"I believe that voice changed me. From that moment on, every time I meditated, I considered why I had felt what I had felt during the day. That way the emotions and feelings ceased to keep secrets from me, and I simply started to understand.

"Nivoe summoned us one morning and told us that the time had come and that the fight for the Cloths would resume, that there was no need to wait any more. If you could have seen us, Milo--that morning we fought like we had never done before, but the result was very different. On this occasion, it was my brother who lay on the ground, and it was I myself in the position to carry out Aurora's Execution.

'Finish him, Michel.'

'No.'

"My Master's gaze was inquisitorial, and it bore into my soul--

'Why? Do you feel compassion for your enemy? Mercy, perhaps?'

'No.'

"Philippe wept again, he thought that I-" Camus sighed, looking for the strength to carry on, and Milo's hand on his shoulder gave it to him.

"'It is not compassion, Master, nor mercy. I will not end his life because that is my decision.'

'Do you have doubts in your heart, Michel?'

'None. I learnt what you had to teach me. I base my decisions on what I feel and on why I feel. There is no remorse, there is no grief. And as such, my feelings do not interfere. I am above them.'

"I remember I saw him smile, in such a way that I was filled with tranquillity. The Aquarius Cloth disengaged itself from his body, covering me, while the Crystal Cloth came forth from the pristine Siberian snow and covered my brother's body.

'Welcome to your new life, Camus, Gold Saint of Aquarius.'

'Welcome to your new life, Crystal, Silver Saint.'

"The ritual soon ended. We returned to the house to take our things, I had to come to Greece. Philippe came into the room with me; I wanted him to say so many things, to embrace me, and to feel happy for me--

'At a loss for words, brother?'

'Congratulations, Camus, Saint of Aquarius.'

I couldn't believe it. In his eyes I was no longer Michel, I was the Aquarius Saint. I felt that the whole world that I had known had died in that instant.

'But Philippe--'

'Philippe died at your hands this morning during the battle. Now I am Crystal, Silver Saint, and your subaltern.'

"I looked at him and I understood, much to my sorrow. There was spite in his words although he hadn't lost his smile. And he had been right in what he had said. I had murdered my brother so that the Silver Saint could be born. The knowledge I was invested with cost me more than I had been prepared to pay. I put my feelings to one side, and I nodded. Then I took my belongings and left. I only saw him when I again when I decided to train my disciples, and he took charge of them while I was in Greece. I never dealt with my brother again except in photographs, I speak to them in the language of our parents, and that is why I conserve that treasure from my past. And now I cannot even speak to Crystal. His existence ended because he was too good, too honourable for the battle to come. If I had not been so insistent with respect to "learning", he would have been the Aquarius saint, and he would not be dead. And that is how I murdered my brother, and lost the dearest thing in the world to me. Now Hyoga also finds himself embroiled in this war and I will have to do the same to him; Aquarius will need a successor some day, and he may be the one, and if he is not worthy, then he will die, definitively."

"Camus--"

"It's true, Milo," he said, interrupting him, "Isaac died, that you know. Hyoga is the last of the House of Aquarius, and one day he will have to take my place, but his feelings are rooted firmly in the memory of his mother, and that will be his perdition. The Tradition of Aquarius should continue if we wish to serve Athena as we should." He pointed out, feeling that although what he was saying was true, Hyoga was the one who always ended up showing him that perhaps he was wrong, although the youth never realised.

Milo wanted to speak, to tell him so many things, but he was interrupted again. A minion of the Patriarch's arrived to tell them that the False Athena would arrive in Sanctuary the following day, and that the confrontation of the Twelve Houses would begin. Both Saints sighed.

"Milo, I wish to ask a favour of you--If Hyoga reaches your Temple, promise me that you will have a fair fight and that you won't kill him."

Milo looked at him in surprise but didn't dare to judge him. He didn't want to do it.

"Your brother was your strength, now your student is your weakness." He said it more as an affirmation than an interrogative.

Camus nodded. Although he didn't like the way that Milo could see inside him, he felt that a weight had been lifted off his shoulders, and the tranquillity of knowing that his friend understood him.

"Your disciple will have a fair fight, Camus, I promise you."

He simply smiled. All was said and done. Milo could feel the solace in his soul and in his heart.

"Your secret is safe, Camus. Now go and rest, and may Athena protect you."

Both friends bid each other farewell with a warm embrace, although Milo's heart weighed heavy. Camus' smile was more special than ever. More so than in all the years they had known each other and a bad feeling took hold of him. The Battle of the Twelve Houses was at their gates, and there was no turning back. For any of them.

* * *

The battle had finally ended, but the consequences had been woeful. At least that was what Milo thought when he entered the Temple of Aquarius, and saw the body of his friend on the cold marble floor. How to speak to him. How to tell him that with him his desire to fight had left him. How to explain that he had been the closest to his heart, and that he would have given his life a thousand times, only to see him smile. To see him alive.

He looked at his friend's face, for the last time, before they came to take him to the Temple of Athena for an audience with the True Goddess. He seemed--at peace, just as Camus was, in fact, and he had to look deep inside himself to find the strength to go on, and not break down and cry there and then, faced with the fact that he had lost everything.

But he had to leave him there, and present himself before the Goddess, and honour the Swan Cloth with his blood. If Hyoga had been Camus' weakness, then he, Milo of Scorpio, would give him the strength to carry out his role as Aquarius, and to honour his Master. So that he would be worthy of him.

The bodies were taken to the Chamber of the Fallen, place reserved for those who had died for Athena. There Milo bid his friend farewell. Now he would make sure that the legacy of Aquarius was kept intact. And that Camus' memory would never die.

"Find final peace in Elysium. Find your brother, and tell him, in death, what you could never tell him in life. Bless you, Michel, and may your soul live forever. Goodbye, Camus. Goodbye my friend."

The End


1) We will speak later, I promise you.

2) Shall we go?

3) We haven't spoken for a long time.

4) Marcel, Philippe, and Michel
My little family, my husband and my sons, my greatest loves,
Time will pass, but love will remain in our hearts,
Eloise.


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